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Keep Germs and Infections Out! – Aboblist

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There are a lot of things we don’t think about but should. For example, do Band-Aids expire? In an emergency, getting medical care or even clean water to wash a wound can be difficult or even impossible. That’s when trivial things like a box of Band-Aids suddenly become much more important. Though you need to inspect all your emergency supplies regularly, medical equipment is the most important. All the water, light, heat, self-defense, and food in the world won’t save you if a cut on your finger goes septic when SHTF. Stopping to wash and cover small cuts is not important when you have a running shower and access to a hospital. When things go bad and society crumbles around you, it could mean the difference between life and death. I’ll show you what you need to know about Band-Aids so you can stay healthy. Having unexpired bandages matters more than you think.

Do Band-Aids expire? Band-Aids do not have expiration dates, but they could eventually expire. Because adhesives become less effective and dry over time, your Band-Aids may someday stop sticking. Moreover, a damaged, wet package usually isn’t good for much. However, a good pack of Band-Aids will still last for years. Please keep them in a dry location, and you have what you need in an emergency. 

 

What Happens If You Use an Expired Bandage?

Band-Aids may not expire traditionally, but the glue and sterile pads can become less effective over time. Additionally, a sterile bandage, typically a piece of absorbent white cotton, will become ineffective over time. Organic material like cotton is biodegradable.

Packaging that is compromised will allow contaminants into the bandage. At that point, the sterile bandage becomes a dirty piece of cloth. It would be best if you disposed of outdated or package-damaged bandages. Otherwise, you’re not getting the effect you need from them.

Keeping a wound from getting dirt and contamination is the whole point of bandaging. Without the sterile component, a bandage is no more useful than any piece of cloth. If possible, some bandages can be re-sterilized with boiling water or UV light. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

When you place a non-sterile bandage over a wound, you are trapping the problem inside. Pressing dirt, bacteria, and other infection-causing agents against open wounds will contribute to infections. Instead of creating a problem, use a clean, sterile bandage.

If you’re concerned about non-sterile bandages, you can clean out the wound. Using plain soap and water with bacitracin or Neosporin afterward will help kill off any harmful outside agents. After that, you can recover from the injury with a sterile bandage.

Keep a multipack of Band-AID Flexible Fabric Adhesive Bandages around at all times. These flexible, breathable bandages are great for minor abrasions and small cuts. Better still, they move with your body instead of popping off as those cheap knockoffs do. Have Amazon ship this four-pack to your door fast when you click here. 

 

How Long Should You Leave a Band-Aid On

It is important to change your bandages. Although it’s not traditional ‘expiring’ Band-Aids need regular replacing. Moreover, shallow wounds typically self-seal after about twenty-four hours.

When you have a small cut or scratch, a Band-Aid is a terrific way to keep the ‘gunk’ out. Wash it first, making sure to remove any debris. It’s crucial to use soap or another cleansing agent.

Dry your clean skin with a microfiber cloth to avoid leaving paper or cloth inside the wound. Next, place a sterile Band-Aid over the damaged skin and ensure it is sealed to your clean skin. Bandages that seal on all four sides are better than those with open sides.

The maximum time for wearing most Band-Aids is forty-eight hours. When you remove the old bandage, re-wash the skin. Be careful not to abrade the wound, remove any remaining glue, and let the skin dry again.

You shouldn’t need a second bandage. However, if your wound is likely to encounter dirt and other contaminants, you may want to cover it up until it heals. Otherwise, frequent washing should be sufficient.

You can change your bandage as often as you want with this Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages Multipack from Amazon. The convenient case comes with several different varieties and sizes of bandages. Keep all your bandages together in one easy-to-find container. Plus, you get packs of Neosporin-to-go for better wound care. To learn more, click here. 

Should I Sleep with a Band-Aid on My Cut?

Dirt, germs, and other contaminants don’t sleep. More importantly, when you sleep, sweat, among other things, put on your clothing and bedding. Especially when you haven’t washed your bedding and pajamas, this will get into your cut.

