Outback first aid supplies

Hi, we have three first aid kits.

Our big main one a car one and backpack one.

They mostly just have the basics now but I'd love to know for those who have been to remote areas what you have included in yours?

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 18:31

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 18:31
I have designed my own.
As well as the basic kit, I have included wide bandages to use for constriction and/or immobilization of limbs and a couple of triangular bandages.
I also have added long tweezers and sterile probes for removing splinters and an eye lupe (magnifying glass) to see close up where the splinter is and how it lies, while keeping the hands free.
Also have tubular stocking type bandages which are great for wounds to fingers and an applicator to put them on with.
A bottle of Betadine antiseptic liquid is in the kit and is much better than run of the mill "dettol" or "pine-o-clean".
Have several different types of adhesive strips in different sizes and construction, including the butterfly type and even some blue ones so my "crew" can advertise they have been injured.

I bought a green and white "Rubbermaid Toolbox" to contain the lot and I think it is a more comprehensive first aid kit than most available on the market.

Haven't done a refresher course for a while and I should no doubt schedule one, but not before our 4 week trip in less than two weeks time.


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Reply By: Robyn R4 - Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 19:51

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 19:51
The most important thing for your kit is "knowledge".
Can you use all that stuff?
Do you know how to improvise?
You may know the basics of CPR but have you ever thought outside the box on what you'd do in unusual situations? And just about anything in a remote place falls into the category of "unusual"!

My dad was a former medic in the army and later taught St Johns First Aid. He reckons there were many grey nomads at his courses where one person was doing the course and he'd very gently say "But what if it's you that's unconscious?"


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Reply By: Member - Michael O (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 23:09

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 23:09
As a Pharmacist travelling in remote areas, I am often asked for First Aid advice and equipment ("the bloke over there tells me you're a pharmacist. Wouldn't have a INSERT PRODUCT on you by any chance...")

I never used to have much of a First Aid kit until surviving a head-on collision with a Telstra truck on Cape York in 1986 made me more wary.

I've found it best to buy a tackle/tool box and fill it up with the things I want.

Mine has heaps and I have a typed list of what's in it on the inside so I can replenish it all when I get home.

Some ideas
Ventolin Inhaler (for asthma)
small torch (for looking down throats, in ears)
eye bath and eye pads (getting the Simpson Desert out of eyes)
tweezers (splinters and ticks)
Nurofen liquid and tablets (pain, fever and inflammation)
Imodium (diarrhoea)
Maxolon (vomiting)
Phenergan (travel sickness and allergies)
Amoxil and Keflex (antibiotics)
Chlorsig Drops (eye infections)
Chlorsig Ointment (eye infections and skin burns)
small Dettol (antiseptic)
plastic amps of saline (for washing wounds/eyes)
Sofradex Eardrops (ear infections)
Melolin dressing pads (many sizes)
Fixomull dressing tape (for burns and grazes)
Leukostrips (like a butterfly closure for cuts)
Triangular bandages (for slings)
1% Cortisone cream (bites, stings, allergies)
Splinter probe and EMLA cream (anaesthetic for removing splinters)
Spare whistle and compass (bushwalking navigaton)
razor blades (for dressings, not wrists...)
Alcohol swabs (for cleaning disinfection)
Cotton buds
Paraderm Plus cream (bites, stings, cuts and minor burns)
Shock blanket (treating hypothermia)
First Aid instruction book (for someone else...)
Safety Pins (securing slings)
CPR/resus mask (put over an ugly face so you can do mouth-to-mouth)
Betadine antiseptic
small cable ties (probably belongs in the toolbox now that I think of it...)
Asstd tapes (Micropor and strapping)
Heaps of BandAids of different shapes and sizes
disposable gloves (don't want to catch anything from your patient!)
Ear plugs (some for swimming and some for the neighbour's generator...)
Opsite dressings (like medical Glad Wrap)
assted crepe bandages (for holding on dressings)
compression bandages (snakebites and sprains)

I also have a small bum bag with a basic kit that we take on bushwalks and daytrips when we're away from the car.

And remember, any First Aid kit is only as good as the person who opens the lid.........
So get some basic training!!!
Monday I have Friday on my mind...
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Follow Up By: gbc - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 11:42

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 11:42
Paraderm plus has to be my favourite and most reached for product of all time, especially with kids. You are showing your age though, it has been discontinued for a few years now. Chemists own antiseptic plus is a common replacement.

I also carry inflatable arm/leg splints. they are cheap and take up no room. Thankfully I haven't had to use them.

Great list.

Renee enterprises do great remote area kits at a reasonable price.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 01:31

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 01:31
Either St Johns or Red Cross (can't remember) run a first aid course designed for remote area travellers. They also have a first aid kit for such people.

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 05:45

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 05:45
In addition to the normal first aid inclusions, I go to the Doctor and explain that I will be away in remote places.

He gives me a prescription for 3 types of antibiotics,

Cut infections,

He writes what they are for on the prescription eg " for cuts" etc

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Reply By: Phil 23 - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 07:20

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 07:20
Definitely some Op-Site Flexigrid, like mentioned, it's like sticky glad wrap, or more so stretchy clear contact film. Fantastic for sealing & holding closed those nasty finger injuries.

Other thing we frequently make use of is a bit of Super Glue.
Does wonders on holding those little nicks on the end of a finger closed.

