First Aid Kit

Carry a simple first aid kit

It is the time of year when the days have been getting longer and we are out more often. Some will be out on two day shoots, camping in some beautiful British countryside, or maybe course laying in readiness for the shoot.  The downside of the warmer days is it results in me having to start taking antihistamine tablets due to slight hay fever and possibility of insect bites.
I’m pretty lucky, as I’ve been bitten or stung by most things including a swarm of angry bees one time when we disturbed a nest putting in a new target. The only bug that tends to result in a very bad reaction are horse fly bites and those I really react badly too. You can see below how my hand swelled up after a few hours, following one. Luckily I got my wedding ring off before the fingers swelled up too much or I might have had to have it cut off. (The ring not the finger)
horsefly bite

horsefly bite = very swollen hand

It is also when I go through the first aid kit on my quiver belt to check things are still in date. I do it every year and whether camping, skiing, hiking or enjoying field archery I always carry a simple first aid kit, either in my backpack, day sack or on my quiver belt. It doesn’t take up much space and weighs nearly nothing.
Top tip – put everything contained within the kit into waterproof zip bags. It keeps the kit together and more importantly dry.
The kit is pretty basic, the sort you can pick up from most outdoor stores with a few extra items, I’ve added  like antiseptic wipes, spare micropore tape, antihistamine cream, dehydration sachets etc. I’ve also added in a tick removing tool, as the numbers of ticks seem to be on the increase and we as field archers tend to frequent areas infested with the little things.
When asked why I bother carrying one as the organisers are bound to have something I tend to reply saying “It’s one of those things you hope to never have to use but am glad to carry”.
Thanks for reading.

Check your kit

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

Some of you may follow my Tumblr (http://offthearrowshelf.tumblr.com/)  or instagram (https://instagram.com/offthearrowshelf/) sites. Those that do, will have seen my recent post about checking the contents of  your first aid kit. For those that haven’t I’m going to expand on it a bit here.
Whether camping, skiing  hiking or enjoying field archery I always carry a simple first aid kit, either in my backpac, day sack or on my quiver belt. It doesn’t take up much space and weighs nearly nothing. One tip I have found is to put everything contained within into waterproof zip bags. It keeps the kit together and more importantly dry.
It’s nothing fancy, just a simple kit you can pick up from most outdoor stores with a few extra items, I’ve added over the years like antiseptic wipes, spare micropore tape, antihistamine cream, dehydration sachets etc.
I’m no medic but I have patched a few people up over the years and found it amazing how few people carry such a kit. It’s one of those things you hope to never have to use but am glad to carry. As it has been said “you hope for the best but plan for the worst“.
First aid kit and spare arrow tube

First aid kit and spare arrow tube

Since it’s the start of the summer and the 3d championships are just round the corner I use it as a reminder to check, replace and refill the kit. It’s worth checking to make sure everything is within date as sterile dressings, antiseptic wipes etc have a limited shelf life. When in Cotswold Outdoors this last Saturday I noticed they sell a refill pack for first aid kits, which is a good simple means by which to restock.

One addition to the kit this year is a tick card, which is a small credit size card with a magnifying glass and simple prongs to help you remove a tick (http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/lifesystems-tick-card-b3210065).
There has been a number of articles in the news about the spread of ticks and the increase in the number of reported cases of Lymes Disease.

Lymes Disease is a potentially serious condition and here is a link to a recent BBC news article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32429228 and another on the dangers of tick bites http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27255853

As if to prove the point within 3 hours of posting the original photo on Sunday, the kit was being used. They had been doing some maintenance at the wood and badly cut his hand when trying to saw some wood.

Thanks for reading

Time to change, I hope

When I first started writing this entry a couple of weeks ago, the view out of the window was showing snow on the hillsides, and British summer time had officially started. This got me to thinking about change over of kit in my quiver and belt pouches.

A while back I wrote an entry  that some of you may have read (Bow, arrows and kitchen sink …..what do you carry with you on a field shoot) about what I carry in general. (This was later published in the NFAS magazine)

In winter months I tend to load up with snack bars, gloves, thermos mug with a hot drink in and disposable hand warmers.

Summer months I tend to replace the flask with a cold drink, the hand warmers are replaced with insect repellent or on very rare occasions suncream (yeah I know, like we need that in Great Britain but you can be surprised some times) and a pack-a-mac on my belt in case of summer showers.

The warm hat is replaced with a canvas hat to keep the sun off my eyes.

First aid kit and spare arrow tube

First aid kit and spare arrows in arrow tube

I always carry a small first aid kit just in case, this being whether I am shooting, marshaling or just coaching.

The other thing I have started to do is not wear my reactive glasses. May sound strange to not wear glasses that go darker in the bright light of summer but I’ve found it sometimes to be a hindrance as they can darken at the wrong moment, they can also make it hard to see targets in shade.

So what do you carry?

Do you have a winter set of gear and a summer set?

Thanks for reading.