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There is one item that goes everywhere I go and that will eventually save my life or the life of someone else. That one item is a first aid kit. It is something that should go in every pack you make, whether for a day hike, weekend family camping trip, or any other outing you and your family may take.
You never know when you will need the help of a first aid kit. It could be for something small and not at all life-threatening, but then there may come the day when you have a serious accident or incident while out in the woods and that simple first aid kit will save the day. On that day, you will be extremely grateful that you made it a habit to carry your kit with you no matter where you go and what you are doing. If you leave your home, then you should have a kit of some sort with you and available to use in an emergency.
The main reason for this is that out in the bush is no place to play fast and lose with hygiene or first aid habits. You want to keep everything as clean and healthy as possible, especially in an emergency situation. Having a solid first aid kit is the first step in achieving this goal, so it is worth some forethought when it comes to buying one of your own.
There are different sizes, styles, and contents in first aid kits. In fact, there are certain kits that have been made especially for specific situations. They make kits for day hikes and other kits for long weekend family camping trips that have everything you could possibly need to fix anything from a skinned knee up to splints and even sutures in some kits. The variety is nearly endless, and you can pick the perfect kit for any situation.
Here are a few to consider on your next outing….
Best Med Kit for Survival, Emergency and Outdoor Activities—Reviewed
Best Overall: Surviveware First Aid Kit (Large and Mini)
We chose this as our best overall first aid kit because of a few reasons. First, it is a complete kit that comes in a nice, tidy, and small sized bag that you can easily fit into any backpack or even in a fanny pack–if that’s all your taking on your next hike. It comes in two sizes, the large kit and the mini kit. The large kit is perfect for family trips, hunting trips, and any excursion into the outdoors with multiple people. Then the mini kit is perfect for those day hikes and small trips outdoors when you will only be out there for a couple hours. While the large kit contains everything you could need, the mini is a great first aid kit too, because it contains all the items that get used the most out of any first aid kit.
So whether you want to have the perfect kit for a day hike on a relatively mild trail or the truck kit for taking care of your family during those long weekend camping trips, this is the perfect fit. The dual combo packs are such a great idea for anyone to have, and everyone should have it just in case the worst happens. When it does, you/they will be perfectly prepared for the situation.
- General Outdoor Activities
- Hiking/Day Trips
- Comes in two different size kits. The large for big outings and weekend trips, or the mini for shorter and day trips outdoors.
- This kit is equipped with everything you would need for an average injury from outdoor sports; including splints, emergency blankets, and more.
- Makes a great gift for someone to toss in their vehicle and forget about until the time it is needed. They will thank you later, that’s for sure.
- The two different size kits can be confusing when you go to purchase yours because it is hard to tell if they are separate items or come as a single unit that just has two pieces to it. Our confusion was quickly dispelled though, once we received our kits. They both come together and the smaller one fits inside of the larger one and can be pulled out to take with you off on a hike, for example, while the large size full scale kit remains safely tucked away in your parked car or tent.
Most Convenient: Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit
All said and done, this was the easiest kit to understand and deploy when needed. Although, some other kits are more heavily equipped, this has every basic item you can think of for handling a short term emergency situation. It is, however, recommended that you add to this basic kit and fill the extra space it gives you with a few things like iodine or Neosporin.
Other than that, this kit is the most convenient to use and store because it takes up such a little amount of space that you can store it anywhere you choose to keep yours-whether that be your backpack, a car’s glove box, center console, or trunk, or in your RV, camping gear, or even in the cooler since it is the one thing that seems to go everywhere you do on some trips. So keeping your first aid kit in the top of the ice chest/cooler with all your wonderful beverages, snacks, and food is a wonderful choice because not only will you always have it with you, but you will have seen it so many times to move it aside and get a drink that you will easily remember exactly where you need to go to access it in the event that someone around you, or you yourself, gets injured in any way.
Then, there is always the classic just toss it under your car’s seat and forget about it until the exact moment it is needed. As you can see having options for where you can easily store your first aid kit is a huge issue with these items in general and that is why this one got our most convenient first aid kit. It easily fits into any of the places we mentioned and so many more. Plus, it has extra space by design to allow you to supplement the kit with different items depending on where the kit is store or where you are taking the kit that time.
