With the impending section hike now on the horizon, one of the matters of concern for me was a FAK or First Aid Kit. Admittedly, I am no doctor and I genuinely stink as a patient. I do follow orders well. I’m nothing if not obedient. Chalk that up to the Navy/OCD father I grew up knowing, loving and, in some small way, aspiring to be like. I have been Red Cross trained on CPR adult and infant and I have the general understanding on how to stop bleeding, close a wound, or administer general first aid. While I’m really calm in a major crisis, just one of my many stupid human tricks, I wouldn’t be able to reattach a severed appendage or do a field tracheotomy. If you’re as old as me you just had a flash of Radar and Father Mulcahy doing that on an episode of M.A.S.H.. Cool, old farts unite!
So I did a little research among my hammock peers and asked a few open ended questions then scoured the local Walgreen’s, CVS, Fred’s, Dollar Tree, WalMart, and Dollar General for the items I felt I needed to complete my FAK. I just realized I have every one of those stores in a two mile radius of each other in my home town. Not sure what that says about my city. Not sure what that says about me, but I digress.
Here are a few shots of my kit. What I carried it all in was a important to me as what I put into the carrier. This is, in fact, a diabetic travel pack. Meant to carry the monitor, insulin, sharps, etc. Since it unzipped and had pockets I felt it fit the bill nicely. It isn’t ultralight but I’ll stress over that at a later date.
Here is the carry opened up. I liked the pockets and a simple divider on one side. Something that appeals to the OCD in me as well.
Lastly, the contents of the FAK. I know this will change over time as I find other lighter options and other items to add or things to remove. Contents: Neosporan spray, in straws – ibuprofin, tylenol ;sealed pack imodium, BC powder, wound clot, steri stripes, Kinetic tape, mole skin, mirror, super glue, tick twist, folding scissors, spray hand sanitizer, cotton balls, safty pins, nail clippers, toothbrush w/paste, razor blade, aquamira, toothpicks. (not shown): tweezers, needle/thread.
This seems to be a pretty good set up for me. I say that to emphasize the point that what works for me may not be the thing for others. Everyone has their own ways to manage pain, medicate, and deal with their own particular basket of ailments and maladies. The idea of physician heal thyself may apply here and you’ll know what will work best for you. Hopefully this will give you an idea or two and get your motor running on what you would include in your own version of a FAK.
I know that this has proven to be a valuable asset to me already. At a group hang/hike this past weekend a fellow hammock guy was complaining about a sinus headache. Others around the campfire were offering up what they had, tylenol, ibuprophin, etc. I asked what he was dealing with and offered up a BC powder packet from my FAK. He jumped on it and stated he was much improved the next morning. This was great but where the kit really showed its worth was earlier in the day when a sudden attack of the galloping giddy ups hit me on the trail. First time I thought it was no big deal but the second event another 30 minutes later told me I was in trouble unless I did something about it. FAK to the rescue as I had some imodium in the kit. I never take the stuff in my normal day to day breathing in and out. The fact that I had it was a matter of Divine intervention in my opinion and the rest of the hike was UNeventful in that department. I won’t leave home without my FAK ever again.
Go do a little research and make a list of what you think you would use and set up your own FAK. You’ll be glad you did. It was certainly a relief to me.