Wilderness and Hunting First Aid Kits

I have learned that you can never completely protect yourself from the misfortunes that happen while in the field. Some injuries or illnesses are a mere stroke of bad fortune. Two of my friends were recently involved in an ATV accident. One friend suffered only minor injuries while the other landed in Intensive Care. The whole incident had me not only concerned about my friends but also spurred me to evaluate my own safety while in the field.

I carry two first aid kits, one larger kit stays in the truck or at base camp while a smaller, lighter, and more mobile kit travels in my pack. It is beneficial to purchase a whole kit geared towards your specific activity versus putting one together yourself. I orient my kit towards only having a few of the essential items that will allow for a “quick fix” to get me to the safety of a hospital for further treatment. I do not need a complete operating room in my bag and neither do most outdoorsmen. The price of medical supplies are generally sold in bulk at high prices. You cannot usually purchase one or two items so this will leave you with a storage cabinet or giant bag of supplies after you have made your kit.

I browsed the internet and compared several pre-assembled first aid kits with what I feel is necessary for the field. Adventure Medical Kits has the most comprehensive kit that I feel will suit my needs. Each kit is geared specifically toward hunters and fishermen and has a detailed book which provides instruction on how to treat particular injuries associated with those activities. The kits are relatively packable; The Whitetail kit weighs only 15oz and is a little larger than a paperback book.

There are some items I would add to these kits. For instance, there are only a couple of packs of Ibuprofen and there are no antacids. Getting indigestion in the field, while not demobilizing, is still not cool. There are some great items that I wouldn’t have thought to include such as a mini roll of duct tape and thermometers.  Each kit allows room for customization.

For the small kit to carry on your person I would include the following:

- Waterproof matches in a waterproof case

- Emergency blanket

– Duct tape, either wrapped around itself or around the waterproof match case.

- Two water purification tablets

– Band aids

– Small packet of Neosporin

I would vacuum seal the items from the smaller kit to protect them against moisture and will reduce the amount of space the items take up in your pack.

Feel free to add or take away items as you see fit. There is something to be said about an ounce of preparation which could minimize and possibly prevent injury.

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