Fill The Space in Louie’s Repair/FA Kit

Post by blogger | August 25, 2008      

I convinced the young turk to share the lighter weight version of his emergency/repair kit (he has a bigger one for longer more remote trips). Problem is, after packing in the titanium mini cooking pot he likes, we can still fit something in there. Anyone have an idea of what more we could squeeze in?

Backcountry skiing equipment.
From left to right.
Top row: 12 ounce titanium cup/pot; athletic tape with latex gloves & inner tube band that doubles as fire starter; plastic pot lid, three wound dressings .
Middle row: Zip ties; safety pin; ampule of eyedrops; mini light; container with matches & Vaseline soaked dryer lint; water purification tabs; lighter; contacts; fire starting inner tube strips; ziplock for med items.
Bottom row: Drug info; antibiotic ointment; ibu; moleskin; antihistamine; antiseptic towelettes.

Backcountry skiing gear.
Kit packed, see the space at lower left? What should we fit in there? (5 cm high x approx. 3 cm x 4 cm)

Notes: The ti cookpot is useful for melting snow and/or boiling water during a bivy below timberline. Knife/screwdriver, compass, duct tape and Spot Messenger are carried separately.


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35 Responses to “Fill The Space in Louie’s Repair/FA Kit”

  1. Randonnee August 25th, 2008 10:50 am

    As I mentioned before, I would suggest some (small) bubble wrap and duct tape. For boot pain to the shin or anterior ankle, eg boot “bang”, bubble wrap with perhaps one donut covered by a solid bubble layer and duct-taped offers excellent relief and comfort. If one has a chronic problem as I had a few seasons ago, I would suggest shaving hair under the tape before setting out, for more comfort.

    In my experience, I have managed to develop boot-pain to the front of my ankle both from downhill skiing and from walking at times. Bubble wrap is a good fix.

  2. Lou August 25th, 2008 10:54 am

    Thanks Rando, good idea, lightweight too! How prone is it to popping?

  3. dave downing August 25th, 2008 10:54 am

    not sure what i’d add to that space, but only 3 zip ties? that seems like just enough to realize you need more … especially if one breaks in cold weather. seems you could at least double the number of zips without adding to true space or bulk.

  4. steve pulford August 25th, 2008 11:04 am

    Immodium can be a trip saver. Chemical hand/foot warmers can be important in shoulder seasons and winter.

    I’ve never used an inner tube as a fire starter, does it work well?

  5. Louie August 25th, 2008 11:17 am

    Since the inner tube is made out of rubber it doesn’t absorb any water, so it lights no matter how wet it is. One of those strips in the picture (about 1×6 cm) burns for about a minute and a half. Unfortunatly, it lets of a lot of nasty smelling black smoke, so I only keep it for emergencys.


  6. Keith August 25th, 2008 11:18 am

    Fill the remaining space with miniature Snickers or Milky Ways. Candy would make any emergency/survival situation more tolerable.

  7. tester August 25th, 2008 11:49 am

    I’m testing from Washington to see how your new server is working with the new setting…

  8. tester August 25th, 2008 11:49 am

    wow! fast!

  9. Simon August 25th, 2008 12:06 pm

    I really like the candy-bar idea. A role of gauze dressing, or bandage-wrap might also squeeze in. Or a foil emergency blanket.

    Nice idea, packing it all in a pot.

  10. Simon August 25th, 2008 12:08 pm

    Oh, a needle-and-thread would fit in anywhere, too.

  11. dave August 25th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Gun powder, 2 empty CO2 cartridge and 3 feet of fuse. You know, in case you have to break into the remote backcountry terrorist compound to save you friend and the Free World!

  12. Lou August 25th, 2008 1:19 pm

    Or break into a hut (whoops, did I say that?). (grin)

  13. Marc August 25th, 2008 1:26 pm

    needle and thread. takes up almost no room. bailed me out once when it was too cold for a duct tape patch to stick properly.

  14. Jonny August 25th, 2008 1:47 pm

    Some small strips of duct tape attached to the outside of the pot perhaps? i agree with the immodium, better to not have an emergency in the bc. also some ibuprofin or other nsaid.

  15. Scotty B August 25th, 2008 2:20 pm

    Couple of smallish pipe clamps.
    A section of 12 or 14 g wire.

  16. Christian August 25th, 2008 3:25 pm

    Some gu packets or a package of full sugar jello. Would probably, and hopefully, get used before the other stuff.

  17. Lou August 25th, 2008 4:04 pm

    Needle and thread, very good, ditto for pipe clamps. We always carry a slight bit of extra food, so no need for that in the kit… but something to make a hot drink out of might be nice.

  18. carl August 25th, 2008 4:09 pm

    I knew a guy who actually skied with morphine strapped to the inside of his ski jacket…this might fit in that spot. Not long after finding this information out – I stopped skiing with this guy.

    Someone once showed me their bc repair/survival kit and he had cottonballs dipped in vasoline for a firestarter/long burner. It might work better than the intertube, but I had limited success with it.

  19. Jay August 25th, 2008 4:28 pm

    I had a binding pull on hau trip last winter adn scoured the hut for something, anything beyond the duct tape that I planned on using for the 3-5 mile skin out. Found 2 hose clamps, joind them and attached them to the ski over the binding plate all the way under the ski…with the skins on, the metal under foot did not cause a problem and I made it home jsut fine…I now always have a pair of hose clamps with me…cheers!

  20. RobinB August 25th, 2008 5:49 pm

    Hose clamps. The only repair kit item I have ever _really_ used.

    -Patched up broken poles
    -Made a pole of sorts by clamping a probe together…
    -clamped the release plate of a Voile tele setup down to a broken ski to hold it together long enough to get out.

