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Backpacker Magazine – November 2008

How to Do Everything - First Aid & Health

Close a wound, remove a tick, prevent poison ivy rash, and more essential tips.

by: Annette McGivney


Hiking | Packing & Planning | Camping | Gear | First Aid & Health | Cooking


Treat Medical Emergencies | Close a Gaping Wound | Find Relief in Your Food Bag | Prevent Poison Ivy Rash/Remove a Tick | Make a Walking Splint | Two-Second Tip



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Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star Star

READERS COMMENTS

jays
Sep 06, 2009

I guess I spend too much time playing with stuff, but I have added a good size bottle of Purell to my field kits. It does a good job at cleaning cuts and scrapes, and in a pinch, you can start fires with it to keep warm at night, or boil water.

Larry B
Jul 06, 2009

Use Bear hair to treat male pattern baldness

Stevie the Tard
Jul 06, 2009

No no, you should shave the area... put bbq sauce & honey DIRECTLY on the wound.. then wrap in tea-leaves... ALWAYS pour gas on your feet and wear a blanket on your head when in the wild. Bleach water should be taken analy twice a day.

Robert
Jul 05, 2009

Know and maintain your equipment, med kit, and weapons and they'll take care of you. Remember the tried and true addage: Weapons-Gear-Self in non-critical occurences and you'll do fine in the field!

Johnson
Jun 15, 2009

You people are retarded.

Snowman
May 03, 2009

As a health care professional I can tell you the best way to clean a wound in the outback, is by irrigating it with clean water. If you can put some pressure behind the water (squeezing a water bottle or using a syringe) it will help washout any foriegn material. Don't put anything else in the wound, ie gas, bleach etc. Those things cause significant tissue damage and delay healing. If you go to the ER with a wound, they will irrigate with Normal Saline (No alcohol or peroxide) and then dress/suture the wound.

jays
Apr 27, 2009

as an army medic in the field most of the time, I can say say with certainty, buy a good first aid kit and learn how to use the damn thing. Yes if you get hurt, your it for help (most of the time) but all the high speed toys do mean squat if you don't know how to use it. A hint here, your local EMS / fire dept. are willing to teach you this.

Anonymous
Mar 04, 2009

Toughen up people. Your in the wild. Stop bleeding if you have to. Honestly though, toughen up, it is just dirt. It's not like your working in a landfill, this stuff is natural.

patrick Foley
Mar 02, 2009

Gas on a wound! OMG
Kills bacteria all right, and skin, and nerves... That's if my tentmate doesn't light a fire just then...

One word.
Bleach.
Sweetwater makes a Sodium Hypochloride (Bleach) solution in a little dropper bottle or you can use household (un-scented, non color safe) and make your own. Just get a strong bottle!

Usually 5 drops per liter and left to sit for about an hour (varies with water temp) is the standard for purifying water for drinking. It's not the best against everything but it's what the Millitary and developing countries use. (And is Standard in the US, thus the Clorine-y taste...
Double that for cleaning.
Mildly bleachy smelling but clean and not too strong to sting if your washing a wound or irrigating road or gravel rash. And it's much weaker than Dakin's Solution which is a 5 or 10% buffered bleach solution used for really nasty infected wounds. If i got desperate I could cut up a shirt and boil them in a weak bleachy solution to make clean (not really sterile) dressings if I ran out. The researchers that went to Africa and dug through dead elephants looking for the source of Ebola used a watered down bleach in a spray bottle to decontaminate and they all lived! So i'm pretty sure it'll kill whatever Morgellons live under a rotting log. Best thing is in low concentrations it degrades quickly, but as always wash away from running water.
(Oh... and it won't explode!)
Great if you can make Sterile Normal Saline in the wild. But clean water works almost as well. Most of the other stuff was found to do more harm to healthy tissue, but again... in the wild things are different.

wildoutdoors
Feb 21, 2009

This is the most ridiculous information I have ever heard. And think about, an "ancient" rotting log would not exist.....if it's rotting, it's well on its way to being soil again.

Random
Feb 21, 2009

Is this guy retarded? Let's get serious here.

DonaldJ
Jan 15, 2009

I carry enough medical equipment to do an appendectomy, and could if I really had to...

Should you cut yourself big time, you must clean that wound with clean lightly salted water... Boil a gallon, let it cool, and slowly meticulously wash the wound with all of it... A toothbrush makes a good wound cleaner brush...
Then apply a cleanser like savlon, or hydrogen peroxide... I used gas a few times on very dirty wounds.. then washed it off with drinking water and zest, before applying the polysporin and bandage...
Gas in a wound Stings like fire, but it kills bio-toxic microscopics around, on, and in, the wound...
If it's a deep wound, get out the sutures or butterflies, and close it up, lining up the tissues as best you can, to prevent scarring... When you are in the bush, you are your own doctor...

If the wound is severely bleeding, imagine there are valves in your body that can be shut off, to stop the bleeding... It works for me... I can instantly stop bleeding anywhere on me... It's an acquired skill... When ever you have a bleeding cut, practice it... One day it will "click"...

