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

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

 

Wow over 10,000 views on my compost sifter video! I can’t believe it!

I can hardly believe the numbers.  I’ve been messing around over at YouTube getting things in order over there, trying to understand things better and clicked on the wrong button.  It went to the first page of my videos.  When I was checking out the views on the videos listed I couldn’t believe how many views my compost sifter had.  It’s really exciting to see that there are many people interested in composting and possibliy organic gardening.  Really hope my video inspires and lifts people up.  -13

Helmet Project: Update complete!

After nearly 2 months of sourcing materials and ordering new suspension liners the firefighting-rescue helmets are up to date!  I’ve constructed sweat band liners with a thin foam pad that uses elastic to hold it in place.  Ratchet covers with another thin layer of foam with snap closures like the originals.  Crown pads with a layer of foam with Velcro holding it onto the original pad.  The double fold bias trim I made was difficult to finish and make look good due to the thickness, its easy to see it in the crown pad photo.  Not perfect but will work just fine for our needs.

At first I was reluctant to add foam of any kind.  I ordered some any way to test it then decide if I’d use it on my project.  After doing a burn test on the 1/8″ foam and watching the product be almost completely consumed by the flame turning into a thin black stream of smoke with no dripping or melting of any kind I decided I would be willing to take the risk.  What sold me was there was no dripping or melting, plus I would have all of the foam be completely enclosed in Nomex twill.  Plus I could easily blow out and snuff out with a bare finger the open flame emitted when freely burning.

The end result is I have a much more comfortable helmet.  And a bag full of extra replacement parts in case I need to clean them, or replace them for some reason.  I like the fact that I can now outfit a completely new or unfamiliar Phenix First Due 1500 in a matter of minutes and be back in service quickly.  I can use this on any of the 1500’s and from the looks of it maybe all of Phenix Helmet lines.

Thats all for now on the helmet updates.  I will be searching for new 1 x 4 Reflexite Helmet Strips to replace the seeming good old ones.  The old ones reflect light perfectly it’s the typical edge curling I always see with aging reflexite helmet strips.  Look at any helmet that has had them on for more than I’d guess 2 years and you’ll see the edge curl.  I really like those things except for that pesky fact.  I’ve also learned over the years to buy a sheet of them not just what you think you will need.  They will come off unexpectedly and end up in your hair or other weirdness sometimes so it pays to be ready.

I think the Scotchlite brands works as well to reflect light, they just don’t have the same
eye appeal to me as the way the Reflexite strips do.  The appeal to me is the sort of electric feel they have when I see them as opposed to the more dull look of the Scotchlite brand.  So, soon I’ll do a search for replacements.  I think that’s all.  -13

 

Firefighting Cart: Final Modifications

All of the major modifications and additions have been made!  More to follow. -13
27JUN16: When I posted this the other day I didn’t have the energy or clarity to write much then, now I’m ready to write.  The last of the modification have been made!  I was thinking I would be able to complete the project in days.  Not the several weeks it has taken.  The reason it took me longer than expected was I needed to figure out what I wanted for ABC extinguishers, where and how to mount them on the cart as well as other details.

Once I decided on small 5lb. extinguishers it was an easy choice on how and where to mount them.  I had one 5lb here already and found another rechargeable extinguisher at Costco.  There is a rectangle box mounted on hinge pins for storage on the cart.  I could simply place the extinguishers in there and be done with it but they’re top heavy and they want to tip out with the hinged box.  To solve that problem I ground off the welds, popped out the pins then bolted the box to the brackets.  That took care of that now I have a place for two 5lb. ABC extinguishers and a welding blanket.

I also added some reflective tape for visibility in some of the most obvious, visible places on the cart.  Found a place on eBay to order custom reflective lettering and also a cool custom Maltese cross specific to the project.  I also found a three pack of fire extinguisher signs that I’ll mount on a dowel and spring clamp to mark the cart from multiple angles.  I think it will work out well can’t wait to see how it turns out.

