Medical First Aid Kits

While you will need medical first aid kits that will help you deal with injuries and accidents as you’re traveling, you’ll also want to think of a bigger set for when you’re back at your base camp. These supplies should be bought ahead of time and installed in your safe location so that they’re there ready for when you need them. This large supply can also be used to top up your smaller day to day first aid kits that you put in your daily backpack or pocket.

Key Features

Larger medical first aid kits will come with a completely different set of specifications to their smaller counterparts. Instead of worrying about how lightweight and waterproof they are, you will need to look for the following key features:

  • Lockable – the large medical first aid kits will sit in your permanent safe location while you and your party move around collecting fuel, food and water on a daily basis. This may mean that you leave your base unattended for a few hours each day and you’ll want to protect your medical supply against animal and human invaders. Find either a toughened duffel bag that can't be cut through or even better a metal cabinet that you can padlock shut.
  • Compartments – in your smaller kits, the size of the pack should mean that everything is laid out before you as you open it up. For larger kits, however, the sheer quantity of items means that you’ll need a system that will separate your bandages, medicines, surgical tools and trauma equipment. This will allow you to find the specific item quickly and easily.
  • Specialist equipment – while your day medical kit will contain basic items such as bandages, pain relief and blister packs, your large kit at base camp should come packed with more specialist equipment. This should include splints for fixing broken limbs, an emergency airway clearer and a tourniquet of some sort as a minimum. This is the kit that is designed to save people’s lives once they’ve been brought back to camp as well as providing help with minor injuries.

Best Brands

Your search for medical first aid kits that will provide the tools and equipment for major injuries will be fairly brief as there are only a few companies who provide first aid kits on this scale. The two best rated brands are:

  • Medique – the Medique range is vast, but you’ll want to look out for their five shelf lockable cabinet. It can be wall mounted if your safe location has sturdy walls or it can sit alone in a corner, ready for when you need it. The cabinet opens up so that the contents stored in both doors and the back are instantly viewable. The only downside is that it is light on major injury treatment, but this is offset by a large medicine selection and a big stock of bandages and wipes.
  • Disaster Trauma Kit – this comes in a range designed for anywhere between 50 and 1,000 people. The large set will cost over $2,000 but may be useful if you think about being able to barter equipment and services for food and other useful items in a survival scenario. It comes with all the specialist equipment listed above as well as a big range of basic first aid kit. The only downside is that it comes stored in a duffel bag meaning that it’s harder to keep safe if you can’t have it under permanent surveillance.

If these medical first aid kits seem a little out of your price range, you can also find 400 piece kits that will provide a good source for replenishing your day supplies for under $50. You may sacrifice some of the major injury equipment, but buying a few packs will keep you in business for quite a long while.

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