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Basic First Aid Skills-Identifying and Addressing Altitude Sickness

Monday, October 10th, 2016

thinkstock_people-with-dog-hikingMountain sickness is an illness that can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travelers at high altitudes, usually above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters). On your next trip to the mountains, be sure to watch yourself and your companions for signs of altitude sickness as you travel to higher elevations.

Taken from Adventure Medical Kits’ Wilderness & Travel Medicine Guide, By Dr. Eric A. Weiss

What causes Altitude Illness or Mountain Sickness? Altitude Illness is a direct result of the reduced barometric pressure and concentration of oxygen in the air at high elevations. The lower pressure makes the air less dense, so each time we breathe each inhalation contains fewer oxygen molecules and the body begins to feel deprived resulting in headaches, shortness of breath, weakness and nausea.

Prevention

  • Follow the “Golden Rule of Altitude Illness”- Above 8000 feet, assume headaches, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting should be considered altitude illness until proven otherwise. Even with mild symptoms, symptoms should be addressed and/or resolved before continuing to higher elevations. Anyone with worsening symptoms or severe symptoms should descend immediately to lower altitudes.
  • Graded ascents are the best and safest method for preventing illness. Average no more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain per day after 10,000 feet.
  • Avoid abrupt ascent to sleeping altitudes greater than 10,000 feet.
  • Day trips to higher altitudes with returns to lower altitudes for sleeping will aid in acclimatization.
  • Eating food high in carbohydrates and low in fat and staying well hydrated helps.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption

Mild Altitude Illness: Acute Mountain Sickness

Signs and Symptoms

Acute Mountain Sickness is common in travelers who ascend rapidly to altitudes about 7,000 feet. They typical sufferer experiences a headache, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and nausea. Swelling of the face or hands may be an early sign. Children are generally more susceptible than adults.

Treatment

  • With mild symptoms, refrain from going any higher in elevation.
  • Watch the victim closely for worsening symptoms.
  • Usually, within 1-2 days, the victim will feel better and can travel to higher elevations with caution.
  • For headaches, administer acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen. Follow directions for dosing.
  • Minimize exertion
  • Avoid sleeping pills
  • Visit a medical professional for a prescription of Diamox (a drug that aids in relieving symptoms)

When to Worry

Severe Altitude Illness-High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)

If the victim presents the following, seek IMMEDIATE Medical Help and assist the victim in descending immediately at least 3000 feet and administer oxygen.

  • Marked breathlessness upon minor exertion
  • A severe headache unrelieved by Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion, hallucinations, stupor or coma
  • Transient blindness, partial paralysis or loss of sensation on one side of the body.
  • A dry hacking cough
  • Anxiety, restlessness, and rapid pulse
  • Bluish color of the lips and nails, indicating poor oxygen in the blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dog Got Sprayed by a Skunk! Now what do I do?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

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Adventure Dog Series-Your Guide to Dog First Aid and Other Dog Disasters

Adventuring is always more fun with a dog in tow. You know your buddy loves adventure just as much as you do. Sometimes, unknowingly, our best buddies can put themselves at risk. Follow our posts for first aid tips and how to’s. Your dog will thank you!

My Dog Got Sprayed by a Skunk! Now what do I do?

Taken from Dr. Sid Gustafson, DVM  (Author of Canine Field Medicine and a consultant for Adventure Medical Kits’ Adventure Dog Kits

Skunks are a common and generally not a serious threat to active dogs. A direct hit to the face can irritate the eyes.

 

 

 

Action:

  • Keep the dog outside to clean them.
  • Wear gloves and old clothes!
  • Restrain as appropriate. Due to pain, injured or ill animals can be unpredictable. To prevent injury to yourself and others, it is recommended that you restrain the dog as appropriate. Wrap the dogs muzzle with a cloth to prevent nipping and to keep the dog calm.
  • If your dog was hit in the head, use a stream of sterile saline solution to bath the eyes
  • Bathe the animal daily for up to 7 days in the following recommended solution:
  • Skunk Bath Remedy
    • 1 pint 3% hydrogen peroxide
    • 1 Quart Water
    • ¼ cup baking soda
    • 1 Tbsp. Prell liquid dish soap
    • Apply mixture to coat and let sit 30 minutes.
    • Rinse with a mixture of one cup baking soda in one gallon of water. Avoid the dog’s eyes. Do a final rinse with warm water.
  • Skunk spray is composed of thiols, which are responsible for the odor. These are neutralized by the hydrogen peroxide and absorbed by the baking soda.
  • Smell may linger for days or weeks after a skunk incident. Over time your buddy will smell as fresh as a daisy!
  • Be sure to consider rabies, and make sure your dog is vaccinated. Skunks are the primary carriers of rabies in many regions.

