Drifts taller than me linger outside my window; on the deck, ice clings in patches; fierce winds shake the patio doors; the trees still wear their winter browns, yet Spring is officially here. With Spring, at least for our family, comes a gear assessment. After the last backpack trip of the year, our things are put away in a begrudging manner. Hastily tossed in totes and roughly hung on hangers. We’re tired from a long summer, but also forlorn and angry that it is over. Spring ushers in a renewed eagerness about long summer days spent on the shores of alpine lakes or crouching next to a high meadow stream. We become anxious to get into our gear and poke around. To daydream. To become “ready”. What do we need? What is missing/lost? What can Drake use again and what can he not?

An item of utmost importance, one that accompanies us every trip, has been overlooked the last season…or two…or three. Our first aid kit is simply taken from its tote and thrown in the top of a pack. It has been ram shackled, rummaged through, lost and found, and thoroughly, well, used. Never the once was a second consideration given to what had been used or what was missing. At what point did we think we might want to take a look at it and perhaps restock? Did we think it was self-replenishing? Based on the neglect of this woeful kit, we must have believed it would replenish itself!

For the past six years, we have used an Adventure Medical Kit. These kits are designed based on how many people are in the group and number of days. For dayhikes or fishing trips, we use the ultralight Adventure Medical Kit .5.  Weighing in at only 3.86 oz, this kit is designed for one person for one to two days. To this pack we added a few more bandages, a quick clot pack, an extra solar blanket, ibuprofen, and antibiotic ointment. This did increase the weight, but since there are three of us I would rather bulk it up a little bit than not have enough. Standard items in the .5 are listed below.

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For the weekend backpack trips, we use the Adventure Medical Kit .7. This pack is designed for one to two people for one to four days. If we are going to be out longer than the weekend, we also take our .5. The .7 weighs in at 8 oz. We have added a few things to this kit as well. What I find I like best about the kit design is there is room to add. The dry-lock bag itself is pretty tight, but we are able to add extra bandages, a tube of antibiotic ointment, and some moleskin without a problem. The external bag of the .7 is roomy enough that we have added two water-tight Nalgene brand containers containing ibuprofen/allergy meds, and one with muscle rub, a quick clot package, and a solar blanket. The base contents of the .7 are below.  Another great feature about these kits, is you can order replacement supplies. There is no need to order a whole new kit!

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As for the state of our first aid kit, I am embarrassed to admit how bad it is. Going out unprepared is no joke. It puts our lives at risk and lives of rescuers at risk. We really do try to think of everything when we pack; however, we have really screwed the pooch on the first aid kit.  Our entire dry bag for the .7 kit fell to the creative genius of the preschooler. All the ibuprofen has been taken to ward off the aches before a restless night in the tent. A whole slew of band aids have been used on various scrapes, scratches, and god knows what. The moleskin has been roughly chopped, with only useless bits remaining. I think there might have been more trash in the kit than actual supplies. Sigh.

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A very sad state of affairs…

 Needless to say, a new .7 is on its way. Instead of ordering more bandaids, this time I went with Ikea bandaids. They were 79 cents and are fabric type bandaids. I wore them all day yesterday, and they stayed put all day. With the  shipment of our new .7 will come a  DOG kit. Neva hiked all last year without a first aid kit of her own. She had a few scratches on which we put antibiotic ointment, but we were lucky she never had bleeding paws, broken bones, or ticks. As I have said before, most times we fail at the parenting thing (kid and fur kid), but this year, I have got her covered! I purchased the Trail Dog Kit by Adventure Medical Kits from Backcountry with the 20% off promo. I will let you know what I think about it at the end of the year. Contents for the Trail Dog Kit are also listed below.

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IKEA bandages after a full day of wear.

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Bottom line: We shopped around a lot before we bought our first aid kit. We kept returning to the Adventure Medical Kit every time. It has been a winner for us, and we think it is the best bang for your buck.

What items do you add to your first aid kit? Are there any necessities you take that I didn’t mention? Comment and let us know!

