Thursday, March 28, 2013

Building a Bargain Bug Out Bag: IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)

Commercial and Homemade First Aid Kits
Moving on with our Building a Bargain Bug Out Bag Series, we are going to discuss low cost first aid kits. I believe you should have a first aid kit stashed about everywhere possible: EDC bag, car, home, office, purse, daypack when in the field to name a few. Basically they should be everywhere you are. This is one item you can't have enough of. For many of us first aid kits are low on the totem pole when it comes to our gear purchasing.

For your BOB or Go-bag you will need something to address minor injuries or ailments. Unless you are a Medical Professional you don't need to have surgical tools or stitch kits. With that sort of gear your more likely to do more harm than good.
There are many low cost options on the market. One that I like is the Adventure Medical Kits 1.0 that is designed for 1-2 people. I keep this model in my EDC bag and another in my truck. It comes in a bright red bag (I like my med kits to be in bright red for quick identification). If you do purchase a kit make sure to supplement it with Quick Clot and a military field dressing (if it doesn't already come with those items).
This kit contains supplies that treat: cuts, scrapes, sprains, insect bites, headaches, muscle aches, and allergic reactions. The contents are also categorized by injury, again making for quick identification of items needed to treat yourself. In the photo above you will see a "new skin" bottle in the upper left hand corner. If you haven't tried this, your definitely missing out. Its basically superglue for wounds. I use it all the time. Doing survival stuff and using sharp knives on a regular basis leads to cuts and it quickly seals them up and disinfects without needing a bandage. This kit also includes instructions for minor medical issues as well as  some survival supplies (button compass and whistle) with survival instructions. This kit retails for $10.00 and unless your a MD, its all you need.
A low cost alternative would be a homemade kit. In your homemade kit you will need items to address minor injuries and ailments. Model it off of other kits you will find online. Most of these supplies can be purchased at local stores like CVS and Walgreens. You can buy a high speed MOLLE IFAK pouch or just use a clear Ziploc bag. I use a Ziploc and include the basics. In the photo above you see what I call my "bleed kit". Its basically an old medicine bottle that has clear medical and duct tape wrapped around it. I then place some gauze around the outside of the bottle with rubber bands. Inside the bottle I have triple antibiotic ointment and iodine/alcohol wipes. This pill bottle will address and cuts or scrapes, anything where I have to address minor bleeding.

Like I said above, if you do purchase a first aid kit. You will want to add some Quick Clot, Field Dressing's, and any prescription med's you need. Some guys throw in a spare pair of corrective lenses if they use them. Either way first aid kits are meant to be added upon. Also remember to check them regularly so that your med's don't decay. Outside the first aid kit, the best thing for you and your B.O.B. is that you get some type of training. At the very minimum take a few first aid classes offered by the Red Cross. I took a plethora of classes from them at not cost.

Let me know your thoughts and what you have in your kit.

Follow the link if your interested in purchasing the kit shown above:



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