For example, you wouldn’t need the same first aid supplies to go on a kayaking or canoeing trip down the river as you would if you were going to be going on an all day hike in the desert somewhere. Having the option to customize to individual needs and wants is a huge plus that Swiss nailed with this model of kit. Even if you don’t add anything to your’s, straight out of the bag you will have most everything you need for the majority of situations you will most likely face in the course of that first aid kits lifespan.
- Super compact and easily fits into any storage situation you have from a vehicle to a backpack or even a purse if that is what you are going to be carrying yours in then at least you know it will fit and not have to worry about that headache of trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
- The manufacturer designed this model of first aid kit to come with some extra storage space available. This is so that you can customize your kit to that kits need based on where it is stored or where youre going to be taking it to and with who you will be using it. For example, you would want to add in lots of dinosaur and princess bandaids for the kiddos if taking this kit on a summer camping trip with extended family and friends joining in the trip. This means lots of skinned knees, blisters, and all kinds of other fun first aid functions for you to whip out your handy kit and save the day over and over again and again, simply because you came prepared with this easy to use first aid kit.
- The kit is a bright fire engine red color with the classic Swiss white cross logo on it, making it instantly recognizable for exactly what it is. This is great when you pack a ton of gear for a trip then run into an issue and need to patch someone up real quick so that you can continue on with your adventure because you can easily spot it in a pile of other items and outdoor gear or mixed in with everything in your daypack.
- Like many first aid kits, it has little in the way of survival gear. We know these are separate markets and items, but to toss in an emergency blanket and water purifying tablets into any first aid kit will barely use up any room at all and those might be the exact items you need one day to save your rear end should something bad happen during one of your many excursions out into the world.
- With big brand names like Swiss, you can expect a slightly inflated price tag compared to what you actually get. Do not take us wrong here, they have more than enough in their kit to charge exactly what they do, not to mention the extreme high quality of the container/bag itself that is a million times better than the average cheap first aid kit you find most places. So, while this kit may not be the cheapest on the market, it is by far beyond reasonably priced and worth every penny if you ask us.
Waterproof First Aid Kit: deftget 163 Pieces First Aid Kit
When it comes to first aid materials, those with plenty of experience in dealing with the items you usually find in a first aid kit while out in the field will all tell you the same thing, that you absolutely must keep your gear dry for it to effectively work and do its job when the time comes. Water is the number one enemy of first aid kit supplies in general. Just think about it, you have sterile Band-aids that lose their adhesiveness when they become wet or even just damp and they won’t stick to your skin long enough to do any good.
Plus, water means bacteria and that spells disaster when it comes to treating wounds in the woods or elsewhere outside of a medical facility. So, do yourself a favor and make sure that the first aid kit you choose has been well thought out, wonderfully designed, extremely toughly built, and – just as importantly – waterproof. This is especially important when you live in a wet climate or visit one often for your outings because water will seep and work its way into everything given enough time and exposure to the moisture.
It can be hard to avoid the rain when you are miles from your vehicle or a road of any kind and only have the gear in your daypack to work with and it is pouring buckets of water down you unexpectedly. IT is during these times that you will be glad you chose to get this waterproof option from Defget. They made sure that not only did they stock it with water resistant materials and supplies, that they sealed it shut to the point you could forcefully hold it under water (because it is also designed to float) for minutes upon minutes and still pull it out, wipe it off, and open it to find not a drop of water leaked in and affected any of the gear contained within. This is the top of the line and the perfect first aid kit choice, and gift idea, for those fishermen, boaters, kayakers, canoers, bird watchers, duck hunters, jetski operators, and anyone else in your life who spends their time on or near the water on a regular basis.
- Boats of ANY and ALL kinds
- Kayaking/Canoeing trips
- Backpacking/Hiking in wetter climates (or just being stored in them too)
- Perfect for those who live in flood zones too, because you just never know and a dry bandage could mean the world to someone in a dire situation, not to mention the morality booster of being equipped to face whatever may come while in that state of mind.
- This has a waterproof case that can be fully submerged for minutes and still maintain its integrity and it also floats. For boaters of all kinds, this is absolutely critical and they know when it comes to stocking with only the best and most effective supplies you cannot go wrong with wanting the finest and best option out there, and this kit is just that when it comes to waterproof kits designed to work well in wet climates and/or near bodies of water.
