Just like a recovery strap and a solid recovery point to attach it, a quality first-aid kit is an essential piece of gear that should be present on every adventure vehicle. For some reason, it also seems to be the piece of gear that is most often overlooked. Any off-the-shelf kit is better than none, though most experts will recommend building your own—a time-consuming project. For those of us unwilling to geek out on medical gear, Adventure Medical Kits offers the next best thing.
Adventure Medical Kits conveniently divides their kits up by activities ranging from snowboarding to summer camps. Their most comprehensive “Expeditions / Adventure Travel” kit is the Sportsman Series Grizzly (without stepping up to the $200+ professional kits). The Sportsman Series is tailored to the needs of hunters and fishermen, but sports a surprisingly discerning selection of essentials that would make any wilderness first-aid instructor proud.
The Grizzly features an ample supply of bandages, gauze, tape, and moleskin (which I’ve add in frustration to nearly every other kit I’ve purchased). Also included are a number of important items often skipped in other pre-made kits: gloves, irrigation syringe, CPR mask, EMT shears, splint, tweezers, and bio-hazard bags for disposing of any post-treatment waste. In fact, the only thing I’ve needed to add is the one thing they couldn’t include: an epi-pen. A complete list of contents can be found here.
Everything on that list is seemingly magically packed into a sturdy 11″ x 8″ x 3″ bag with room to spare, a package small enough to carry in all but the tiniest adventure vehicles. Inside the bag, the pockets are well organized by injury, and clearly labeled with bold text. Both a quick how-to and a comprehensive Wilderness & Travel Medicine guide can be found in the kit. A removable and waterproof Field Trauma Kit allows you to leave the bulk of the kit in the vehicle, while still having the means to treat common or serious injuries when the adventure takes you out on foot.
The Sportsman Series Grizzly can be purchased directly from Adventure Medical Kits here for $125 at the time of this writing, though it can be found elsewhere for under $100.