First aid kit + survival blanket for MTBing

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  • First aid kit + survival blanket for MTBing
  • Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Seem to recall there being a lengthy discussion on the ‘old’ forum, and I think there was a concensus that medical knowledge is as, if not more, important than having first aid equipment.

    druidh
    Member

    I always carry a basic 1st aid kit on non-trail centre rides. Small bandage, antiseptic, plasters, painkillers, dressing. These foil “blankets” are pish – get a proper polythene survival bag.

    Oh – and get on a 1st aid course – an outdoor oriented one such as is run by BASP.

    Conor
    Member

    yep of course, but if I rip my leg open it would be nice to have a first aid kit that had a bandage and dressing.

    crikey
    Member

    You can’t really get deep wounds clean at the trailside, so any antiseptic that you carry is a bit superfluous, plus, unless you can dress the wound, it gets dirty really quick if you carry on riding, again rendering the antiseptic-ness useless.

    Plasters… Nah. If it’s big enough to need a dressing, put a dressing on it, otherwise plasters are a bit rubbish.

    Bandages… again, a bit useless really; you can’t carry enough bandage to do very much with.

    Painkillers… unless you can get some morphine and a syringe, the kind of painkillers you can carry will be a bit useless in any emergency situation too.

    Take a clean hankie and some duct-tape; covers the wound, sticks well.

    Foil blankets are good for turkeys, but rubbish everywhere else; if you feel you need it, take a proper survival bag.

    I’m a nursey, and ride with various other nurses and doctors, and none of us ever carries a first aid kit.

    ChrisE
    Member

    I carry a good size dressing x2, roll of tape, wipes and a needle & thread. Had a wound similar to yours on a guy we were with & we stitched it up and rode for another 4 days. You only need to patch up wounds and stabilise fractures. anything beyond that and you’re fcuked (or need assistance anyway)

    C

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I carry fek all if you need my help then I won’t have any gear that’ll need anyway.

    Did use to carry space blankets but not for along time.

    Conor
    Member

    What do you recommend? After having one of our group come off at the top of a 500mt mountain, miles from any road, laying in the grass for an hour with a nasty, deep gash on his leg…. a lot of us suddenly thought carrying a basic first aid kit would be a good idea!!

    http://www.mtbrider.com/mtbr/showthread.php?t=20661

    Antiseptic wipes to clean wounds, gaffer tape wrapped around you pump handle to close wounds/bandage/splint stuff, plastic blanket for warmth/rain cover. Entire kit for not may gramms and next to no space used.

    mobile phone to call for help if it needs anything more

    Premier Icon stuartlangwilson
    Subscriber

    If some one really hurts themselves, a compound fracture for example, you are going to call for mountain rescue and ideally a helicopter. A nice big bandage can be used to cover it up so folks don’t have to look at it while waiting for help. You can make a sling out of it too. Warm clothing and an emergency shelter are good to have.

    Polythene survival bag, cut open, foil sheet taped to bag is best. Try getting someone with the above compound fracture into a bag. Tricky.

    As crikey says, you cant clean deep wounds properly on the trail, unless you want to carry real drugs, needles,syringes, sutures, dressing packs, instruments, huge quantities of dressings etc.

    Get your injured folk to safety and proper help quickly.

    An inner tube makes a handy sling for when you pop yr shoulder or crack yer collarbone. Also stick a rolled up buff/hanky/baselayer in the armpit for dislocated shoulders before slinging it – helps ease the pain by taking the load off the joint.

    Conor
    Member

    Bodging First Aid… my kind of style!! If something is bleeding and you need to stop it, you’ve always got a jersy or two that can be cut up. And that’s all I’m really worried about- deep cuts that need covered and pressure to stop/ease bleeding. Luckily that cut today seemed to miss any important veins or arteries so air rescue wasn’t needed. But it was a very cold 1hour waiting for the rescue team.

