Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Aid Face Off with Tactical Survivor Blog

If you haven't checked out The Tactical Survivor Blog yet, it's your loss. Evan (a personal friend of mine) has begun to create a great treasure trove of information, and does it in style.

I recently decided to through down the gauntlet with him in a first aid kit build-off, specifically for paintball/airsoft etc., with the following criteria:

- Specific materials for problems/situations that arise playing paintball
- Simplicity of assortment and selection
- Capable of being carried on a paintball field (in whatever fashion)
- Affordable and capable of being built with local supplies (you shouldn't have to order anything in from a specialty store)"

Here was my result:

Your first question would probably be, why did I choose a ziploc bag as my container? Well here are a few reasons:

  1. They're cheap and easily available.
  2. They're waterproof.
  3. If you really need to use your kit in a hectic or stressful environment, you can just rip open the ziploc and put it on the ground, as opposed to fiddling with clasps, velcro or zippers.
  4. This ziploc sandwich bag makes the whole kit able to fit into any pants pocket, pouch, arm pouch, or even the bottom of a paintball pod pouch.
Now down to the individual components and my reasons for picking them:

  • Tweezers: Useful for not only worrisome splinters (that often occur from touching decaying paintball bunkers with bare hands) but also the loathsome tick. Tick bites can result in serious problems such as lyme disease if allowed to stay on the host or improperly removed, some common plastic tweezer solve that problem (for info on how to remove ticks, see a future Grey Ops article).
  • Lighter: Lighters are great all purpose first aid/survival tools, and not to mention their necessitous inclusion for all the paintball players that are addicted to nicotine (me being excluded from that group, a bic lighter still provides a great option for all those situations arising wherein you'd need fire/heat/a light source).
  • Afterbite: How many paintball fields do you know that have a wasp/bee problem? Afterbite is great for anyone that has a bad reaction to a bite (or just wants relief), but remember it's no substitute for going to a hospital if anaphylaxis occurs.
  • Knife: Whether you're making splints, cutting people out of snags or entanglements or even removing/loosening clothing or gear (in the case of a heart attack etc), a knife is another great tool in a first aid kit (you don't have to use a non-cheap one like I did here, I just had it lying around).
  • Alcohol swabs: More useful for cleaning the tweezers than anything, they can also clean your hands after having gotten blood or other possibly infectious materials on your hands after helping someone.
  • Gloves: Before you even think of touching someone with an open wound or any possible infectious materials should be to protect yourself. Some nitrile gloves packed away in a little zip-loc will last a long time without degrading, and they won't conflict with any latex allergies you or the person you're helping may have.
  • Butterfly bandage: I'm not going to lie. I really hate band-aids. I think they're largely useless for the most part (unless you plan on being in the boonies for a long time with an open wound), don't let wounds breathe or heal properly, and are always in excess in first aid and medical kits. Instead of using a typical band aid, clean the wound properly as soon as possible and keep it clean until it completely heals over. But, I like butterfly bandages for being able to close shut wounds temporarily that may require stitches in the near future, until the injured party can make it to the nearest clinic or hospital.
  • Sterile gauze roll: 'Nuff said.
  • Compress bandage: hopefully you'd never have to use something like this in a game of paintball, but an arterial bleed could really mess up someone's day without quick treatment. As an added bonus it's super compact and lasts effectively forever.
So there's my kit, if there's one thing I would like to include but didn't have on hand it would be a triangular bandage. What does everything think of it? For Evan's answer to my challenge, please see this post! Please let him know you think of his kit too. Heck, make your own kit and post up the "ingredient list" in the comment section below!

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