Allen Mershon gives his 2009 first aid pointers for prospectors in the field.
- What is the chemical composition of gold? Gold is an Electrum composed of gold/silver/copper/lead. If you find a black malleable ball, while prospecting, that is polluted mercury. Do not handle it. It takes eight years to get it out of your system. Instead, catch it in a vial and properly dispose of it. Do not touch or handle it.
- Latest research says bacteria is everywhere. Wash your hands before eating and before you wipe your eyes. Cleanliness works. It keeps you healthy.
- Your ice chest is a great recovery device for high water; it floats. Make it two pieces if needed. Even the lid will work.
Take tools: Pry bar, picks, rope. Tie the rope to the pick, drive the pick into the bank, and use rope to keep someone safe. Tie knots into the rope every five feet. It makes a great rescue tool.
- If your boots fill with water, shuffle to shore. The average waders can hold 15 gallons at 7 pounds per gallon.
- Keep aspirin around, but its temperature sensitive. At 95 degrees you loose half the potency.
- Take aspirin for heart problems as a preventative.
- Duct tape will make a satisfactory first aid tape; treat a cut NOW, not an infection later.
- Iodine; keep it with you at all times.
- Your cell phone should be considered part of a first aid kit.
- We're not in virgin territory. Not everyone has good habits. Don't "clean up" without precautions.
- Hydration issues. You loose one quart per hour to sweat. If you feel thirsty, you probably are. DRINK.
- Shock from injury kills. Proper prevention is hydration. If you know you've hurt yourself, DRINK RIGHT AWAY.
- Altitude sickness is caused by a lack of oxygen. Iron and vitamin K helps oxygen usage. Take them before you go.
- Drink your oxygen: H2Oxygen.
- If you notice your heath is changing, change what you're doing.
- This hobby is strenuous; the exercise is one of the rewards. If you’re not in shape, check with your doctor before going out.
- The buddy system saves lives. If you're a loner, introduce yourself around and leave a note were you're going.