Austere Medicine: Mega Medic Bag – Kit Contents

Note: this post contains affiliate links, proceeds support this website.

I finally got around to finishing this bag and making a video!  On June 3rd of 2016 I posted a product review video of the Mega Medic bag.  At the time it was sitting empty, we had decided our medical supplies and equipment needed to be changed and updated based on how the use of the kits evolved over the previous 5-8 years.  Most of the kits had been used out of a rescue truck for a project we were working on.

When I made the review video I gathered various medical items that fit into the different parts of the bag to demonstrate the possibilities of what could be kept there.  The items shown weren’t a set up ready-to-go kit.  I already had a list for the kit contents but didn’t have everything I wanted.  Some of the items on hand had reached it’s useful life.

Recently after reading a video comment on the kit I had never seen before I checked to see what was needed to finish this kit.  Triangle bandages.  That was all.  Trying to keep track of medical inventory without a computer may put me in a straight jacket.  After replacing and restocking items the kit was finally ready.  How is that for a swift kick in the pants?

BRAVO

B Compartment

The kit is an extension of the aid bag.  This is considered our Trauma Kit and builds on splinting, bandaging, eye, dental, large wounds, burns.  Can be resupply or used as is.  It is based on several kits from past experience.  It may be hard to imagine but nearly every item in this kit could be expended on one incident.

Some of the kits from the past using the same bag had more of the bandaging and splinting materials.  Those kits had been based on, in part, by proximity to a military base and a direct flight path where helicopters and transport aircraft that could hold hundreds of soldiers could and sometimes did go down.

Then there is the, being the only one there and no one is coming. To the rural 20,000 person county, only 5 people qualified to operate two ambulances with the nearest mutual aid unit 30 minutes away, no air support.  Standing there after a mass casualty incident looking around and seeing empty aid bags and bandaging supply wrappers among the carnage leaves a lasting impression.

ALPHA

Alpha compartment, why we use those pouches

During the same time we were updating our kits we were able to find several different type packing organizers on sale at Marshalls store.  After using a few of them we went back to that store and many others within our local area and bought whatever stock they had in the store.

Those finds allowed us to keep items protected in ziploc bags and create mini kits without having a kit full of ziploc bag mess.  Multiples of one type item or a kit made of several different components they’ll work well for many common items.

LG ZIP POUCH

Double side bandaging pouch (Go Travel Packing Pouch no.3)

The bag above was one of the last pouches found.  As it’s packed it works very well, 8 rolls Kerlix, 12 5×9 Surgipads, 20 4×4 sponges.  I’ve looked for more and can’t find them.  The pouch below is what was used before we found the pouch above.  The dressings were packed the same way they are shown, the Kerlix was packed like the double side pouch, 8 rolls in a ziploc bag.

The smaller pouches have items like tape, self adhesive, triangle and elastic bandages.  The bandage pouches are very handy for bandaging purposes or resupply.  Glad we found them when we did.

SM ZIP POUCH

Single side bandaging pouch (Travelon Packing Organizers Set-Small)

CD CASE

CD Case

I’ve been looking at ways to store the instant hot and cold compresses for years.  When the portable CD cases became available I found out they worked well.  If the internal storage sleeves are removed there is room for two instant compresses.  All I had to do to get this type case to work was remove the sleeves from the rivets that were simple to pull out by hand.

At first I used a metal case but it added weight and was too stiff to fit in multiple spaces.  When these softer type plastic cases became available I tried one.  Discovered that I liked it better.  It has more flexibility and can fit into tighter spaces than the metal case.  For the type of compress and CD case chosen its simple to get them into the case.  First, I arrange the liquid part of the compress in one half of the bag and the dry ingredients in the other then, fold in half.

CASE FOLD

Case open showing how compress is packed

Place both compresses in the case then close it.  As shown below it works good.  The compress is protected from punctures and abrasion and it’s easy to see the contents.  I usually look for things like this at the outlet stores but ordered these off eBay for consistency.

CASE CLOSED

Case packed with 2 compresses

This kit has one 18″ and two 36″ SAM splints that can be used in many different ways and can be custom cut with the trauma shears.  Very handy to have on hand.  They beat the old ice cream scoop, vinyl covered wood, blow-up doll, waxed cardboard splints any day.