Outside debris and microscopic contamination will cause a wound to become infected. It can swell and fester quickly. If you were injured late in the day, your wound is even more open and likely to get infected. Prevent this problem by putting a Band-Aid on it.

If you’re worried about losing the bandage while you sleep, choose a distinctive style bandage that sticks better. Alternately, you can wrap a sterile bandage strip around your band-aid or use medical tape to keep it in place. By double-wrapping, you can keep that band-aid in place.

Water blocking bandages are great for overnight. Whether it’s rain or sweat, they’ll seal out the extra moisture keeping your injury less damp. With less moisture, bacteria won’t grow as quickly, leaving you a cleaner cut that’s easier and less painful to wash in the morning.

For the best results, use bacitracin or Neosporin on the pad of the band aid. Either of these will help you prevent any infections as you sleep.

Band-Aid Brand Water Block Tough-Strips are good for twenty-four hours of continuous wear. Durable and sterile, it’s not hard to see why this is the number-one doctor-recommended bandage brand. Plus, these bandages are larger and waterproof, making them great for any outdoor adventure, sweaty summer, or moist climate. Click here for quick delivery. 

Don’t Use Alcohol Wipes on Open Wounds

Using an alcohol wipe is one tradition you can ditch. Iodine is helpful, but both isopropyl and hydrogen peroxide is great at sterilizing but bad for your skin. Alcohol damages tissue as it sterilizes. Use it on bandages to clean them rather than on your body.

The bubbling action from hydrogen peroxide will also damage tissue. Although it’s great for killing biologically active agents because hydrogen peroxide is a bio-toxin, this is better for sterilizing used sewing needles or body jewelry than it is for hurt bodies. There’s a reason the bubbles cause (minor) pain. Your body is biologically active.

Cool water and mild soap are the best for cuts, scratches, and other wounds. Mild detergents like those in soap are non-damaging to your body. Plus, they’re not toxic to human cells like alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.

 

How Long Should You Leave a Band-Aid on a Deep Cut

So long as your Band-Aid is not expired, then you can leave it on a deep cut for the same amount of time as a shallow cut. Most of the time, those shallow wounds are sealed in twenty-four hours. Deeper cuts may take longer.

Regardless, it would help if you still changed your bandages every twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Intriguingly, bandages may not be necessary for as long as you think. According to one study, post-operative surgery patients (with deep cuts where they had cancerous skin lesions removed and then stitched) were no more likely to get infected than after twelve hours than forty-eight.

Long story short, Harvard says you need at least twelve hours of coverage. Beyond that, it might not matter. For safety’s sake, you can always keep things covered longer. It’s doubtful that a sterile bandage will cause a problem, even when it is not actively helping once the wound is sealed.

Standard medical advice says to keep a deep cut covered for two days. If your bandages get dirty or soak through, you may want to change them sooner and more often. Regardless, you do need to cover up those deep cuts for several hours to help prevent infections.

Band-Aid Large Adhesive Pads will cover those larger lacerations. With the four-sided seal, you can keep dirt out of deeper wounds. The Quilt-aid pad helps wick away fluids without sticking to your wound. Most importantly, the natural rubber latex and pads are sterile until you open the packages. Get yours from Amazon by clicking here. 

 

Final Thoughts

More often than we like to admit, it’s the little, forgettable things that make the biggest difference. You won’t need a bunker full of food and water if a cut on your back turns into a septic mess. Knowing whether Band-Aids expire, how to use them, and when to change them is vital.

If you have a survival group or family, dividing up tasks is a terrific way to cover all your bases. However, there are some things everyone needs to know. Basic first aid is one of those things. Skip it at your peril because you never know when you’ll be out of range of your group medic.

Make sure you have Band-Aids with all your equipment. From your BOV to your EDC, a small, sterile, sticky strip of plastic and gauze is not something you should go without.

