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First Aid kit...

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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Hi Darren, as you are from Wales/UK I would add Motilium for any tummy bugs/upsets and Lomitil for really bad ones, this is on presciption. The pain killers you can pick up in Spain in several strengths and without prescription. Bandaids, 1" medical tape and a small eye dropper bottle full of Iodine for any cuts or scrapes.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
The Camino draws closer everyday and today question is about what should be in your first aid kit?
Much Thanks

Basically what you would take on any long hike in the hills! I would include a knee support bandage and some re-hydration salts. If you are on the Francés then there are fairly frequent farmacias. However on the Primitivo there is no farmacia for over 50k if you take the Hospitales route (the stretch from Tineo to Grandas de Salime). If in need it is worth asking in the village store / cafe bar. They sometimes have stuff "under the counter". :)

Buen Camino
Tio Tel
 
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MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I packed polysporin & moleskin, I actually packed a good amount, & it was used on many others. I had a 24" x12" When I started had a 2" square when I was done. But it sure helped a good many to keep walking. I was supprised by the amount of folks that had no idea how to take care of blisters.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Foot care items
Neosporin
A couple of Bandaids
NSAID
Pepto Bismal tablets
Yeeay for Pepto Bismol; I volunteer in India every year and while others spend a fortune on preventative remedies, I learned my first year, that good ol' PB was all I needed.
 

Darren John

Member
I packed polysporin & moleskin, I actually packed a good amount, & it was used on many others. I had a 24" x12" When I started had a 2" square when I was done. But it sure helped a good many to keep walking. I was supprised by the amount of folks that had no idea how to take care of blisters.
Hi there

I keep hearing bout moleskin? what is this?
 

jennie

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
from st jean - estella 2013 ponferrada-santiago 2012.hope/expect to do full camino with y
sister in sept 14. we completed our walk in 2014?puenta la reina to belarado june 2016,
Hi there

I keep hearing bout moleskin? what is this?
i had heard about moleskin but thought maybe it was just a plaster, but an american lady gave me a little bit to cover a mole that the straps on my bag kept rubbing, it stuck like glue but felt like velvet.i have not seen it here in ireland, it was a wonderful thing,
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Hi there

I keep hearing bout moleskin? what is this?
It is a dressing on one side (Against skin)has a sticky side the other a brown smooth side that any friction areas just slide.

The key to using it is you must drain the blister before, you apply it. This is were people get in trouble as you must wash your foot & hands before attempting to drain the blister.

The needle, scissors, knife or tool of choice must be cleaned & sterilized by fire ( I use a buetain cigar lighter) the tool of choice must be very sharp. Then the blister punctured only deep enough to drain. It must be drained as much as possible. Then Neosporin or equivalent put on the wound. Followed by the mole skin cut to size on top.

The problem was the folks with no history of hiking would not check there feet until the pain became very bad. The results huge bloody blisters. When the blister takes up over 1/4 of the bottom of the foot you best stop & take a day to get it fixed. So to fix them early on will keep you moving.
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
It is a dressing on one side (Against skin)has a sticky side the other a brown smooth side that any friction areas just slide.

The key to using it is you must drain the blister before, you apply it. This is were people get in trouble as you must wash your foot & hands before attempting to drain the blister.

The needle, scissors, knife or tool of choice must be cleaned & sterilized by fire ( I use a buetain cigar lighter) the tool of choice must be very sharp. Then the blister punctured only deep enough to drain. It must be drained as much as possible. Then Neosporin or equivalent put on the wound. Followed by the mole skin cut to size on top.

The problem was the folks with no history of hiking would not check there feet until the pain became very bad. The results huge bloody blisters. When the blister takes up over 1/4 of the bottom of the foot you best stop & take a day to get it fixed. So to fix them early on will keep you moving.
I have included a small vial of matches in my backpack. I think from what I read, the important time to attend to this, is at the first sign of a hot spot or the least bit of pain or irritation. Forum members also mention Compede (sp?) quite often, so not sure you can get it in Ireland, but you sure could in Spain….
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
A needle and thread, alcohol swabs, voltaren pills, a muscle relaxant, type of anti-rub ointment (Proshield Plus for ex. - good for feet and chubrub - that way you don't also have to carry vaseline for your feet), St-John's Wart oil for feet (antiseptic, heaven sent for blisters), sunscreen, compeed (now sold in Canada as a Polysporin product).
 

julia-t

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
Darren, you can buy similar stuff in Superdrug or Boots chemists. In superdrug it is called 'fleecey padding' and costs a couple of £. You cut it to size and stick it to your foot/leg or on to the strap of a shoe, that sort of thing. Scholl also make a version which is available in most chemists. It's good stuff!
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
Have read more about feet than I would have imagined before. From what I've read I think it's important to recognize a hot spot while your walking. The way I've experienced one is to feel an area of my foot burning. If you stop at the first sign of discomfort you can probably avoid a blister. I carry mole skin and scissors where I can get to them easily and some duct tape around my trekking pole. That way, on the trail, I can cut a piece of mole skin to place non adhesive side of mole skin on the hot spot with the duct tape to keep it in place.
 