SPLINT

FareTec CT-6

REEL COMPACT

REEL Splint

The two photos above show the traction splints kept in or with the trauma kit.  The FareTec and the REEL splints are surplus finds.  If you’re looking to stock your kit check out eBay and the surplus stores.  Make sure all the parts are there before you buy, get new if at all possible.  Couldn’t give a price on either of these.  eBay as I shockingly found out only keeps auction records for 3 years not a running tally like Amazon.

EYE DENTURE

Dental / Eye Kit

In the photo above are the contents of the dental and eye kit.  The denture case can be used for dentures, loose teeth or prosthetic eyes.  There is a scleral cup for removing contacts and prosthetic eyes.  A case for contact lens and a 10x magnified mirror.

Two eye shields and two food service 16 ounce deli cups for covering injured eyes.  Those things can work well for keeping eyes protected.  Some of the eye injuries I’ve seen makes me want these in stock at all times.  Not shown are the sterile eye cups, the Sal-jet rinse 30ml saline vials or the Refresh Plus eye drops.

Most items in the kit have multiple uses.  Dressing like the trauma and surgipad make good splint padding.  The surgical CSR wraps in the kit to make clean working space can be used to protect wounds.  A mylar blanket as an occlusive dressing.  The list is endless.

SEAL

Security Sealed Kit

Security seals are an important part of our medical system.  The seals are tightly controlled and numbered.  A strict system is in place, only a couple of people here are allowed to seal a kit.  That way when one of the kits need to be used and the seal is intact we can be assured the contents will be there.

The seals used in the video are not the same seals used on our bags.  They’re from old stock and are used for training.  They work the same as fire extinguisher seals, twist or pull on the seal and it will break easily.  If you get some, get numbered if possible it will help in case someone else has the same type/color seals.

A word of caution, be careful where they are placed on zippers they can break zipper parts easy.

CASE OPEN

Hardigg AL3018-0905

The Trauma Kit is kept in a cabinet or could be stored and transported in a heavy duty case with the REEL splint, a MOLLE 2 pack frame, various color pack covers, a quick litter in a dump pouch and a small tarp to place the contents onto.  The case is stored with the gasket out, if left in place it compresses under the weight of the other cases and is not as effective over time.

Seems like that covers the items I felt I left out of the video.  I don’t want to repeat the video here.  I would rather people watch the video, then read the blog after to see what was left out.  Clearly I don’t write scripts for these videos, just an item name, maybe a note.  If there are any changes or updates in the future they’ll be posted.  The new video is below.  -13

 

Other video project featuring the Mega Medic bag are below.

Product review video.

 

 

 

Video of MOLLE 2 pack modifications.

 

 

Over-the-Counter Medications Kit

Note: this post contains affiliate links, proceeds support this website.

After setting up to make the Aid Bag video I realized it would be easy to make a quick video about the over-the-counter kit.  Been waiting to make it.  Thought it would be longer, the video is a short 3:50.  Could have made it much sooner.

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Hanging Toiletry Organizer/Over-the-counter meds kit

The kit is 14 3/4″ x 27″, has 9 zippered pockets, no issues.  It’s polyester on the outside and what looks like a cotton/polyester liner.  The hook at the top was changed to something that would work better for our intended use.  It its not heavy duty.  The quality is more for home items so it should hold up well for this purpose.  May be difficult to clean, all ointments once removed from original packaging usually get put into a vacuum or ziplock bag.

May add two more loops at the hook end toward the outer edge.  This could be used with other snap hooks or a metal bar to offer better support for long term hanging.  The organizer was purchased from the Container Store and was available before this was posted.

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Modified hook

When working emergency service calls I kept a small quantity of Tylenol, aspirin, Tums, Bag Balm, Chap Stick, Imodium, Benadryl, and wetting eye drops.  Could have been Murine.  That was my personal kit.  I learned the hard way that once you leave the station in a rescue, an engine or ambulance, if you do not have it with you in the boonies, no one is going to bring it to you.  Toilet paper, socks, water, food, anything essential.  In some of the areas, everyone showed up on scene and that was it.  No more help was coming.  We were it.