At Adventure Medical Kits we’ve got you covered. We’ve curated essential first-aid kits to help keep the guesswork out of what you should pack—as well as keeping costs down by minimizing the amount of items you have to buy. Our dog-specific kits include key items you’ll need for the most common injuries and also include a handy first aid handbook and reference manual to guide you through treating dog injuries and illnesses.

 

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What do I do if my dog runs through a barbwire fence and his leg is bleeding?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

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Adventure Dog Series-Your Guide to Dog First Aid

Adventuring is always more fun with a dog in tow. And you know your buddy loves the adventure just as much as you do. Yet even tough dogs can get injured out on the trail. Will you know how to take care of your four legged friend? Follow our posts for first aid tips and how to’s. Your dog will thank you! Woof!

What do I do if my dog runs through a barbwire fence and his leg is bleeding?

Taken from Dr. Sid Gustafson, DVM  (Author of Canine Field Medicine and a consultant for Adventure Medical Kits’ Adventure Dog Kits

If the bleeding is External and Severe:

Severe bleeding needs immediate first aid. Severe bleeding spurts rhythmically with the heartbeat and is bright red.

Stay calm and approach the dog slowly.

Due to pain, injured or ill animals can be unpredictable. To prevent injury to yourself and others, it is recommended that you restrain the dog as appropriate. Before you can control the bleeding you need to control the dog.

Wash your hands or wear latex gloves for protection.

Don’t wash wounds that are bleeding heavily-It will make it harder for clots to form.

Apply continuous and direct pressure with a sterile gauze pad or a clean piece of cloth to the wound. Alternatively, use QuikClot® gauze  in place of a traditional dressings. QuikClot is a chemically inert material that speeds coagulation of blood, resulting in a stable clot that stops bleeding

If blood soaks through the pad, apply a second pad on top of the first (do not remove the first pad)

If you cannot control the bleeding with just your hand pressure, wrap the wound with pads still in place in several layers of roll gauze, an elastic bandage or duct tape.

If there are no broken bones, elevate the injured limb

Transport to the nearest Vet or emergency clinic.

For Minor Cuts and Lacerations with slower flowing or seeping blood that is dark red.

  • Restrain as necessary
  • Carefully remove any foreign particles from the wound.
  • Clean wound with saline solution and an irrigation syringe to prevent infection.
  • Keep bandage clean and dry if possible. Make sure to not wrap the injury too tightly. Your dog may resist the bandage or gnaw to remove. Attempt to keep covered. A dog will naturally want to lick a wound and keep it clean, so don’t fret if the bandage comes off. Just make sure the bleeding has stopped and the wound has clotted.

At Adventure Medical Kits we’ve got you covered. We’ve curated essential first-aid kits to help keep the guesswork out of what you should pack—as well as keeping costs down by minimizing the amount of items you have to buy. Our dog-specific kits include key items you’ll need for the most common injuries and also include a handy first aid handbook and reference manual to guide you through treating dog injuries and illnesses.

Dog Kits

 

 

What’s the Difference between a Space® Blanket and a Heatsheets® Emergency Survival Blanket?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

When a company is the first to bring a new product concept to market, the brand name can become so well known that it becomes synonymous with the product itself. Xerox® did it when it invented the copier, Kleenex® did it with tissues, and Band-Aid® is known the most for bandages. In the outdoor industry, some might consider the “Space® Blanket” brand to have managed this same feat.

While the Space® brand may be the name people use to refer to this line of products, there are remarkable differences between the Space® brand blankets and AMK’s line of Heatsheets® Emergency Blankets.