Source link: https://www.aboblist.com/do-band-aids-expire/ by John Alba at www.aboblist.com

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Emergency

Don’t Die: Cold Weather Layering For Survival

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man in winter clothes and a mask

It’s easy to forget when you’re inside with the heat going or watching a roaring fire, but the winter is coming and with it the cold weather. That’s not a problem when you’re inside, though it might make you want to cry every time you see your heating bill. 

When it can become a problem is if you have to bug out and your vehicle becomes useless. That might be because it breaks down, the roads get destroyed, you end up in a 50-mile traffic jam during your bugout, or the roads are just unsafe to travel.

That gives you two options: You can give up or you can start walking.

ESB

Cold weather can also become a problem even if you shelter in place. If your heat is reliant upon the grid and you don’t have a backup in place… you’re going to need to find innovative ways to stay warm in your home

Fortunately, if you layer your clothes right you have a much better chance at beating the elements. There’s a science to dressing for the cold weather. That science can mean all the difference between life and death if you have to do a 100-mile bugout walk in the dead of winter

Baselayer

People sometimes call this the “next to skin” layer. It’s the lowest layer down and you’re going to want something more than just regular underwear. 

The best thing to wear for a baselayer is compression fabric. That’s because compression fabric keeps warmth in while wicking moisture away to keep you dry. It’s very important to stay dry when you’re traveling, especially if you’re in the cold. So compression socks, compression pants and a compression top are the best place to start when layering. 

ESB

A sort of strange tip that’s worth mentioning: A great base layer even below your normal baselayer is pantyhose. Call them “mantyhose” if you must, but having a pair around is going to save wear and tear on your feet and thighs while also providing an additional layer of warmth.

Midlayer

Your baselayer exists to keep you warm, but more than that it’s there to keep you dry. Your midlayer does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping you warm when you’re out in the wild, battling the elements.

Midlayer does this by trapping heat against your body, so you’re obviously going to want something thicker and heavier than your baselayer. Normal clothes are where you’re going to want to land here, but clothes made for colder weather. Flannel shirts are great for the winter months. Anything down, fleece or wool is great, as is synthetic insulation. 

Again, this is where the heavy lifting comes in with staying warm, so you want to really be mindful of what you choose to wear here.  

Exterior Layer

The exterior layer is your outerwear and there is one single material that beats all others when it comes to this layer: synthetic down.

Why not regular down you ask? 

Well, there’s a simple and very good reason for not using real down for your exterior layer: What if it gets wet? Once natural down gets wet, it tends to not be able to resume its original shape. Synthetic down, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem while being just as warm as the real thing. 

ESB

Your exterior layer needs to be waterproof and breathable. Both of these help you to stay dry during the long hike where, at the very least, you’re going to be sweating profusely despite the cold weather. 

Head, Feet And Hands

Don’t forget your extremities. It’s somewhat well known that your head is a major conduit for heat loss. So you want to cover that. The best item for this is a ski mask or similar. It will provide the same function as a scarf while also keeping your entire head covered.

Hands should be layered. Fingerless gloves make a good base layer, allowing you to handle objects with your bare hands when you need to. You can keep them covered with heavy mittens when you’re not using them. 

As far as your feet, you want some heavy winter boots that also provide great traction. It’s also important that your feet be comfortable, because you’re going to be walking a lot and wounded or sore feet are going to seriously sap your ability to go on long hikes over a period of days. 

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There’s no easy way to go on a long bugout march. However, having the right clothing, layered the right way, is going to greatly increase your chances of making it to your final destination. 

What are some of your favorite “best kept secrets” for keeping warm in a winter wonderland?

Leave a comment below to share some of your favorites. 

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Emergency

Preserving Food for Winter: Time-Tested Methods for Flavorful and Nutrient-Rich Pantry Staples

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Preservation-salting-in-large-jars-

Winter is approaching, meaning the summer and fall harvests are just about done. Still, that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to fresh, delicious, and nutritious homegrown food until spring blooms anew. 