ADVENTURE MEDICAL KIT TRAIL DOG  – 25.00

Wound Care

  • 2 – Sterile Gauze Dressing, 3″ x 3″, Pkg./2
  • 2 – Sterile Non-Adherent Dressing, 2″ x 3″
  • 1 – Conforming Gauze Bandage, 2″
  • 1 – Irrigation Syringe, 10cc. with 18 Gauge Tip
  • 1 – Saline Wound & Eye Wash
  • 1 – Elastic Bandage Self Adhering, 2″
  • 3 – Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • 6 – Antiseptic Wipe
  • 2 – Alcohol Swab

Sprain / Strain

  • 1 – Triangular Bandage (See Instructions For use As Muzzle
  • Medical Instruction / Instruments
  • 1 – Pet First Aid Manual
  • 1 – Splinter Picker / Tick Remover Forceps
  • 1 – Hydrogen Peroxide 3%, 1 oz. (In case you need you dog to vomit)

Medication (Check dose with your vet)

  • 2 – Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg.), Pkg./1

ADVENTURE MEDICAL KIT .7 – $26.95

Bandage Materials

  • 5 – Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1″ x 3″
  • 3 – Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
  • 3 – Bandage, Butterfly Closure
  • 1 – Bandage, Conforming Gauze, 2″
  • 2 – Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2″ x 2″, Pkg./2
  • 2 – Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 3″ x 3″, Pkg./2
  • 2 – Dressing, Non-Adherent, Sterile, 3″ x 4″

Bleeding

  • 1 – Gloves, Nitrile (Pair), Hand Wipe

Blister / Burn

  • 1 – Moleskin, Pre-Cut & Shaped (11 pieces)

Duct Tape

  • 1 – Duct Tape, 2″ x 26″

Fracture / Sprain

  • 1 – Bandage, Elastic with Velcro, 2″

Instrument

  • 3 – Safety Pins
  • 1 – Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps

Medication

  • 2 – After Bite Wipe
  • 2 – Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
  • 2 – Aspirin (325 mg), Pkg./2
  • 2 – Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2
  • 2 – Acetaminophen (500 mg), Pkg./2

Wound Care

  • 6 – Antiseptic Wipe
  • 3 – Alcohol Swab
  • 1 – Tape, 1″ x 10 Yards
  • 1 – Skin Tac™ Topical Adhesive, Wipe
  • 3 – Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use

ADVENTURE MEDICAL KIT .5 – $16.95

Bandage Materials

  • 5 – Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1″ x 3″
  • 3 – Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
  • 2 – Bandage, Butterfly Closure
  • 1 – Bandage, Conforming Gauze, 2″
  • 2 – Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2″ x 2″, Pkg./2
  • 2 – Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 3″ x 3″, Pkg./2
  • 1 – Dressing, Non-Adherent, Sterile, 3″ x 4″

Blister / Burn

  • 1 – Moleskin, Pre-Cut & Shaped (11 pieces)

Instrument

  • 3 – Safety Pins
  • 1 – Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps

Medication

  • 2 – After Bite Wipe
  • 2 – Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
  • 2 – Aspirin (325 mg), Pkg./2
  • 2 – Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2
  • 2 – Acetaminophen (500 mg), Pkg./2

Wound Care

  • 6 – Antiseptic Wipe
  • 2 – Alcohol Swab
  • 1 – Tape, 1/2″ x 10 Yards
  • 1 – Skin Tac™ Topical Adhesive, Wipe
  • 2 – Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Stephanie Mullins

1 Comment

Howard Levett

I’ve always carried a kit in the back of my car. While reading this I ran out to get it and brought it in to the den with me. Would you believe it’s around 40 years old. Besides the first aid kit mine includes a collapsible cup and bullion cubes, flies and small lures that fit into the cup and other types of small packets of instant “stuff”. Again, I don’t know the shelf life of any of this stuff but I think it’s time for replacements. Thanks for posting this Stephanie!

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