Are Bandages Necessary in FAK?
By - anoraj
Leukotape + gauze works fine. Bandaids are faster and easier but leukotape holds much better, particularly if it gets wet.
a roller bandage is the best tool for the job for compression. This is useful for treating bad bleeding, an ankle sprain with swelling and, in Australia at least, snakebite.
It can also be used as an adjunct in securing a fracture splint for the leg.
I have a fairly bare bones med kit but I always take a coban roller bandage and have used it in situations where tape, or improvising, would not have helped.
Coban is hands down the most underrated first aid item.
Some tape and a bit of sterile gauze do the same thing as a bandaid: keep gunk off a non-critical wound without causing further damage. The same can't really be said for tape+gauze vs. snake bandages or bandages intended to provide the kind of compression to stop a major bleed so you live long enough to reach more advanced care.
Username disqualification lol
>The same can't really be said for tape+gauze vs. snake bandages or bandages intended to provide the kind of compression
Isn't really helped by the whole language issue. I always get confused by posts like the OP's until I realise that they are probably talking about *plasters* (band-aids), not *bandages* as I know them ;)
Gauze and luekotape. The only time I bring bandages is when I bring my kids because Elsa makes their boo boos better.
bandages are just precut tape and gauze stuck together, so taking sterile gauze and tape on their own give u a ton more flexibility
I would take luekotape and gauze for the big cuts.
But like….1-3 regular sized band aids and 1-2 small sized band aids for random cuts weight basically nothing. I’ve never used Leuko tape as a band aid. I use my band aids every ones in a while, enough to justify them for the convenience.
My FAK is
- a couple ready luekotape strips on wax paper (blisters).
- about a yard or two of luekotape around a straw
- safety pin
- 5 single use packets of Neosporin
- 5 single use packets of hydrocortisone cream
- 10 tablets of benedryl
- 10 Advil tablets
- 10 or so Imodium
- 20 or so water purification tablets
- 3 medium band aids, 3 small
- small superglue (also part of field repair)
I run just gauze and lueko.
But, I’m a giga-chad UL bro, so maybe don’t listen to me.
same…and ibuprofen lol
I just bring the bandaids. I hate having to unwrap the things enough, I don't even want to think about trying to fashion a bandaid out of luekotape and gauze while my hands are bleeding.
Ultra Light Med KIt
This list is from Ultralight Bakpacking Tips, Mike Clelland, Kindle Edition
1 small roll medical tape (multiuse)
1 small roll Leukotape (blister care)
2 gauze 4 X 4 bandages(control bleeding)
1 exam gloves (avoid contact with blood)
3 small packets triple antibiotic ointment
A few bandages of various sizes
A few Steri-Strip wound closures (butterfly strips)
Medications, OTC, stored in Ziploc
Anti-inflammatories (Advil/ibuprofen or Aleve/naproxen), approximately 12 tablets
Analgesics (Tylenol/acetaminophen) approximately 12 tablets
Anti Diarrhea (Imodium AD/loperamide), approximately 6 tablets
Antihistamine (Benadryl/diphenhydramine), approximately 6 tablets
This is great and pretty much matches my kit. I have a couple maxi pads too (not tampons!) as some EMS folks were really hyping them up to me as awesome bleeding control. I'd add too, take a first aid class so you know how to use the stuff and practice dealing with emergencies.
How many grams is a couple of bandages?
I used my FAK for the first time this summer. I was being a dumbass descending a snow field too quickly and slipped and ended up slicing my wrist on the adze of my ice axe. It wasn't a particularly significant wound, But it was bleeding pretty good. It was nice to reach into my FAK and pull out a bandaid and slap it on with one hand(my right hand was of no use because the cut was right at the base of my wrist). If I had to get out gauze and tape it would have been way too big and I probably would have gotten blood all over my clothes.🤷♂️ You do you, but a couple bandaids weigh maybe an ounce.
You can tape over the plaster with medical tape, wrap it around the finger or whatever and back onto itself - it will stay in place much better, you know :)
For any of the small cuts you'd ever use a plaster, it's just more convenient to place than fussing around with cutting some gauze and tape, especially single-handedly.
If it's any bigger cut, then that's what bandages are for.
I would think leukotape and gauze would have the same limitations of a bandaid. They do make waterproof bandages that are much less likely to fall off of sweat and water are an issue for you.
I like the fancier hydrocolloid ones mainly because they're designed to stay on for days and they have the nice benefit of surviving sweat, immersion, etc.
never thought of that, I got a lot of big ones I bought on ebay/aliexpress to treat the acne I get.
If I can cut an oz I’m cutting an oz. An extra oz in the FAK is a lot IMO. To be clear I’m not saying anyone should skimp on FAK but that if it’s not a necessity in the FAK and it weights an oz, it stays at home.
As most have said, gauze and leukotape works wonders. Still, I keep a few regular old band-aids in my FAK. They weigh *almost* nothing and their convenience can be really nice sometimes.
Gauze & tape for me
Gauze and leuko is fine, but bring enough of each that you're not stuck making a juuuust big enough bandage and having to have leukotape very close to the wound. That stuff doesn't like to come off until it's good and ready to come off, which would not be a joyful experience for a barely healing, probably kinda messy backcountry wound.
I really think that with a FAK, while we should make very considered practical and ***realistic*** decisions about what should go into them, they are a place were we can go very close to 'stupid light' if not careful.
In Australia you basically should 100% carry snake bandages or similar (basically 3 crepe bandages, one of which is at least a midweight) at all times, and know how to immobilize a limb with them. To not do this is extremely 'stupid light' and frowned upon.
Carrying some kind of lightweight or midweight crepe bandage generally is something I would always advise. It does have multiple uses for multiple injuries including sprains etc. I
I also carry a couple of dedicated patches specifically designed for eyes.
Add in a few other wipes, band-aids, leukotape, and wound closure strips and you are good to go.
Just spit on it
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Gauze is king but just remember that you can always repackage it if it’s extra fluffy to save space. Just keep in mind it’s not technically sterile after.
I think there are a lot of good opinions in here, but I just wanted to add a little note- I started bringing bandaids when I hike with other people. Something normal and familiar like that is more reassuring to them for little wounds compared to me making some weird leukotape contraption.
Personally, a regular bandaid doesn’t do anything gauze + leukotape can’t do.
But I *would* recommend bringing hydrocolloid or waterproof bandaids, especially in summer. That does do something leukotape can’t do, and imo it’s worth it.
The bonus if you bring hydrocolloid bandaids is you can always cut off a piece of one and use it on a zit.
Band aids are a convenience item, not a survival item.
I bring a couple. Good quality band aids have a nice feel and easy application, but it is a gram you might not want to carry.
If you are seriously pondering the weight of a few plasters or band-aids (which is naught), you should probably consider joining ULA - Ultralight Anonymous ;)
If instead you mean bandages as in 'a long rolled strip of gauze' (sometimes with absorbent pad or two in compression dressings) versus loosely packed gauze and tape, no - gauze and tape aren't a substitute at all.
Tape and gauze is essentially what a bandaid is. So I usually have a couple bandaids in there, but if it's going on my foot I will use tape and gauze because bandaids don't stick for very long. If it's my finger, a bandaid works okay. Tape and gauze would work for fingers too but I think it's harder to use.
You need to decide what do you want, 1st aid kit? Or body maintenance kit? Leuko tape and vitamine I is not a 1st aid kit.
Even most basic means of stopping a bleed and plugging a bad cut will go over 4oz.