In station over the years a master kit with multiple selections was made.  Most of it had to do with personal preference or suggestion.  The selection of pain relievers came from personal experience with them.  Aspirin seems to work better than any of the others for my dental pains.  The others are for other body pains and rotation so I’m not using the same one consistently.

IvyX was added and never used.  No way to report on how well it works.  Several times the stock on hand will dry out and then has to be restocked.  The mensuration kit has pads and tampons, sometimes adults leave unprepared and youth experience puberty at  all times of the day or night.  Partially responsible for adult personnel health a good medic knows the importance of keeping a high quality supply of condoms.  People are people, nothing we can do to stop that, but we can help prevent other options if the product works.

The kit is kept easy to access in our homestead medical area along with all our first response equipment and is ready to go anywhere on a moments notice.  A short video is below.  -13

 

 

Product Review / Kit Contents Dyna Med Maxi-Medic Bag BG087

Note: this post contains affiliate links, proceeds support this website.

Dyna Med Maxi-Medic Bag Model BG087.

This product review and kit contents were inspired by the project to update our medical equipment and supplies.

The Maxi-Medic is good durable bag suitable for many types of medical kits. It is 1000 denier nylon.  Measures 9″H x 20″L x 12″W.  Side Pocket: 6″H x 12″L x 2 1/2″W.  Main compartment: 9″H x 14″L x 12″W.  Lid Pocket: 5 1/2″ x 9″.  The first time I can remember using one of these was sometime in the early 1980’s.  Maybe ’81-’82?  In the late 70’s early 80’s services were still using the recycled television and radio tube heavy duty plywood cases and surplus canvas M5’s that always had that canvas tent smell.  Look them up online, can’t find any images to use here.

Back to the present.  No issues with the zippers, good quality YKK.  No issues with stitching.  Wish the webbing went all the way around to support the bag better, no issues to report.  The mesh zippered pocket on the lid of the bag works well.  Based on my experience the zipper should be near the hinge part of the lid.  It would be much better to use in that position.

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Lid pocket

One hand could be used to open, close or retrieve contents in an unsupported way.  Also reducing the possibility of loosing valuable items if the zipper fails or is not properly closed.  In the current position contents would spill out of the pocket and bag.  With the zipper located near the hinge loose contents would have a better chance to fall into the bag and prevent loss or damage.

In the photo below the lid was opened in the usual way.  The lid was held up with one hand, the pocket unzipped by the other.  Once unzipped the lid was let go of.  The items are not staged they are exactly how they fell out of the pocket.

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Natural position of lid in the open position, zipper open.

Here is why I have to follow up the video with a blog.  Since I don’t use the feature and the other hook part of hook/loop has been removed from the bravo compartment foam insert I forgot to mention this in my notes.  Something made me remember it.

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Knuckle scratcher.

One of the reasons I do not use hook/loop for most things is the hook part.  It can be very irritating if located in the wrong place.  If they would place the loop part inside the insert and hook on the divider it wouldn’t scratch fingers and knuckles.  The hook/loop should also be on both sides that way the divider can be completely removed.  If not is has to be folded to the side and takes up valuable storage space.  Why I usually cut them out.

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Where the divider stops when using.

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Divider taking up storage space. Must be forced into position.

 

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Paracord zipper pull.

Added paracord zipper pulls to make life easier.  No problems with zippers as long as I don’t do the jerky-high-speed-mofo kind of crap or loose my cool when the zipper hits a snag.  The longevity of this bag depends on two things, flawless construction and end user handling of the bag.  Like anything, abused- it won’t last long, taken care of= years of service.

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Shoulder strap, carry handle.

It does have a shoulder strap that is removable and adjustable.  This shoulder strap has held up well, so has the carry handle.

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Shoulder strap hardware.

 

 

 

 

More about the video on this bag and contents.  Had no idea it would be so long, 41:22.  It’s a sleep generator for sure.  Maybe with better notes it could have been made shorter.  At this point it is edited and ready to go so it will stay like it is.

Making a video that includes the many reasons items are in the kit would take hours.  I’m trying to speak in layman’s terms and keep it very basic.  In part the video was made to share how others do things.  It is never meant for instruction or teaching anyone how to do it.  I think the content of the video is great for inspiration and to make a decision on whether this bag would suit your particular situation.  For how-to do things there is nothing like in-person, hands-on, training and experience.

