Hiking - Camping - Gear

Hiking

Reviews of trails including conditions, difficulty level, and locations.

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Camping

Learn about sites, equipment, skills, and wilderness first-aid.

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Gear

Gear to help you survive everything from the wilderness to the concrete jungle.

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First Aid

Stay safe and healthy in the great outdoors and beyond

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White Water Rafting on the Rio Grande

Spent the bigrock_davidday on the river with with some friends that came down to visit us from the wilds of Minnesota  The family was all in too and had a blast catching some white water on the Rio Grande. Big shout out to New Mexico River Adventures http://www.newmexicoriveradventures.com/   They took real good care of us and the guide really knew what she was doing, we sure had a reminder of how dangerous it can be, a person did get killed on the river Friday, so if you do plan to go pay attention to the safety briefing, but do go it was a lot of fun and we will go again. They offer all day and overnight tours and now that I’ve got some level 3 rapids under my belt I’m thinking level 4 might be some real fun. Next time we go it might be one of those over night trips. Camping by the river sounds like some real good times.

IFAK for Non Emergency Personnel

In may last couple of post I’ve been talking about First-Aid and some fairly advanced topics.  I’ve decided to scale back the IFAK (improvised first aid kit) and list one that you can carry with just a First-aid certification. It has many of the advanced items removed and that is a good thing as you should only perform task up to the training you have received. A big change is the head lamp, the cost is around $6.00 but hands free can’t be beat, just be sure and check the batteries now and then. Here is the revised list, and again if you hunt, have a concealed carry licence, or just want to be prepared an IFAK is a must.

Small MOLLIE Pouch (1): Best one I’ve found yet for the cost
4X4 Gauze Pads (2):
Head Lamp (1): This is a big change from the light stick but requires batteries 
Rolled Gauze 3” (1):
Flex Wrap Roll (1):
Cloth Tape (1):
5X9 Surgical Pads (2):
Sharpie Pen (1): Marking time placed on CAT ( Combat Action Tourniquet)
Latex Gloves (2):
Face Mask (1):
Anti-Bacterial Wipes (2): In a bind irrigate wound with bottled water
Medical Shears (1): Get a good pair spend a little extra
6” Israeli Combat Bandage (1):
Combat Action Tourniquet (1): Requires First-Aid Training (learn the right way)
Laminated Instruction sheets for:
Israeli Combat Bandage: More instructions
Combat Action Tourniquet:

Home First Aid Kits for the Non-Medic

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This should be the first thing on your First-Aid Kit to do list. And remember my disclaimer, anything I say here is just my opinion I am not a medical professional. I do however have an American Red Cross Certification in First Aid and adult CPR/AED, a American Heart Association certification in First Aid, and Adult, Child and Infant CPR/AED. I’m also a certified CERT (community emergency response team) member which includes fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. I also have over 200 hours of National Incident management system training. I’m also a member of my local ARES Amateur Radio Emergency Service which is a corps of trained amateur radio operator volunteers organized to assist in public service and emergency communications. So as you can see training is a big part of this so get some training. Now on to the list (which is my no means comprehensive as every persons family may require more customization).

Besides the simple stuff like assorted band-aids and of course a 30 day supply of all your families prescription medications (you have that right), the below list is a pretty good idea of what your home First-Aid kit should look like, if it doesn’t you got some shopping to do.

Miscellaneous
(2) Trauma Shears
(1) Mini-Mag Light or other light of choosing
(1) LED Head-lamp (makes things hands free)
(1) rite in rain  notepad (1) Sharpie marker
(10) Pair Gloves
(2) Safety Goggles

Trauma/Bandaging
(10) 5×9’s
(20) 4×4’s
(2) 12×30 Trauma Dressing
(4) Vasoline Gauze
(2) Rolls 3″ Tape
(2) Rolls 1″ Tape
(10) Rolls 3″ Kerlix
(5) Rolls Coban
(2) Ice Packs
(2) Hot Packs
(5) Cravats (all kinds of uses)
(2) SAM Splints
(2) 4″ Elastic Bandages
(2) 3″ Elastic Bandages
(2) 5×9 H2O Gel Burn Pads
(2) Tubes Antibiotic Ointment
(20) Betadine Swabs
(1) Bottle Sterile Water
(1) Sawyer Snake Bite Extractor Kit.

Medications
(2) Tubes Insta-Glucose (if diabetic in residence, that would be me)
(1) Tube Activated Charcoal
(1) Bottle Low Dose Aspirin
(1) Bottle Motrin
(1) Bottle Benadryl
(1) Tube Topical Benadryl
(1) Bottle Anti-emetic
(1) Bottle Anti-diarrheal
(2) Epi Pens-Adult (if applicable)

Airway
(1) CPR Mask (adult and child)

If you have any question drop me a line, I’ll be happy to answer.

 

What’s in your IFAK (Improved First Aid Kit)?

IFAKThe IFAK stands for improved first aid kit also called individual first aid kit or even blow out kit to some military folks. The IFAK is a kit developed to provide Self-Aid/Buddy-Aid and provides interventions for two leading causes of death on the battlefield (not that we are on a battlefield but you get the idea), severe hemorrhage and inadequate airway. The Kit I will be describing here has been greatly modified from the ones issued to the military and contains much more inventory and as a consequence weighs about 1 pound more than a standard issue military IFAK, but will treat a greater variety of injuries. It goes without saying that I am not a doctor, this is just my opinion. Please take a certified first-aid course before assembling your own IFAK and some medical devices included in the IFAK described here requires more advanced training (more on that later). So what’s in my Kits (I say kits as these are no good if you can’t get to them). I have one for each car, the families Bug out bags, one for my get home bag, and one at work, plus a few  spares here and there). I’ve included Links for the hard to find items, and remember you can only do what you have been trained and certified to do, and good rule of thumb is if you’re not an EMT do not break the skin.

