Monday, April 29, 2013

Acute Wound Care

     One of my athletes came to see me with a small laceration on his hand. It was a border line between needing stitches and being able to close with just a band aid and steri strips. Standard protocol in this situation is for me to stop the bleeding, close and cover the wound, and get the athlete ready for transport so that the doctor can make the final call. 

     This got me thinking about writing a blog entry about acute wound care while out on the water. I cannot count the number of times I have had nicks and cuts while in my kayak or unloading/loading my kayak. As a standard item in my first aid kit I always carry superglue for these situations. It is a cheap, quick fix that works extremely well for on the go situations. The most beneficial characteristic of superglue is that it seals wounds air and water tight. There is one other option that is more expensive and a little harder to get yours hands on, and its called Dermabond. Dermabond is basically a medical grade superglue used in hospitals for wound closure. Either one allows me to stay on the water longer with worrying about the risk of potential infection. 
     You have to remember that while superglue will seal out germs, it will also seal in bacteria as well, so it is very important to clean the wound and let it dry before applying the adhesive. I will always carry alcohol prep pads with my super glue to clean the area around the wound as well as the wound itself. I did a little research before writing this post about official stances on superglue in wound care from the AMA, FDA, and ACEP. I looked at their websites and called each of these organizations and all of them said that there was no official position on this subject. 

     I wanted to share my methods for acute wilderness wound care, but by all means if you do not feel comfortable using household super glue on your wounds, don't. This method works well for me and has for a long time. Every kayak angler should carry a first aid kit for emergency situations and superglue has always been cheap, and convenient for me. 


*****UPDATE*****

     I just talked to a physician from the Wilderness Medical Society. He explained the the difference between a product like dermabond and superglue is the use of acetone in superglue. If too much superglue gets into the wound it can cause a little inflammation of the skin, which in turn can increase the risk of infection. He also told me that he always carries it when backpacking and frequently uses it on himself and his children if needed. It is important to try and pinch the skin closed as much as possible before applying superglue. There is a small chance that it can increase the chance of infection but according to this physician, not covering the wound at all probably increases your chances more. For more information you can visit Wilderness Medical Society for more great resources.
     

Monday, April 22, 2013

2013 Kayak Anglers Spring GTG

     This past Saturday we held the annual Spring GTG (get together) of kayak fishermen at Twin Coves Park on Grapevine Lake. This was my second GTG to attend since my induction into kayak fishing. Last year I remember walking around wide eyed and over whelmed. I met a lot of people last year that I have continually stayed in touch with and have regularly fished with throughout this last year. I don't think that there is anything better for growing our sport and introducing new anglers to many benefits of fishing from a kayak.
     
     
     This years spring GTG was a great success with the many volunteers, donations, and organizers that put in countless hours allowing for this event to be the hit that it was. I was fortunate enough to help out Mariner Sails of Dallas with kayak demos this year, and I was really happy to share my passion of kayaking with people of all different kayak experience levels. 

     It was especially great to see everyone participating in different activities of fellowship throughout the day. At one point there were kids swinging a bat at a kayak pinata, and I thought how much of a family dynamic is really in this group. I heard a lot of guys talking about the pitching contest and at one time I looked over there and there had to be at least thirty guys lined up to take their shot. I have to give a nod to the mud bugs as well. The food this year was excellent and I think everyone was able to get their fill of craw fish, mushrooms, corn, and potatoes. This year was also another milestone year for H.O.W. donations with over $1,300 raised for a worthy cause.

     My favorite part of events like these is talking to the random people that walk up just because they were just passing by and wanted to see what all the festivities were about. Down on the beach we had several people that just happened along the GTG and came down to demo boats, and that is the goal of kayak angler fellowship. I'm very proud to be a part of the North Texas kayak fishing family and it is because of how accepting and open this group is that it continues to grow each year.



   

   

Monday, April 15, 2013

Catch Of The Day


I would like to introduce the newest member of my family and future pink kayak angler, Grayson Lou Carpenter.  I have been blessed as a first time father with a healthy and happy little girl. I have just passed the one week milestone as a dad and my life could not be more different. The bond between my wife and I has become even stronger as I have a huge appreciation for her strength and courage in what she has gone through.


I can see that fatherhood is going to be a never ending test of patience and understanding.  Beginning on day one, my new job as father was full of tension and stress as we navigated through the delivery process. My wife started to dip into pre-term labor about five weeks too early and had to be put on medication to slow down labor until Grayson was full term.  As you can imagine, going into our induction day we assumed that the delivery would be quick and easy because my wife was already halfway there before we even walked into the hospital. 

Ten hours later the doctor finally decided to use the vacuum to pull the baby out because pushing wasn't working. After about three hard pulls with the vacuum our doctor quickly abandoned that and
moved onto the forceps as plan B. When he pulled those things off the table I became horrified because they looked like a torture device that the military would use. He proceeded to secure our baby’s head with the device and within three hard pulls she came out and I nearly hit the floor because I felt like I hadn't taken a breath in over ten minutes. She was born at 6:17 on 3/25/13. I heard her first cry and the doctor said she looked healthy, and my anxiety was temporary suspended. She was beautiful, and watching her come into this world is something that I will cherish forever.