- Not only did Defget design this kit to be fully waterproof, but they also stocked it full of water resistant supplies to add a touch of class to their product. The extra sticky adhesive Band-aids, the plastic sealed gauze pads instead of paper sealed ones like typical kits would have, or even the rust proof scissors that will still function smoothly after years of storage and neglect, it all adds up to one heck of a great waterproof first aid kit and that is why it had to have an appearance on our list.
- This is just the perfect kit for any boater, fisherman, bird watcher, duck hunter, kayaker, or really anyone who spends their time by bodies of water of all kinds. It is also perfect for those who live in wetter climates as well because you have to think about all the down time being stored away in your backpack, daypack, kayak gear bag, or even in the glove box or the trunk of your car for many weeks and months. The moisture in the air in some places is enough to permeate a first aid kit and ruin all the contents inside making the kit effectively useless. So, if you live in a wet climate like somewhere in the NW America where it rains 300 days a year or if you live on the East Coast of America where they maintain a humidity level above 90% for months on end during the summer, then you need a waterproof first aid kit just like this one for your outdoor activities of all kinds.
- Doesn’t have much extra storage space available to customize or add to the basics of the kit and the contents it comes with. Even though they packed it with such high grade supplies that we didn’t find anything we actually really needed to add to the kit to make it perfect in our tinkering minds. It does have a little wiggle room that allows you to complete your kit to your liking but we just wish there was a tiny bit more waterproof space because we would love to cross over and put strike anywhere matches or a lighter into the first aid kit for a survival gear because let’s face it, being prepared is all about being prepared. So, if you’re the type to need a first aid kit, especially a waterproof one like this, then you probably have a mind about needing some other provisions in order to maintain a level of safety throughout all your future adventures and put survival gear in your first aid kits too or vise versa. We love the waterproofing feature and what it offers us, but with little room to work with it is a bit of a frustration in the end.
Best for Traveling: PRICARE Mini First Aid Kit
This is actually close runner up to the best overall and the only reason it lost out was because of its size. Although, it is the absolute perfect sized first aid kit for a huge array of scenarios and for many various types of outdoorsmen. It fits in the palm of your hand yet still contains 95 individual pieces of medical aid supplies inside of it with a bit of room to add in a couple extras of your choosing as well. Having a kit this small is important for a few reasons.
First, it is the perfect grab and go type of kit. Toss it out on the picnic table at the campsite and anyone heading out on a hike or other outing can easily grab it and toss it in their pocket for the trip and then return it for the next person to grab from the picnic table for the next trip away from the campsite and all the supplies contained within the campsite itself. Surely, someone will have a much more thorough and overly stocked first aid kit on a trip like that in order to cover all the family members and little kiddo injuries that happen all the time during these events, but this small kit has its place right there amongst the rest of the types of kits because of its travel abilities and applications.
Second, it is the type of kit you can have permanently packed into a certain pocket of your daypack or bug out bag for examples or tossed into your glovebox, center console, or other nook or cranny of your vehicle and then forget about it until you need it because it is so small that it is easily stored out of sight and out of mind. The really cool thing though is that they did such a phenomenal job at constructing the small case to be able to be packed tightly full without worrying about the zipper blowing out or any other catastrophic failure occurring to your kit even under those heavier pressures of an overstocked first aid kit – because eventually that is what we all end up with and it takes a ton of thought as to which items to leave aside and which to keep in your kit when you do your next overhaul and inventory of the supplies inside and having a container/kit that can withstand the abuse we tend to put things like these through is absolutely imperative.
That is where this particular model of kit comes into play because it is that high-quality of a container and even though it is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand you can still load it up with a ton of gear and have it still function just as well. Plus, the stock items that this kit comes with are an upper echelon of quality products and they didn’t skimp out and cut corners when it came to quality first aid supplies, which is not something that can be said for every manufacturer. Some of them absolutely buy the cheapest and crummiest things they can find to put into their products, they are just there to take up space and look good, not to function in a time a crisis and during a great need for medical help is not when you want to find out that the kit you bought is essentially useless due to the products it contains.