(Preparing for incoming flaming now).

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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:38

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:38
I have done first aid courses regularly for work over the last 30+ years and have been interested in their evolution. The first back in 1982 was very comprehensive in scope covering wound dressings, splinting, treatment. The last, two years ago, while still providing the same basics was more oriented to CPR and the treatment/dressings detail I have been told has moved to the more advanced courses. However, the interesting or worrying information that came out of the last course (wasn't given a reference to the study or report) was the very low chance of restarting a normal heart rhythm by CPR. Effectively you are providing a manual blood/air pump until the paramedics arrive with their defibrillator and lines with drugs etc. What that meant for my line of work - out in the bush doing scientific fieldwork was that realistically it wasn't worth starting unless you had enough people to keep CPR going until help arrived which was sometimes several hours away or for some of my colleagues working in remote areas more like 24+ hours. I'm not at all knocking first aid courses in fact my wife and I will be updating ours before we start travelling, but realistically? The upside is that defibrillators are certainly coming down in price, I notice there are a couple of models on sale at around the $2K mark. I would be interested in forumites experiences or comments on what's available. Again be clear I'm not knocking first aid training but the last course I did was rather a sobering reality check.
Regards Warren
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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:39

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:39
Sorry post should have been reply to topic not follow-up!
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Reply By: duck - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 14:40

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 14:40
The item I did not see & I never carried but I do NOW is a fully adjustable NECK brace & it has been used several times since (if you get the same model/brand the ambo's use) they will be happy to give you a new one & are quite happy not to remove the one fitted)

I started to carry one after my son crashed on he's mountain bike on the way in to bendeathra, it was a big & bad crash, cracked he's helmet in two & put he's Jaw thru he's inner ear, bit he's tongue 3/4 off as well as all the broken bones etc, & he was unconscious for most of the trip out he was in a bad way. we used a rolled up towel as a neck brace & strapped him to picnic table on an angle so he would not drown in he's own blood, 1.5 hrs later we met the ambos on sugarloaf rd & the first thing they checked & did was put him in a neck brace then treated him for the loss of blood. I always carry a neck brace & the sat phone now

He is now fine, fit & healthy as ever has completed 2 iron man comps, but again I must thank the 2 ambos from Moruya & professor Dr Fagan at St Vincent's Hospital for the brilliant inner & outer ear reconstruction

Put the Neck Brace in the Kit
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Reply By: Ash H1 - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 15:19

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 15:19
Thanks everyone is all really helpful, have already looked into first aid courses :)

Asthma medications are a must (as I'm asthmatic)
Can't take maxolon but will definitely get something for travel sickness as I get it bad and we will be going in the spirit of Tas too so will probably need a bit throughout our travels with long drives.
A neck brace for sure will be included in the kit.
As well as many other things that have been mentioned :)

Can anyone recommend any good cream for bug bites etc. ? particularly when up north I've heard the midges can be bad ?

Thanks again :)

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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 17:09

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 17:09
Being an ex north Queenslander, I can recommend a good coat of mangrove mud on arms and legs to stop the buggers being able to bite in the first place :) But unless you're making your way through a mangrove swamp not very practical. Everyone has their favourite bug repellent to keep them off Bushmans (DEET), Rid, Aerogard ... Bushmans probably works best but many people want to steer clear of DEET. Once bitten, cold air (a/c) or water on the bites soothes them a lot. Local anesthetic cream or spray sold for sunburn is great. It also helps avoid scratching the bites as you'll find you'll get them infected easily if you break the skin. Perhaps it takes time for the body to adapt to the local bacteria as you'll find scratches you'll wouldn't think twice about at home will look a bit nasty.
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Reply By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 21:23

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 at 21:23
Thanks to my father's army background/St Johns background...
Thinking outside the square...
You're a long way from help.
CPR is required.
Doing it the conventional way will render you absolutely tuckered very soon.
But think about it.
You need to get oxygen into the system...but you have 2 minutes before the lack of circulating oxygen starts to create problems...that doesn't mean you have to do CPR constantly!
If you do CPR for a few minutes, then rest a minute, then do it again for a few minutes, then rest a minute, etc then you've kept oxygen circulating, haven't you? It's better than the alternative where you do CPR until you're tuckered and stop altogether (then he's gonners).
Consider that stop-start if you're isolated and think you can't continue.
There was once a lady who kept this start, stop, start, stop up for several hours. Her hubby had collapsed on a beach. She couldn't drag him and there were no more passers by. Enough oxygen circulated and eventually help came.
Don't give up.
My hubby had CPR administered by mates for almost half an hour while they drove to the nearest town. He lay in the tray of the ute while they kept him alive. The ambos met them and had to "jump start" him 3 times. But he is alive and well 18 years later and I will always be grateful for their perseverance.
Another "outside the square"...who says you have to use your hands to do CPR? Another story of dad's: a female paramedic did CPR beautifully with her heel because her patient was a "front rower" in build!
I hope you never have to use this, but it may just be your loved one you keep alive.
Always think outside the square.
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Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Saturday, Aug 15, 2015 at 07:26

Saturday, Aug 15, 2015 at 07:26
It may have been said, but the knowledge to use your first aid kit would be first and foremost, and really I believe the snake bite kit is a good investment, and a satphone, an epirb is good but you can't talk to a medical professional on one.
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