MOUNTAIN FIRST AID KIT: mountain running and ultra trail survival. By Xavi Méndez. The biggest tragedy in the history of our sport, with the 21 dead by hypothermia on an Ultra Trail in China still has us shocked. Serve this misfortune, at least, to prevent another: It’s time to rethink everything we do in the mountains, how and why.

Today we would like to talk about the MOUNTAIN FIRST AID KIT. Our #patroncarrerasdemontana Xavi Mendéz takes us to Andorra, to get to know in depth an element that should go everytime with every mountain runner.


Xavi traveled to Andorra to meet Juanjo Sánchez survival instructor and Pedro Hidalgo, physical trainer of mountain athletes to see, hear and feel the importance of carrying a basic mountain kit for each outing.

They call it EDC (every day carry) within the usual Anglo-Saxon terminology. With it we carry the essential utensils to make us a first aid cure or even be able to leave a companion protected while we go out to seek help for his/her later rescue.


Beyond the recent tragedy in China, we have all lived through or at least heard stories of nearby mountain accidents. People lost, disoriented, dehydrated, with heat stroke, hypothermia and a long etc … I go with my own case in Cercedilla itself, where I live.

We were running one winter day, two friends enjoying ourselves through a snowy pine forest with branches loaded with snow, beaten below. We were snaked between them, following the path. At one point, I didn’t see those branches in front of them, sunk by the snow, hiding a sharp broken branch behind… and it made it into my scalp.

Tremendous blow, fall to the ground, shock and a gush of blood. Every wound up there is always, at the very least, something very heavy. Really scare, too. Thank goodness my running mate that day, Alejandro @Cercedillatrail, is a doctor by profession.

He evaluated me right there, saw how I was doing and encouraged me to get to the local outpatient clinic by my own foot. Half an hour later I was already at home, with seven staples on my head and one more experience. It was nothing that time, a scracky scrape that just tore the skin of the crocodile. but…

  • What if it hits me a little further down? In the middle of the forehead, side in the ear or worse, in the eye.
  • And if instead of being 3km from the ambulatory and being able to reach the trot in a few minutes, I hit myself at the top of La Moleta hanging over Canfranc? Better not to think about it.

That said, the more or the less, we will have lived some risky situation in which having had that mountain boot in the backpack would have been a great help.

It is not new to see and hear how fire department, Mountain rescuers, federations and other levels urge us to be careful with the materials in our trips to the mountain, either to make a walk or when we go out to train, special attention when we go out alone.

In the video that we leave you above you have been able to see what this minimalist medicine cabinet is composed of that takes up very little space and is very light. The approximate cost of the set of proposed materials would be just € 13. To this we must add the cost of the whistle, with an average price of € 3 and also add the additional most expensive element, which would be the multipurpose knife.

There are worthy kits on the market, such as Ortovox, for just 25€ 160 grams. This medicine cabinet can be expanded if we think about making an ultra, for this we will add other elements that we can see in a future videos.

Prevention is always better than ending up calling the emergency number 112 (Europe), for sure.

MOUNTAIN FIRST AID KIT: EDC RUNNER SAFETY KIT. What should/must we carry every day?

  • Mobile phone, charged.
  • 1 thermal/emergency blanket
  • 1 tape
  • 1 cohesive band
  • 2 band-aid
  • 1 strip
  • 2 blisters pads
  • 1 saline pod
  • 1 betadine pod
  • 1 paracord
  • 1 whistle
  • 1 multipurpose knife
  • Self-heated patcheds for hands and kidneys

As you can see, some of the great mountain races, such as the UTMB Mont Blanc de Chamonix already demand many of these elements.

This minimum mountain first aid kit can and should be expanded, according to each case. If we think about making a demanding alpine ultra race/run, such as 00km or more in a very demanding terrain, among others we may have to add other elements that we can see in a future videos, such as a jetboiler

The list we bring you here today is a reference, not the Bible set in stone. You can also add other elements that will expand the range of resources. In this sense, the catalogue of new developments for mountain survival is always growing. Inform and adjust according to the conditions of each adventure and each day.


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