 Heatsheets

The only real similarities are that they both reflect your radiated body heat back to you to help keep you warm.  But even the amount of heat reflected back to you varies between the two brands. Here are the main advantages of our Heatsheets® Survival Blanket:

  • Heatsheets® metalized poly-blankets reflect up to 90% of radiated heat back to you versus the 80% capability of the Space® brand polyester metalized blanket.
  • Heatsheets® Survival Blanket has survival instructions printed directly on the blanket to help you survive the unexpected night outdoors.
  • Heatsheets® Survival Blanket is 20% larger and able to fit two people inside.
  • Heatsheets® Emergency Bivvy has taped seams, has enough room for on person plus their gear and is waterproof.
  • Heatsheets® Emergency 2-Person Bivvy is larger enough for two full sized adults.

You can further compare our entire line of Heatsheets® blankets and Bivvies to other Space® brand Metalized polyester blankets and bags:

Heatsheets Material

  • Heatsheets® are 30%-50% thicker and more durable.
  • Heatsheets® are puncture resistant and do not shred apart when they are edge-nicked, as metalized polyester blankets do. They stand up better in wind and tears don’t have to turn into disasters.
  • Heatsheets® color coding (orange on the outside, silver for inside) ensures high thermal return. Without the color coding, you run a 50% risk of wrapping yourself with the heat-reflective side out which results in losing 34% of design performance.
  • Heatsheets® metalized-poly blankets are softer and quieter. Mylar and Space® blankets rattle and crinkle (very noisy) and can be an extra annoyance in a survival situation.
  • Space® blankets are difficult to open especially when wearing gloves. They are rolled-and-fold and form hard creases that often grab and tear while opening, particularly after they’ve been stored for long periods.
  • Heatsheets® LDPE-4 blankets are easy to open – even with gloves on – because they are center-fold and flip-folded without hard creases.
  • Heatsheets® LDPE-4 blankets can be recycled with produce and carryout bags at grocery store collection points and recycling centers. Mylar (Space®) blankets are not recyclable.

How do Heatsheets® keep me warm?

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The reflective insulation layer of Heatsheets® brand blankets reflects up to 97% of your body’s radiant heat to form a warm ‘envelope’ of air. This is achieved by wrapping the blanket around your torso to reduce the risk of hypothermia. Anyone can become hypothermic, even in mild weather conditions. The best way to prevent this is to trap body heat in BEFORE core temperature begins to drop.

Can my Heatsheets blanket be recycled?
Yes! Heatsheets® blankets are made from metalized low density polyethylene (LDPE) and carry the recycling code Type 4. While Type 4 film plastics are not normally collected at curbside, your community may offer recycling opportunities for number 4 plastics at a central collection point like grocery stores or community recycling centers.

Are Heatsheets® environmentally safe?

  • Our printing partner holds an EPR Certification (Environmentally Preferred Rating). Heatsheets® are printed in California, where state law (AB 455) prohibits the use of heavy metals in inks or materials. Most of the inks used are water based (as opposed to solvents), minimizing air pollution. During film extrusion and the printing process, scrap and waste are recycled whenever possible.
  • Heatsheets® are produced from FDA food-grade LDPE-4 resin.

Can I reuse my Heatsheets® blanket?
Yes! We encourage you to be environmentally conscious and save/reuse your Heatsheets® blanket. The Heatsheets® material is definitely durable enough to use more than once. It can be placed in your car and used if you are stranded in bad/cold weather. You can fold it up and take it in your backpack while hiking or stash it in your coat pocket while skiing.  Please consider the environment before throwing away your Heatsheets® reflective blanket.

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 Round-up

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Many of us at Adventure® Medical Kits just got back from another busy but great Outdoor Retailer Summer Market — the trade show for leading outdoor manufacturers and retailers, which takes place the first week of August in Salt Lake City, UT.  Prior to and during the show, AMK was recognized by OR’s organizers as one of its ’40+ Legacy Partners’. The initiative, which included special call-outs on OR’s website and signage on the convention floor, honored AMK as one of only 54 companies that has exhibited at Outdoor Retailer for at least 40 shows. Below is a summary of other highlights that occurred during OR:

 

SOL ORIGIN & CORE LITE MANIA!

