Knowing First Aid is one of the ten essentials that every outdoor enthusiast should know. Survival is about your mind working with skill to live. It’s about staying calm in the remote wilderness settings and thinking how to use the items you have available in multiple ways to get home.
There are many posts and articles about what to put in a First Aid Kit. And my wife thinks I am crazy because I have several different First Aid Kits. Each kit is tailored to fit the activity I am engaged in. I have a trail running kit, a day hike kit, rock climbing kit, and several kayak first aid kits. The idea is to satisfy the requirements of the Ten Essentials definition, “to improve the chances that one is prepared for an unexpected emergency in the outdoors”. The stuff I take is important; never the less, the way I think and prepare to act is more important than any gear. Future posts will explore First Aid thinking, and more gear. Presently, let me introduce my favorite first aid little friend.
The first thing I think about is my skin. I wear a wide brim hat, long sleeve rash guard, Buff, and uv gloves. I also wear sunblock. And when skin wears down, gets cut, or bit I use two small and effective solutions. New-Skin has saved me many times.
In 2011 during our 190 mile kayak expedition my skin broke down. On day three after 50.4 miles I experienced nipple rash and blisters on my hands from friction and waterlogged skin. New-Skin solved both problems. It is antiseptic, flexible, waterproof, and lets the skin breathe. The liquid bandage dried rapidly to form a tough protective cover over the effective areas. I will admit applying the liquid bandage to my nipples stung. The protective breathable layer also enabled my body to absorb the fluid in the blisters on my hands and gave the skin a chance to harden. Sean also discovered an infected cut on his foot; after irrigating his cut and putting New-Skin on it, the red puffiness faded and the cut healed within two days.
When the cut is larger I use a Wound Pack. In a small resealable bag I have 4×4 gauze, Compound Benzoin Tincture, Wound Closure Strips, and a Transparent Semi-Permeable Dressing. After the cut is irrigated the aforementioned items work great to promote healing of large cuts in flexible regions of the body that are prone to come in contact with dirt and water.
In Florida the most common bite is the mosquito. Soaking the bit area in sea water is a natural way to cure the itch. Mud also provides a cooling sensation that temporarily relieves itching. And I have also discovered that New-Skin worked to provide relief from itching and acts it as a seal to protect the bite.