That is not a worry with kit as they got top notch products to pack inside. In fact, the products were of such a quality that we didn’t even bother to replace or upgrade most of the essentials like we pretty much always have to do with every single other kit we have come across. So, this ultra-compact first aid kit is the complete package, and it is perfect just the way it comes to you, when it arrives brand new and you take it out of the packaging… from that point on you are more prepared for life than a great deal of people. It is amazing how many lives have been lost simply because people weren’t prepared with the proper first aid equipment/supplies or didn’t have the knowledge on how to use what they had effectively in order to stabilize someone until they can get to some real medical professional’s attention and care. Those are the two parts to the whole deal; having the proper equipment/supplies and then knowing exactly how to use them and you are all set to go.
- Very compact, but still managed to leave a tiny bit of wiggle room for adding personal choices of supplies.
- It will easily fit into any pocket because of its miniature size
- It has everything you need for basic first aid contained inside of its 95 pieces of gear
- Not only does it contain everything you will need to treat minor to moderate injuries, but it all comes as high-quality gear too. No cheapo dollar store supplies in this model of first aid kit.
- Compact enough to fit into a pant or jacket pocket while just large enough to hold a ton of supplies
- The case itself is waterproof, with some weaknesses that we will discuss next, and hard, durable, tough, vibrantly brightly colored, and stylish/sleek looking enough to show off your taste in gear.
- The double zipper is not so waterproof and water can slowly leak inside. Your kit should be safe as long as it’s not exposed to torrential rain or held underwater.
Frequently Asked Questions About First Aid Kit
Are first aid kits worth it?
Most definitely first aid kits are worth it. In fact, they will be worth more than their weight in gold to someone at some extreme time or another, but typically they just generally do a whole lot of good for those who are put together enough to make sure and have access to first aid care in any situation.
When you take it upon yourself to carry first aid gear and learn to apply first aid techniques you are not only training to save your own life someday should that day actually come when you need to know what you are doing and why but you are also setting yourself up to save the day for many people throughout your lifetime because you chose to prepare yourself and then came across someone in need, so you step up and whip out your first aid kit and get to work then wrap up and get on your way once finished.
Just like that you could change someone’s experience of that day, time, or even their life in major ways because they learned a lesson from you in that occasion. All of these are just nuances about carrying a first aid kit, but once you own one of your own and spend time studying to learn different ways to use the supplies you are afforded to apply to a wide array of injury scenarios, then that’s when you will start to understand how much your first aid kit is worth it to you. IF nothing else, then just having the peace of mind knowing you got yourself one and tossed it in the trunk of your car two years ago is worth enough to get yourself a first aid kit.
How do you make a simple first aid kit?
When making a first aid kit your biggest decision is going to be what sort of case are you packing it in. You can buy empty first aid bags of all kinds, containers, you can even use Tupperware if you so choose for your kit but just know that whatever you chose to use is going to be a part of your life when you head outdoors from then on. So, as the saying goes, “You must choose wisely”.
Once you have picked out a container then you start out your supply list with all the basics of first aid. Everything from Band-aids and gauze pads to medical grade tape and alcohol wipes needs to go into your kit in varying amounts based on your needs and who you are charged with directly caring for. Then, you get to get a little creative and cool with your kit because you get to flex off your first aid knowledge based on the type of gear you add from here on out. Some people go with extras like tourniquets or instant splint kits, while others like to go survival and add in their emergency blankets and waterproof fire starter of some sort.
No matter what route you go with, there is something to be said for always learning more about first aid in your spare time, even if it is just ten minutes of reading up on major changes to things like CPR counts or anything that will help you stay on top of the latest and greatest in first aid knowledge that the world has to offer. It is important that you know how to use what you add to your kit and you really do not know what to add to your kit until you get familiar with the types of injuries generally experienced during whatever activities you like to get out and do most often when outdoors with your newly put together first aid kit.
Then once you have got an idea of possible injuries your next step is to learn different techniques for fixing or stabilizing the situation until you can get to a real trained medical professional to help. This is where your knowledge of the different types of gear and equipment is available becomes whole and evolves into a skill you posses of applying first aid and this is when you will know exactly what you want to have in your self=assembled first aid kit.
Is it cheaper to buy or build a first aid kit?
Cheaper is not really the question here we hope, because going cheap on life saving gear is one of the worst things you can do. This is not the place to cut corners. Now, that being said, the value of a self-assembled kit versus a factory built one can vary widely based on a variety of factors. For example, if you found a really awesome container that you can Molle strap to the outside of your daypack and it is waterproof, floats, is reversable from camouflage to bright red so you can still stalk your game without being spotted but at the same time can still signal someone overhead or long distance away for help if the time called for that, then you may have spend your whole budget on just the case.