If your out at the range, hunting, or carry a gun/knife this needs to be close by, a good IFAK is a life saver.

Small MOLLIE Pouch (1): Best one I’ve found yet for the cost
4X4 Gauze Pads (2):
2X2 Gauze Pads (2):
Large Band Aids (5):
Light Stick (1): You never know how good the light will be
Rolled Gauze 3” (1):
Flex Wrap Roll (1):
Cloth Tape (1):
5X9 Surgical Pads (2):
Sharpie Pen (1): Marking time place on CAT ( Combat Action Tourniquet)
Latex Gloves (4):
Face Mask (2):
Anti-Bacterial Wipes (4): In a bind irrigate wound with bottled water
Medical Shears (1): Get a good pair spend a little extra
6” Israeli Combat Bandage (1):
4” Israeli Combat Bandage (1):
Combat Action Tourniquet (1): Requires First-Aid Training (learn the right way)
Nasopharyngeal Airway 28fr (1): Requires Advanced Training
Nasopharyngeal Airway 24fr (1): Requires Advanced Training
Surgical Lubricant 5 grams (2): Used for inserting Nasopharyngeal Airway
HALO Chest seals unvented (2): Requires Advanced Training
Hyfin Chest seals vented (2): Requires Advanced Training
Needle Decompression 14 gauge (1): Requires Advanced Training
QuikClot’s 4×4 Dressing (2):
Low Dose Aspirin non-coated (10): For heart attach victims (do not use if bleeding) 
Benadryl (5):
Laminated Instruction sheets for:
Nasopharyngeal Airway: Includes info for oral airway but beware the gag reflex.
Chest Seals: see Pneumothorax and Tension Pneumothorax
Decompression Needle: See tension Pneumothorax again this is to hand to a EMT
Israeli Combat Bandage: More instructions
Combat Action Tourniquet:

While not part of my IFAK I always carry a couple of these rolled up in my back back when hiking or camping and have one in my car as well the SAM Splint makes a great addition to any First-Aid kit and is perfect for those twisted ankles on the trail.

 

Hiking on the Rio Grande

photo 1

Took a simple hike in the bosque last weekend, you can see a little snow on the Sandia Mountains. Great trails along the Rio Grade near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lots of wildlife around and plenty to see and do.

It’s warming up!

The weather is turning warm again so expect updates soon. Going on some Hikes this weekend, got some new gear for review and much more stay tuned.

Do you know CPR?

Sure glad I do, had a very scary moment over the weekend, with a family member. However, that moment was made much less scarier by the fact that I have had first aid and CPR training and I make it a point to keep that training fresh. The good news is everything turned out very good and all is well. The knowledge that I had kept me fairly calm and knowing what to do in this situation sure makes all that time and effort of getting good solid skills under my belt well worth it. I’ve been contemplating getting a higher level of skill and after this weekend I now know that I will.

If you’ve not become certified first aid/CPR please make plans to do so.

How cut rope with out a knife or scissors.

In the I learn something new every day category, this is a pretty darn cool skill and it works with para-cord like a snap. DaveHax demonstrates how to cut a string or rope in an emergency without the use of a sharp object, he ingenuously saws through the rope with rope. See the video below.

Gear Review: Ozark Trail 30F Climatech Mummy Sleeping Bag

k2-_5114b602-5893-4d00-917c-d8cf0c52c64c.v1This Ozark Trail sleeping bag is the first semi cold weather bag I’ve purchased and I’ve not really gotten to put it to the test yet. However,  It packs in a compression bag weights in at 2.76 lbs and attaches perfect to my MOLLY equipped backpack. purchased at Good ol’ Walmart for just under $49.00 bucks, it looks like you can order it online for under $30.00. My real need was for a light weight bag, something under 50 bucks, and that would give me some decent protection in cold weather but not burn me up in say 50 or 40 degree weather too and I hope this bag will fit the bill. If so I plan to buy more for the rest of the family, we are very under supplied when it comes to sleeping bag needs. Here are some specifications.

Ozark Trail 30F Right Mummy Sleeping Bag, Red:

  • Climatech fiber for added warmth, comfort and durability
  • Anti-wet and lightweight
  • 2-way anti-snag zipper
  • Full-surround neck baffle
  • Inside pocket
  • Temperature rating: 30 degrees
  • 97% polyester, 3% nylon
  • Model# MU-EULIN 30FPR
  • 30-degree sleeping bag

Do you have this bag? Got something better? Let me know.

Disclaimer: As always I have nothing to do with neither Walmart or Ozark Trail, come on Ozark Trail, give me some stuff I’ll review it.

 

Winter is coming.

The first blast of winter weather hit this weekend; cold winds, temperatures in the 20’s, and pretty significant snow fall all over. So I spent most of the weekend going over my cold weather gear and working on what I call my spreadsheet of everything. It’s a breakdown of what I have in the families bug out bags (a true necessity in the forest fire prone area we live in), my every day carry items, and shelter in place items. Once I get the list completed to my satisfaction I’ll post it here and hopefully it will give someone some inspiration to compile their own list. As always every time I go to revise the list I find the biggest gaps to be medical items, those store bought first-aid kits just never are robust enough. We do a lot of hiking and I just can’t see going on a trail  with out SAM splints. When have you ever seen one of those in a first aid kit and how many twisted ankles have you seen on the trail? I’d like to have 1 in every bag we have and right now we just have 1 in the main trail bag and 2 in the big medical bag we keep at home, so off to shop around and find the best deal.

Made a pretty darn good home made tomato soup over the cold blustery weekend too, winter is coming got to keep those insides warm.