submitted by Jonathan Tayag
In the best of times, integrating a first aid kit into your everyday carry lets you be prepared to deal with the minor cuts and scrapes that you or the people around you might encounter on a daily basis. In the worst of times, having a good kit of first aid essentials can mean the difference between life and death. This is especially true when you are dealing with a traumatic situation and you need to close a wound quickly and safely before things get worse. But carrying a huge cabinet of first aid implements like you might find at work is simply impractical: what you need a first aid kit made for one or two people, known in our community as an IFAK, or Individual First Aid Kit.
We know that navigating the complicated world of all the different kinds of bandages, medications, swabs, tools, and gadgets that make up everything that you can put into an EDC first aid kit can be quite daunting. Thankfully, there are pre-built options that carry a lot of the key things that you need to outfit a proper emergency. All you need to get started is to pick one up to have a good base of essentials and modify it to suit your needs.
In this guide, we’ll give you a few starter options for picking up a good first aid kit for EDC. We’ll also show you a couple of options for refilling the contents as you use them. After that, we’ll show you a few small pouches that work well for IFAK use, and specific kinds of gear you can use to modify and level up your own emergency carry today. It’s important to do this sooner rather than later, because not having these essentials during trying times can end up being something you really regret later.
- 1 - Adventure Medical Kits First Aid Medical Kit 2.0
- 2 - Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit
- 3 - Orca Tactical IFAK Utility Pouch
- 4 - Condor Rip-Away EMT Pouch
- 5 - First Aid Only 299-Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit
- 6 - TRI Be Smart Get Prepared 326-Piece First Aid Kit
- 7 - MediTac Premium IFAK Kit
- 8 - Everlit Emergency Trauma Kit
- 9 - Leatherman Raptor
- 10 - SOG Parashears
- 11 - Fisher Space Pen Raw Brass Bullet Pen
- 12 - Nitecore MT06MD with Pupil Gauge
- 13 - Thyrm CellVault
Adventure Medical Kits First Aid Medical Kit 2.0PurchaseSpecificationsBrandAdventure Medical KitsModel0120-0220ReviewsPrice$This pre-built first aid kit comes in a coated nylon bag that can fit in a backpack or placed in the trunk of your car, and it has enough emergency essentials to accommodate the needs of 1-4 people. It features a lie-flat zippered opening that allows for easy access to all of the implements, gear, and medications contained inside. The organization pockets feature transparent windows for easy identification of what you need when you’re in a hurry. And contained inside are various bandages, dressings, and medication for dealing with wounds and pain. There’s a pair of tweezers for dealing with splinters and ticks, and even an instant cold pack. To go with the outdoors theme of the first aid kit, it also includes a emergency compass and a whistle so you can signal for help when you need it.
Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid KitPurchaseSpecificationsBrandSwiss SafeModel2-in-1 First Aid KitReviewsPrice$This pre-built first aid kit actually integrates two kits into one: the main kit is a 120 piece comprehensive kit that works well in a bug out bag or in your vehicle. The smaller 32-piece kit works well in a small bag or even your pockets, and it contains a small amount of bandages, gauze, and prep kits to deal with small to medium cuts and scrapes. The larger kit has that and more, including a 20x10 cm trauma pad that helps you staunch bleeding from big wounds in a life-threatening situation and a pair of shears that let you cut clothing around an injury to get to the problem and fix it fast. This kit also includes a survival kit as well, with an emergency blanket to keep you or your loved ones warm in a pinch, as well as a survival whistle and pocketable compass for backwoods orienteering.
Orca Tactical IFAK Utility PouchPurchaseSpecificationsBrandOrca TacticalModelEMT Medical First AidReviewsPrice$If you’re looking to outfit your own IFAK, a MOLLE-compatble tactical pouch is a good option. The MOLLE EMT pouch made by Orca Tactical is made out of durable 600D polyester material with hardy YKK zippers that’ll stand up to frequent use. It comes in a few standard military colorways, but the bright red model allows for extremely easy identification when in an emergency. It opens flat for easy access, and there’s a full 2.36 liters of organized space for emergency gear both large and small. And because it’s compatible with PALS webbing systems, you can attach it to your gear so you can have it on hand when you get in trouble.
Condor Rip-Away EMT PouchPurchaseSpecificationsBrandCondorModelMA41-010ReviewsPrice$Speed is the name of the game when it comes to bringing the lifesaving potential of your first-aid kit to bear, and Condor’s Rip-Away EMT Pouch is designed specifically for this functionality. This IFAK pouch comes with two parts: a PALS/MOLLE-compatible hook and loop mount that attaches the entire package to your gear, and the main pouch which offers under 3 liters of capacity. As the name implies, you can rip off the pouch so you don’t have to mess with taking it off or fiddling around with your gear so you can access the bag without everything falling out in a panic. And once you get it open, the organization spaces in the bag fan out in a trifold style, with clear zippered mesh areas for large gear and elastic bands to hold everything else in place.SpecificationsBrandFirst Aid OnlyModel092265324427ReviewsPrice$This is a massive and affordable assortment of bandages, medicines, and tools that comes in its own bag but it’s best used as either a backup bag or for a refill for a much more fully-featured IFAK. There’s a plethora of different plastic and cloth bandages for the cuts and scrapes you get in uncommon areas like your fingers, knuckles, and elbows. There’s also a lot of alcohol and antiseptic wipes as well as antibacterial agents to help prevent infection during the healing process as well.