    Take a couple smaller ones over 1 long one. You can link them together, but it’s hard to make them smaller.

  21. Graeme August 25th, 2008 6:13 pm

    a light 5cm crepe bandage could fit in, encircled by hose clamps

  22. scott messina August 25th, 2008 6:13 pm

    Hey Lou and Louie
    How about some of these to fill the void (above what has been mentioned before)
    -fine steel wool to fill in screw holes and help with fire starter
    -Compeed (blister block now from Bandaid)
    -Honey packets (similar to pocket size mustard/mayo)
    -not sure if you could but it may take up too much space but line the pot with a sam splint

  23. scott messina August 25th, 2008 6:15 pm

    Opps forgot to mention how about a stand for the pot and aluminum foil for a windscreen

  24. chris skalka August 25th, 2008 7:44 pm

    A length of wire. I have used it for replacing broken skin tip loops on several occasions. Surely wire has other emergency uses as well.

  25. mattD August 25th, 2008 7:49 pm

    hmmm, I’d say leave it open for now. Just ’cause there’s space doesn’t mean you have to fill it. Or one of the things that you always take (duct tape) might shoehorn in and save some space elsewhere? I just recently realized I didn’t use half the stuff I had in my kit, mostly because it is a nice big zippered bag and I felt the urge to fill it with stuff like moleskin, when I’ve never used it before.

  26. Louie August 25th, 2008 9:00 pm

    Wow, thanks for all the ideas guys

  27. Halsted August 25th, 2008 9:41 pm

    I’d use one of those 10- 16″ Volie rubber straps to strap the kit tightly closed. You can always use the strap to starp things together and also as fire-starter like you’re inner tube things.

    One “big” sewing needle and 15′ of dental floss (in a ultra-small ziplock bag) can be used to sew up tents, clothing, skins and stiches on a human (I’ve done the last one = crampon points to the leg in cravess fall). Dental floss is ultrastronge too, if you need to bind-up something….

    Once again hose-clamps…..

    And of course you can never have enough tape (use the white first aid stuff).


  28. Jack August 25th, 2008 10:32 pm

    A wad of bailing wire. I’ve wired my boot into broken binding, made a ski pole basket, and repaired pack failures. Helps if your multi-tool has wire cutters, but bending it back and forth will fatigue and break it, too. I actually use a little smaller size than true bailing wire.

    Ditto Chris on the skin loop (but I did that one at home).

  29. Matt August 25th, 2008 10:50 pm

    If you have any spare straps around the house like old sleeping pad straps or even webbing, they would be nice when you have to build a splint or even for random repairs. Hand and foot warmers are so small and light yet they can save a limb if you have to bivy.

  30. gringo August 26th, 2008 5:34 am

    a heady nug would fit nicely……never know when you are gonna need to fix your melon!

  31. ray August 26th, 2008 7:10 am

    i like to take a small length of old bicycle cable (brake or gear, lighter gauge better). my old lazers still have a completely functional buckle (that’s even lighter than the oem buckle), after three years. their super light, so i suggest a longer piece so you can more easily tie useful knots in the wire. besides the buckle, this method would also serve as a complete emergency binding system if you had to go that route, and it can even be done so you can tour if you still have most of your binding left after an accident. you can usually find some so it’s effectively costless…adaptive reuse!

    i’d also leave the water purification tabs at home, or at least just shrink-wrap a couple and leave the little bottle at home…more room. i’d also beef up the fire starting systems, as an emergency might have a better outcome if multiple fires can be started. heck, even the comfort of knowing you won’t be so much in the “only got one chance at a fire” pressure.

    also, i see one lighter. get to know it, and how to get something out of it if it dies. do this by disassembling the flint/striker housing. now you have a container of pressurized butane, a tiny piece of flint, and a striker wheel. lighters break up there all the time. you might swap two minis for the one (if it isn’t a mini already).

    a couple of condoms? oh yeah, this isn’t louie’s college kit…food for thought louie.

    seriously, important stuff, thanks dawsons.


  32. Ben August 26th, 2008 9:34 am

    Pocket knife. Even a single blade mini pocket knife with a good blade could be very useful.

  33. Marc H. August 26th, 2008 9:34 am

    Good stuff Lou and Louie! I too carry some bailing wire, hose clamps and a few more zip ties. Another thing I do is wrap my lighters in duct tape. It serves as a great place to store the tape out of the elements (I also have some on my poles for quick access), and duct tape doubles as a great fire starter. Try wrapping a few twigs and kinddling loosly with duct tape and light one end… A few more items I tend to carry are a couple extra binding screws, Benedrill (antihistamine), and J B Weld for any sort of repair. On longer tours I carry a can of Sterno for melting snow for water. The Sterno can nests nicely inside a soup can, so now you have fuel and a pot for an emergency above treeline or glacier travel. I also carry several ski straps. They come in handy all the time, and can help with rescue sled construction. Speaking of which, I carry the Brooks Range rescue sled with me almost all of the time. It weighs only a pound and could save you or a partner from unnecessary suffering. Lou, you might consider a review of the Brooks Range Sled!

  34. George Laquian August 26th, 2008 8:25 pm

    I stuff a small packet of Kool-Aid drink mix in my SAR emergency can- I have used it to mark LZ’s for helis on Mt. Baker, edge marking on backcountry kickers for snowboarding, and even as “cough”-“drink mix” .

    it weighs nothin’, takes up no volume, and keeps forever, since there are no natural ingredients in it to degrade….

  35. Randonnee August 28th, 2008 6:38 pm

    Back from a trip, now a delayed answer.

    When using the bubble wrap for a boot-bang on my leg. it has never “popped” while in use. When I had a chronic problem, I could actually reuse the same taped bubble-wrap pad.

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