    Joxster
    Member

    Gaffa Tape is all you need 😉

    Gaffa tape – sling, bandage, sticks together plastic. Antiseptic wipes to clean stuff a bit

    I have to disagree slightly with some of my professional colleagues here. there is a category of injury which with the correct equipment you can treat effectively at the trailside. Minor wounds can be safely ignored, serious injuries need professional help but fairly large cuts can be adequately repaired with steristrips and a decent gel or film dressing. Gravel rash can be covered allowing that person to continue in comfort

    When riding locally I rarely carry much but when going out into the wilds I carry film dressings – (makes gravel rash much more comfortable) Steristrips ( for fixing cuts – I have made successful repairs on a 3 cm full thickness cut with them) scalpel blades ( for removing embedded gravel) I also carry a space blanket and some serious painkillers

    It is a small subset of injuries that can be successfully treated like this but you can mean the difference between continuing the ride and not.

    For example once when camping with pals one chap fell and cut his head. We had had a few beers at the campsite so no one was fit to drive. I was able using my kit to close the wound and protect it. it healed with barely a scar. without the kit we would either have had to get an ambulance out or leave it to heal with a bigger scar.

    Above all else tho it is knowledge and experience you need.

    oldgit
    Member

    Got a space blanket in my Camelbak but I only wear that during the winter.

    Generally the water in my bottle is used to clean up wounds.

    Agree with TJ.

    I only know the emergency services as a customer but people who do know what they are doing can deal with a lot of stuff my the trail side. Bigger stuff need to be dealt with by people who know what they are doing.

    A lot of gashes and cuts look dramatic but taped up with gaffer tape (antispectic wipe covering the exposed bleeding bit) you can ride on quite easily. T-Shirt gaffer taped over gravel rash helps a bit but avoid sweaty damp t-shirts. Gaffer tape can also be used like wax strips to remove gravel if you don’t like the injured person.

    Polythene sheets acts like a space blanket but can also act as rain cover and even a make shift stretcher.

    poly
    Member

    As others say most first aid kits that you can sensibly carry on a ride will be little use for anything serious or life threatening – but a bandage or plaster can make the difference between a smallish cut, bad graze etc ruining a ride (keeps it clean, stops blood trikling down leg annoyingly, stops sweat getting in little nicks etc). That sort of “reassurance” and niggle avoidance not only helps stop a minor incident ruining a ride – but potentially makes you a bit less likely to have a second accident on the way home.

    I’ve been on the recieving end of both foil blankets and survival bags in training exercises and a user of both in real life. Quite frankly even though foil blankets are tiny and lightweight they are not worth the weight or space for cycling with. Claims about 90+% heat retention are only about radiated heat which is a small part of how we freeze to death!

    Survival bags are a bit better – but still aren’t ideal: head will normally still be exposed; protecting casualties with leg/pelvis/spinal fractures involves cutting up the bag negating much of the benefit; maximum benefit from sharing one – but very uncomfortable with 2 inside – so normally left too late to use; often used lying down – but this looses most heat to ground. If you have a sleeping bag – and even better a thermarest with you – these are a good option, but the bag alone will only have a partial benefit.

    My personal preference would be a KISU/Bothy Bag/Storm Shelter [TK Max have some for < £20 at the moment!] a small one weighs no more and takes up no more space than a survival bag but will keep 2-3 people out of the elements very effectively and amazingly warm. Can also be used easily for a lunch stop in crap weather, to map read etc – and so tend to get used earlier/sooner and therefore before a bad situation starts to deteriorate. Main criticism would be that the smallest (1-2 man) shelters will be difficult to completely protect a casualty lying down.

    Don’t rule out just using a good quality bin bag either – cheap, light weight and can be worn (with holes cut for arms) whilst walking/cycling off the mountain – offering added rain and wind protection.

    IMO you end up with the ‘can we sort it?’ type of injury and the ones where the brain etc is exposed and professional help is what’s required. In my limited experience the main issue in the first type is that the person gets shocked, cold, demoralised etc. For that reason I carry extra clothes and waterproofs even on a decent day, particularly if I’m ridng a big natural 🙂

    second the basp course 😉
    no point having first aid kit if you cant use it

    RichPenny
    Member

    Bloody hell kelvin, if your lot are exposing brain in crashes, can I suggest a safer sport!

    petrieboy
    Member

    picked up a foil blanket in tesco for a quid – you’re never going to regret packing something that weighs next to nothing and could prove useful in a number of situations.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Agree about the foil blancket, they’re great. When I had to call out Mtn Rescue the ohne thing we didn’t have with us that would have been good was a foil blanket (some walkers gave us there one).
    Now I always carry one, it lives in the bototm of my CamelBak, weighs next to nothing and takes up hardly any space.