You can harness age-old techniques of food preservation, filling your pantry with flavorful, nutrient-rich staples to keep your winter meals healthy, hearty and satisfying. With food preservation techniques from smoking and canning to fermenting, you can savor the tastes of summer even in the coldest months.

Homesteading Handbook

Preserving Food For The Winter: The Art of Smoking

Smoking is a time-honored method for winter food preservation, infusing foods with rich, smoky flavors. Many people would smoke foods likemeats, fish, and cheese even if it didn’t keep them longer, just for the taste.

A quality smoker won’t cost you too much and it doesn’t really matter if it’s n offset smoker, electric smoker, or a traditional charcoal smoker. Choose your wood chips or chunks based on the type of flavor profile you want to infuse your food with.

You should also understand the difference between cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking imparts flavor without cooking the food, making it the perfect choice for cheese and cured meats. On the other hand, hot smoking cooks the food while it flavors it.

Preserving Food For The Winter: Canning Your Food

You don’t have to rely on food canned from the grocery store. You can also can your own food at home. There are a number of different ways to do this for various kinds of food you’re looking to keep fresh for the winter season.

Homesteading Handbook

For example, water bath canning is the perfect choice for highly acidic  foods such as fruits, tomatoes, and pickles. On the other hand, pressure canning is the right choice for lower acidity foods like vegetables, meats, and poultry. 

You’ve probably never thought of it this way before, but pickling is also a form of canning. In this case, we will use vinegar or brine to preserve and flavor vegetables, fruits, and sometimes meats. You should experiment with various pickling recipes to create unique flavors for you and your family to enjoy. 

Preserving Food For Winter: Fermentation Of Foods

Fermentation is a natural process which can enhance the flavors and nutritional value of foods while also preserving them for long-term storage. Sauerkraut, kimchi, and sourdough bread are some of the more common kinds of fermented foods.

Beginners should invest in fermentation kits with airlocks. As you gain more experience, consider exploring more traditional methods, as well as the use of crocks and jars. Fermentation is both an art and a science. So you have to be patient while you experiment with different ingredients and techniques.

Preserving Food For Winter: Dehydration For Long-Term Storage

A food dehydrator is an excellent investment for removing moisture from fruits, vegetables, and herbs if you find that you enjoy those kinds of foods. However, you don’t need one to get started. You can also dehydrate foods right in the oven you already own or, in some cases, by air-drying.

If you want to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, slice your produce uniformly before arranging them on your dehydrator trays. Fruit leather can be made right at home by puréeing fruits and spreading the mixture thinly before drying.

It’s important to store dehydrated food properly. Store dehydrated foods should be stored in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags, which will prevent moisture from re-entering. Keep your dehydrated foods in a cool, dark place for the best preservation.

Preserving food for winter isn’t just about extending the shelf life of your favorite ingredients – though it is about that. However, it can also be a way to expand what you keep around by introducing new flavors into your pantry using the food preservation process. 

Homesteading Handbook

Smoking, canning, fermenting and dehydrating will offer you different options to ensure your pantry is stocked with a variety of food your family will want to eat. It can also be a fun hobby for the culinary master looking to break outside of just cooking on the stove – many of these are basically just “cold” cooking techniques. So, embrace the age-old wisdom of food preservation for winter and fill your pantry with unique tastes all winter long. 

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Emergency

Wilderness First Aid: Essential Skills for Survivalists

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A person wrapping his friends injured arm

In the wild, accidents and medical emergencies can happen at any time.You don’t have to be a seasoned survivalist or a nature enthusiast to start preparing for wilderness accidents. Knowing how to provide first aid in the wild can mean the difference between life and death. 

The wilderness is unforgiving, filled with rugged terrain, unpredictable weather far away from immediate medical assistance. In these environments, basic first aid skills become critical. They can prevent minor injuries from escalating into major medical emergencies.

For survivalists, who often operate far from civilization, having the knowledge and supplies ready for first aid is essential for self-reliance. In remote settings, waiting for professional medical help might not be an option.

