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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Tag: First Aid

Do You Carry A First Aid Kit While Paddling?

Do You Carry A First Aid Kit While Paddling? For years I didn’t bother. The rivers being ran were relatively close to help but it still could take time get it. This had to change.

For the last few years I have been using Adventure Medical as my main first aid kits. I stumbled upon them when I was trying to find an ultralight kit for mountain biking. Since then I have purchased several Adventure Medical First Aid Kits and they can be found in my rucksacks and now in my kayak as part of my “When it all goes wrong kit“.

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Rescue Essentials

Rescue Essentials – The collection of gear and equipment that you carry to aid in a whitewater rescue is pretty crucial. It is a compromise between having enough gear, space available and the weight it involves.

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My gear shifts, changes and evolves over time but the basic core of gear always remains.

Within my paddling group there will be several variations of this gear, it is important that the group is not reliant on one persons gear as it may be that person or that person’s boat that is in need of assistance. Do you know what emergency gear your paddling buddies carry? Should you?

It is also important that you know how to use the gear effectively. This is particularly the case with those items that carry an element of risk when used, e.g. ropes. If you are not sure book yourself on a good course.

Breakdown Paddle (Splits):

Two piece or four piece. What ever you choose is should fit in your boat and be capable of handling the types of water that you venture onto. For my money I’d go with a four piece Vertical Element or Werner setup (in that order!). My own personal set up is below.

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Dirty First Aid Series – Part 6

So we all had a break from the Dirty First Aid, bet you are glad?

Well now lets be quick, lets be simple.

Kayakers, Sup guys n’ gals, Canoeists we all have our own thoughts about breaks and dislocations – but lets get down and dirty.

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It’s simple – immobilise as easy and quick as possible, lets not get caught up with which sling is best, which way to strap.

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Dirty First Aid Series – Part 3

Dirty First Aid – Part 3 now, and it’s not all that down and dirty. It will come trust me on that.

Dirty First Aid - Part 3

We have in the last two pieces looked at a conscious casualty – we didn’t discuss some things, as this series is not an excuse for not taking a course.

Now lets move on to an unconscious casualty.

With an unconscious casualty your priorities are:

1) Open Airway
2) Maintain Blood Circulation
3) To Breath For Them

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Demshitz Fix My Shoulder

It’s a good job that Demshitz fix my shoulder!

Demshitz fix my shoulder!

Video of an afternoon run on the Wap which involved a crash at “Anarchy” resulting in a dislocated shoulder and a quick riverside reset! Demshitz to the rescue!

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Dirty First Aid – The Series

Old man river Darren Clarkson-King (DAZ) will be supplying a series of ‘Dirty First Aid’ articles for Unsponsored. The series of articles will be posted here over the next few months and will centre around first aid for river runners.

Dirty First Aid - The Series

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Unsponsored Q&A – Chris Brain

Chris has been kayaking, canoeing and coaching for the last 15 years and runs his own business Chris Brain Coaching, delivering paddlesport coaching, safety and rescue courses and REC First aid training. Chris is a keen and passionate boater with a real love for coaching in a range of paddlesport disciplines.

Unsponsored Q&A - Chris Brain

When and how did you first start paddling?

I first started paddling when I was 15 after my Dad and I inherited two 4 meter long fiberglass kayaks that had been retired by the fire brigade! We took them down to our local river, wearing life jackets that didn’t fit and our cycling helmets. When we arrived at the river we clearly didn’t look like we knew what we were doing as the local paddlers suggested that for our own safety we took some lessons instead! That was sound advice and the coaches at the activity centre started to show us the way, at least we were paddling plastic boats and wearing kayaking equipment that actually fitted us. I was being taught by some great paddlers that had the latest boats at the time, either the Acrobat 270 (if they were into freestyle) or Microbat 230 (if there were serious about their creeking) they were so cool!

I instantly became captivated with paddling and pretty quickly I was in the river giving it my best. I managed to get someone to lend me a “rodeo” boat and started trying to tail squirt and do bow enders and pirouettes before I could even roll, basically every time the boat went over I had to swim. I think my record of swimming was 15 times in one session, but I quickly cut that number down the next few times on the water as my roll improved.

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Adventure Medical Ultralight 0.5 First Aid Kit

For the last few years I have been using Adventure Medical as my main first aid kits. I stumbled upon them when I was trying to find an ultralight kit for mountain biking. Since then I have purchased several Adventure Medical First Aid Kits and they can be found in my rucksacks and now in my kayak as part of my “When it all goes wrong kit“.

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Adventure Medical 1st Aid Kit

For the last few years I have been using Adventure Medical as my main first aid kits. I stumbled upon them when I was trying to find an ultralight kit for mountain biking. Since then I have purchased several Adventure Medical First Aid Kits and they can be found in my rucksacks and now in my kayak as part of my “When it all goes wrong kit“.

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When It All Goes Wrong

As well as making sure I have all the necessary safety kit (PFD, helmet, throw line, whistle, pin kit) I like to have a range of kit with me that can be used in emergency situations. If a trip were to turn into an epic it is possible that someone may have been injured and/or we could be stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

Therefore my kit centres around three key elements/purposes:

I like to carry a range of kit that will help keep me and/or my paddling buddies warm and offer a little shelter.
If someone gets injured I’d like to go someway to help patch him or her up.
I’d like to ensure that morale stays high.

I have to weigh all of these needs against what is practically possible and the weight I can actually carry in my boat. Regardless this kit needs to be carried in my boat or on my person and needs to be kept dry. I am currently using an Exped Cloudburst dry sack for the bulk of the emergency kit that I carry. It is based around a traditional roll top dry bag but it has straps so that it can be used as a rucksack. It has a volume of 15 litres which means it is big enough to hold the essentials but will still fit in the back of my Liquid Logic Stomper.

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First Aid Kit – Life Systems Compact

After witnessing a couple of horendous MTB crashes I decided it was wise to make an effort and carry a 1st aid kit. From the outset I had two options, make up my own or go and purchase a pre-made one. I chose the latter.

After scouring the outdoor shops, and large highstreet chemists I chose a Life Systems first aid kit. Cotswold Outdoor had a few different Life Systems for sale but I chose the “Compact” 1st aid kit due to its size, size does matter! The carrying case is tough, reuasable and weatherproof. It also contained the essential basic 1st aid kit items plus it had a enough spare room for the kit to be customised.

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