When items outnumber knowledge

My food storage is in pretty good shape.  A few months ago I did an inventory and came up with a good solid six-months worth of food.  Since then, I’ve added quite a bit more from not only the store, but the garden as well.  Without re-doing the entire inventory from scratch, I would say I’m easily up to about nine months.

I have camping gear that could get me through the winter – and no shortage of it.  I’m up to three firearms (handgun, rifle and shotgun) and as I noted in a post a few days ago, I have enough ammo to start my own war.  I’ve even gotten pretty good at using them.  I have water filters, stoves, charcoal and a grill, and a bazillion other things that will help get me through any number of situations that could possibly arise.

I can cook from scratch.  I can start a fire.  I’ve learned about my guns.  I can build basic shelters.  I can turn off my water.  I can stop the flow of propane to my house.  Heck, I can even change my own oil in the Jeep.

But there’s clearly one area that I’m lacking any significant knowledge, and that’s in first aid.  I know how to hurt myself – I’ve excelled at that skill.  I’ve nearly cut my left thumb off no less than three times this fall alone.  But aside from pouring some peroxide and lavender or tea tree oil on a wound, slapping a band-aid or tape over it, and calling it good, my skills in this area are pretty much nil.

Even though I announced yesterday that I’m not a worrier – I’ll admit this lack of know-how worries me a bit.  The main reason, beyond my knack for injuring myself in non-life-threatening ways, is because my LLM has a heart condition.  It gives him trouble frequently enough that it causes some alarm.  His Mom died at 54 from a similar heart condition (although, she also died of a broken heart from burying her oldest son a few months prior).  But the condition is genetic, and LLM definitely suffers from it.

“Yars and Yars ago…” in high school we learned CPR.  But I may have been all of about 15 years old when that happened.  That’s longer ago than I care to admit.  Somehow, I’ve managed to remember a little bit of it – but not a whole lot. I certainly wouldn’t want to be put in the situation to try to use the limited knowledge I’ve retained.

I’ve tried a couple of times to find information about first aid and CPR classes from our local Red Cross – but unfortunately their Web site is a little less than helpful.  It posts basic information about the classes, but not when they’re available.  Even if you try to sign up online, it still doesn’t tell you available class dates.   I think I know where the Red Cross office is.  Apparently I just need to waltz my butt in there and ask.  According to their limited online information, it appears they have a combined clinic that offers both standard first aid and CPR in one class.  That would be ideal.  And if their Web site is to be believed, it only costs $70.  How sweet is that?

This is definitely one of the things on my goal list for this winter.  The other would be basic wilderness first aid.  I spend enough time in our mountains, on and off skis, that it would behoove me to learn the wilderness component, and probably also get some avalanche training.  Training is so much more useful than hoping.  🙂

Stay healthy and safe this weekend!

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