Aaah good old band-aids! They’re an oldie, but a goodie and will make any scratch or cut feel better—when a kissy booboo isn’t readily available. In this case, get a box of assorted adhesive bandages of all shapes and sizes, ranging from zit cover all the way to full-on kneecaps.
One of the biggest risks in case of an open wound is infection and a sideroad intervention isn’t exactly the cleanest spot around, but that’s the E.R. you are given to work with until the emergency services show up. The alcohol wipes will serve to clean your hands, any tools you might use, or surfaces. Ideally, it isn’t recommended to clean a wound with an alcohol wipe—that motherlover stings and could slow down the healing process as it tends to dehydrate tissues, but if you’re going for the bare minimum and alcohol wipes are all you have, they’re a lesser evil.
This is one of those essentials you should always travel with. In case of minor injuries, an antibiotic ointment will work for you until the wound is addressed by professionals. Whether you are able to clean the wound or not, the antibiotic ointment will help keep infection at bay. Some of these ointments even contain pain-relieving agents which can also be useful on burns. The gel-like texture of the ointment also blocks the air which causes the throbbing pain associated to burns and also helps keep the skin moist. Triple threat!
If things get messy, you’ll be happy to have those. Whether to wipe or clean or bandage, gauze pads serve multiple purposes and you’ll be glad to have them on hand. They are sterile, usually packed individually, meaning they can be in contact with a wound with minor concerns regarding contamination. You can soak them in saline or apply them dry and even wrap some self-adherent bandage to hold them in place and turn them into a make-do mega bandaid. They are versatile and having a few in your kit won’t go to waste—as long as the packaging is sealed, the technically won’t expire.
You don’t have to carry the entire box—these medical-grade gloves have a lot more uses than just serving their medical duties, including any mechanical intervention you might have to do while on the road. So for less than $10 for a box of 100 (so 50 pairs), it’s worth keeping one of these at home and bring a handful with you. If you or anybody else gets hurt, you’ll be happy to have a pair in your kit. If you cut your finger, protect it from water by wearing a glove or ripping one of the glove’s fingers and taping it on your finger. See? So. Many. Uses.
This is your better option for wound cleaning. A sterile saline solution is, well, sterile, which means you can use it abundantly to rinse a wound. The salty solution is a lot less aggressive on the skin than alcohol is. The base of the solution is usually water mixed in with a variety of active ingredients. The best part? It doesn’t sting. If you didn’t pack a proper bottle of sterile saline, single-dose eye drops are a good alternative as they contain similar ingredients and are also sterile.
This stuff is magic. If you need to immobilize an articulation or hold a sheet of gauze in place, self-adherent tape is your best ally. Contrarily to regular adhesive tape that can lose efficiency in wet conditions, self-adherent tape doesn’t use glue so it will hold in place whatever you need it to in any condition. It can be cut to the desired length and layered for a wider strip and the material is stretchy so that you can use it for support like you would a cloth bandage, with the added advantage of not requiring pins.
There is a LOT more you can throw in a first aid kit. Think tourniquet (yes, that thing again), shears in case you know what you are doing and need to cut through the leathers, an emergency blanket, glowsticks, and a flashlight to make sure you are seen, butterfly bandages to keep a gaping wound closed, a first aid book, or a pocket nurse (those are not on Amazon, you’re on your own to research that one)—you are never too prepared to face an emergency situation. Pack what you are able to pack—motorcycles aren’t ambulances—and learn to use whatever’s in your kit.
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