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Reviews > Health & Safety > First Aid Kits > Adventure Medical Kit Blister Medic Gel > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin

Adventure Medical Kits
GlacierGel and Blister Medic
Initial Report 21st May 2008


1
* Reviewer Information
Name: Mark McLauchlin
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Height: 1.76 m (5 9)
Weight: 80 kg (176 lb)
Email: mark at swanvalleyit.com.au
City: Perth, Western Australia

* Backpacking Background
I have been hiking since 2006 with most of my hiking consisting
of day walks averaging 16 - 22 km (10 - 14 mi) and short overnight trips where possible.

I consider myself to be a light hiker with an average pack weight of
13 kg (29 lb).

My preference is for hot dinners, breakfasts of cereals with fresh fruit,
and lunches usually of bars and sandwiches.

* Product Information
Manufacturer: Adventure Medical Kits
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.adventuremedicalkits.com
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: Blister Medic 42 g (1.48 oz), GlacierGel 22 g (0.78 oz)
MSRP: Blister Medic US$10.00, GlacierGel US$9.90

GlacierGel

* Initial Impressions
The GlacierGel kit contents are stored in a zip-top bag which is something I am particularly fond of as they are lightweight, waterproof and re-useable. The clear coloring also makes it easier to see the contents and remove the items needed.

Individual packaging of each item means that there is little waste as I can use only what is needed. The packaging is basic and functional.

The emergency Medical Information card is a great idea, as it tells someone who finds me on the trail if I have any allergies or other medical conditions and also an emergency contact number.

* Reading the Instructions
Each item contained in the pack has a basic set of instructions on the packaging to give an overview of its usage. These instructions are easy to understand and comprehensive enough to complete the task.

As the instructions are on each of the items they are always on hand.

There is also another set of instructions on the main shelf packaging which are again easy to understand and contains images for easier understanding.2

Each of the items contains and expiry date ranging from 2009 to 2011.

* Kit Contents
3 x GlacierGel oval dressings
3 x GlacierGel rectangular dressings
5 x Alcohol Wipes (packaging states 6)
1 x Emergency Medial Information card
1 x zip-top storage Bag.

* Special Note
1 x Alcohol Wipe missing.


Blister Medic

* Initial Impressions
I like the simplicity of the contents of the Blister Medic kit and its packaging, again these items are stored in a zip-top bag which provides many benefits including weight reduction, re-usability and it is also easier to remove the items that I need to as they are more visible.

Each of the items is stored in individual packaging complete with instructions on the reverse side.

This kit contains BZK Antiseptic Towelette which to me seems a great deal easier that handling the traditional small bottles of antiseptic.

I have some initial concerns with the pre-cut dressing shapes in terms of their ease of removal from the main backing sheet as they do not pull off easily and require trimming with scissors. It seems as though the pre-cutting process is not as accurate as it could be.

* Reading the Instructions
Each item contained in the pack has a basic set of instructions on the packaging to give an overview of its usage. These instructions are easy to understand and accurate to assist with the application of the Blister Medic dressings.

There is also another set of instructions on the main shelf packaging which are again easy to understand and contains images for easier understanding.

Each of the items with the exception of the BZK Antiseptic Towelette has an expiry date ranging from 2009 to 2011.
3
* Kit Contents
1 x GlacierGel oval dressing.
1 x GlacierGel rectangular dressing.
2 x Moleskin Large Oval.
4 x Moleskin Medium Oval.
6 x Moleskin Small Toe.
4 x Moleskin Medium Toe.
6 x Moleskin Small Strip
6 x BZK Antiseptic Towelette.
6 x Alcohol Wipes.
1 x zip-top storage Bag.

* Testing Strategy - Blister Medic and GlacierGel
The emphasis of my test plan will be on day trips and overnight hikes, which I actively combine into geocaching. These products will form part of my medical kit for the duration of the testing.

I have several day and overnight trips planned for the duration of this test series.

* Summary
I am looking forward to being able to take these out with me on my hiking trips, and will be very interested to see the efficiency and healing advantages these provide.

This concludes my initial report. Please check back in three months for the results of the Long-Term report.

 
GlacierGel Long-Term Report

closed packet tear open feature


The GlacierGel Blister and Burn Dressing kit has formed part of my medical kit since May when I received the item for testing. The kit has accompanied me on approximately 14 days worth of hiking, covering some 200 km or 120 miles. The hikes ranged from several overnight trips along the coastal plains and the Bibbulmun Track as well as some shorter full day walks in various national parks in the state of Western Australia.

I encountered temperatures from as low as 5 C (41 F) at night to a high of 33 C (91 F) during the day. I walked on hard-compacted ground as well as sandy trails, which definitely gave my calf muscles a workout.

It wasn't until towards the end of the test period that I was able to test the GlacierGel on a burn. Whilst out in the shed welding some new shelf supports to my work bench one of the hot sparks which are often created when welding fell straight through my shirt and onto my shoulder causing a mild burn mark. The first thing I did was run inside and reach for the GlacierGel kit that is stored away with my hiking gear.

