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Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 618 Longview TX

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I am trying find a good container for our troop first aid equipment.

We are currently operating out of an old plastic tool box. It is not waterproof, lacks room and is getting pretty old.

We do a lot of camping, so it needs to be durable, waterproof and


I'd appreciate any advice I can get.




Joe Ball

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You can try an ammo can. you can get them in plastic, or the more durable steel. When refereing to the steel cans, you can find them in multiple sizes. Check with your local military surplus store. You can paint them red so that they stick out and be easy to find.


You can also buy inserts that keep thing divided. Or if you know anyone in your local EMS department, you may try asking them if they have any old medical supply bags that they no longer need.


If that is not what you are looking for, try looking for old military aid bags at the surplus store. those work real well too. I mean, that is what they were designed for after all.


Hope these suggestions help. You should be able to find something that you need somewhere.

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I agree with the Ammo can or a larger tackle box answer for a Troop or major incident solution, but like having several smaller (like an individual kit for each Scout) to deal with smaller things.


For backpacking I kind of like the "Adventure Medical kits" to start but add and subtract things based on what we seem to use - or what I might like to have on hand and am willing to carry. I still want the Scouts to carry their own individual kits.


Checking with local EMS for "used" bags does seem like a great place to start - wonder why I hadn't thought of it...

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EMS supply catalogs have plenty of options, but for the most part they are nothing more than plastic tackle boxes with larger compartments. They hold supplies specifically for medical equipment rather than fishing tackle.


for the past 20 years I have used an old metal tool box but it is not water tight because it is always stored in the car trunk.


I would suggest using a tackle box and when doing water sports have a waterproof bag to put it in when on the water.


Keep it in mind that one doesn't have to store a lot of stuff in it. Bandaids and sterile bandages are about all you need. Most of these things can be stored in ziplock bags in a non-waterproof carrier. If you have specific needs such as epi-pens, glucose, etc. these too will fit in ziplock bags as well. A good pair of EMS scissors is always a necessity in case a boy gets tangled in rope, etc. in a water accident.


For the most part, I can't figure out why you couldn't ziplock the medical supplies and use the box you already have. Unless it is damaged, it shouldn't be any different than a waterproof box. In an emergency it takes no more time to tear a ziplock bag open than it does to remove the paper. Don't put multiple bandages in a ziplock, one application per bag.



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First consider what you will carry and then size the container for that plus room for growth.


Here's a good article on a backpacking first aid kit


Strongly consider investing in SAM-splints and the new trauma, quick clotting dressings, ace bandages,...


For wilderness activities, generally you want a folding, high-visibility, light weight soft pack with supplies organized in transparent pockets. You want to be able to unfold it and see everything that you have so you can quickly retrieve needed items. You also want to see what needs to be replenished.

To make it waterproof, place in a seal-able dry bag, or place it in a hard clear plastic Pelican or Otterbox (see Campmor and other suppliers). In my experience, plastic bags and even ziplocks leak, particularly if they get knocked around.


As mentioned, Adventure Medical kits http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/ are good examples to look at to get ideas, you probably want to look at the Mountain or Sportsman medical kit lines for a troop-level first aid kit. I would encourage scouts to make their own (First Aid merit badge book).


Believe it or not, personal organizer bags work extremely well as wilderness first aid kits. You can get them from LLBean, Campmor, etc. Here's LLBean link (you can get



Look at Chinook Medical too for containers and supplies - good prices, good people



Another good resource is Rescue Essentials though their online shopping is a little flaky



Hope this helps

(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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A few have talked about the need to have scouts carry their own first aid gear. We don't encourage them to carry anything more than a small bandaid. If they need more than that, I want to be notified. I have no objection to them applying the first aid, but I know who the parents will be after my butt if it is done wrong or if universal precautions are not followed.


They don't each bring their own pots and pans, hand axes or coolers why should they each have a firstaid kit? Doesn't make sense in base camp where we can have one big kit in the center of every thing. It doesn't make sense on the trail where we are sharing the weight.

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Be prepared. Teaching first aid, emergency preparedness, and safety are cornerstones of our troop scouting program. So far, no complaints from our parents.


My previous response was about troop first aid kits, but count me in the "few" that want scouts to make and carry their own personal first aid kits as well. It is also Second Class requirement 6b.