Never touch very old rotted logs.. to turn over just to see what's under them... That's Home to a billion creatures... How would you feel if something big came along, and ripped the roof off your house, just to have a little look-see at you..?

If you touched a rotted ancient log, do not wipe your hands on your clothing... Wash them well before touching any of your clothing or possessions... There are microscopic things under those logs that can strip the three layers of skin of you in five minutes... I learned the hard way... I had to wipe gas on my seriously stinging legs, after wiping my hands on my jeans, after flipping over a rotted log... In just a few minutes, the little monsters had eaten three layers of skin from two 3-inch by 8-inch patches of my legs... It felt like my legs were on fire... Applying the gas sent me through the roof in pain.. but it killed the invisible bugs... Then I applied soap and water four times... Each touch stung far beyond my abilities to take pain... I don't touch old logs anymore...

In atonement for my invading their ancient home, I mixed up a solution of water and sugar, and sprinkled it all around the perimeter of their log, and diced an apple and sprinkled that around their log too.. as their treat, and to teach myself a very important lesson in respect of tiny creatures...

Be nice to the little life, and the Big life will be nice right back...

DonaldJ
Jan 15, 2009

I carry enough medical equipment to do an appendectomy, if I really Had to...

Should you cut yourself big time, you must clean that wound with clean water... Boil a gallon, let it cool, and slowly meticulously wash the wound with all of it... Then apply a cleanser like savlon, of hydrogen peroxide... I used gas a few times on very dirty wounds.. then washed it off with drinking water and zest before applying the polysporin and bandage...
Gas in a wound Stings like H, but it kills bio-toxic microscopics around, on, and in, the wound...
If it's deep, get out the sutures or butterflies, and close it up, lining up the tissues as best you can, to prevent scarring... When you are in the bush, you are your own doctor...

Never touch very old rotted logs.. to turn over just to see what's under them... That's Home to a billion creatures... How would you feel if something big came along, and ripped the roof off your house, just to have a little looksee at you..?

If you touched a rotted ancient log, do not wipe your hands on your clothing... Wash them well before touching any of your clothing or possessions... There are microscopic things under those logs that can strip the three layers of skin of you in five minutes... I learned the hard way... I had to wipe gas on my seriously stinging legs, after wiping my hands on my jeans, after flipping over a rotted log... In just a few minutes, the little monsters had eaten three layers of skin from two 3-inch by 8-inch patches of my legs... It felt like my legs were on fire... Applying the gas sent me through the roof in pain.. but it killed the invisible bugs... Then I applied soap and water four times... Each touch stung far beyond my abilities to take pain... I don't touch old logs anymore...

In atonement for my invading their ancient home, I mixed up a solution of water and sugar, and sprinkled it all around the perimeter of their log, and diced an apple and sprinkled that around their log too.. as their treat, and to teach myself a very important lesson in respect of tiny creatures...

Be nice to the little life, and the Big life will be nice right back...

DonaldJ
Jan 15, 2009

I carry enough medical equipment to do an appendectomy, if I really Had to...

Should you cut yourself big time, you must clean that wound with clean water... Boil a gallon, let it cool, and slowly meticulously wash the wound with all of it... Then apply a cleanser like savlon, of hydrogen peroxide... I used gas a few times on very dirty wounds.. then washed it off with drinking water and zest before applying the polysporin and bandage...
Gas in a wound Stings like H, but it kills bio-toxic microscopics around, on, and in, the wound...
If it's deep, get out the sutures or butterflies, and close it up, lining up the tissues as best you can, to prevent scarring... When you are in the bush, you are your own doctor...

Never touch very old rotted logs.. to turn over just to see what's under them... That's Home to a billion creatures... How would you feel if something big came along, and ripped the roof off your house, just to have a little looksee at you..?

If you touched a rotted ancient log, do not wipe your hands on your clothing... Wash them well before touching any of your clothing or possessions... There are microscopic things under those logs that can strip the three layers of skin of you in five minutes... I learned the hard way... I had to wipe gas on my seriously stinging legs, after wiping my hands on my jeans, after flipping over a rotted log... In just a few minutes, the little monsters had eaten three layers of skin from two 3-inch by 8-inch patches of my legs... It felt like my legs were on fire... Applying the gas sent me through the roof in pain.. but it killed the invisible bugs... Then I applied soap and water four times... Each touch stung far beyond my abilities to take pain... I don't touch old logs anymore...

In atonement for my invading their ancient home, I mixed up a solution of water and sugar, and sprinkled it all around the perimeter of their log, and diced an apple and sprinkled that around their log too.. as their treat, and to teach myself a very important lesson in respect of tiny creatures...

Be nice to the little life, and the Big life will be nice right back...

Buck Naked
Dec 23, 2008

Reference the Tabasco to counter a snoring tentmate:

How many drops does my tentmate need?

Or, shouldn't I carry two bottles; one for each ear?

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