wilderness first aid

what do you think is the single most important peice of gear for wilderness first aid? can’t say ‘your brain’ that is an a priori assumption.

my vote: quality tarp.

a radio
to call for help. For less serious first aid , a warm sleeping bag or blanket.

80 proof or better whiskey
May save my buddies two different ways: It’s antiseptic and anesthetic, plus it can take the edge off me on a rough trip. :wink:


Super glue & duct tape.
Paddle easy,


Your vote is probably correct.
When we were in Alsaka and paddled lots of wilderness areas a native fisherman asked us if we had a “blue tarp” and when I replied no, he said that very few fisherman or paddlers head out without having one stashed in their boat, and they had saved many lives.

We picked up one shortly after that and always kept it tucked in a compartment.

I thought we were going to have to use it on one day trip where we missed a “cut” between two Islands and by the time we back tracked and found it the tide had gone out and only left a few puddles of water.

We did manage to drag our plastic yaks through the the mile long cut and with the long daylight hours didn’t have to spend the night, but I sure had visions of wrapping ourselves up in the tarp for the night.

In other conversations with locals they all advocated having one.

I would guess that in Florida or the tropics a bunch of no-seeum netting would be a must, rather than the tarp.

My wife always brings a first aid kit, complete with sutures so I never worry about the first aid.



Plastic tarp sounds good to me
But so does duct tape. How bout sticking a few feet of duct tape to the tarp, Then you have them both.

don’t worry
about it much, I carrry a first aid kit with me, but figure if I need anything else usually Coffee or Longshaow have it too. Nice thing about travelling in a tight knit group, we can look out for each other easily.

Camping/First Aid

– Last Updated: Dec-02-05 8:44 AM EST –

..even if I go out for a few hours, I never leave the dock without the means of staying out all night...

Get a Small Pack...(I use a Mil-Spec camelback)It holds 70 Ozs of water, has pockets out the wazoo, and fits in the front hatch nicely....

I put one of all those items a rabid ultra lighter would carry, a Sil-Nylon poncho, a cup, an Esbit wingstove, headlamp, and a sleeping bag made by Adventure Medical for emergencies, a cup and a package of Ramen...

As for the One Thing I'd carry for WILDERNESS firstaid...a Drug Box.


You can read this book online...just click below the cover on Look inside this book.....

(See Page seven for an idea of the scope...)

The link is to a book....get the list of recommended drugs from the book, then buy a small plastic Plano Box to put the different drugs in, and seal that box in an ALOK Sak.

My answer is based on my being out ALONE...and yes I know...never paddle alone...but we all do it at one point or another....

Tarp, duct tape and morphine…

– Last Updated: Dec-02-05 8:52 AM EST –

my kit contains more than just that, but to answer the question.....

To get a first aid gear list…
… there are many excellent sources. I particularly recommend Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA). They are one of the official providers of certified wilderness first aid, first responder and EMT courses, so they know whereof they speak.



Or, you can buy a good kit from Adventure Medical Kits…


at least one of which comes recommended by WMA.


A Brain

– Last Updated: Dec-02-05 9:40 AM EST –

Well, it is!

And I wish it were an a priori assumption!


All or nothing…so to speak
What’s the point of this question? Would you really consider going out with just that one item? Carry your tarp, first aid kit, signalling gear (radio, flares, etc.), spare clothing, food, water and whatever else you feel you need.

Wilderness First Aid Training
Training is the best equipment. IT literally changed my entire outdooor life. I have a Wilderness First Responsder Certificate. I became a better participant, leader, guide, and it also taught me decision making and leadership skills.

I can hardly believe now looking back what dumb luck I had and how freakishly irresponsible I was to myself and others. Now it is fun and exciting to be both responsible and have a great time.


first aid rock
but no need to carry one with you as most wilderness drug stores have plenty of them in stock.

A helicopter.

Oh yes…
and duct tape.

what’s the point of this question??
to see what others think is their most essential first aid item, of course. is that not evident Brian?

things you cannot fashion from nature
This depends on the fix you are in, but all peoples who grow up IN the outdoors rather than see it as something separate and romantic and a challenge to overcome do not think like what piece of equipment is needed!

Native peoples understand there is no mother in mother nature. It is not romantic out there, one does not find one’s true self there. One finds a harsh environment uncaring about whether we puny ones survive.

We need to know how to have water or we collapse soon. Fire, shelter, the body temp goes down 4 degress big trouble. We need medical stabilization, without water, shelter, and food small injuries can kill in a day. Beyond stabilization we needed communication so definitive rescue and repair occur. These have always beeen the basics.

I seconded the tarp above,
but here in the south we don’t take one.

Up north that is a must

And I never even think of first aid since that is my life long paddling partners job and I won’t go on an expedition type trip without her.

Her kit is small , but it has everything including sutures, and there have been a few occasions where she has threatened to use some on my lips!