The other thing I wanted on this cart was turnouts so I or anyone could use the extinguishers on the cart much more effectively and safely.  I chose to recycle an old wildland firefighting jacket, welding gloves from Harbor Freight and recycle a structural firefighting helmet.  Not ruling out anything available locally or online as a way to mount those items on the cart I settled on SCUBA mesh for a bag to hold the gloves and jacket.  I liked that I could see at a glance that the gloves and jacket were on-board the cart without having to open up a bag and look in.  After sewing a bag together and testing I had a little trouble getting the jacket out of the bag so I added webbing with velcro tabs, problem solved.  The tabs wrap around a support and hold the lower part of the bag down.  Works really good.

After much thought I’m surprised I settled on the velcro cord-wrap as the way to mount the helmet.  I did it because it held well, was simple to use, easy to apply without tools, was already in the stock inventory and stuck the use-what’s-available school of thought.  I think it will work well, plus I have two rolls.  Time will tell the outcome.

Must have those water cans!  And, a better way to move them.  I found a SCUBA tank carry strap at a local dive shop on sale so I bought three.  Two for the cart, one for my POV.  They only had a hand carry handle so I sewed lengths of 2″ heavy duty seat belt web with a quick buckle so I could have an over the shoulder way to secure and carry one or both of them.  After several test they work really well.

For now I’ll wait for the decals to arrive.  Once they get here I’ll make a final video and blog on the project. -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.

 

 

Video Projects: Old videos found. Snake in the fence.

Originally posted May 26, 2016 @ 23:41 on WordPress.

An old video I found looking for something else.  This has to be one of my most favorite snake experiences ever.  Watching that snake slither through chain-link fence was so amazing and just cool!  Too bad for the crappy camera work huh!  Having fun with iMovie.

 

Firefighting Cart: It’s almost complete!

Originally posted May 29, 2016 @ 13:28 on WordPress.

I was able to find the bracket rail at a dive shop!  Progress report coming soon. -13

 

 

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Firefighting Cart: Brackets

Originally posted May 30, 2016 @ 22:31 on WordPress.

Time for a little update on the homestead firefighting cart.  Lucky me.  I was able to source the extruded aluminum rail that the SCUBA tank brackets slide into at local Diver’s Direct.  Another trip to Home Depot for a metal capable countersink and Lowes to search for hardware which I chose flat aluminum stock and pop rivets for the cantilever instead of the diamond plate aluminum they had a Home Depot. The 3/4″ end caps were in already here in the mail.

I was so excited after sourcing the bracket rail that I went to work on the project as soon as I got it home.  Things went well without major problems.  What I did notice was it sure does slow me down to not have a shop or utility truck to work out of.  Frustrating, but it will change.  I really miss the precision of tools like a chop box and drill press.  Beats using a hack saw and cordless any day of the week.

The first issue was after I mounted the tank brackets to the lower half.  When I tried to pull the cans out the bottom kicked out with nothing to brace onto making the cans very difficult to remove.  To solve this I used one of the 3/4″ square stock pieces to rivet onto the bottom of the cart as a stop.  This wasn’t successful because the 3/4″ was too low so I had to add another shorter piece for a double stack.  That solved the problem.

The other problem was that the upper brackets pushed out the extinguishers so that almost half was hanging off the only two cross braces I was able to install.  The curvature of the cart frame uprights won’t let me place a piece of the square stock out far enough. That’s when I decided to go with the flat stock. I would have chose the diamond plate but it came down to having a way to machine the piece.  With the flat stock all I have to do is make a straight cut.

My original plan to have the upper extinguishers set on 3 pieces of square stock was changed because of that bump out and curvature.  That turned out well because I ended up needing the extra to use as backstops to make the brackets functional as extinguisher holders.  Now they’re being held by the friction of the bracket yet still immediately accessible during an emergency.  I think I have somewhere between 8-12 hours on this project so far and a little over $300.00.  More on that when I tally my receipts.

I made a video diary of the progress.  Really have get it together and remember to empty the memory and charge the batteries on my iphone-cameras “before” I start so I can shoot more video instead of stills.  That would be called, a, clue.  The cart is usable at this point.  I plan on adding a few more ABC extinguishers and some protective equipment.  My next plans are to finish off the cart then make a video tour of the who, what, when, where, and why.

Really happy to have the peace-of-mind that goes with being prepared. -13

 

 

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