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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Where to put the medical box?

Hey guys,

in order to optimize my luggage I am still thinking where to put the medical box. So it's not that much in weight -> not important to be at the front /low.
Also if there is a serious incident, its useful not to have it on the furthest end in the box. Thats why I am thinking of putting it between the backlight and the panier rack. So it would be lying on the back of the light without covering it. Its well hidden and really fast in case of an accident or similar. Of course its wrapped in 2 plastic bags avoiding water to get into it.

Where do you guys have it?

Cheers Micael
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  #2  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Medical box? Er...

Seriously though, this is a good point and something I've got to get sorted, would feel very guilty if one of my mates came a cropper and I had only some pastrami sandwiches and an inner tube with which to patch him up.

Something that might be worth discussion: Would it perhaps be better to have your first aid kit out in the open? It's more vulnerable to theft but if its you that gets crocked all you you have to groan through gritted teeth is "...aargh...medical pack...on the back of the bike..." at which point your rescuer goes straight to the obvious red bag with a white cross on it. If it's hidden you have to go "Right...see under the tail unit...no up a bit...aargh, my spleen...you're getting warmer...warmer...No,No,NO! You're freezing again..." etc. What's obvious to you might not be to a passer by, especially one unfamiliar with bikes. I would like to think that a first aid kit would be unlikely to get stolen anyway, although I could be wrong.

Here's another thought: how about a "How to stop a biker dying" instruction leaflet which is obvious when you open your first aid kit? A lot of first aid is specific to bikers, so it would aid a passer by when they were wondering whether or not to remove your helmet etc. Also would help you (I know it would me!) if you were treating someone in a stressful situation.

Any First Aiders out there like to have a go at running one up in a PDF or similar we can all print off and stick in our medical packs? A double sided A4 would probably be good.

Oh, yeah, and if someone could write up a list of stuff a good (compact!) first aid kit should contain, that would be extremely useful! (I'm starting to think that my 'roll of duct tape, j-cloth and some paracetamol' approach is perhaps inadequate.)

Matt
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Last edited by Matt Cartney; 11 Aug 2008 at 17:14.
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  #3  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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On the sidecar it's mounted on a rack designed for a 2 litre fuel bottle, externally on the rear of the body. The actual bag is a plastic washbag I got one christmas, so it doesn't have "free syringes and mind altering drugs" markings, but can easily be got at. The alternative I used to use solo was a similar bag bungeed inside a pannier lid. The idea as mentioned above is to have it where you can get at it without unloading the bike.

The tail light position sounds good, but I guess you're going to check in won't press on the lamp and cause bulbs to fail?

Actually, I think you need two lists. One will be the stuff you hope no one ever has to use on you; the triangular bandage, shell dressing, superglue and so on. The other is the one you probably will need to use: cold remedies, stoppers, goers, hang over cures, cream for trench foot (UK summer ) etc. The first one is only any real use to treat an imeadiate accident, which is equally likley to involve treating yourself having burnt a hand on the exhaust, stabbed yourself with the tin opener or other domestic incident. The other bag you won't need urgently and contains various over the counter drugs whose names might not be common outside the home country. This bag I'm tempted to think is the one people might be after, the one customs men may like and the one that's better under your other gear. Spliting the load also makes the actual external kit smaller and easier to handle.

Andy

Last edited by Threewheelbonnie; 11 Aug 2008 at 17:54. Reason: spelling
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  #4  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Do you know what chaps?

Apart from one item, I can't think of any truly life-saving piece of equipment or drug that your average healthy moto-traveller needs. If things really go bad, you need a well-trained response with transport and rapid conveyance to the nearest hospital. If things aren't that bad, well...most treatments are available with time and were with all.

I am a UK Registered Paramedic, currently back in the UK for 2 months, and I can no longer see that a medical kit is that important on the road; packaging deteriorates, stuff goes out of date etc. Things like splints and triangular bandages can be improvised.

One thing I would have though, if travelling in company, is on oro-pharyngeal airway. This protects the airway in a truly unconscious patient. You need some, (minimal), training to use it though.
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  #5  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
Oh, yeah, and if someone could write up a list of stuff a good (compact!) first aid kit should contain, that would be extremely useful! (I'm starting to think that my 'roll of duct tape, j-cloth and some paracetamol' approach is perhaps inadequate.)Matt
Great idea Matt! Medical stuff is tricky. No way to carry everything on the bike, you can only cover general stuff. But a good write up would be a great place to start.