Buyers and media alike couldn’t get enough of the company’s first ever line of Essential Tools, the SOL Origin and Core Lite. The Origin was prominently featured on the local Salt Lake ABC affiliate and Park City Television, among a plethora of other media outlets. Representing AMK’s first entry into hard goods, the Origin and Core Lite — which will also be the first products to be released under the newly minted SOL brand — offer a multitude of survival components that will save your bacon, if you’re lost, hurt or stranded in the outdoors. Among other items, both the Origin and the Core Lite come with a fully featured knife — a folding AUS-8 locking blade with easy-grip handle that includes a built-in LED light and single-frequency, pea-less whistle. Both products will hit store shelves later this year — just in time for the holiday rush!

AMK ATHLETES IN THE BOOTH

Plenty of AMK’s athletes and other industry notables stopped by the booth, including International Mountain Guides‘ partners Eric Simonson and George Dunn. George recently became the first person to ever summit Mt. Rainier 500 times. An amazing milestone. Congratulations George! Only 500 more till you reach 1000, right?  Women’s World Mountain Bike Champ Rebecca Rusch also hung out in the booth. Rebecca was preparing to compete in the Leadville 100, which is coming up this weekend. Rebecca won the event in ’09 and is gunning for the two-pete this year. Best of luck, Rebecca!

Rebecca Rusch hanging out in the AMK booth

Throughout the show, AMK was also helping to raise money for Epicocity’s Elephant Ivory Project, which aims to end the practice of elephant poaching in Africa. National Geographic Channel’s Young Explorer grant winner Trip Jennings and the Epicocity Crew are currently raising funds for a forensic biology expedition to the remote jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo this fall, with the goal of saving wild elephants from the illegal ivory trade. You can help the cause directly, by donating money to the project here.

During the OR show, AMK also donated DEET-free Natrapel® 8 hour insect repellent and Ultralight/Watertight medical kits to the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education (FCS), a Monticello, Utah-based non-profit organization that provides outdoor education on and about the Colorado Plateau located in parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. According to executive director and founder Janet Ross, the Natrapel® 8 hour was sure to be an indispensable item for the trip the FCS was organizing for a group of outdoor industry leaders to the Canyonlands and Arches National Park, following the conclusion of OR. To learn more about the great work the FCS does, go here.

It’s hard to believe it already came and went, but it was another amazing Summer OR show for Adventure® Medical Kits. Now the real work begins, getting the new products onto retailers’ shelves – oh yeah, and preparing for Winter OR 2011. It’s, like, only six months away!

AMK’s Natrapel 8 hour at Mid Atlantic Truck Camper Rally

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

mid atlantic truck camper rally

Look for DEET-free Natrapel 8 hour at this week’s Mid Atlantic Truck Camper Rally (April 15 -18) in Sanford, VA. Outdoor expert Brian Brawdy will be on site with his camper at the Tall Pines Harbor Campground handing out the gear-safe, as effective as DEET Natrapel 8 hour wipes to attendees and discussing outdoor safety.

Along with the Natrapel 8 hour wipes, Brian will be distributing Tick Reference Cards containing valuable advice on identifying and safely removing ticks, as well info on how to recognize symptoms of Lyme Disease.

Be sure to stop by and say hi to Brian. For more information on avoiding ticks, mosquitoes, Lyme disease and other bug-borne illnesses, check out Brian’s video below and download the Tick Reference Card!

Look for Brian Brawdy at Mid-Atlantic Truck Camper Rally

Natrapel 8 hour contains 20% Picaridin, recommended by CDC to repel ticks

Backpacker Picks Three AMK Products for Spring Gear Guide

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Backpacker recently honored Adventure Medical Kits by selecting three of our products for inclusion in the magazine’s influential Gear Guide issue. BP”s editorial staff chose AMK’s Day Tripper kit (first aid kit),  Blister Medic (blister treatment) and the Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy (lightweight bivvy) for the Guide’s “Essentials” category. Here’s what Backpacker said about  each product:

bivvy

Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy

“It packs down to the size of a kiwi fruit and weighs less than four ounces, but this lifesaver reflects 90% of your body heat.”

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Day Tripper

“Includes everything you need for trips up to a weekend. Bandages, blister treatments, anti-inflammatories and sting aids are organized by purpose, so you can find stuff fast.”