Reading the instruction on the back of the kit was quite simple, they basically state to clean and dry the blister or burn area. Then remove the white plastic inner liner to expose the adhesive and gel. Keep the white paper backing on and apply the patch to the skin, then remove the paper backing and hey presto, all done. What the kit didn't say was to apply the Alcohol Prep Pad to clean the area, and perhaps it shouldn't, as this hurt more than the original burn. Ouch!

The images above show the tear open feature of the packaging which is very handy.

I was happiest with the comfort from the burn that the pad provided, there was an almost instant soothing about it. I can see this to be a great benefit while out hiking if a burn is received.

The pad managed to stay in place for several days and sticks well to the skin. This may have something to do with the fact the skin on my shoulder is fairly tight, doesn't sweat at all and is not near any of my joints so the skin does not move around.

nice and small thickness

I am not able to report on the healing efficiency of the GlacierGel only due to the fact that I do not receive burns on a regular basis so it is difficult for me to measure against.

I would also comment that I did not test this part of the kit on blisters as these were something I had to inflict upon myself for the test so I wanted to use the Blister Medic for that.

* Summary

I am very pleased with the way the GlacierGel Blister and Burn Dressing kit performed and this is something I would consider making a permanent part of my medical kit. I can also see an advantage in keeping this in the home first aid kit.

Things I liked
Provided comfort relief very fast.
Stuck well to the affected area.
Easy to apply.
Instructions straightforward and easy to understand.

Things I disliked
Nothing at this stage.

Blister Medic Long-Term Report

Pad not sticking
 


Since receiving the product in May I have taken the Blister Medic Kit out on all of my hiking activities with the intention of using them on a naturally formed blister. As it happened I was also testing another manufacture's hiking socks at the time which has eliminated all of my blister issues.

The field information for the Blister Medic is the same as the above details in the GlacierGel as the two kits were carried together as part of my medical kit. Based on this I will not highlight all of my hiking details in this part of the overall report. Please see full details in the GlacierGel Long-Term Report section.

This now creates an issue. In the interests of testing and putting together a well informed report I reluctantly went back to my old socks for several of my walks, which promptly gave me several blisters on the heels and small toe on both feet. The things we do for the joy of testing gear.

Initially I though having the patches pre-cut was a good idea and for the majority of the time it was. There was the odd occasion where the cutting of the various shapes did not appear to be complete so I had to manually cut them with a knife. No show stopper but something worth mentioning.

Application of the Blister Medic Patches was a straight forward process. On the first blister I received on my small toe I used the Alcohol Prep Pad to clean the area of dirt, then I applied the Moleskin Small Toe (kidney-shaped) patch directly over the area. Very simple and it did provide some relief. After several hours of walking the patch had come unstuck and ended up in the end of my sock, becoming ineffective. At this point in time I applied the larger Medium Toe Moleskin; unfortunately this again end up in the end of my sock. At this point I ceased with the testing for that hike.

Although I was not happy with the results of the Blister Medic Patch on the first occasion the Alcohol Pre Pad did a very good job of cleaning the area.

My second attempt to inflict blisters on myself and use the product was on a shorter day walk, in an area that is quite rocky. Elevation ranged from a starting level of 50 m (160 ft) to a high point of 250 m (820 ft). There was also heavy precipitation. The hike was 17.5 km (11 miles) in a loop style. The blister that formed was on my right heel, an area which has some scarring from previous blisters years ago, so is sometimes more susceptible to new ones.

This time I used the Moleskin Large Oval so that the blister was padded by the patch. These patches have a removable centre so that the blister is actually visible yet has a complete padded area around it. The patch managed to stay on a little longer this time, approximately 2 hours, and only started to peel away at the edges. I would estimate though with another few hours walking it would have come off altogether.

The patch provided relief and comfort to the area on and around the blister and I am happier with this shape of patch that the others tested.

During the test period I did not consume the entire kit; I used five of the Moleskins and six of the alcohol wipes.

I felt that with the blisters I received and the number of patches I used I was able to complete the test series and report on their use to the best of my ability.

* Summary

Overall I was not very impressed with the performance of the Blister Medic Kit. I found the patches to be of very little practical use, they failed on all occasions to stick to my feet where blisters had formed. The idea of the product is good, however I feel further work is needed on their adhesive properties before I would consider using these again.

Things I liked
Alcohol Prep Pad cleaned well.

Things I disliked
Moleskin patches did not stick.
Pre-cut Patches were not always fully cut and required some manual intervention.


Thank you to Adventure Medical Kits and BackpackGearTest.org for the privilege of testing these GlacierGel and Blister Medic products.



Read more reviews of Adventure Medical Kits gear
Read more gear reviews by Mark McLauchlin

Reviews > Health & Safety > First Aid Kits > Adventure Medical Kit Blister Medic Gel > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin



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