Each of our scouts carries his own "personal" first aid kit whose contents are mostly those on p289 of the Scout handbook "Personal First Aid Kit". Some kits are store bought, but most scouts make their own very lightweight (5 to 8oz), inexpensive, quart size ziploc or equivalent bag.


"Personal" as in stuff the scout will likely need himself - their own correct-size gloves (one size does not fit all in this age group), bandaids, MOLESKIN (blisters happen), scissors, sterile dressing, small tape roll,...


My $0.02




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I disagree :)


Especially on the Trail.

Every one should carry at least: Their own moleskin(or other blister treatment). A couple of Band-aids and Neosporin single use packets. Whatever analgesic their parents allow them (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen) in very small quantities. Whatever stomach remedies their parents allow them (Pepto-Bismol tablets, Immodium tablets). An epi-pen, if required Their parents of course, should have trained them in how and why to use any meds they allow. And they should NOT share any meds!


Beyond that, I would agree that the Patrols FA kit should be carried and it should have more moleskin, tick tweezers, etc. and be able to treat one major injury and that the Adult Tour leaders should have a Trauma kit capable of handling at least two major injuries (two or three Quik-Clots, two Sam Splints, a couple of Dressings and a couple of Bandages and materials for a couple of appropriate slings.

Taking the major kit apart on the Trail and spread loading it will result in a disorganized response to a real emergency. Maybe various persons should carry it at various times or the WFA or higher trained individual should always have it but I don't agree with breaking it down.


For situations where the trailer is at hand more is better but at some point the perfect world leaves us and we need to make do with what we have and some brain power. In addition, on the Trail the heavier the kit is the more likely it is that it gets "accidentally" left behind. Having each Scout carry their own small kit keeps the Patrol and Troop kits from being depleted for minor issues, having each patrol have their own medium kit plus having the adults carry a backup gives some flexibility in the response and may increase the timeliness of the response if we actually camp a couple of hundred yards apart(as more land managers are requiring...) and the possibility of handling additional patients if required.

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Just came back from a CPR class. The instructor was a EMT who also does training in backcountry first aid. He suggested first, as has been suggested here, that each Scout carry a small first aid kit of personal stuff, Band Aids ©, gloves, antiseptic. Beyond that, he suggested that the Troop (or Patrol) first consider what kind of things MIGHT happen on the planned trek. He demonstrated a segmented first aid kit, three or four sections, in heavy duty waterproof sealed ziploc © bags.. The idea being that one could SHARE the carrying of all the desired items, in smaller kits, rather than one BIG F/A kit in a big fishing box or war surplus ammo box.

One boy carries the CAT scan, one the Xray, one carries the AED kit, one carries the IV infusion machine, you know, like that... Makes it more fair than one ASM carrying the whole hospital.

He suggested that most of the stuff in the usual "industrial" F/A kit were not really necessary or even needed in any foreseeable future hike or urban planned camp out. However, if you were going out into the Cascade Range for two weeks, or rafting down the Yough for a week, you might take more stuff. So parcel the stuff out in waterproof bags amongst the Scouts.

Remember when we were encouraged to tape a couple of dimes inside the F/A kit? Then quarters?

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I found that a Baseball (5-gal) Bucket with a padded seat lid makes for an excellent Troop level first-aid kit. It's easy to organize (you can get dividers from Home Depot/Lowes), and makes a convenient extra seat when needed. There's even room for larger items, like a blanket, permission slips and epi-pens, or, in our case, personal "girl-stuff" items. We painted a huge "+" on it, in glow-in-the-dark paint, so it is easy to find at night.


I also require each scout to have their own personal first-aid kit in their 10-essentials bag.


Granted... we don't bring it on backpack trips!

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I saw some mention of some of the new major trauma bandages and dressings.


The Quikclot powder that is out there is great. I would only recommend this for the troop level first aid kit and more importantly if you have a doctor or trained EMT in your troop. There are a lot of complications that can happen with this powder. Mostly it causes checical burns at the contact site. Mostly because it is a chemical reaction. So only use when you have no other option. I can tell you that I have been in Emergency medicine for 12 years and the only time that I have ever had to use it was once when I was deployed to Iraq. And I do not think that our scouts are going to be dealing with large explosions.


THe bandages are the same way, they are a little better, less complications, but only for dire emergencies. They both are also very expensive.


Hope this information helps.

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