Monday, April 14, 2008

Axe Quest III - A Safe Way

Now, although I've got a few scars on my fingers so far bushcraft has left me relatively unscathed (touch wood) and I'm looking to keep it that way. I do always have a first aid kit with me when I go out in the woods but I'm thinking of upgrading both it and my knowledge when I add an axe to the package.
Currently my first aid kit is in a white box with a nice red cross on it. This is pretty much essential - it needs to be in a visible colour in case used in poor light or dropped on the floor (I'm thinking neon might be fine too) which rules out a lot of commercial containers which are green. It also needs to be clearly labelled - you never know when someone else might need to use it. As such I'm looking for a new container.
The contents are pretty meagre - intended to patch up small cuts and slightly bigger ones.

  • 1 Roll of gauze bandage (wide)
  • 1 Roll of gauze bandage (narrow)
  • some zinc oxide tape (about 12mm wide)
  • 4 plasters (2 small, 2 large)
  • 1 sheet of plaster to be cut to size
  • 6 alcohol swabs (which I've just realised expired last month)
  • 1 car plus tick remover
I guess this is not that impressive. I'm looking for something where I could deal with slightly bigger injuries. There are several problems or issues for me building a kit
  1. I'm not first aid trained - a bit odd as I'm a school teacher (private education though). This will remain so for the forseeable future as all courses here would naturally be in Polish and my language skills aren't high enough
  2. Kit size - if the kit doesn't fit in a pocket then it is likely I will forget it or leave it at home at the vital moment
  3. Lack of knowledge - I've managed to patch up myself quite succesfully in the past by simply putting a dressing on a cut and then wrapping it on with a bandage. This is just about the limit of what I can do though! Any kit I build needs items which are easy to use or come with simple instructions
  4. The kit is intended to deal with cuts and other woods maladies, it is not a general first aid kit.
So, I'm writing this asking for your help. I'm looking for recommendations of either:
Resources for good commercial kits
Resources for learning about first aid and wound care
Advice on what I need to get
Posts telling me what you have, use or recommend

I'm going for a kind of minimalist approach. I did read one article which said a guy took tank tape and pain killers. His view was that his survival in the event of a serious accident depended on being found, not first aid so he went ultra minimal as any serious problems were too serious to worry about! A little extreme for me!