This is the first post in a series of posts on medkits and supplies that is going to cover the different kinds/sizes of kits that we use and our basic philosophy on when to employ them.
Further posts will cover the contents of each kit individually for more detail. Always remember that skills trump equipment but some basic supplies are going to be required to treat most medical conditions and trauma to a sufficient standard to prevent further issues or depending on the issue possibly death. You should know how to use any and all of the equipment and supplies, that you carry in your kits, as well as know when and more importantly when not to administer any medications that you carry.
IFAK – Individual first aide kit. This is a small kit, able to fit in a small to medium size pouch. This kit has enough supplies to handle most basic traumatic injuries for one individual. This kit is carried on us in either a chest pack that we wear, in a belt pouch or broken up through out different pockets of our clothing.
Basic – This is a larger kit than the IFAK that is carried in our pack. This kit supplements your IFAK with additional supplies as well as carrying some basic medications. This is the bare minimum we carry when we are carrying a pack and the first tier of kit that we carry if we are the “medic” for our trips or are responsible for more than our selves when it comes to a medical issues such as untrained or unprepared friends or family members on a hike.
Extended – This is a larger kit that we carry when we are going on a multi day trip but still need to minimize weight or are in a larger sized group. It carries a hand full of more specialized items and additional supplies and attached to our pack that we are already carrying.
Base camp – This is a full size jump kit on steroids that is carried in one of our vehicles when we are doing anything such as long road trips or off-roading. It also lives at base camp when we are doing longer trips or expeditions. It holds every thing the others kits hold plus more as well as additional specialized items and equipment as well as some reference materials.
Special considerations – You will want to factor in any special medical conditions you or your family members and friends may have and if they require any special supplies or medications if they have an issue. You also want to be sure you know how to handle the treatment of any of their possible problems. Your canine companions also require some special items in case of emergency. Most first aide items are the same but most medications for humans are not safe to give to animals and vice versa.