When building your every day carry Individual First Aid Kit, its important to strike the right balance between capabilities and portability. It would be nice to have the perfect item for every need, but space and weight restrictions force us to make calculated trade-offs. If the kit grows too bulky, the reality is you just won’t carry it. The way I approach it is to think about the kinds of activities I am most likely to be involved in on any given day of any given week. Once I identify the essential first aid items to match my likely needs, I build out my kit to the minimum contents necessary to cover my needs.
Now, this kit isn’t the only kit I have. I also have larger purpose built kits in my car and in my home. The gigantic kits pictured above are impractical for use as an every day carry IFAK, but in a vehicle mobile setting, MORE is MORE, and the kinds of trauma I might encounter while in my vehicle are also quite different than the things I might encounter while working at the office or taking an evening stroll with the family.
My Every Day Carry Kit
I used to do a lot of climbing and back country bush craft stuff, but these days, when I strap on a backpack its because I am most interested in having some fun with a radio, doing POTA activations or RADAR challenge style excursions. These activities involve carrying everything I will need on my person, but in terms of first aid needs they are about on par with taking a long walk around the neighborhood. I have developed a basic personal kit that I find strikes the best balance for me. It is focused on the most likely kinds of treatments I may need and excludes everything else in order to reduce size and weight.
3 x Small Adhesive bandages
3 x Regular Adhesive bandages
2 x 3 inch Sterile gauze pad
1 x 3 inch Moleskin
1 x folding scissors – (a luxury, but I found a fantastic tiny pair)
1 x Small role of adhesive tape
1 x travel size hand sanitizer
1 x travel size antibiotic gel
1 x tiny tweezers
6 x Aspirin
If I know I will be in a group of 4 or more, I have an augmentation baggie I sometimes add to my basic kit. Normally I only pull this in for scheduled activities like field day, AUXCOM deployments, radio service special events, etc.
2 x Latex-free gloves (2 pair)
1 x CPR breathing barrier
3 x Cotton balls
3 x Alcohol wipes
1 x Small tube of super glue
Double the amount of bandages, moleskin, etc for every 4 people