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Medical and First Aid requirements
On The Trail with Randy and Pam Golden

It is surprising how many people engaged in outdoor adventure such as hiking and biking don't carry basic first aid gear. During a recent journey we ran into a small group of day hikers, one of whom had take a fall. The others were helping her get back to the car. She had a severe cut on her pinkie and had additional abrasions on her knee and calf. While these were causing her biggest problems walking, it was the pinkie that caused my wife and I the most concern. Even getting back to the car and driving to Atlanta from Deep Gap meant the cut might go untreated for hours.

A dab of Triple Anti-b (anti-bacterial cream), a well-placed bandage, and a couple of squirts of analgesic for her legs helped to reduce the pain and reduce the healing time once she returned home. Pam and I decided we should detail the contents of our "first aid kit" so that everybody could benefit.

Our kit did not begin as a "first aid kit," it was more a medicine bag that contained doses of all our medicines for one full day, including what our dog(s) might need in case we were stranded on a trail. Pam purchased one of those plastic medicine holders and divides morning and evening doses in separate pockets. When we get home, the medicine goes back in the bottles so that we aren't faced with out-of-date medicine.

Band aids and Triple Anti-b came next, almost as an after-thought to the medicines. With this addition, we sat down and got serious, reviewing any potential (small) items we might desperately need on the trail. Here is our list, along with some comments

Item What Comments
Benadryl pills Antihistamine Yes, it is great to give someone who has come in contact with poison ivy, but its also effective against things like bee-sting allergies
Benadryl spray Antihistamine Excellent to spray on poison ivy contact areas. Actually prevents the oil bonding to the skin
Band-aids Gotta have 'em Buy a box with various dimensions
Pain reliever Aspirin or Tylenol Bring both. Aspirin is better, Tylenol is tolerated by more people
Latex gloves   Always use them if working on an open wound so you don't pass infection from your dirty hands.
Ace bandage / Splint   Support for twisted ankles
Waterless hand cleaner   Clean hands prevent infections
Needle and thread   I hope we never actually need this, but I store them in a separate plastic baggie
Snake bite kit   Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins are all indigenous to Georgia
Swiss Army knife   Another item I hope we never need.


We pack this in a nylon fanny-pack and one of us carries our water and Pam carries our first aid kit. You can probably come up with additional items for your kit, but the key is to plan ahead and have your kit ready. For example, add a space blanket if you hike the colder climes or during the winter months.

Back in the truck we carry a larger first aid kit manufactured by Johnson and Johnson. We found ours at Walmart, but almost any adequately stocked drug store will carry one.

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