|Our compact boat repair ( in waterproof Pelican box) and first aid kits.|
- epipens (in case of anaphylaxis)
- prednisone (in case of severe allergic reactions)
- antibiotics (in case of infection)
- inhalers (in case of asthma).
|Our first aid kit with additions; we stored it in a dry bag.|
We also restocked our repair kits with additional materials for fixing leaks, holes, lost hatch covers and jammed skegs. Here, too, we made choices and left a spare skeg cable at home.
We used the first aid kit twice (not including regular provision of ibuprofen--or "vitamin i," as it's commonly known). Both incidents happened on land, which isn't surprising when you compare the risks during paddling (mostly repetitive stress injuries, which are unlikely if you have good technique, but possibly injuries caused by impact during a rescue) with the risks while carrying heavy boats, climbing on rocks, using knives and fire to prepare meals, and walking around in the dark.
Sharon sustained the first injury during lunch about a week into the trip. Perched on a rock, holding her rescue knife (with which she had just sliced cheese--one of its main uses), she reached for a falling water bottle and cut deeply into one of her fingers. It bled profusely, which was great for ensuring it was clean, but it required bandaging to stay closed and heal without infection. We were happy to have antibiotic cream, waterproof bandages and nitrile gloves to protect it (not to mention Alec, who has both Wilderness First Responder and EMT certifications). For several days afterwards, Sharon was our "super villain," complete with lavender glove.
|Sharon protecting her bandageded finger from infection (and pretending she lost half of it). Photo courtesy of John Fleming.|
|Our boat repair kit partially unpacked.|
|Removing the repair tape after returning home. It successfully kept water from entering a chipped skeg box.|
These incidents reinforce the importance of checking and reassessing your boat repair and first aid kits. They should include everything you might need, and you should know when and how to use everything they contain. They should also be kept in an accessible location -- we keep them in our day hatches -- and be in waterproof containers.
The seat issue was also a reminder that it's not a great idea to change anything significant before a long trip. Sharon had not paddled the Pilgrim for several long days in a row, so the seat issue didn't arise before the trip. Fortunately, we had foam and were able to successfully modify it.
Finally, the medical incidents highlight the importance of caution on land, not just on the water, especially when you're in a remote place where help is not available, because ultimately, prevention is better than a cure.
|A typical beautiful and slippery cobble beach in Pukaskwa National Park.|