ORTOVOX FIRST AID KIT GUIDE: What you should look out for in a complete alpine first aid kit.

Hello, my name is Dani Hornsteiner. I am an instructor and team leader with the Bergwacht Bayern
(Bavarian Mountain Rescue), and I also work as a paramedic. As a passionate mountaineer, I’ve been involved in first aid for a long time and I’ve been giving special alpine first aid courses for over 15 years now. That’s why I want to show you what a good first aid kit should contain and what you should look for when you’re buying one. As a general rule: Every backpack needs a first aid kit. The type and contents of your kit depend upon what type of tour it is, who you’re with, how many people you’re with, the weather conditions and the duration of the tour. When buying a first aid kit, size and weight play a key role. Its contents are just as important though. There are first aid kits on the market now that can be rolled up, making them particularly compact and space saving. And they still contain all the essential medical supplies and there’s normally space left for personal medicines or small valuables. It’s important that the first aid kit is well structured, to grab bandages easily in an emergency. Different compartments provide good basic organization which is especially helpful in a stressful situation like an emergency. Images and labels provide a good overview and show possible ways for the materials to be applied. Every first aid kit should contain the emergency numbers and the alpine emergency signal.Either printed onto the kit or, even better, on an emergency card. The emergency card is very helpful for mountain search and rescue because it contains the injured party’s key information and the first responder’s contact information. There are also some very good waterproof first aid kits that are particularly suitable for glacier tours, extended outdoor activities and wet weather conditions. They come in a roll-top bag that keeps the contents particularly well protected. The contents are organized smartly and wrapped in a protective foil showing descriptions of possible uses. If you want something even more special, you could go for a sport-specific first aid kit. The Roc-Doc has been specially developed for climbers and combines a chalk bag and a first aid kit. There is a zipper on the side for easy access. The entire first aid material is kept in that pocket. Even on multi-pitch climbs with considerable thought on weight issues, you shouldn’t go without a first aid kit. In short: A first aid kit should contain adequate medical material, be well organized and easily accessible. It should contain care instructions and come in a signal color that makes it easy to find in your backpack. Just like the climbing helmet, a first aid kit is part of the basic equipment needed for mountaineering. Participating in a sport-specific first aid course and practicing with the contents of the first aid kit are of particular importance and can save lives in an emergency.

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