This means the overall cost of that self-assembled first aid kit is probably going to be a bit, or even quite a bit, more than the pre-built mass produced kits can sell for, but the perks to a self-made kit are endless and that cool case that cost you all that money is better than anything you will find in a pre-built first aid kit of any kind from any manufacturer. That case could protect the gear that one day may save a life from getting wet and ruined because it is so awesome. Plus, the coolness factor of tinkering and putting a kit together yourself is a great training routine.
As you assemble the kit you will naturally learn how to take it apart to access anything you need without losing anything or getting things too mixed up with one another. You will know exactly what is in your kit and where it is located within without even looking. Finally, knowing what is in your kit will help you continue your learning of first aid because you can begin searching for various first aid uses for certain gear and just seeing what people out there have done before or even techniques professionals have come up with for substituting items for one another in simple stabilizing procedures when that is all they have available, is easier to do when you are familiar with every item you purchased for your own personal first aid kit.
The cheapest value you will find in first aid is knowledge, everything else costs money although to be fair medical equipment and supplies are fairly cheap already. So, you’re not going to break the bank stocking up your initial first aid kit with gear and can take a deep breath on worrying about the cost of it all at that point. What most of us have done, however, is buy a pre-built first aid kit from a reliable and reputable manufacturer known for making great products all around with a special attention being paid to the bag or container itself. This is because we take these kits and slowly replace different items as we can afford to buy them or come across a good sale on something we could use for our kit.
So, we do not purchase everything all at once, other than the initial kit purchase, and we can spend lifetimes perfecting and altering our first aid kits to fit in with our knowledge and experience levels or even location of where we are lving/staying. We come up with new ideas all the time of great ways to perfect our kit and make it magnificently prepared to handle anything and everything from an elephant stampede to a full scale alien invasion, whatever we experience in life we are that much more ready for it because we own and maintain a functional first aid kit.
What should I keep in my emergency bag?
What you should keep in your bag is really up to you, but we do make a couple of suggestions in that realm. The first is that you do not have to just stick to medical supplies in a first aid kit. For example, you can add a small sewing kit to yours if you have experience in suturing up wounds, or you can add in some other emergency gear like emergency mylar blankets, fire starters, or other simple “Oh, S..t” gear that you could use should your day hike turn into an overnighter unexpectedly. Just do not get too focused in on the first aid part and just think of what would be smart to have with you while out alone in the woods at night somewhere with no flashlight, tent, sleeping bag, or any other creature comforts. What would you need to keep your mood up and survive some long nights lost or injured and unable to quickly exit your vicinity and get back to your car for instance.
Although, this is only with the spare room you have in your kit after stocking it with all the essentials that all first aid kits must have like bandages, various sizes of gauze, medical tape, butterfly suture bandages, wrap bandage, instant splints, iodine wipes, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, stinging insect salve, snake bite kit – if those are prevalent in your area of operations, and other similar items like tweezers, scissors, or even a comb (the comb is for those in the deserts who live around those nasty cactuses called the Choia or jumping cactus, because the comb is the only way to start pulling off the chunks of cactus after you have a close encounter with one of these life changers).
After you have all the basics, then you can turn your attention to specialized gear like maybe you are a sport shooter who goes to the range a lot, in which case you would probably want things like a tourniquet, a coagulating get or substrate for stopping bleeding, or even one or two sucking chest wound sealer bandages as well. You do not stock your kit with the thought of ever having to use these items, but if you do need them and didn’t have them then its too late and people perish all the time from simple injuries while outdoors. Your personal kit will contain all the items that you have familiarized yourself with on how to use them in different situations and for different types of injuries, and here is where we suggest you look at things like 101 uses for a simple gauze pad because the more you learn the more capable if an individual you become and the wider range of products you will have available to choose from for stocking up your own kit.
Another item you may wish to carry with you while outdoors is a long-range walkie-talkie, these can help you make vital contact in nearly any situation, potentially saving a life in the process.
Aside from first aid kits, we also want to share our Best Reviewed Survival Kits that you will need in times of emergencies.
How Much Do You Know About Emergency Survival Foods? You never know when you may need to use survival foods, see our complete guide here.