    FA kit – zip ties, duct tape and spare inner tubes all work well 😉

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I have to disagree slightly with some of my professional colleagues here. there is a category of injury which with the correct equipment you can treat effectively at the trailside.

    Aye that’s true I was saying it with tongue in cheek, minor injuries you’ll be told to stop winging serious and I’ll step in.

    If some one really hurts themselves, a compound fracture for example, you are going to call for mountain rescue and ideally a helicopter.

    Call an Ambulance FFS! But give a location of where you are and the terrain you in the control room and responding vehicle will supply the required support if it’s needed.

    druidh
    Member

    I’ve seen a foil blanket unfolded and end up as two, small, hand-sized pieces of silver plastic. They’re just not robust enough in any strong wind.

    I’m amazed to that more folk don’t actually know how to use a polythene survival bag.

    I’m sort of up with the KISU/bothy bag idea – but my one is a 4-person and it’s a bit too much to handle if there are just two of you 🙂

    poly
    Member

    Call an Ambulance FFS! But give a location of where you are and the terrain you in the control room and responding vehicle will supply the required support if it’s needed.

    Is that the official position? I read something very recently which said “if you get hurt and are not close to road access call 999 and ask for the Police (mountain rescue), rather than ambulance”. Now that would have been in Scotland. I guess the point being that if I call the ambulance service (1) Your operator can’t call out the MRT and then needs to relay all the information to the police (with the the potential for miscommunication) (2) “I” may fail to get “my” message across as to how far I am from the nearest road (most 999 calls are not the most calm clear cut communication) (3) I may be not that far on a map from the road – but its going to take more than two paramedics and a carrychair to get my mate out because of either the ground conditions or his injuries – but I have to wait for a road crew to respond and assess that problem for themselves.

    However, assuming you are in the mountains/arse end of nowhere (and if the thread is all about blankets and bivi bags thats reasonable) and had a serious walking/climbing accident – you would call the Police (for MTR) so why “Call an ambulance FFS”?

    Drac – not meaning the serious stuff – just those injuries that untreated would mean end of ride / a drive to A&E ruining the day but with the skills and equipment can be treated allowing you to continue. Its a small subset between MTFU and “call an ambulance”

    crikey
    Member

    My tired, late-ish, drunkish answer to all this is: if you can’t fix it with duct-tape, then call an ambulance.

    poly
    Member

    I’m sort of up with the KISU/bothy bag idea – but my one is a 4-person and it’s a bit too much to handle if there are just two of you [:-)]

    Druidh – just got the 2-3 person one from TK Max this week, and I would say its just about perfect size for riding with. I can actually just fit it in my saddle bag (which is quite big) with not much room for anything else. In a backpack it would take up no more space than a standard survival bag. I think it was £16.99. Three people would need to be very friendly! Seems well made for the price.

    Joxster
    Member

    Which mobile phone provider covers most of the areas? I do carry a small radio but I’ve got no idea how I’d contact anybody.

    2tyred
    Member

    Lidl were doing German motorbike first aid kits recently for about 3 quid – perfect size and contents for your purposes. Fits easily inside a Camelbak or pack bladder sleeve, contains folded survival blanket, sterile dressings, bandages and all the stuff you’d expect.

    As others have said though, more important is the knowledge of how to use it!

    eth3er
    Member

    Used my life blanket the other weekend when one of our crew fell off in Hope shame it’s a one use only deal, had a first aid kit too and as it happens one the other guys on the ride used to be an orthopaedic nurse who now works in a post surgical unit.

    solamanda
    Member

    I just carry a single sealed large bandage and gaffa tape. If you can’t clean it out with camelback water its too deep. This combo has successfully bandaged up an exposed elbow bone.

    Anything worse you can’t deal with using a first aid kit, anything less you can ignore.

    druidh
    Member

    Does anyone carry a resuscitation mask or latex gloves?

