It’s almost that time of the year again; when the call of the trails is louder and clearer than the ring tone on our smart-phones. For those who live where the weather is always nice, lucky you, as for me on the other hand, it has been one long cold winter and I’m itching to get back into the rhythm of riding. Of course those first few rides of the season tend to leave me bruised and bloody. Why, you ask? Well it’s a matter of physics: simple, trails have been weathered by months of cold and the weight of snow, muscles that have weathered months of less strenuous routines, reflexes that have becomes more lax on account of countless hours of Netflix,; it all adds up to some shaky re-introductions to speed and flow. Regular readers of my column will know that to me one of the most important things to have packed in my Camelback other than said cell phone, is a good first aid kit.

That being said, a new product I recently discovered called BloodSTOP, made by LifeScience PLUS, copyrighted in, 2012 has become a welcome member of my first aid kit and I suspect it would do well in yours. BloodSTOP is a bio-compatible, non irritating, hemostatic agent which looks a lot like traditional gauze. When applied to a wound, the product immediately begins absorbing blood and other bodily fluids transforming them into a gel that seals the wound with a protective transparent layer.

BloodSTOP is easy to use, fast acting, controls active bleeding and is completely painless upon application and removal. Its safe for all age groups and comes in individual single use sterile packaging as to keep safe from contaminants.

This is great for those of us who tend to be out in the middle of nowhere only to have a get-off or have taken damage from a sharp rock, tree branch, root etc. So often in such a situation, the only option has been to pack up and head out due to the fear of needing stitches or worse still, losing blood while trying to stop the bleeding with pressure alone. I’ve long suspected there would be great peace of mind in carrying along a product that could stop bleeding instantly and painlessly and now I can attest that one exists.

If the cut is dirty, which is likely should you happen to take a plunge into dirt, mud, and brush, simply clean the area with antiseptic and drinking water (no the nearest creek or puddle isn’t a wise idea). Once clean, just place the BloodStop on the area and you will instantly have a nice sealed bandage/ shell to protect from further contamination. It’s better than a simple adhesive band-aid as those tend to lift up on the sides and allow bacteria in to grow. The BloodStop will dissolve on its own in time, but if you choose to speed up the process, simply wash the area with water and the BloodStop will dissolve faster without reopening the wound or cause re-bleeding. If the area does become inflamed or red please contact a doctor as there may be an infection. As good as your trail-side cleaning may have been, the outdoors aren’t exactly sterile.

For those acclimating to higher elevations, this product also works great for nosebleeds. Off the trails this product is perfect for those loved ones who are on blood thinners as even the smallest of abrasions can cause bleeding for hours. You will be the lifesaver of the family.

Stay safe out there, but if you do find yourself in trouble, please make sure you have the necessary tools. They say luck favors the prepared and I’m always pleased to spread the word when I locate a product that delivers on its promises. BloodSTOP retails for around $19.95 and can be found on the shelves of over 30,000 stores throughout the United States (including CVS, Walgreen's and all the big box stores). It can also be purchased online of course. Their official site: http://www.lifescienceplus.com/%20bloodstop/general-gauze