I think the most important thing of all is having at least some idea of what to do after an accident. Assessing injuries is tricky stuff but basic first aid training is a good place to begin.

I ride with a semi-retired orthopedic surgeon who worked as a
Trauma surgeon in the ER at USC hospital in L.A. early in his career. (US military sends medics there to learn to treat gunshot wounds)

Torsten's big thing is "The Golden Hour". He is always going on about that. The golden hour of life .... Internal injuries are the hard ones to diagnose, things like ruptured spleens and other reasons for internal bleeding. When someone is not conscious it's hard to know what to do. (this is one thing a trauma surgeon is trained for).

Obviously, making sure you have a free air way is first then checking vitals after that. Beyond that, I'm pretty lost.

Another doctor (who now works in a Women's Prison as a gynecologist after several run ins with our IRS and running from police on his bike!! .) "Doc" as he in known is now in his 70's and still rides and is as crazy as ever. I've been to Baja with Doc twice, on each ride we had guys have serious crashes. Doc's big thing is Duct tape (serious) and Morphine (which he samples himself) which he can get in Mexico.

But same story ..... out in the desert you really can't do much.
Best try to get them to a trauma center or hospital ASAP. His big thing was "commandeer a pick up truck and get this guy to hospital NOW! " Which we did, both times.

I've been trained in basic first aid and CPR but honest to God, it was so long ago (30 years) .... I honestly haven't clue now. One of these days I would like to take a refresher first aid course. Maybe all riders/travelers should take a course?

Also, in some countries you are required to carry a first aid kit.
I've heard of cops holding guys up for bribes for not having one. (Argentina?).

But knowledge is the thing we need most.

Patrick
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  #6  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Patrick, I agree entirely with your post.

In a trauma patient, even good CPR is virtually useless. They need to be on the operating table within golden minutes, never mind the "Golden Hour".
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For a week, or several centuries?
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Last edited by Stretcher Monkey; 11 Aug 2008 at 20:21.
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  #7  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Sorry!

And sewing is for girls! - haha!
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For a week, or several centuries?
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  #8  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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Do a first aid course. At least 2 days long. That should teach you what to put in a kit, and how to use it.

What you need quickly is
Face mask if doing cpr ... put it with your credit cards .. you should always have them with you ?
Gloves .. these take a little more room .. but I have several pairs .. at least one set in the tool kit other sets in the trama kit .. I now use trama kit to distinguish between what some call a 'first' aid kit (things that are definatly tending towards a 'comfort' kit - headake powers, sun cream etc) and a life saving kit... sizzors (shears that will cut metal and kevlar - think rider clothing including boots) pressure bangdages (for snake bite you need to bandage the whole limb .. a 6 foot persons leg is l o n g .. you might want to take 4 bandages !!). Go do a course and then think about it .. a white cross on a green background is what some look for ... usally better than a Swiss flag.

See
First Aid Kits - ADVrider
and
First aid kits? - ADVrider
for some more stuff..
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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Lightbulb First aid kit

Hi all, here's my tuppence worth:

I used to be part of a military training team, instructing combat survival and casualty management, I am also part of various Search and Rescue teams and I'm a volunteer ambulance officer so I've been involved with my fair share of accidents and backcountry incidents and injuries.

From my own observations and experience this is my medi kit:

Latex gloves
Face mask
OP airway (get specific training)
Codine (or Morphine if you can get it - but make sure you know what you're doing with it)
Shears
Tape
Superglue
Personal prescription medicine (if any)


Bandages, splints and pads can be improvised from clothes, sticks etc. Things like Imodium, safety pins and eye wash are handy but not important if you don't have space to spare.

Any minor injuries are, well, minor. If an injury won't kill you then improvise and get to help asap. If you have a serious injury, but you're still conscious, the best things to have are a satphone/personal locator beacon and good insurance.

Everyone should know how to fix their bike when it breaks, but what about your body? Good first aid training is a must, it's not just about patching holes and slinging arms - do a course! Don't think of it as "just another ball ache" it's just part of your prep.