    I carry gloves – all the time – there is a pair in my wallet and a pair in my kit

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Is that the official position? I read something very recently which said “if you get hurt and are not close to road access call 999 and ask for the Police (mountain rescue), rather than ambulance”

    Can you tell me why you think the Police can help?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Which mobile phone provider covers most of the areas?

    For 999 calls if there’s a signal then network doesn’t make no difference they all can be used for 999 on any network.

    druidh
    Member

    From the Lake District MR site – “To call out a mountain rescue team – dial 999 and ask for ‘mountain rescue’.

    From Kinder MR site – “TO CALL OUT MOUNTAIN RESCUE DIAL 999 AND ASK FOR POLICE OR MOUNTAIN RESCUE”

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    From my own experience ring 999 and request both, you went to a Mountain Rescue website how else do you expect them to tell you to call them out. I’ve worked alongside them a few times over the years and even beaten them to the scene, recovered the patient and left the scene before they’ve arrived, admittedly this is less likely to happen in the Lakes and such. The Mountain rescue will use road ambulances to transport the patient to hospital most of the time or air support.

    poly
    Member

    Drac:
    Can you tell me why you think the Police can help?

    The following information applies in Scotland – I have always assumed the same applied in the rest of the UK – but I may be wrong (which would explain your confusion – hopefully your “controller” knows the required channel for contacting the relevant MRT if necessary!).

    (Within Scotland) responsibility for initiating, organising, mobilising and conducting land (and incidentally inland water) based search and rescue falls to the police. Almost all public advice in Scotland says if you need mountain rescue call 999 and ask for the police then explain problem to police operator who can mobilise appropriate resources. I am sure if you dialed 999 and asked for Mountain Rescue that the BT operator would direct your call correctly – but why run the risk. MRTs don’t have people waiting to handle incoming 999 calls the way that Police/Fire/Ambulance/Coastguard do – the police provide that function.

    The police forces have at their disposal – civilian, RAF, the police’s own teams, SARDA and access to the ARCC at Kinloss.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    I’d second the poly survival tubes – much better. I always carry duct tape, a couple of decent size dressings and for expedition races whatever they ask us for. I’ve bodged a fair few decent cuts and lacerations and even did some stitching once. I’ve got Ski Patrol training and outdoor first aid with search and rescue so am happy to do a bit more than your average bear. I have a pair of latex gloves in my seatbag wrapped in a spare glove – v handy. But yeah, my aim is to try and get them somewhere easier to scoop up if they can or get them very comfy where they are if absolutely necessary – if you have a few people and spare gear that + a poly tube is OK. I also have a fleece hat and polyprop gloves in all my packs as they are extremely light and v handy. Saying that when we race we use the foil tubes as they are lighter and we tend to trash one every 2 days – they are warm enough though.

    I have to admit to only having scanned this thread but the BASP first aid course is fantastic I thought. I think that everyone who goes mountain biking seriously should do it. It’s a weekend. Based in Aviemore so we got a few hours riding in at Badaguish as well! Can’t recommend it enough. I carry a fairly full first aid kit, survival blanket etc etc but I think the first aid course is the most important thing.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Trust me Poly ringing 999 and asking for Ambulance will get you the same resources and have the ambulance on it’s way immediately as long as when you make the call you give them details that it’s remote. Yes in ares of Scotland it’s very remote and they’re going to be limited as how to get there but they will provide the right service.

    poly
    Member

    Trust me Poly ringing 999 and asking for Ambulance will get you the same resources and have the ambulance on it’s way immediately as long as when you make the call you give them details that it’s remote. Yes in ares of Scotland it’s very remote and they’re going to be limited as how to get there but they will provide the right service.

    Drac – if I need an MRT then I don’t need an Ambulance “yet” – if it responds immediately it will be waiting a long time for the MRT to respond, mobilise and recover the casualty to an accessible point; i’m not disputing that if you call an ambulance you should get the help you need, just trying to point out that the “correct” way of initiating MRT assistance is via the police (in Scotland at least). By missing out a step in the process you remove the potential for miscommunication. If I should need their assistance I will continue to follow the advice from all the Scottish Police Forces, MR Teams and the Scottish Ambulance Service – and make my 999 call to the POLICE.

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