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Lucy Longpath

Lucy Longpath
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015), Puy Way (2016), North Wales Pilgrims Way (2017), Camino Vezelay(2018) &(2019)
The Camino draws closer everyday and today question is about what should be in your first aid kit?

Much Thanks
I took strips of breathable Elastoplast, scissors to cut it and for toe nails, savlon, and knee support bandages all of which I used but only a little. I also took paracetamol and used a couple of times for mild headaches. I also took a few antiseptic wipes, compeed and a bandage none of which I used.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
The key to using it is you must drain the blister before, you apply it. This is were people get in trouble as you must wash your foot & hands before attempting to drain the blister.

The needle, scissors, knife or tool of choice must be cleaned & sterilized by fire ( I use a buetain cigar lighter) the tool of choice must be very sharp. Then the blister punctured only deep enough to drain. It must be drained as much as possible. Then Neosporin or equivalent put on the wound. Followed by the mole skin cut to size on top.
There is plenty of discussion elsewhere in the forum about the pros and cons of different blister treatments. So far as I can find, draining them is not recommended by any competent first aid authority as a preferred approach to blister treatment. The approach risks infection because the needle or blade being used will not be properly sterilised and the puncture wound created is a potential entry point for infection. If you do think you will want to take this approach, speak to your local pharmacist about obtaining a few sterile syringe needles, and make sure you treat and monitor the wound site after the treatment.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
There is plenty of discussion elsewhere in the forum about the pros and cons of different blister treatments. So far as I can find, draining them is not recommended by any competent first aid authority as a preferred approach to blister treatment. The approach risks infection because the needle or blade being used will not be properly sterilised and the puncture wound created is a potential entry point for infection. If you do think you will want to take this approach, speak to your local pharmacist about obtaining a few sterile syringe needles, and make sure you treat and monitor the wound site after the treatment.
Yes the cleaner the better. Not everyone can operate on themselves either. As it is not always painless.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
What is PB? Thanks!
Pepto Bismol can be used for heartburn, nausea, upset stomach and or diarrhea. Ingredients include Bismuth, Subsalicylate and calcium carbonate; likely not to be found in a natural food store, but it always worked for me when I needed it, which might have been 4/5 times in the nine years I've been volunteering in India.
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
The Camino draws closer everyday and today question is about what should be in your first aid kit?

Much Thanks

The most likely injury will be blisters. So a well stocked blister kit including moleskin or compeed, needles and a way to sterilize them (fire or alcohol), thread, and vaseline as a preventive.

Otherwise your most likely scenarios are: small cuts due to encounters with sharp objects, and burns due to cooking.

A pair of small tweezers, a pair of folding scissors, and a roll of duct tape are often useful.

An e-version of a first aid manual goes on your mobile device.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
There is plenty of discussion elsewhere in the forum about the pros and cons of different blister treatments. So far as I can find, draining them is not recommended by any competent first aid authority as a preferred approach to blister treatment. The approach risks infection because the needle or blade being used will not be properly sterilised and the puncture wound created is a potential entry point for infection. If you do think you will want to take this approach, speak to your local pharmacist about obtaining a few sterile syringe needles, and make sure you treat and monitor the wound site after the treatment.

Yeah, and one of the aims of first aid is to prevent further injury. That means draining the blister or stop walking.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I'm taking some sterile disposable scalpels and some betadine wipes.
I work in a hospital & have tried scalpels the only problem with them is when you are being a contortionist to do the cut. They are so sharp you could slip in the contortionist pose., maybe lop off a toe... They are great if you are working on someone else.

I like real sharp scissors with very short blades & needles. I don't use thread as it just seems to possibly pull in bacteria.

This is what works for me, but if a person has a huge bloody blister then you have to be extra careful & try to have sterile gauze, gloved hands & a sterile drape withe cleaned foot on it. Then the cut large enough to drain the copus fluid.
Then triple bacteria cream & dressed with sterile gauze for a day. No walking. No water on it for at least 12 hours. Next day more cream & then mole skin. Go easy.

Dougfitz always makes a point to ensure we provide good reason for our posts, he is doing everyone a favor. So if you can't do any of this seek medical help. If you allow another pilgrim to carve on you verify they have some experience & necessary supplies.
 
