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Old 06-17-2021, 02:00 PM   #1
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Be prepared for emergencies, especially when solo'ing

I've been dragging my TT around solo for about 9 months now. Not full time but I do have 15,000 miles on it already having driven through and/or stayed in 21 states so far.

Six weeks ago was my first emergency and it was a ways from help. In TN on the shoulder of an offramp three fingers on my dominant hand were smashed in the truck door breaking one and ripping its nail off from the cuticle side.

Luckily I knew where my first aid kit was and I could bandage myself fairly quickly to stop the bleeding and stabilize the fracture. I then looked for urgent cares and ERs and the closest was 25 miles away. Driving myself there was the longest 25 miles in a long time. Shock setting in and having to navigate a good size city under stress with a 2500 crew cab truck and even my small 21ft trailer was tougher than I expected. Red lights suck!

With my hand splinted at the ER my trip was cut short as I needed to head home back to CA to follow up with my doctors.

Moral of the story, know where your first aid kit is at and know how to do render aid on yourself if needed. Know how to search for care and think through various scenarios and how you can manage them.
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:15 PM   #2
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Your point is very valid. Carry a well equipped First Aid Kit (Not just a box of Band Aids) and keep it handy.

Since I too "solo camp" and do so often in very remote areas, I went one step further. I purchased a Garmin InReach Mini. Costs me $14 per month after the initial purchase.

If a serious injury occurred and I couldn't "Self Rescue" I can touch one button marked SOS and my location is sent to an international SAR organization. Depending on where you are they dispatch the nearest aid.

I can also use to send messages to my Kids which are free using preset messages. Messages like "I've arrived at my destination", "Taking a hike", Back at Camp", etc. Each message includes GPS location and the recipient can respond via a text message.

Not as easy as a cell phone but when there is NO cell coverage it can be priceless.

I've gotten in the habit of just attaching it to my clothing when not inside the trailer. It's about half the size of a cigarette pack and after the first day or so you forget you're carrying it.

Face it, when soloing in the wild, YOU are your own "First Responder".
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:21 PM   #3
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Fully agree with that when "remote". Those units are getting very affordable now. I remember when SPOT first came out and it was almost prohibitively expensive for even the basic service.
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jbflag21ds View Post
Fully agree with that when "remote". Those units are getting very affordable now. I remember when SPOT first came out and it was almost prohibitively expensive for even the basic service.
The Garmin InReach "up foront" cost can still cause certain muscles in the body to contract (pucker) but in the end $350 isn't all that bad when you consider the lack of options when away from most vestiges of civilization. In many cases that can even be just 20 miles out of town.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:16 PM   #5
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I still have the scar from a dog bite at a campground 4 years ago. I had an EMS first aid kit under the back seat in the truck. It was readily available and came in handy. I keep all the perishables up to date and check the bandages every year.
I wish your hand a complete recovery.
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:02 PM   #6
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We carry a big first aid kit in the TT and a medium size on in the truck at all times. I also have a medium in the tail trunk on my Gold Wing and a small one on my bicycle. I have used up many parts of my kits, mostly given to other campers.
I will be looking into those self-help Garmin units. Can the service be turned on and off when needed?
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BarabooBob View Post
We carry a big first aid kit in the TT and a medium size on in the truck at all times. I also have a medium in the tail trunk on my Gold Wing and a small one on my bicycle. I have used up many parts of my kits, mostly given to other campers.
I will be looking into those self-help Garmin units. Can the service be turned on and off when needed?
They offer the on/off service. I believe it's in a "Freedom Plan". Monthly cost is a couple bucks more I believe but if you only use it for the summer, for example, the savings ate there.
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Old 06-17-2021, 10:38 PM   #8
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There are several services these days. Shop around and research reviews. Some offer SOS only, others can send prrdefined messages and others full two way text
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:45 PM   #9
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We're glad to hear that you made it to the ER before you went into shock and are on the road to recovery.

I like the Garmin inReach idea. If you can't make it to the hospital without passing out, a satellite connection might be a lifesaver. It's definitely a bit pricey, but the safety would be worth it.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbflag21ds View Post
I've been dragging my TT around solo for about 9 months now. Not full time but I do have 15,000 miles on it already having driven through and/or stayed in 21 states so far.

Six weeks ago was my first emergency and it was a ways from help. In TN on the shoulder of an offramp three fingers on my dominant hand were smashed in the truck door breaking one and ripping its nail off from the cuticle side.

Luckily I knew where my first aid kit was and I could bandage myself fairly quickly to stop the bleeding and stabilize the fracture. I then looked for urgent cares and ERs and the closest was 25 miles away. Driving myself there was the longest 25 miles in a long time. Shock setting in and having to navigate a good size city under stress with a 2500 crew cab truck and even my small 21ft trailer was tougher than I expected. Red lights suck!

With my hand splinted at the ER my trip was cut short as I needed to head home back to CA to follow up with my doctors.

Moral of the story, know where your first aid kit is at and know how to do render aid on yourself if needed. Know how to search for care and think through various scenarios and how you can manage them.
Wow, sorry that happened to you, and glad you were able to manage.

My semi-similar story isn't camping related, but 35 years ago when I was in my late teens or early 20s, I smashed the fingernail off of the ring finger of my right hand while working in a machine shop. My boss wanted me to go to the emergency room (like what the hell were *they* going to do about it at that point?). We all agreed that it wasn't worth calling an ambulance for - apart from being extraordinarily painful, and really gross.... I was fully ambulatory. We decided that the best course of action would be for me to drive myself to the hospital.

Only problem was, I had ridden my motorcycle that day. No way I was going to be able to get a glove over that finger. So I thought "It's only 5 miles..I'll just ride bare handed".

35mph wind blowing on a freshly exposed nail bed seems to be one of those experiences that 10s of thousands of years of evolution has taught our bodies to avoid at all costs! It still stands as the single most painful experience I have ever had.
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Old 06-19-2021, 05:22 AM   #11
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I often hunt alone, and that worried my wife. I purchased an ACR Personal Locator Beacon. No subscribtion cost, but all it does is an SOS to NOAA with your location. It gives my wife a warm fuzzy feeling. I do have to send it in after 10 years for battery replacement for $150.
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Old 06-19-2021, 03:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
We're glad to hear that you made it to the ER before you went into shock and are on the road to recovery.

I like the Garmin inReach idea. If you can't make it to the hospital without passing out, a satellite connection might be a lifesaver. It's definitely a bit pricey, but the safety would be worth it.
This is why I love mine. Compact and the more I use it the easier it gets to use for 2-way messaging.

Carabiner will attach to a belt loop or even behind the fastened button on a short pocket. Easy to get to the SOS button and the security cover can be removed single handed in an emergency where one hand/arm may be incapacitated.

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