Individual First Aid Kit recommendations

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by B81, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Do we have any medics (or those with medical knowledge) here that can recommend a good Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) that covers gunshot wounds as well as common back-country injuries (cuts and scrapes, sprains and breaks, burns, stings, etc).

    I've got a wilderness first aid kit that I've been lugging around since about 2000. It's been with me to just about every major mountain range in North America. A couple days ago it dawned on me that perhaps some of the contents have expired. Ha! Most of what's in there expired about a decade ago. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, in addition to replenishing my old kit, I should also probably be carrying some kind of trauma kit that covers gun shot wounds and the like.

    Are there any IFAKs out there that are worth being on my top 10 list of options? What are you guys carrying in your bag or on your belt?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  2. zChambers

    zChambers ........... Supporting Addict

    Jan 21, 2015
    Blue Force Gear has some pretty decent kits. Just need to add bandaids and whatnot for booboos. North American Rescue also has decent pre-made packs.

    I use a modified Blue Force Gear Micro Trauma Kit when on the job. Sometimes in conjunction with a modified standard issue IFAK.

    *edit* FWIW, I would recommend against quick clot type powder if you have the option, and instead go for a quick clot impregnated gauze. Way more effective. Double up on TQ's and protective gloves. Unwrap the TQs and pre-stage them for use (most new ones come pre-staged now anyways). Keep TQs out of direct sunlight; this will prolong their shelf life. If you get chest seals, learn how to use the ones you got. Put a sharpie or felt marker (or two) in your kit if you don't already have one. Add a bandana or bandana-like piece of cloth; light weight and you can make a variety of improvised slings. Make a small laminated sheet of emergency numbers and/or contacts. No tampons.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020

  3. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    You have a few options. I prefer a trauma kit for major incidents and separate first aid kit for small cuts, abrasions, burns,stings and such.

    North American Rescue has a lot of good self contained trauma kits.

    Dark Angel is another good source for

    trauma kits. I use this one at the range. E31F3482-7EFB-49E2-B1E2-8C7BC05193FE.jpeg

    Check their sight often for sales.

    I just have a cheap tactical bag from amazon with a bunch of stuff for all the minor stuff that comes up.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  4. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    Good information here - thanks for the posts.
  5. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Also look into a “Stop the Bleed” class. It covers wound packing, chest seals and tourniquets.
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  6. zChambers

    zChambers ........... Supporting Addict

    Jan 21, 2015
    This is a very good point.
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  7. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
    Your best bet will always be to make your own if price is a concern.
    If not, I have two Dark Angel kits. One rides on my belt every class I take and in my car when not taking a class. The other one is in my wife's car. Their trauma kits are great, albeit pricey. Totally worth it IMO, though.
    I have the full setup with chest compression needle. I'm not trained in that particular use (Army CL trained from years ago), but my premise for having it is that if needed, hopefully someone around me IS trained on it. I'll hand it over to them.
  8. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    ^^This^^ They are often offered by the local CPR/fristaid trainers. Then you can pick what tourniquets you prefer and how to use em. What sort of other stuff you like vs what you're not too crazy about, etc.
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  9. Deputy25

    Deputy25 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2018
    I wear a Ryker ankle first aid kit on my left ankle. It contains a tourniquet/combat gauze/chest seals/decompression needle/trauma shears. (I am a trauma RN as well as an LEO). It is easy to carry and always there. Second tourniquet on my duty belt.
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  10. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I appreciate it.

    I like the idea of putting together a modular kit with the trauma kit being in a separate "module" from the boo-boo kit. I also see that the people behind Adventure Medical Kit have started structuring their wilderness first aid kits by type of injury. I like this. Structuring your kit like that could make it easier to find what you need, as well as keep you reminded of the relevant tools that you have at your disposal. The only thing I would change is to break them out into separate bags. That way, I can strip it down for short trips, and built it up into a more comprehensive kit for longer trips.

    I think I'll assemble the following first aid modules (or subkits), which can be added or removed from my pack based on trip activities, remoteness, and duration:
    • Trauma kit for severe wounds and airway obstructions. (Additional tourniquets may be staged on my belt or outside my pack when at shooting classes or matches.)
    • Burns and abrasions kit
    • Cuts and scrapes kit
    • Bites, stings, allergic reactions, pain, and swelling
    • Breaks and sprains
    In regards to breaks and sprains, I think a lot of what you need for this can be improvised in the field. Slings can be made from spare clothing and splints can be improvised from a number of things: e.g. pack stays, tent poles, cut down tree branches or saplings. That said, having at least an ACE bandage on hand would make some problems easier to solve.

    I'll probably just buy a premaid trauma kit from one of the above mentioned companies. The boo-boo gear I can assemble from the supplies available at my local drug store.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  11. zChambers

    zChambers ........... Supporting Addict

    Jan 21, 2015
    If you are serious about having a split (and it seems like a good idea to have one if you are doing a lot of hiking) I suggest picking up a "SAM Splint." Pretty light weight, configureable, and is a better option than improvising something. Its basically a thin sheet of moldable metal, covered in foam. You can probably do a youtube search and get an idea of the versatility.
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  12. givengive

    givengive Happy!

    Aug 31, 2018
    I have a booboo kit that is similar to hat you describe. I have some medical grade super glue. A bunch of luekotape and some spirofoam for foot care. Feet are the most likely source of a problem. Don’t be shy about meds if you are ina a remote area. Explosive shits are no fun on a long trips. I have some trauma gear - an iz bandage, some wound clotting and a tourniquet. I don’t take a full ifac though. If you are thinking about trauma gear then make sure you or someone in your party can use it. Airways, a chest seal or a a needle decomp kit are not all that heavy but aren’t going to do anyone any good if nobody is trained on them. If you have a sucking chest wound or a tension pneumothorax in a remote area you are probably going to die without a quick evac so why die tired from hauling alll that crap?
    My solo stuff is about 16 - 20oz all in. The nice thing is not everyone needs to carry that much so one person call haul all the gear you need for 2-3 people and it won’t weigh much more.
  13. Bigkracka

    Bigkracka New Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    The pre-made kits are overpriced and the pouch they come in usually add bulk. Buy the items you need and use a baggie to stash in your pack or nylon pouch.
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  14. Brett C

    Brett C New Member

    Jun 8, 2020
    Second Dark Angel. Great products and resources. I have several of their kits - in each vehicle, range bag, hunting backpack. I have carried and tried many others (thankfully haven’t needed the trauma kit yet), but they are my favorite.
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  15. SLAM37

    SLAM37 Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Good advice above.

    Regarding TQs, the only things I would add is to have more than 1 in your kit (I carry two in my car and 2 in my pack when out in the wild) ... a bleed in the wrong place could require 2 TQs stacked one above the other. Likewise, you may have multiple injuries to treat on a really bad day. I have used the CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet) real world, and with good training, I found it easy to apply under stress and reliable. As stated above, but worth re-emphasizing, I would source them from North American Rescue:

    Unfortunately, there are fakes out there, but if you order from NAR, you are getting the real deal.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
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  16. MiiisterAnderson

    MiiisterAnderson Member

    Sep 12, 2018
    Another vote for Dark Angel and to get to proper training so you can best use the kit should the need arise. As mentioned, you can put together a similar kit and save a few dollars if cost is a factor. When I priced everything to do it myself, there was about $20-30 to save over the cost of the DA kit.
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  17. jlp

    jlp Active Member

    Jan 15, 2017
    There are some good sites here that I was not aware of. Thanks!!

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