You never know when a situation will arise that will see you in an accident, which is why an everyday carry (EDC) first aid kit can be so useful . The best first aid kit for this kind of usage will be easily portable so you can stow it inside of a backpack. It will have enough components so that even dire situations can be managed.
In this guide, we’re going to show you some of the best hiking first aid kits on the market as well as provide you with a guide so that you know what to look for .
Reasons to Get an EDC Military First Aid Kit
How does the Boy Scout motto go, “Always be prepared?” Well, that’s the chief reason to purchase a kit like this – it can save you when things get dire. Remember, accidents are inevitable for all of us, so why not have the tools on-hand that can help you ride out a potential disaster? Not every injury requires a doctor’s visit and having one of these with you can save you expensive bills and co-pays. Here are a few instances where having one of these kits with you can help:
For Light Burns
If you’re out in the wild and you either get sunburn or accidentally burn yourself via an abrasion or when fire starting, it’s a good idea to treat the wound immediately.
A good kit will have a gel-based burn dressing that can prevent the injury from becoming infected while you’re in the wild. This can also soothe the pain away, and you can also usually find a good pain killer, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, in a survival first aid kit .
To Cover Wounds
One of the most basic resources that you can find in a good first aid kit will be bandages. Not only will a set of band-aids help to keep a wound protected from the external environment, but it’ll also promote healing by providing a relatively humid and tight environment.
In addition to this, just about every first aid kit that’s worth its salt will have either alcohol wipes or straight isopropyl rubbing alcohol, which can be used to disinfect the wound before you cover it with band-aids. Tape and wool bandages can also be used in this way.
It can be Used to Help Others
Your EDC kit isn’t just necessarily for you; it can be used to treat the wounds of others. For this reason, many packs in a pair of nitrile gloves that you can use to protect yourself from infection when dressing other people’s wounds.
Some even pack in light surgery tools like scalpels and injection syringes that can make all the difference when trying to keep someone alive.
To Treat Musculoskeletal Injuries
If you’ve had a tumble, then treating the wounded limb is essential. For this reason, the best first aid kits will include components that will either help you make a splint from things you find in the wild or will consist of some form of splinting system. For example, an aluminum foam splint can be very useful for broken bones.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Hiking First Aid Kit
Now that you understand some of the utility of one of these backpacking first aid kit products, you may still be wondering what kind of load-out you should be trying to find.
The best of these kits will have enough components to see you through a lot of hairy situations, but seek out kits that include these features first:
The last thing you want is to purchase a kit that’s going to take up 55 percent of your backpack or bug-out bag space, which is why you’ll want to be shooting for portability when purchasing one of these .
Some kits of this type are only about 8.5 inches long and 6.5 inches wide, which is an excellent sizing to toss in a hiking backpack.
Having said all of this, you also don’t want to sacrifice utility for sizing, so it’s all about finding a happy medium where you’re covered for disaster but not over-encumbered during your trip.
While you’re out hiking, ideally, you’ll want a first aid kid that can withstand a significant rainstorm. Remember, many of the components inside won’t do well with excess moisture, so you’ll want a high degree of sealing in a good kit. Some of these products even include polyester bags that will keep out excess moisture and dust.
When you’re using a first aid kit, you’ll want everything easily at-hand so that you can find it when the going gets rough.
This means a good organizational system that will allow you to not only find things quickly but to be able to replace them quickly so that you can find them again next time.
For bag-style first aid kits, each of the components will have its own pocket that’s clearly labeled and easily explored.
Unfortunately, a first aid kit won’t last forever, and many have a shelf life that’ll allow you to use the kit anywhere between three and five years.
Always check the expiry of a kit you’re buying so that you don’t run into issues with it being expired before its time.
It’s also a good idea to check your kits from time to time to ensure that the included medicinal components have the right coloration, there aren’t any signs of rot, and that the components remain sterile.
Reviews of the Best Backpacking First Aid Kit Products
Our first product is from the company Surviveware, which is a company that specializes in EDC products of this type. One of the first things that you might notice about this is that it’s a bag-type product; the exterior is made of weatherproof polyester, so you won’t have to worry about the elements when using it. This polyester has a 600-denier material construction, so not only will it protect your first aid supplies from water and dust, but you can also rely on it staying intact, even when subjected to rigorous trail conditions.
When it comes to portability, this is a product that receives high marks. In total, the pack only weighs about a pound, and it measures in at 5.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches so that it won’t take up much space in your backpack. This product is so compact that it can easily fit inside the glove boxes of most modern cars, and it can even be attached easily to the body of a bike. It’s also colored red, so it’ll remain reasonably visible in low-light situations.
All this is great, but what about the contents? Well, this product definitely has you covered for a variety of medical situations. For example, this FDA-approved kit packs in useful items like shears, alcohol wipes, antiseptic wipes, several adhesive bandages, wraps, butterfly closures, gauze swabs, a CPR pouch, and a CPR breathing mask among others.
This kit even packs in sting relief wipes
It’s very compact and lightweight
The coloration makes it easy to spot
It includes a reasonably comprehensive load out
It’s entirely water and dustproof
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One of the most standout features of this first aid kit is its inclusion of hundreds of band-aids, which is perfect for the occasional scrape or cut that can happen on the trail. Altogether, the product has 299 first aid supplies that can get you through a variety of survival situations.
