Adventure Medical Kits: Basic First Aid and Shelter for the Outdoors
Dr. John Woods 04.21.14
It was very cold during our deep winter deer hunt in Northern Missouri, near the hamlet of Greentop only a few short miles from the Iowa border. It had been spitting snow, sleet, and other nasty atmospherics, including a few gusts of sideways wind. Most anybody with any sense would have been holed up near a fireplace somewhere.
Alan was posted on a ground stand in bushes uphill from a frozen creek that ran the perimeter of a hay field. Through the driving precipitation he thought he saw movement and shaded his eyes to strain on the dark blob drifting along the creek bank. It was a buck.
At the shot, the rest of us were alerted that somebody had finally seen a deer, or so we hoped anyway. Alan came up to the rise of the hill to yell for help. The buck was hit, but it dropped off down into the creek bank out of sight.
It didn’t really take us long to find the deer, but as fate would have it, the buck was ten feet down the bank lying in the frozen creek water. After considerable effort slugging away in the mud and blood, we looped some rope around the antlers to pull the deer up out of the creek and onto the pasture.
With the deer recovered, we were back at the trucks looking for a sturdy limb to hoist the buck up high enough for a quick field cleaning. To make a long story short, Alan managed to slice into the web of his frozen hand between the thumb and forefinger with his hunting knife. It was so cold there was little bleeding, but it was a nasty wound nonetheless.
And there we were with no first aid kit or supplies of any kind. There was nothing but some old rags in the back of the truck. That would have to do. Certainly it was not the best option, but a handkerchief was not enough, and nobody wanted to give up socks for a wrap.
A rushed drive to a hospital in Kirksville some time later resulted in Alan getting a dozen stitches in his hand to seal the cut. Had it not been so cold to restrict the bleeding, the whole situation could have been much worse. Much worse indeed.
The lesson learned here? We all went out and bought some basic first aid supplies to make our own kits for our vehicles, and we’ve continued to have them on hand every time we go hunting.
Luckily today, there are a lot of first class first aid kit choices on the market. The ones offered by Adventure Medical Kits have been well thought out and include the basic supplies needed for emergency use.
Adventure Medical Kits
Adventure Medical Kits offers numerous self-contained, packaged first aid kits to suit a number of needs. I elected to get the smaller but comprehensive kit named the Sportsman Steelhead. Curiously enough, this kit was designed specifically for wet outdoor environments like duck blinds or fishing… or maybe for the cold, snowing, hunting trip.
The Steelhead kit has everything needed for the more common injuries, with supplies including an irrigation syringe for cleaning wounds, wound closure strips, trauma pads to help control bleeding, regular bandages, antiseptic wipes, butterfly bandages, wraps, tape, and even sterile gloves. Again, this is a basic kit that comes stored in a waterproof DryFlex® bag.
I also obtained a neat little self-contained SOL (Survive Outdoors Longer) survival kit called the Origin. It is a palm-sized kit containing a collection of tools needed to assist one to survive the unexpected ordeal.
The ABS plastic waterproof case included fire starters, 150 lb. test braided nylon cord, mil-spec stainless steel wire, an emergency sewing kit, and fishing kit. The case has a signal mirror built into the lid. The other side of the case has a fire sparker, and a removable liquid-damped compass. Secured in a button release slot is a folding lock blade knife.
The kit also has a 100db whistle and an ultra-bright LED light built into the handle. An AUS-8 steel drop-point blade for precision cutting is included as well. For such a small package, this one is loaded with concise survival gear items. Throw one in your backpack, ATV storage box, glove compartment, or Bug-Out bag and you’re good to go.
The final item I secured from Adventure Medical is one of their SOL Escape Bivvy bags. I have been caught out in the elements before for a longer period than I would have liked, and this emergency bag would have been handy to have with me. The Escape reflects 70 percent of radiated body heat. That is an impressive recovery rate for such a lightweight item.
The Escape Bivvy is considered a backcountry shelter. Inside this unit there is no condensation build up as the body heats up. This bag shelter is breathable. The fabric lets moisture escape out while keeping rain, snow or wind from soaking inside the bag. The bivvy fabric is very water-resistant, keeping you dry even in wet, soggy environmental conditions. The Escape fabric is also very sturdy, made for rough outdoor use and resists punctures and tears even in heavy use.
The waterproof seams along with a drawstring hood closure and side zipper permit the user to keep the elements outside. The Escape Bivvy can also be used as a regular type sleeping bag inside a cabin, camping trailer, or in other outdoor housing options such as tents or under tarp canopies. The Escape is ideal for outdoor use on its own in temperatures down to 50 degrees.
Ideal for preppers or others wanting to maintain hidden in the outdoors, the Escape is configured in a low visibility, drab olive green with meshed black logos adding to its camouflaging capabilities. Wrap up in this bag in a lair of leaves or branches and you’ll never been seen.
The really cool part about all of these Adventure Medical Kits and survival gear items is that they are extremely compact and lightweight. Every survival prepper, camper, angler, or hunter ought to have a go-to bag in their primary vehicle with all this type gear stored and ready for use.
Adventure Medical has really put some time into designing and equipping each of their kits with the items needed most for all types of emergency situations from minor to more serious. You have to study their web site to determine which kit (or multiple kits) suits your needs best. A small kit can be stored for on the go use, while a more extensive kit can be placed at home, the office, or a SHTF hide out escape location.
For those urban workers or outdoors enthusiasts, especially anglers and hunters found outlandish miles from home, should have an emergency “Get Home” bag, and these types of items can be lifesaving essential supplies to have ready on hand.
Whatever you do, don’t get caught like we were with Alan, with a serious knife cut out in the wilds. Always have the means to quickly wrap up a cut, wound, broken bone, or other injury when outdoors.
By the way, taking a short first aid course from the Red Cross or other agency is a pretty good idea, too, especially for preppers intending to be off the grid for an extended time.