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About Kath Wills
Formerly a PE teacher, Kath Wills discovered a passion for first aid and has been a Rescue Emergency Care (REC) first aid instructor since 1999. In 2000 she decided to combine her enjoyment of the outdoors with her interest in first aid and became a member of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team (LLMRT). Over the years she has been a member of the main rescue team Committee as well as the Chair of the Medical Sub Committee where she played a vital role in re-vamping the first aid equipment and training. In recent years she has relinquished these roles to concentrate on writing a book on outdoor first aid, however she still plays a significant role in training many rescue team members in first aid.
Active First Aid
For more information about Kath and Active First Aid, visit Active First Aid.
Why is it important to carry a first aid kit in the mountains?
When I go into the mountains I like to be prepared to deal with a basic 'slip, trip or fall' injury. OK it's possible to improvise dressings and bandages from other bits of kit or clothing but it's better if you are carrying a certain amount of first aid kit.
However, if you sat ten mountaineers down you'd find they were all carrying very different first aid kits. I undertook some research on first aid kits for my forthcoming book on 'Outdoor First Aid'. I asked the question "What do you carry in your first aid kit?" and "What outdoor activity do you use that first aid kit for?". With a current sample size of just over 200 people, of differing types of experience and age, I was amazed to find that no two people carried the same kit!
You can buy first aid kits already made up in the shops, however my research indicates that many people simply put their own kits together and change them according to the activity undertaken. For example a first aid kit used on a mountain biking trip might be different from that used to take a group of 8 people up a mountain. Here follows my suggestions for a comprehensive general mountain first aid kit for a group of people.
Recommended contents of a comprehensive general mountain first aid kit:
(a) Bothy bag / emergency or group shelter
The contents explained:(a) Bothy bag / emergency or group shelter
- To provide instant shelter wherever you are.
(b) Casualty report form
(c) Wee (waterproof) notebook and pen
(e) Non adherent dressings like Melolin
(g) Duct tape
(h) Wound dressings
(i) Little gauzes
(j) Safety pins
(k) Saline pods
(m) Micropore or Transpore tape
(n) Compression Trauma Dressing
(o) Compeed for blisters – A special type of adhesive dressing for use with blisters.
(p) Dioralyte – Rehydration sachets (particularly useful in summer).
(q) Blizzard Jacket – Handy little compressed survival jacket with sleeves and hood to keep a casualty warm (used to be called a Blizzard Vest but they now have sleeves).
(r) A bandage / support bandage
(t) Triangular bandage
(u) Pain killers
(v) Face shield
Other items you could include:
Cling film for burns
Small head torch
Adventure Medical KitsCan't be bothered making your own first aid kit? Check out these pre-made ones from Adventure Medical Kits.