We’re all pretty good about making sure we have a full complement of tools to repair our Jeeps on the trail. And I’m sure you have something stouter than the wonky little jack that came from the factory. There are stores full of goodies, such as tire repair kits, spare parts, and more to help you fix what’s broken. However, what about you or your passengers? What’s in your Jeep to help fix them? You can call for help if you have a CB, VHF/UHF, or 2-meter radio, but what do you do to solve or mitigate the a medical emergency (or a simple scrape or scratch, for that matter) in your Jeep?
A fire extinguisher is in almost every Jeep we’ve seen on the trail, but what about a first aid kit? I can’t remember seeing more than a handful of rigs out on the rocks that had more than a few small bandages in the glove box. What you really need tucked somewhere in your Jeep within easy reach is a fully stocked first aid kit designed to help take care of emergencies (or at least minor ones) until you reach professional medical care or it reaches you.
We highly recommend that you create your own first aid kit based on your specific medical needs (spare med’s, etc.), and include all the key items that are recommended by The American Red Cross (see sidebar below). However, that can take weeks of hunting, purchasing, and packaging all the separate items, and that can be frustrating and costly. It’s a heck of a lot easier to buy a preassembled first aid kit from any one of the many companies that market them. They usually come in a nice bag or box, and then you can add whatever extras you want to build the ultimate emergency kit. We’ve assembled a dozen prepackaged first aid kits here that meet all of our specifications to help you do some smart shopping. Be prepared!
12 Survivors First Aid Roll Up Kit
The First Aid Roll Up Kit from 12 Survivors offers all the basics in a heavy-duty nylon roll. Its clearly labeled mesh pockets allow quick identification of what you need when things are tense. Measuring about 15 inches wide and 6 inches in diameter when rolled up, this kit isn’t very compact, and it’s not sealed from the weather. However, just about all of its contents are contained in waterproof or water-resistant packaging.
Camillus Triage First Aid Kit
The Triage First Aid Kit is from Les Stroud’s Signature Series by Camillus. This compact kit can be work like a belt and comes in a 6x5-inch nylon pouch. It’s a light-duty kit designed for the occasional bumps and scrapes and is packed with bandages, wipes, and mild pain relievers. The heavy-duty nylon pouch features a carabiner on its rear that is perfect to attach to a belt loop, it includes a Les Stroud First Aid Guide booklet, as well as items such as ibuprofen tablets, self-adhesive bandages, and a mini-scalpel and steel forceps.
Camillus Les Stroud Slingpack First Aid Kit
Survivorman’s Slingpack First Aid Kit is similar to Camillus’ Triage First Aid Kit, but it’s larger and contains the ingredients for a very basic first aid kit packed into a single shoulder-style pack. Three pockets inside can hold keys, a small cell phone, or a wallet. There’s also a rubberized port for a hydration bladder drinking tube. Eight zippered mesh pockets on the flap and one on the back wall of the compartment hold a good basic assortment of bump and scrape products, including steel forceps and titanium non-stick scissors.
Chinook Medical Gear MinimalistPAK
Made by Chinook to save you money, the MinimalistPAK is lightweight, compact, waterproof, and contains a broad selection of first-aid supplies that are perfect for adding to an already well-stocked first aid kit of your own. The MinimalistPAK comes in a plastic zipper bag and has what you need to deal with injuries ranging from cuts to minor burns. It’s compact and light enough to stuff in most bags, packs, and vehicle glove boxes.
Chinook Medical Gear
Chinook Medical Gear Plight of the Living Med IFAK
Working with the U.S. military, government, and law enforcement for more than 20 years, Chinook has developed a first aid kit that can help you handle just about any emergency situation. The Plight of the Living Med IFAK is a military-style individual first aid kit (IFAK) in a rugged nylon pouch. The loop-backed side of the pouch comes with a self-adhesive hook swatch that can be applied to any non-porous surface for mounting the kit. This compact and lightweight kit contains an assortment of supplies to address severe bleeding, CPR, and basic wound care.
Chinook Medical Gear
Chinook Home & Vehicle Kit
Another good option from Chinook Medical Gear is its Home & Vehicle Kit. No, it won’t help fix your vehicle, but it is perfect for typical medical emergencies in the home, and it will easily pack in your Jeep for cuts and scrapes that you, your passengers, or others in your caravan may incur on the trail. The comprehensive Home & Vehicle Kit contains a wide range of items, such as medications, EMT shears, QuikClot, and Band-Aids to help you be prepared for just about anything.
Chinook Medical Gear
Ready America First Aid Value Pack
Affordable and weather resistant, the Ready America First Aid Value Pack comes in a rubber-gasket–sealed plastic container and will cost you less than a meal at a fast-food joint. Inside you’ll find supplies for wound care, so you can clean up, dress, and immobilize wounds. However, although this kit comes with dozens of items, it doesn’t contain everything you need for all ailments. It’s a good starting point but should be used to add or subtract from based on your family’s needs.
SOLKOA Survival Systems Medical Module – Core
SOLKOA Survival Systems Modules allow you to customize your survival kit with top-tier supplies based on one of the eight survival categories: food, water, fire, tools, signal, shelter, medical, and navigation. The Medical Module – Core contains supplies for maintaining personal health during an unexpected night stranded in the middle of nowhere or minor emergencies. The kit comes with a sturdy nylon stuff sack, and is compact and lightweight.
TSSi TACOPS Range First Aid Kit
The TACOPS Range First Aid Kit is for just about anything from a scraped knee to life-threatening injuries and comes in a bright orange Pelican 1200 case that is weatherproof and extremely durable. The kit contains general first aid supplies, as well as specialized medical items for everything from minor cuts and sprains to burns, broken bones, and penetrating chest wounds. This kit is not cheap (just more than $300), but it’s something you could keep at home for big problems and stash in the Jeep for wilderness trips.
TSSi TACOPS Emergency Aid Kit
The TACOPS Emergency Aid Kit (EAK) is packed with the medical supplies to treat moderate to life-threatening injuries. Unlike most basic first aid kits, the EAK contains items found in many of TSSi’s military medical pouches, providing some heavy-duty mending power. The kit weighs less than 2 pounds and is compact enough to be easily stored at home, in a vehicle, or carried into a remote accident scene. Information:
Red Cross Says…
For those assembling their own basic first aid kits for the trail, or augmenting a store-bought kit, here is what the American Red Cross suggests you have in a basic first aid kit for a family of four.
25 adhesive bandages (assorted Sizes)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approx. 1 gram each)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 by 3 inches)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 by 4 inches)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
2 absorbent compress dressings (5 by 9 inches)
2 pairs of non-latex gloves
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approx. 1 gram each)
2 triangular bandages
1 space blanket
1 roll adhesive cloth tape (10 yards by 1 inch)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 oral thermometer
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
1 instant cold compress
1 first aid instruction booklet