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francesh17

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2015
Even though most people say it is risky to pop blisters, I believe that it is the fastest way to ease pain. I popped mine and let them dry out at night then put mole skin on them while walking. Bring a needle, band aids, moleskin, some first aid cream and some Advil. Those are the first aid things i used. I also cut up mole skin in different sizes before I left so I didn't have to bring scissors. Buen Camino :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
to prevent further injury. That means draining the blister or stop walking.
I totally support the recommendation NOT to drain blisters until they do so naturally. It must raise the risk of infection. However, on my last camino I got a big painful blister on my baby toe. It was clearly expanding its territory around the toe because I was WALKING on it, and the fluid had to go somewhere. The wise recommendation would of course be to stop walking for a day or two. I understood that, but decided to take the risk of draining it so it would stop expanding (and it did). I did take special care to sterilize everything with alcohol and I watched it carefully.
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
Cellphone
Ibuprofen for body pain
Excedrin for headaches
Alcohol wipes
Band-aids or plasters or whatever your country happens to call them! Various sizes
Sqaure bandages
Athletic tape
moleskin
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Yeah, and one of the aims of first aid is to prevent further injury. That means draining the blister or stop walking.
It is not the only treatment, and in my view should be seen as a last resort, not as the first option for treatment.
 

Walli Walker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances '2009',Portuguese '2015', Ingles '2015', Fin and Muxia '2015'. Camino from Granada '2017'.
Ah for a crystal ball! Just walked the Portuguese, English & Finisterre & Muxia. Took all sorts of first aid stuff and used NONE of it. Very lucky, I know. Don't carry too much, pharmacies everywhere should you need them. Buen Camino.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Imo
The Camino draws closer everyday and today question is about what should be in your first aid kit?

Much Thanks

Imodium . . . you can't walk if you get the "trots" :eek:) and if you need it you need it NOW and not 10 clicks down the way at the next pharmacy (if it's open)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Imo


Imodium . . . you can't walk if you get the "trots" :eek:) and if you need it you need it NOW and not 10 clicks down the way at the next pharmacy (if it's open)
Pepto Bismol has always been my choice for this ….I once saw someone with a severe reaction to Imodium so I ruled it out from the start. Everone's system is different of course.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Last time I replied to a first aid posting I got my chops busted.
I take a couple of bandaids, a couple of ibuprofin, some Compeed, a needle and some alcohol wipes.
That's it.
Anything else I need I can get on the Camino.
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
I work in a hospital & have tried scalpels the only problem with them is when you are being a contortionist to do the cut. They are so sharp you could slip in the contortionist pose., maybe lop off a toe... They are great if you are working on someone else.

I like real sharp scissors with very short blades & needles. I don't use thread as it just seems to possibly pull in bacteria.
...
Good point, wouldn't want to cutoff a toe since blisters could arise in an awkward place. Will see how I can get a few sterile hypodermic needles. Seems it would be impossible to sterilize all of a needle not to mention thread.

I just used an Engo patch on my insole after getting a Hotspot in the area just the left of the ball of my left foot. It helped to reduce the friction and my foot was fine. I'm bringing some with me on my csmino.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I
Good point, wouldn't want to cutoff a toe since blisters could arise in an awkward place. Will see how I can get a few sterile hypodermic needles. Seems it would be impossible to sterilize all of a needle not to mention thread.

I just used an Engo patch on my insole after getting a Hotspot in the area just the left of the ball of my left foot. It helped to reduce the friction and my foot was fine. I'm bringing some with me on my csmino.

I think most folks find a good fit & try there shoes before they go it is the minority who get the very bad blisters that simply make them have to stop. I have yet to find the perfect shoe for me, but it would have to be perfect.
 
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ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
I am of the opinion that you can get the "perfect" shoe only up to a point. Then you might need to tweek what you do on your shoe. I've worn the same shoes and depending on the terrain and/or the grade of the road my foot responds differently. On the flat decomposed granite track I sometimes use, I can go for miles with only a toe separator to avoid a pinch blister on one foot. As soon as I walked on steep grade on a treadmill a blister forms on the base of my right big toe. Lately walking more miles on asphalt and grass, I've averted a blister after an Engo patch on my left insole. I have mortons toes and one leg is slightly shorter than the other, for which I have an insert. My shoes have a wide high toe box to accommodate wide feet and are 1 size larger than my usual size. I wear ankle high stockings with smartwool socks.

I could be totally wrong and my camino will be the test. I've read widely and, I think I have strategies for varied blister locations. Wish me luck.
 

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