4 forum posts
One piece of equipment that I never go hiking without is my first-aid kit. I keep a kit in my backpack at all times and refresh the articles in it several times each year. It is amazing how ratty stuff gets just being bounced around for a while.
I have a heart condition that requires me to use Coumadin, a blood thinner. Any fall, scatch or cut can result in horrific bleeding that takes a long time to get under control.
I found out about a product called Quikclot which is a gauze that is impregnated with a substance that causes the blood to clot. Quikclot has been used by the U.S. and Israeli military for a couple of years and it is credited with saving many lives in combat situations where it is imperative to stop bleeding quickly.
I bought some on the advice of a friend who is an emergency tech who deals with accidents and bleeding all the time. Since I bought it, I have had several occasions to use Quikclot both on myself and on fellow hikers who have had slips and falls that causes bad cuts. In each case, it performed perfectly and we were able to get the bleeding controlled quickly and move the injured person back to the trailhead to get to an ER.
I keep Quikclot at home, in my car and in my first-aid kit. It is the kind of product that you don't need often, but when you do need it, you need it badly. Any wise person who is going far from help should make it part of their gear list.