Riding a motorcycle is one of the most freeing and exhilarating experiences a person can have, but what about the prudent precautions to take? We all know about helmets and technique, but do you know how to build a motorcycle first aid kit? If not, don’t worry, Adrenaline Driven Adventures is always here for you with the best information possible!
Most commercially produced first aid kits are great for most minor injuries and ailments but lack the robust and situation-specific supplies that a more comprehensive kit provides. Specifically for riding motorcycles, most kits lack severe bleeding control items, burn mitigation supplies, and environmental injury prevention, which should all be considered when riding on the road or a trail.
So what do you add to an existing first aid set up, or what do you include if you build your own? Simple items like bandaids, tape, over-the-counter medications, and gauze are still great to carry with you in appropriate quantities, but what about unexpected trauma emergencies?
One of the most common severe injuries is broken bones, and a three or four-inch elastic wrap with a malleable SAM splint is perfect for field immobilization. They are compact, durable, and do not expire.
Another trauma concern for motorcycle riders is severe bleeding. A nasty laceration can cause life-threatening loss of blood within only a couple of minutes. Sometimes, a deadly bleed can come from a broken bone, such as the femur nicking an internal artery. The US military has done a fantastic job developing treatment protocols and equipment for these injuries, so it is best to follow their lead. The most commonly recommended supplies for treating severe bleeding are a 4” roll of gauze, a military-grade four-inch emergency bandage, and a manufactured tourniquet. For those with a bigger budget, the roll of regular gauze can be exchanged for gauze that promotes coagulation with what is called a hemostatic agent. The combination of these items has proven to be lifesaving the world over.
In addition to breaks and bleeds, a nasty burn can happen while you’re out riding. Ask anyone who has ever bumped bare skin against a hot exhaust. There are various gels and bandages that cool and protect burns and can even be used on sunburns.
Speaking of sun damage, does your kit prepare you for environmental concerns? Dehydration, burns, and cold can lead to severe issues such as heat stroke and hypothermia. Make sure to include sunscreen, electrolyte powders, and emergency space blankets when filling out your kit.
Another aspect to consider is special medication situations, such as glucose for diabetes or an Epipen for severe allergic reactions. Over-the-counter medications can only do so much, and certain individuals have very specific needs.
Another crucial consideration is the wisdom in the saying, “the best first aid kit is the one you carry on you.” What bag or case will your motorcycle first aid be stored in? How easy will it be to access your kit if seconds count? Be sure not to keep it in the bottom of your saddlebags or carrying location of choice.
Last, but most important, no first aid supply will save a life on its own. It requires a trained person to use it effectively. There are a variety of courses that can help you learn medical care. From very in-depth courses like the Wilderness First Responder, to more basic first aid with Stop The Bleed classes, there are health care courses available for all levels. Whatever interests you, be sure that you know the supplies in your kit and how to use them safely.
Your friends at Adrenaline Driven Adventures wish you all safe riding out there, and remember, always be prepared!