I am still sleep deprived and itching like an addict to get on the water, but I seem to forget about all that when I get home from work and hold her. Being a dad is the hardest and best job I've ever had.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Questions Answered

     After Mondays post about my co workers I received a few emails telling me that they enjoyed the read but wanted to know the answers to the questions. My purpose in writing the previous post was to show how little information the majority of people know about kayak fishing. I wrote this follow up to answer the questions that some of the lesser informed wanted to know.


  • Where do you buy kayaks in Dallas
  • Do DFW lakes even have healthy fish that are edible?
    • Most DFW do contain edible fish, check with Texas Parks & Wildlife for more info.
  • Aren't kayaks death traps if you turn them over? (referring to whitewater kayaks) 
    • I do not know of any kayak angler that uses a white water kayak, flipping over can happen but there are ways to prepare yourself for re-entry.
  • How do you transport a kayak without a truck?
    • I have seen large trucks carry kayaks and I have seen kayaks strapped on the top of Smart Cars. Multiple roof racks are available for what ever vehicle you have.
  • When do you have time to go fishing?
    • Weekends and holidays mostly.
  • Are kayaks popular in Texas?
    • Kayak fishing is growing very fast and new people are encouraged to join TFF and ask as many questions as they want.
  • Can you rent kayaks anywhere to see if you even like it?
    • There are kayak rentals at White Rock Lake and stores like Mariner-Sails offer frequent kayak demo days for any interested kayakers.
  • I know you can bass fish from kayaks, but can you catfish from them?
    • Kayak fishing is a multi-species sport because kayaks are so versatile that they can be fished from virtually anywhere. 
  • Do you have to register kayaks like boats?
    • Not at this time.
  • Is a little plastic boat safe to be on in the middle of a lake?
    • Under the right weather conditions and with proper safety equipment, yes.
  • Are there safety laws for kayaks like power boats?
    • Kayakers are required to have a PFD within arms reach, safety whistle, and 360 degree light when on the water within an hour of sun up or sun down.
  • Do girls go kayak fishing?
    • I am seeing more and more females on the water and Chad Hoover from Hook1 recently started a new line of female specific kayaks.

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    From The Outside Looking In: Questions Answered

         I have a co-worker that is always asking me about the Texas Fishing Forum, kayak fishing, and kayaks in general. After a while I got to think about what my hobby/obsession must look like to someone that has never been in a kayak, never been fishing, and doesn't even eat fish. I asked three of my co-workers to write down five questions each about kayaking and kayak fishing. I wanted to get a general idea of what the masses that are the farthest on the outside think about our passion and how that gap might be bridged to welcome more people in. Below are the questions that were turned into me, there were a few repeating questions so those aren't listed.

    • Where do you buy kayaks in Dallas
    • Do DFW lakes even have healthy fish that are edible?
      • Most DFW do contain edible fish, check with Texas Parks & Wildlife for more info.
    • Aren't kayaks death traps if you turn them over? (referring to whitewater kayaks) 
      • I do not know of any kayak angler that uses a white water kayak, flipping over can happen but there are ways to prepare yourself for re-entry.
    • How do you transport a kayak without a truck?
      • I have seen large trucks carry kayaks and I have seen kayaks strapped on the top of Smart Cars. Multiple roof racks are available for what ever vehicle you have.
    • When do you have time to go fishing?
      • Weekends and holidays mostly.
    • Are kayaks popular in Texas?
      • Kayak fishing is growing very fast and new people are encouraged to join TFF and ask as many questions as they want.
    • Can you rent kayaks anywhere to see if you even like it?
      • There are kayak rentals at White Rock Lake and stores like Mariner-Sails offer frequent kayak demo days for any interested kayakers.
    • I know you can bass fish from kayaks, but can you catfish from them?
      • Kayak fishing is a multi-species sport because kayaks are so versatile that they can be fished from virtually anywhere. 
    • Do you have to register kayaks like boats?
      • Not at this time.
    • Is a little plastic boat safe to be on in the middle of a lake?
      • Under the right weather conditions and with proper safety equipment, yes.
    • Are there safety laws for kayaks like power boats?
      • Kayakers are required to have a PFD within arms reach, safety whistle, and 360 degree light when on the water within an hour of sun up or sun down.
    • Do girls go kayak fishing?
      • I am seeing more and more females on the water and Chad Hoover from Hook1 recently started a new line of female specific kayaks.
         Some of these questions will sound a bit silly to a seasoned kayak angler, but these are real questions from people with absolutely zero prior knowledge of the sport. I think that there are some very irrational fears and common misconceptions that could be holding a lot of people from jumping feet first into kayak fishing. Most of the guys that I fish with are great ambassadors of the sport and reach out to welcome any and all newcomers. I think that we can grow even more by inviting the most unlikely of friends to share the water with us in an attempt to negate any fears or doubts that they may have.