Don't forget that adventure motorcycling is an ADVENTURE and therefore a "high risk" activity, but serious accidents are still pretty rare. Don't let any of this worry you or cramp your style.

Hope this is helpful. Stay safe.

Butch
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 2008
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This is great info. guys, thanks. It seems that the best thing to pack is knowledge (as always!)

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2008
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I have two first aid kits, one for sickness, the other for accidents. The accident kit is always on the bike together with a head torch.

Two lots of cable ties are fastened to the bike frame, one type is extremely heavy duty and could be used for splints as well as bike repairs!

Gaffer tape is another dual purpose tool and I have supplies in both my tool kit and accident kit. When blood is gushing everywhere and you're trying to close a wound, gaffer tape is your friend.

The accident kit also includes 'comfort' things such as optrex eye wash, an inhaler plus anti-histamine, and cigarette lighter. Also very strong painkillers (30mg Codeine/500mg Paracetamol).

I got to use the suturing kit/sterile field/gloves for real in Morocco, stitching up a massive gash on a mule's leg so it could get down the mountain where it would get expert help.

Tim
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  #12  
Old 16 Aug 2008
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Superglue!

Patrick,

I have heard that Superglue (aswell as gladwrap/cling film) was invented by the American military for patching up wounds in the Vietnam war! Not sure of accuracy, but it sounds good.

I'm not sure about cyanide in superglue (but I will try to find out), but I have used regular DIY superglue on myself quite a few times, and I'm still in one piece (physically at least!). It seals wounds very quickly and when your skin starts to repair itself the glue will flake off. I don't want to be reponsible for anyone getting poisoned, but if I had a gaping cut then I would take the risk. I'm not sure where to find medical grade glue (if such a thing exsits), I have never heard of it.

As for instructions for use and limitations: I only use it as temporary, emergency stitching when I have no other choice. I just literally stick the skin together as if I was gluing a cardboard box.

If your are in any doubt about using Superglue (bearing in mind that it is not intended for these purposes) then don't use it, or ask a doctor first. All I can say is that I have seen it used and used it myself for emergancy bodily repair and it seems to work quite well. It's still handy to have in your bike kit anyway - you never know what else may need sticking back together.

I also agree with Tim about gaffer tape and cable ties. I didn't mention them earlier because they are not specifically part of my medi kit, but I always have some in my general kit. My dad always used to say "with gaffer tape and string you can fix anything"!

There are two things we used to teach new recruits, and I still use them every day, they are worth bearing in mind for any situation:

1/ Stay calm - never let panic take over
2/ Improvise, adapt, overcome - you'll be surprised how easy you can solve problems if you think outside the box

Butch
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  #13  
Old 23 Nov 2009
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What is "gaffer tape"?
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  #14  
Old 23 Nov 2009
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What is "gaffer tape"?
Blimey ! how have you managed to fix anything without Gaffer Tape ?

Seriously now....(ish)

Gaffer tape is the heavy cloth tape used to hold cables down on stages, lighting rigs, etc.

Duct tape is the heavy cloth tape used to seal ducting and enclosers.

Duck tape is the heavy cloth tape you get in DIY stores.

Black maskers is the heavy cloth tape used to hold the British Army together.

It's all the same stuff (ish)
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  #15  
Old 24 Nov 2009
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I fully agree with most of the posts above - the majority of things in a general first aid kit are just extra weight. If such things are needed, the time should be spent getting the patient to proper facilities.

I found the only things I ended up keeping from my own overstuffed kit were;

a couple of pharangeals, just in case of the worst,
a cat tourniquet - not essential, but better than improvising,
a couple of field dressings to staunch any major bleed.

I figured with those things, if there was a major major accident, most things could be stabilised with that kit, hopefuly for long enough to get the victim to somewhere better equipped to deal with the big issues.

Otherwise, the things we continued to carry were just the little things, like brufen and immodium, which don't really need to go in a 'first aid' kit per se.

Like some others have said, gaffer tape will fix anything, including people. Shears were mentioned, but most people will already be carrying a good sharp knife if they are on extended travel?

Birdy

PS Big Yellow Tractor, you are forgetting 'Black and Nasty.' Without it the Army would fall to pieces!
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