While readying this site for it’s newest feature, namely guided motorcycle tours, an infinite list of potential concerns immediately began to develop in snowball fashion. With our clientele in mind, this array of worst-case-scenarios continually reprioritizes itself but not once has it’s first-place contender lost it’s rank. Plain and simple, I’m referring to safety.
Relaxing such concerns makes their boundaries and parameters far more clear. The consensus among our resident authors and Guinea pig riding buddies would suggest that if it can happen, it very well might. With that mindset as a base, offering travel tours means CPR training, a first-aid kit and trauma tools. Moreover, our preferred riding environment can get pretty secluded. A third-party satellite rescue subscription is definitely in order.
We’ve posted countless articles on the topic of planning/packing for a motorcycle trip. In every instance, the key ingredients mention being “lightweight”, “compact” and “multipurpose” but none of those adjectives account for effectiveness. If all we’re reaching for is “easily stored”, the only things we’ll have to work with in an emergency are bandaids, hand wipes and positive intentions.
On the opposite scale, some first-aid/trauma kits are big enough that your ride leader would have to trailer his or her bike the entire way. While a rider should know his or her way around an accident scene, any scenario involving trauma should be concluded at a hospital. My point: I’ve tried and tried but there’s just not enough room on my motorcycle for an MRI machine.
Fortunately, dividing the investment into multiple first-aid products can insure you have what you need when you need it without bloating your motorbike’s luggage …
For basic first-aid, the Pac-Kit (by “First-Aid Only”) includes a vast number of relevant fixers. It’s garden variety adhesive strips, gauze/bandages, tablets and ointments cover a lot of ground. What’s more, it’s packaged in a waterproof ziplock bag that fits into another waterproof outer bag.
As for trauma, Adventure Medical Kits offers a professional Trauma Pak Kit complete with a QuikClot clotting sponge and tourniquet. The sponge clots blood three times faster and the tourniquet includes simple, logically sketched instructions. In the event that a rider should sustain more serious injury, this may provide the time necessary to get them to the closest medical facility.
In addition to the above, I’ve added a Swat-T tourniquet to the mix. Reputable and easy to stow, it acts as a tourniquet, pressure dressing and elastic bandage. Where one tourniquet might work on a specific appendage, another might be preferable for it’s application (and extras never hurt).
Onto the matter of 911. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve found myself without a mobile signal in some remote riding location. Even if I’m an hour outside of Madison, Wisconsin there’s no guarantee that my phone is an option.
Spot, a service that’s dedicated to worldwide location access, offers a number of different solutions. Their trackers, tracers and phones aim to thwart burglary or broadcast a rescue signal. Each requires a service plan but before rolling your eyes, consider the consequences of going without!
Alternatives to Spot include the intensely dedicated purchase of Inmarsat and the Queclink GL300 by Orbital Satcom. While I myself can’t speak to their performance, I suspect they’re just as good if not better. In the end, it’s really all about looking like this guy, isn’t it?
First-Aid and Rescue Summary
By exploring and itemizing the optional purchases above, we can see how buying multiple components (as apposed to one bulky “complete” package) makes for better storage. It also provides better organization by way of separation. If you know you need an aspirin, that’s in the basic kit whereas clotting sponges are plainly labeled elsewhere.
Our pack, meaning everything above combined, represents everything we feel necessary for use with our long distance guided motorcycle tours. I imagine individual medical needs will inspire people to bring more specific remedies along with them. Let’s just hope they remember to tell us when they’re filling out the signup form!
The real conclusion we hope to convey is that it’s our responsibility as safety-minded riders to avoid ever having to use any of these products. Ride your ride and stay well within the limits of your skill set all while maintaining a safe following distance. May that beer, cigar or lemonade at the end of your day’s journey be the only medicine you feel any inclination to reach for.
What First-Aid Products Do You Carry On Your Motorcycle?
There are a numerous first-aid solutions on the market (some more adequate than others). Which do you carry? What do you like about it and why? Your input is invited. Post an article!