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Blister Medic

“Includes everything for preventing and treating blisters.”

Backpacker‘s Gear Guide (April 2010) will be hitting news stands shortly. Be sure pick up a copy.

DEET-Free Natrapel 8 hour featured on Backcountry Utah

Monday, March 15th, 2010

back country utah

Adventure Medical Kits’  co-founder Frank Meyer spoke recently with outdoor radio show Backcountry Utah about the benefits of using powerful DEET-free insect repellent Natrapel 8 hour. Click here to listen to the interview.

Natrapel family

Natrapel 8 hour contains CDC-recommended active ingredient Picaridin

Along with providing protection from insect bites and stings that is equal to or greater than that of DEET, Natrapel 8 hour’s formula — containing 20% of the active ingredient Picaridin — is also gear safe, meaning it won’t melt your fishing line, sunglasses, camera lens or other pricey plastic or synthetic materials like DEET can.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people use Picaridin-based repellents to help ward off ticks (which are responsible for the spread of Lyme Disease) and mosquitoes (which are responsible for the spread of West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Malaria and other serious illnesses).

AMK’s Adventurer on The Amazing Race: Series 15, Episode 4

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

AMK’s Light & Fast Adventurer kit made a cameo appearance on the October 11th broadcast of the hit reality TV series, The Amazing Race. In episode 4, the Adventurer shows up when contestants Zev and Justin arrive at the Shrine Wat Phnom, one of the key pit stops in the show, which this season in set in Cambodia. Though leading at the time, the two realize that they’ve misplaced their passports and if they can’t find them soon they’ll lose the race.

They proceed to empty their backpacks, which is when we see the Adventurer kit, strewn amongst clothes and other items.

Light & Fast Adventurer Kit on the Amazing Race

Spoiler Alert: Zev and Justin are ultimately eliminated by the end of show. Oh, well. Good to know reality TV stars select the best medical kits available.

It’s not the first time Hollywood has taken an interest in AMK’s products. A few years ago, an episode of The Ghost Whisperer included the Pocket Survival Pak.  AfterBite had a walk-on in the 2007 Scarlett Johansson flick The Nanny Diaries. And more recently, the producers of Survive This, hosted by survival expert Les Stroud, used several of AMK’s survival kits and bivvies.

Upcoming: AMK’s AfterBite insect bite and sting treatment as well as Natrapel 8 hour and Ben’s insect repellents are slated to appear in the new disaster flick 2012, due out November 13th .

If you see an AMK product in a movie or TV show, e-mail us at questions@adventuremedicalkits.com and — if  we haven’t heard of it — we’ll send you a prize.

AMKs’ BPA-Free S.O.L. Survival Water Bottle

Friday, September 4th, 2009

AMKs’ BPA-Free S.O.L. Survival Water Bottle – The Only Bottle That Can Save Your Life Even When It’s Empty!

The recent admission from SIGG that the aluminum bottles it had produced prior to August 2008 contained the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) has once again put into sharp focus the safety of all water bottles. There is one way, however, you can be sure your next water bottle does not contain BPA or any other potentially harmful chemicals — that’s to select one made from stainless steel, like AMK’s new S.O.L. Survival Bottle.

Made of tough food-grade, 201 stainless steel, the BPA-free S.O.L. Survival Bottle will not dent nearly as easily as aluminum bottles, which contain inner linings which, if broken, can leach chemicals that can potentially contaminate water. AMK’s S.O.L. Survival Water bottle will hold up to 750 ml of water, but its much more than just a liquid container.

Unlike most water bottle manufacturers, which emblazon the exterior of their bottles with a logo or design, AMK used this otherwise ignored real estate to offer valuable information on everything related to water and hydration.

Printed on the outside of the bottle are a multitude of tips and facts — ranging from the useful (“How to find Water in the Desert”; “How to Purify Water”) to the novel (“Number of years it takes for a plastic bottle to decompose”; “Number of plastic bottles thrown away each hour”) — which lend the S.O.L. Survival Water bottle an added level of utility not found in competitor bottles. In reality, it truly is the only bottle that can save your life — even when it is empty!

The S.O.L. bottle is also safe to boil water in and comes with a sturdy screw top and carabiner, allowing you to attach it to your backpack for your next outdoor excursion.