The scope-of-practice for this kit has evolved working with humans, domestic, native and exotic animals in many roles since the late 1970’s.  It’s for use at any time, has most of the initial bandage basics and vital sign instruments.  Usually my starting place for all things medical related.  It is for medical issues that have presented many times.  In station aid, medical coverage at public events, emergency service calls.  People asking for anti-acids for heartburn, a toothpick or length of dental floss to pick out a piece of popcorn kernel or meat.  Band-aids for the stubbed toe or skinned knee.  A condom.  Blood pressure checks.

I start with this kit and use other kits as needed.  If there is a respiratory issue the airway, the oxygen and aspirator kit will be at hand.  Trauma beyond this kit, spine boards, trauma kit, cervical collars, etc. depending on what is presenting.  Writing the last two lines is why I don’t get into specifics in the video.  The list of situations and possibilities becomes endless and exhaustive.  Back to the video.

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Vital sign instruments.

Working correctly the pulse oximeter and blood pressure monitor can be accurate.  They’re here to complement patient feedback, palpation, my stethoscope and sphygmomanometer along with the other digital age technology.  All of them producing life saving information that could make a difference in outcome. These instruments provide: bowel/heart/lung sounds, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, pulse, temperature and blood glucose levels. The instruments may be the only way to get vital information from a lethargic or unconscious person.

They can also be used effectively by layperson with on-the-spot training.  A layperson doesn’t have to understand the results to obtain accurate ones with the battery operated devices.  Many of them were designed for the patient to use at home.  In austere conditions this capability could prove invaluable.

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Basic eye emergency kit.

Another item good to have on hand for those who use contact lens or prosthetic eye is the suction cup designed to remove hard contact lens and prosthetic eyes.  If the package is opened and handled correctly, the suction cup can be handled by a dirty hand to remove an eye or contact lens in an emergency without contaminating the eye, contact, or eye area.  This kit has a place to put contact lens or prosthetic eye after removal.  Wetting eye drops for the intended purpose or temporary storing the contact lens.  A way to cover and protect an injured eye or exposed socket tissue.  That’s the basic eye kit contents.

IMG_4914

This bag has common bandaging material seen in any hospital, clinic, ambulance, emergency room or aid station.  18″ and 36″ SAM splints, tapes, triangle/self-adhering/elastic/gauze bandaging materials.  Gauze sponges and dressings of various sizes.

IMG_4911

Travelon, Jewelry Roll/Adhesive bandage kit

The adhesive bandage (band-aid) kit is a small 10 1/2″ x 12 3/4″, 6 zippered pocket, tri-fold carry case.  It holds the adhesive bandage styles and sizes we’ve found covers all our small bandaging needs.  The most common thing treated out of the aid bag are finger lacerations.  Lots of band-aids and self-adhering wrap.

IMG_4915

Hot & Cold Compress

Other items that have been useful are the instant hot/cold compresses.  For the bumps, sprains, cramps and whatever else.  No heating or freezing required.  Also kept in the kit are washcloths.  Everyday washcloths, for their intended purpose and to use as an insulator with the compresses.  Wetting the washcloth first helps transmit the heat or cold much better.  If you have not used them before remember they can damage the skin if used incorrectly and must be monitored.

IMG_4913

Finger ring cutter.  Miltex 33-140

Instruments like the finger ring cutter have turned many purple swollen fingers back to normal size and skin tone.  It will work for soft metals and works good.  Unless it’s a thick class ring or similar it will take less than a minute to get through gold, silver, or pot metal rings.  It will not work on titanium or ceramic.  We have vice grips in our extrication hand tool kit if becomes necessary for those rings.  When it comes to purchasing ring cutters, do not go for the lowest price cutter.  Go for the lowest price highest quality cutter(Miltex, V. Mueller, Sklar).  Low budget cutters will let you down.

IMG_4918

Silicone collapsible bowls come in handy when a kidney basin won’t fit in a kit.  These fit so well in the side pockets they were added the day they arrived.  Working out away from a base the bowls are perfect.  If they have to be disposed of no problem.