When you’re leading a group in the wilderness, whether it’s friends, family, or fellow survivalists, your wilderness first aid skills can ensure their safety. Being prepared to deal with injuries or illnesses can be a game-changer when you’re miles away from the nearest hospital.

Building Your Wilderness First Aid Kit

Basics of a First Aid Kit

A well-equipped first aid kit is the cornerstone of wilderness first aid. If you don’t have the right tools, you can’t treat the illness or injury. At the very least it should contain the following essential items:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes 
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • CPR mask 
  • An app or better yet a field guide for reference

Medications and Personal Prescriptions

Over-the-counter medications for pain relief, fever reduction, and allergy management are also essential to have on hand. For those on prescription medications, make sure to carry an ample supply in their original containers. You never know when a quick trip can turn into a survival expedition.

Splinting Materials

Splinting materials help stabilize fractures and sprains that can mean the difference between everyone getting home together or someone getting left behind while someone else looks for help. Items like SAM splints, triangular bandages, and duct tape can be invaluable, preventing small injuries from becoming life-or-death emergencies.

Personal Protective Equipment

Everyone remembers “PPE” from the COVID-19 days. Gloves and face shields are crucial to prevent the spread of infection during first aid procedures. Protecting yourself should be your number one priority while providing care. 

Specialized Gear

Carry any specialized gear you’re trained to use, such as an epinephrine auto-injector for severe allergic reactions if this is appropriate for you or anyone else in your group. 

Building Wilderness First Aid Skills

It’s important to build up your skill set before you head off into the woods. First aid isn’t the type of thing that lends itself to “on the job training.” So here are some ways you can prepare to give care before it’s time to actually provide care. 

First Aid Courses

Formal wilderness first aid courses, often offered by organizations like the American Red Cross or similar, are an excellent way to build your skills for little or no money. They provide hands-on training and certification. The latter can be useful for a variety of reasons.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect, so regularly practice your skills in various scenarios, from treating simulated injuries to handling hypothetical wilderness emergencies. Practice also builds muscle memory and confidence.

Learn to Recognize Signs and Symptoms

Knowing when to act is just as important as knowing how to act. Recognize common signs and symptoms of injuries, illnesses, and environmental conditions that can pose risks. This can allow you to avoid problems, but also knowing to act early before little problems become big ones. 

Evacuation and Rescue

When push comes to shove, you’re either going to need to know how to get out of the woods in one piece or at least alert rescue teams to where you are. 

Planning and Preparedness

Before setting out on a wilderness expedition, inform someone responsible  that you know of your plans, including your route, expected return time, and emergency contacts. Always have an emergency plan in place.

Emergency Communication And Navigation

Rreliable communication devices like satellite phones or Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can help you to summon help when you need it. In an true emergency, these devices can be a lifesavers.

Likewise, knowing how to navigate and use a map and compass can mean the difference between life or death in an emergency. Even if you’re not evacuating, you can guide rescue teams to your location.

In remote areas, extraction via helicopter or other means may be necessary. Be prepared to assist rescue teams and provide essential medical information about the injured person.

Carrying the Injured

To improve the chances of everyone getting out together, learn how to carry an injured person safely. Improvised stretchers or fireman’s carries are two examples of properly carrying injured members of your party.

Keeping a Cool Head

The main thing you can do to increase chances of survival is to keep a cool head. It’s easy to panic. But keeping yourself focused on the situation at hand is possibly more important than any skills you can learn or gear you can buy. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and act methodically.

Wilderness first aid is an invaluable skill for survivalists, but also just for anyone who ventures into the great outdoors. Your knowledg, preparedness and gear can save lives, providing crucial care while you wait for medical help to arrive. 

By building out your first aid kit, learning the essential skills of wilderness survival, and staying prepared, you can explore the wild with greater confidence, knowing you have the ability to handle emergencies effectively. Remember, in the wilderness, the skills you acquire may be the ultimate survival tool.

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