Now that summer is over and the first snows are arriving, it is time to review the contents of our backcountry first aid kit. Replace those missing items, replace outdated items and take a look, ask yourself, is there room for improvement in my kit?
I must confess, I am a sucker for new gear/equipment and I am always looking for new and improved “stuff” to lighten my pack and to get everything “smaller”. As such, on occasion I purchase things that end up being a waste of money in the long run. But this is where all of you benefit by my foolishness—I can offer my opinion to not waste your money or let you know when a new product may be worth consideration.
Todays recommendation: May be worth your consideration.
I recently came across the company NuMask. After a bit of reading and viewing a few videos on their web site, I found myself compelled to part with a few dollars to see if this alternative to the proven pocket rescue mask was all it is reported to be. I purchased the following two items :
- NuMask Basic CPR Kit — CPR IntraOral Mask (IOM) at $10.95 retail
- NuMask IOM®/OPA Kit, Large (Oropharyngeal Airway) at $6.95 retail
You can also spend a few more dollars and get the NuMask CPR Kit with zippered case for $17.95 retail. For the extra dollars they include a spiffy zippered clamshell case (blue, black or brown), a pair of gloves and an alcohol swab.
What I like:
From a functionality standpoint the NuMask appears to create a better seal that the traditional mask and does not require both hands to be on the device. I like the concept of using the patient’s mouth to create the seal. The Airway (blue) comes in two sizes, medium and large. Both can be cut to size and I purchased the large. The material is pliable and eliminates the need to cary a kit of 4-6 airways.
What sold me on this product:
The compact size! This year I switched my backcountry patrolling first aid kit from a Harper Pack to a Specter Gear thigh rig, where now my first aid kit is in a pouch 5″x7″x3″. A traditional pocket mask (at 4″x5″x2″) was just too large to fit in the thigh rig. The NuMask IOM and OPA are each in a zip-lock bag and fit nicely in a pocket within my kit.
TIP: If you purchase just the NuMask IOM®/OPA Kit (Oropharyngeal Airway) at $6.95 retail, it includes a spare mask without the one way filter. The needed filter is the same one on my existing mask (in orange clamshell in photo below).