When you talk to people about preparedness and readiness, they always want to discuss guns and ammunition, and maybe food. The preparedness item you will use the most, almost daily, is a first aid kit and you will use it long before any major disaster hits. As such, it’s often overlooked.
A while back, in another post, I discussed the bags from Highland Tactical that I use to carry my gear. A staffer from Highland Tactical reached out about the article, and let me know that they have a dedicated medical kit bag, that I might want to check out.
You know me….the bag was ordered immediately.
The bag, shown below, is the Highland Tactical Rip Away Med Pack (hltactical.com). The bag is very sturdy, has MOLLE attachment straps on the back, and MOLLE webbing on the front.
A great feature is the rip-away panel, shown below. I keep the bag attached to another bag in the rear of my SUV, and the rip away panel allows me to undo one buckle and rip the bag away from the velcro backing in an emergency and take it with me.
When you unzip the bag, there are two sides and a center panel that folds out. In the center panel mesh compartment, I keep band-aids of every imaginable size. A note when making your own first aid kit, you’ll need knuckle and fingertip bandages more than often that any other, and most people overlook them.
The bag is roomy and has many compartments and elastic bands that can hold a large amount of gear, far more than it looks like it should.
Here’s what I keep inside:
- EMT Shear Multi-Tool
- Black nitrile gloves
- CPR mask
- Various size gauze rolls
- Triangular bandage (green, of course)
- Space blanket
- Various size gauze pads
- ABD pads and sterile wound pads
- Trauma Dressing (for gunshot or other major trauma)
- Medical tape (clear)
- Conforming bandage (black)
- Triple Anti-Biotic
There is a drain hole in the bottom, although I’ve never gotten the bag wet.
However, because I believe in redundancy, I keep most of these supplies in either snack or sandwich size ziplock bags, to keep them from getting wet. When storing medical items in plastic bags, use only clear bags and make sure that the label side of whatever is inside is facing outward ON BOTH SIDES, so that in an emergency, a quick glance will let you put your hands on the item you need.
I’ve only found one feature about the bag that I don’t like, and it’s the strap that holds the bag to the rip-away panel. It comes down the center of the front of the bag, rendering most of the MOLLE webbing on the front irrelevant, because to quickly remove the bag, you can’t attach anything to the front.
I overcome this by attaching a tourniquet on one side of the front.
All in all, it truly is an outstanding pack, well-made, and at $24.99, an outstanding value for the price. It’s available at https://hltactical.com/.
As a reminder, first aid skills are critical. In a true grid-down, without rule of law situation, a simple cut can quickly become fatal, as can broken bones. Learn first aid skills; they are just as vital as shooting skills, maybe even more. Taking a class one time isn’t enough. I take every first aid and CPR class that presents itself, not because I need more skills, but because practice is what keeps skills fresh.
Buy some small first aid item every week, and add it to your stockpile. There will come a day when you won’t be able to readily find them. I keep mine not in one large stockpile, but in several full first-aid kits kept in several places.
Another point on first aid kits, every time you use an item from it, even a simple band-aid, REPLENISH IT. The tendency is not to worry about it when you just use one or two band-aids, but the day you need it the most, the item you need will be the one gone.
Stay safe, get trained, get aware.