There are many other items in the bag covered briefly in the video and why this is ending here.  This blog would be longer than the video if that path was taken.  Each item or subject could go in many directions.  My default about any of the kit items or topics is this, get training, get experience.  Do that, everything in this kit will make sense. -13

Austere Medicine: Mega Medic Bag / MOLLE 2 Pack Frame Attachment Points

The first video I made on this bag.

 

The Dyna-Med Mega Medic bag is one of my favorite bags to use.  Only problem is when I pack the bag it gets heavy.  Sometimes 35+ pounds.  I need a better way to move the bag than hand or over shoulder carry with that kind of weight.

I have a broken MOLLE 2 pack frame I like to use for experiments so I don’t break a good one.  By chance I laid the frame next to the mega medic bag setting on a table one day.  It was easy to notice how close they were in size so I set the bag on top of the frame and this is the result.

A video how I modified the mega medic bag to attach to the MOLLE 2 pack frame.  It’s not a how-to, it’s a how I did it video.  The process was simple but time consuming.

Put the bag on the frame, pick the best spots to attach webbing.  Mark it, get the dimensions for the webbing, mark, then cut the pieces.  That process took maybe 45 minutes to an hour.  Once the webbing is ready its sewing time.

I knew sewing was going to go slow.  The pieces I’ve added would have been sewn on much sooner in the assembly process reducing the time drastically.  The time was no problem since quality/accuracy is more important to me than speed.  The webbing straps make it easy to attach to the MOLLE 2 frame.  Think this took more like an hour plus but I’m not sure.

I did notice over the last few videos how bad the audio is so I’ll attempt to make it better. Several issues there that must be addressed.  After I’ve updated the kit contents I’ll make another video about the bag to include kit content and modifications. -13

Video of modifications.

Austere Medicine: Improvised Aspirator

Aspirator, one medical device I do not want to be without when I need it.  In an effort to be prepared I wanted to have several options.  Every once and a while something will catch my eye as potentially useful for this purpose.

One item is the FreshSaver battery operated hand held vacuum pump and another, a Harbor Freight transfer pump.  Something battery operated and something manual.  I was fairly confident the FreshSaver would work but had no faith in the transfer pump because of the quality.

By drilling out the hole on the FreshSaver I was able to retain the plastic seal.  It works perfectly on the tapered fittings on any suction canister.  It had very strong suction.  When I was experimenting with it I covered the inlet and let the vacuum draw on the unit and believe it has adequate suction to work well.  The battery may not last very long but it might last enough to get though a bad situation.  I like the way it worked so well I’ve added the FreshSaver to my aspirator kit as a backup.

The transfer pump worked much better than expected.  Didn’t have much trust in it but it worked.  The video footage demonstrates it.  Battery operated is fine, however I always want a manual way that doesn’t include batteries or electricity.  The transfer pump connected to any standard suction canister will be effective in my mind as long as all the connections are leak free.  Another one added to the aspirator kit for backup.

Some things to remember, when the vacuum pump is connected the canister will be top heavy so it must be accounted for.  Also the nipple connected to the pump could snap off from the weight of the pump or by getting bumped.  In the video I had configured the pump to connect via hose instead of directly to the nipple.  This reduces the risk of both the top heavy issue and snapping of the nipple.  I felt this configuration would work best because it makes the control to the vacuum more accessible.

It was a challenge to sync the videos so I could get the best audio but it worked.  I have an experiment in mind using clapping and will use it next time I make a multi camera video.  Below is a video I filmed when I made this experiment.  I used three old iPhones, one i5 and two i4’s.  Footage shot above from the front looked like it was recorded on a VCR from an antenna fed television in the 1980’s.  So we’re stuck with a partially blocked screen side view and a very clear side/front view.  Surprisingly the angles caught all of it. -13

VIDEO BELOW

iDye Poly Experiment: Military Surplus

After seeing videos on YouTube and having my own experience with dying military surplus thought I’d make a video about it.  iDye Poly Kelly was used for this experiment if you’re looking for a source.  Hope this helps others decide to dye or not. -13

Vacuum Sealer Project: Pill Pack for Medication

This Preparedness – Prepper – Hiker Vacuum Sealer Tip may get you arrested.  Sensational title but true.  Those of us who take multiple pills whether they’re prescription medications or supplements often use those multi-dose/day pill containers.  Doing so could get you arrested, maybe prosecuted.  Prescription medications are supposed to remain in their original container according to the law as I understand it.