For example, the kit includes an instant cold pack, which can be used to manage any swelling or contusions that may occur while you’re out in the wild. In addition to this, there are ointment to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of burns; general pain relief, which includes paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen; and sting relief pads, which can help when you’ve encountered nasty insect species.
When it comes to the overall design of the product, it definitely stands out as well-made. For example, like our first product, the external shell is made of sturdy polyester that’s designed to not only be weather-resistant but to be abrasion-proof as well. Inside of this sturdy soft material, the main kit is intended to be fully transparent and removable so that you can easily see what’s inside the bag. The case is designed to be zippered, so it’s fairly easy to open and close at any given time.
The blue coloration is also reasonably visible when there’s little light, and it’s relatively easy to store this in a backpack or even a glove box. In total, the sizing of the first aid kit makes it very portable; it weighs about a pound and measures in at 9.2 x 7 x 2.9 inches, so stowing it is simple.
This thing is loaded with bandages
It’s very compact and well-organized
It’s very lightweight
It has a good mix of first aid components
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Unlike our first two products, this one is designed to have a hardshell case, which makes it fairly durable, even in a rough spill. In total, the kit has 85 pieces, and while that’s not the most comprehensive amount of first aid products, the company still has managed to include some great pack-ins. Another attractive aspect of this kit is its price; this is a reasonably budget-friendly kit that can give you the right level of protection without having you worry about spending a lot of dough.
Like our first product, the exterior of the hardshell case is colored a bright red, so it’ll be easy to spot in most circumstances. Despite its hard design, this is still a very compact first aid kit; it only weighs about 9.6 ounces, and when it comes to the sizing, it is only 3.6 x 6.1 x 7.8 inches in its entirety. I GO also designed this to be waterproof; they used a waterproof and tough EVA material to ensure that none of the internal components are exposed to excess moisture. In addition to this, the zipper is of a very high degree of sturdiness; it won’t break and is designed to zip reliably for years.
During your EDC routine, you can carry this in a bag, but the product also comes with a carabiner that will allow you to attach it to a bike, the outside of a backpack, or even on an article of clothing . When it comes to everyday pack-ins, the kit comes with a first aid guide, shears, a pair of tweezers, vinyl gloves, sting relief, alcohol pads, several types of bandages, adhesive tape, dressing, and antiseptic towelettes.
It includes a howler whistle that will heighten the chance of rescue
This is a very tough kit
It’s very compact and lightweight
The inclusion of gloves and tweezers heightens its utility
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When it comes to the physical design, this kit has an outward appearance that’s not too dissimilar to the previous product from I GO. With that in mind, this still differs because of the fact that the casing on this kit is made of a soft material that’s designed to make this pliable enough to fit in most backpacks. This is the second-smallest of the products that we’ll be reviewing here today; it only measures in at 5 x 3.75 x 1.5 inches, which makes it smaller than many people’s palms.
When it comes to load out, the first aid kit comes with 66 items that are designed to provide a relatively high degree of versatility and reliability. Inside, you’ll find useful items like a pair of scissors, tweezers, alcohol and antiseptic wipes, several types of bandages, safety pins, tape, cotton buds, and a first aid booklet. The booklet is particularly useful because of the fact that it can walk you through CPR, AED, and basic first aid best practices.
Like our first two products, this first aid kit is made of sturdy, high-denier polyester. This polyester is also rip-stop, so you can expect it to stay tough even in rough-and-tumble woodsy situations. It also has an internal foam layer that will keep the components safe from impact. Inside, each of the components is organized using pockets, so it should be straightforward to find the materials you need in a variety of situations.
This is a very compact case that will fit just about anywhere
The zipper and external shell are very durable
It has a good variety of components for a wide array of situations
The components are hospital-grade
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Sometimes, even relatively uncomplicated first aid kits can really be lifesavers. This particular product, which is probably the most compact of the products reviewed here, is great for those looking for a reliable means of being prepared during a hike. One of the first things you’ll notice is that this first aid kit is made of sturdy and lightweight metal. To open it, you simply unlatch the hinge, and you will be granted access to the various first aid components inside. Altogether, this is a first aid kit that has 27 pieces of first aid gear.
The metal used is tin, and as a result, the kit is relatively crush-resistant. This doesn’t provide as much weather-proofing as other products in the guide, but it should work reasonably well to keep moisture off the contents. Included in the package, you’ll find several types of bandages, some safety pins for binding, razor blades, ointment, and multiple types of wipes.
This kit also stands out because of the gloss on the container; it’s effortless to see, even when the light is low. It’s also straightforward to see the first aid cross positioned across the face of the kit.
This is a very compact kit
The hinge is easy to open when needed
It shines fairly brightly in the dark
It’s good for a basic kit
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As you can see, there are some great options on the market when it comes to first aid kits. The products that we have presented in this guide serve as some of the best first aid kit options on the market, but if you would like to know our pick, we have one that stands out as best.
This product, which is the Surviveware Small First Aid Kit for Hiking, not only has a small sizing, but it’s packed to the brim with useful components like vinyl gloves. Also, it has a very tough body and is water resistant.