Getting Outdoors with Coleman and Potable Aqua

Last week I went into great detail about my Potable Aqua water treatment tablets. This week I’d like to share a few other goodies from Potable Aqua’s partner, Coleman. This partnership brings bug repellant, first aid kit, and sting relief options to you and I took several of these products along with me on the Pacific Northwest Tour to test out.

A few of the Coleman and Potable Aqua offerings I got to try out.

First Aid…

As you can imagine, being certified in Wilderness First Aid, I have a few varieties of first aid kits. I carry a substantial one in the car at all times as well as a hefty one for longer hiking trips. I also have a few smaller kits I’ve put together for my daily trail-run pack and the other packs that I haul my computer and camera gear around in. (Yes, I have a few packs laying around. It’s an illness, I know.) I went to great pains to set up these kits and even so, I’m still constantly tweaking them.

This also makes me a little bit of a first aid kit snob. I’ve yet to find a store-bought version that suits my, shall we say… exacting standards. The truth is that first aid kits are very personal so finding an ideal one that is pre-made is nearly impossible. I also look at first aid kits as one-excursion use… as in, will it have what I need to get me through one trip. If something gets used, I need to replenish it before the next outing. That keeps me from constantly being weighed down by carrying way more than I need.

So that’s the preface for considering these little guys.

Coleman micro first-aid kits.

Here’s what I liked:

  • Tins: The sturdy tins are great. The Outdoor Essentials one slides open and the slightly larger All-Purpose kit is a flip-top.
  • Size: These are a nice size for short adventures. You can keep just enough essentials without getting sucked into overloading.
  • Variety: There’s enough variety of bandages to cover some basic minor injuries. I’m also a nut for the usefulness of safety pins. They’re both well-rounded small kits.

Here’s what I’d tweak:

  • A little less: I would drop a few of the bandages, particularly 3 of the large and 2 of the small regular ones as well as one of the antiseptic wipes. The likelihood of using that many on a single short adventure is very low. And cutting those down makes room for a couple of other essentials.
  • Meds: I would pop in a dose of ibuprofen as well as Benadryl in a tiny zip-top bag.
  • Iodine wipes: I’d throw in a couple of these as well.
  • Tampon: When used for its intended purpose a tampon is a very personal decision so I’m glad it’s not included in the kit. I will happily add my own. They make fantastic make-shift bandage material and are an essential part of even the smallest first aid kit in my opinion.
The 24-piece Coleman Outdoor Essentials kit.
The 27-piece Coleman All-Purpose first aid kit.
As you can see, there’s very little difference between the two Coleman kits: only a matter of 1 knuckle bandage and the two butterfly bandages.
A few Val tweaks make these kits really excellent.

I was actually looking forward to stashing these around the car and my various backpacks. Alas, Fred and George absconded with them and that’s fine. They’ve actually been using them and it helps them think about their own first-aid without running to me for every little thing.

Keeping bugs at bay…

So, on to bugs…

The Coleman Naturals citronella snap band.

Being from Florida, I’m no stranger to bugs, particularly mosquitoes. Let’s face it, they suck (see what I did there?). They were really not a problem for most of the Pacific Northwest Tour until they suddenly emerged a couple days into our stay at Deception Pass State Park in Washington. I found myself scrambling for relief, having only the Coleman Naturals snap band and a Mosquitno one from my Cairn box. Seriously, I had no insect repellant with me. Not a happy scene.

I honestly don’t have a totally solid verdict on these yet. I think George did way better with the Coleman Naturals on his wrist than I did with the Mosquitno. He reports being fine with it on so I count that as a win. If your child is outside playing and not complaining about the bugs, then it’s all good, right?

As a mom, what I liked is that the reservoir kept the bug repellant out of direct contact with his skin and the snap band design fit his small wrist when the Mosquitno didn’t.

A mosquito-repellant bracelet smack-down at Deception Pass in Washington.

After the bug bites…

As I’m sure most parents do, one of the biggest complaints about outside play that I get from the boys is bugs. It really can take the fun out of being out. George is particularly vocal about this and we’ve tried a variety of itch relief methods over the years.

When he found out I had the Sting-Eze sticks on hand, he latched on to them immediately. As with the snap-band, the larger verdict is still out but he was pleased. They seemed to work just as well for him as anything else we’ve tried and I did like the stick design over an oozing gel that always gets all over everything. He could easily manage using this on his own for his mosquito bites which is great for the both of us.

Obviously stings from wasps, bees, yellow jackets, and their cousins pack more of a punch than mosquitoes… especially when we’re talking about getting multiple stings at one time. And sadly, I did get to make good use of the Sting-Eze Max 2 after inadvertently stepping in a yellow jacket nest while shooting the video for the Potable Aqua tablet review. Not one of my brighter moments, mind you, but far be it from me to miss an opportunity.

I know you’re relieved to hear I didn’t take before and after shots of my caboose and its encounter with the yellow jackets but hopefully you will trust that the Sting-Eze helped. It did just what its name implies… it eased the stinging and itching. It ramped it down to a manageable level of minor discomfort until the miniature wounds ran their course and healed.

Don’t forget…

Some of these goodies are included in the giveaway posted in my Potable Aqua review. There’s only a couple days left… get on it. Enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always…

Potable Aqua provided me with these items free of charge to review, however, that has not influenced my opinion in any way. My opinions and experiences are my own and they may vary from yours.

And now for your moment of green…

The stunning Washington coast… just don’t forget bug repellant in June.