There are all sorts of possibilities which is why the only advise I ever give anyone is, seek the advise of legal counsel and medical professionals before you do whatever it is you’re up to.

I made these pill packs originally for backpacking/hiking trips and as a way to carry a small amount of vital medications on my person at all times.  Ever miss your ibuprofen, antihistamine or whatever because you didn’t have it with you?  Yeah me too but no longer.  Plus it helps save money buying in bulk and having to not throw out medications stored improperly.

I make up a new pack/s every time I have to open bulk meds.  Usually fill one or two of the individual pouches and then put the rest in a larger pouch for long-term storage.  I always include the name of the drug/supplement, type/concentration, lot number and expiration date.  I never separate this information from anything I place in these pouches until I’d consumed the contents.  It’s very important to keep them together.

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Things I find helpful to have on hand, a red sharpie makes it easier for me to see the marks so I can line them up with the heat sealer portion of the vacuum sealer.  A funnel helps with precise placement of the pills.  I have a short extension of soft plastic tubing but couldn’t find it for the video.  It’s good for reaching to the deepest part of the pouch when trying to get pills that want to grab the pouch material instead of slide.

To make the pill packs I use an 11″ vacuum sealer roll like the rolls in this link.  2 Pack – SimpleHouseware 11″ x 50′ Commercial Vacuum Sealer Rolls Food Storage Saver Compatible to Foodsaver Sous Vide (total 100 feet) To make the template I used microsoft publisher then converted it into a downloadable PDF file located here.  PILL PACK DIVIDER INDIVIDUAL DOSE TEMPLATE  When looking at the template the top  and bottom two boxes are larger than the center boxes.  They’re larger to account for the various size factory sealed edges.

I laminated my second printing for durability because the first one was getting beat up from use, and also added a grommet to hang up or bind with other similar items.

Expired meds shown in the video are kept past their expiration date if preserved correctly following the DoD Shelf Life Extension Program.  I would include a link but the government has removed them.  Not sure how you’ll get that info now I don’t have anything to share at the time of this posting.  Research it maybe you’ll find something.

Everything else I think, is in the video.   Check it out. -13

 

Austere Medicine: RICO RS-6 Aspirator

SUCTION IMG_1660

Anyone looking for an aspirator that will function in austere conditions may find the Rico RS-6 will work for them.  I’ve used these before for military and civilian applications and have never had problems.  What I like most about this suction unit is how it is made to be portable or stationary and can be powered by engine, electric or hand.  It doesn’t get much better when looking for something for austere conditions in my mind.  This one was an eBay item that I was lucky enough to get for $43.00.  A really great price.

Although it is portable it is not ideal to be hauling around by hand and would be better suited for mounted applications that required the occasional use away from your transportation/station whatever/wherever it may be.  The way I have this unit set up is a connection in my POV since it’s the designated medical/emergency response vehicle for our homestead.

SUCTION IMG_1661

The other way this set up works good for us is a backup in an aid-station or in camp to the electric/battery operated aspirator that usually uses disposable collection basins.  Or this could be connected as the collection basin for the electric portable aspirator in place of the disposable ones.  Although I would not want to use this without the disposable liners it can be and is designed to if necessary.  The other surprising item that works well with a little modification to power the Rico RS-6 is the little FoodSaver handheld like the one below.  It works so well that it is part of our emergency aspirator kit.  I’ll have a video/blog on that as soon as I put the footage together.

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Here is a video that’s just under ten minutes that shows all the items that originally came with the Rico RS-6.  I’ve cut most of the ramble out to save you some time.   Another item of interest for those who may need the information is the scanned PDF of combined printed material that was with the original packaging.  That link is just above the video. -13

OPERATORS MANUAL RICO MODELS RS-4 RS-6 RS-5X

Vacuum Sealer Project: Another easy-open packaging video!

Another video about how to make your vacuum sealer packaging easier to open with a pattern notcher.

This goofy video was totally inspired by the Jingle track playing with the video.  When I was making a longer version of a video with the same topic I was searching through iMovie’s sound library for a little intro sound.  As I was listening to the tune this video idea popped into my head.  I thought it would be cool to try to communicate similar information in the 36 seconds it takes the tune to play without a voice speaking over the track.

I went back to my improvised shop set up in the living room and recorded this in about 15 minutes and spent about an hour editing.  It’s kind of silly and dumb and totally low-budget but I actually like it and it was fun from beginning to end to make.  Have fun hope you enjoy it. -13

 

Vacuum Sealer Project: How to make your packaging easy to open

Several years ago I packaged an emergency kit in vacuum sealer packaging.  Tested it, and was completely shocked to discover how tough the packaging is and how difficult it can be to open without using some other instrument or object.  Attempting to open one of them by hand-only proved impossible to do without assistance.  It also made me realize how important and useful the tear-notch on freeze dried meals made for backpacking could be.

An individual, with an injured hand and/or dentures/front dental work would be at risk for not being able to open the package without assistance from an object or the tear-notch.  With a tear-notch it may be possible place part of the package underfoot and tear with the uninjured hand.  I know this for sure, I cannot do it without the tear-notch.

The first experiments with nothing more than a simple straight cut with the scissors worked fairly well.  I noticed though when I decided to cut a “V” shape into the margin on the packaging that it was easier to open and the tear didn’t seen to veer off like the single cut did.  Sometimes when I was testing the single cut way the tear would not always follow into and open the package, it would follow the margin and made it just as difficult to open.

I like the V cut over the single cut because it is more visible and easier to use.  There are a few things I don’t like about the V cut.  First it takes two cuts to make, that is a lot of cutting when making multiple packages and more than one tear-notch for each package.  The cut must be more accurate to ensure that the two cuts meet at the V point, if they don’t it may create another more difficult package to open.  It works great but it’s much more time consuming and requires a certain degree of accuracy unlike the single cut.

Not happy with either of those things I searched for another more efficient way to make those notches.  I was trying to think of what to search for online when I remembered something I had seen in a sewing supply catalog I had but couldn’t remember what it was.  Lucky me I had kept the catalog and found it.  The item is a pattern notcher.

IMG_2525

A, Style-45N, 1/16″ x 1/4″ Pattern Notcher. Turns out it works perfectly for this purpose.  It cuts the perfect notch for getting the package open plus all one needs to do is put the margin edge of the packaging into the notcher until it stops then close the notcher with your hand and done!  Wow what a really fantastic solution!  I can quickly and accurately place the notch and make the cut in seconds then move onto the next pressing homesteading project.

I made a short video about my experience and demonstrate the way that “Works for me”.  Hope you find this information useful. -13

 

Austere Medicine: Improvised, Field Expedient, Emergency, Metered Dose Inhaler, Asthma, Spacer-Chamber

“Improvised, Field Expedient, Emergency, Metered Dose Inhaler, Asthma, Spacer-Chamber”.  My goodness what a title!

Finally made a video on the MDI-spacer I made from parts I had on hand.  Every single item used in the making of the kit was already in the homestead inventory.  When I set out to make it I was surprised that I had everything I needed.  It took me I think most of a day to collect all the items then think it through to come up with the kit in the video.

 

 

Austere Medicine: Dyna Med Mega-Medic Bag Model: BG169

Originally posted Jun 4, 2016 @ 00:27 on WordPress.

I’ve been wanting to make a product review video on the Dyna Med Mega-Medic Bag Model: BG169 for a long time.  I’ve seen several videos on the bag but they never show the features or dimensions.  The most important parts.  They usually just show the items they keep in them and never expose the interiors very well.  Hopefully this video will address those issues and help others decide whether this bag will suit their needs.

I first noticed this bag in the Dyna Med catalog I used to get back in the mid 80’s and have been using this model ever since then.  There have been replacements due to zipper failures.  That doesn’t bother me much because most of the zipper problems were actually human ones.  It’s a bag design I really like a lot.  It functions well and can be customized and configured for any of your needs.  It can be used as a trauma/bandage bag, splint bag, helmet bag, airway/aspiration management bag, etc.

I can’t think of any project notes.  So I’ve either forgot something or I actually got it all in the video.   Not so sure about that part.  Let see what happens. -13