Updated: Dec 11, 2020
This post is not sponsored by any of the products, brands, or websites mentioned. We just love sharing our favorite finds with you!
It’s time for part three of our Adventure Gift Guide. Gather your presents, your ribbons, your wrappings, your snoof and your fuzzles, your tringlers and trappings! Here comes another round of tried-and-true faves from your MW Ambassadors. Today's gift guide stretches the budget just a touch, but we promise the quality and peace-of-mind is worth it. Snuggle up, here we go!
The Ten Essentials
As a refresher, we’re running through our gift guide with a 10 Essentials theme. The 10 Essentials ensure that we're prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors, so we can have the safest and most fun outdoor adventures! To recap, the 10 Essential systems are:
Today we’re tackling First Aid! If you’re new to the world of outdoor adventure, prepping a first aid kit might feel overwhelming. What do I need? How much is too much? How do I know if I’m actually prepared enough?
Keep em safe – First Aid
We may never be fully prepared for every possibility - that would take a full medical team and all their supplies! The goal is to have the right supplies on hand to take on the most common or likely scenarios you may encounter.
There are tons of educational resources in the realm of wilderness medicine. If you find yourself, friends, or family heading out on the trail often, we encourage you to look into a first aid course. Basic first aid and CPR is an easy place to start – the American Red Cross has a huge network of educators and courses around the country.
Beyond the basics, if overnight/weekend trips are high on your list, take a look at Wilderness First Aid or the even more in-depth Wilderness First Responder courses. These trainings dive a little deeper into first aid in outdoor and wilderness settings. You’ll learn how to deal with a wide range of scenarios, from severe trauma to small cuts and stings. The Wilderness Medicine Training Center is one of several amazing providers. They also offer a few hybrid options for their courses as well!
When choosing a med kit for your adventures, consider your most common who, what, and where. How many people or kiddos are usually on your adventures? What activities do you do most often – do they require your kit to be ultralight, waterproof, or something else? And where do your adventures happen – within cell service and quick help, an hour or two away from help, or deeper in the backcountry with little cell service or quick access to care?
Answering these questions will give you a great starting point in choosing the first aid that’ll best meet your need and keep ya safe on your wildest adventures.
The most important thing to remember is that a first aid kit is only as useful as its owner is knowledgeable. Whatever you choose to pack, be sure you know what’s in it and how to use it properly.
One of our favorite outdoor medical kit brands is Adventure Medical Kits. With a HUGE lineup of medical supplies, from simple beginner-friendly kits to professional grade kits for wild expeditions, their kits are high in quality and created with the user in mind.
Kits feature a content map on the back, and supplies are organized in pockets by injury type, so everything is easy to find when you need it most. First aid kits also include a manual written to help you care for yourself and others if professional help can’t make it to you right away.
Be sure to also check out the Specifications noted for each kit on the Adventure Medical Kits’ website. You’ll find info on the size of the kit, as well as how many people and what length of trip it’s best suited to serve.
Many of our own Ambassadors carry Adventure Medical Kits on their Military Wild hikes and in their own adventures, so you can be sure that we truly believe in the importance and quality of these hefty little life-savers!
If you or your adventure buddy is ready to start building your own first aid supply kit, let’s walk through a few of our favorites! To make this list a little more digestible, we’ve chosen three of the Adventure Medical Kits series and highlighted the best starter packs from each:
Ultralight / Watertight Series
and a few fun bonuses ;)
Ultralight / Watertight Series
Designed with the multi-sport athlete in mind, the Ultralight / Watertight Series features waterproof storage and a minimalist, ultralight selection of supplies. The Ultralight kits include supplies for wound care, treatments for muscle aches and blisters and other common outdoor injuries.
Starting with the bare basics, we have the Ultralight / Watertight .3. Dubbed the “ultimate ultralight medical kit,” it’s small enough to fit in a side pocket of your pack or mountain biking kit. The specs round out at:
Next on the list is the Ultralight / Watertight .5. A small step up, this kit essentially includes everything in the .3, plus a wider variety of wound care supplies and medications. It’s specs break down as follows:
Rounding out the Ultralight / Watertight series, we have the Ultralight / Watertight .7. Making a jump from the .5, this kit is more equipped to stabilize wounds and injuries – perfect for those overnight or far-reaching trips where help may not be immediately available. It includes the same line-up as the .5, plus some extras for more severe bleeding as well as fractures/sprains. Here are the specs:
Designed for hikers and backpackers, the Mountain Series’ focus is on treating common trail injuries and more, depending on the pack you choose. While not quite as lightweight, the Mountain Series is still optimized to keep ounces out of your pack without compromising your ability to treat both minor and major injuries.
Kicking us off is the Mountain Day Tripper. Its focus is on treating common trail injuries like blisters and scrapes. It’s packed with lots of pre-cut Moleskin pieces and a good assortment of bandages, gauze, basic medications, etc. It measures out at:
Up next is the Mountain Hiker. This kit includes a similar build-out to the Day Tripper as far as bandages, but has a heftier supply of medications and more intense wound care options. It also includes EMT trauma shears and supplies to address sprains and fractures. Its specs are:
Last for our list in the Mountain series is the Mountain Backpacker. Equipped with supplies to get you through a long weekend, this kit adds wound irrigation, trauma supplies, and a wide array of medication to its line-up. It rounds out at:
Designed for a broad range of adventures and group sizes, the Adventure Series is equipped to help you deal with cuts and scrapes, sprains, insect bites, aches, allergic reactions, and more. The heftiest of these three, this series offers the widest range of and assortment of supplies. While it’s not a member of the ultralight family, it’s a fantastic series for day trips, campouts, and family adventures.
Leading off is the Adventure First Aid 1.0. Though not the smallest in the series, this pack is most comparable to the basics of the others, so we’ll start here. The 1.0 offers a solid supply of bandages and wound care, and wide variety of medications. It also comes equipped with supplies for fractures/sprains, blisters, and includes a compass and rescue whistle. Here’s the breakdown:
Next up is the Adventure First Aid 2.0. This kit includes a larger supply of 1.0 materials, while also adding in an instant cold pack, scissors, and more severe bleeding management supplies. With a large enough supply for more people, this kit is great for small families and groups. It rounds out at:
Last but certainly not least is the Family First Aid Kit. This kit build-out is very similar to the 2.0, with a few exceptions. Replacing a small portion of the 2.0’s supplies, this family-oriented kit adds on a few extras for your #wildchild. It includes the newest edition of Caring for Children in the Outdoors, a comprehensive guide to first-aid for children, as well as a handy kit-within-a-kit that’s easy to pull out and stash in a pocket, stroller, or diaper bag. Here’s the breakdown:
If you've been in the MW fam for much time at all, you know how much we love our #trailpups. While it might be a given to toss your own first aid kit into your pack, don't forget about your pup's first aid needs too! As clumsy as the best of us, paw injuries and more can be enough to ruin a trail day or send you to the vet with a pitiful pup.
You better believe that the Adventure Medical Kit folks love their pups too, and they've got the Adventure Dog Series to prove it! From the backyard, to the park, to your wildest trail adventures, the dog series kits will ensure that you have everything you need to care for your pup from small slip-ups to larger emergencies.
First up is the Heeler Medical Kit. This affordable first aid kit includes all the basics to care for scrapes and cuts, sprains, and minor allergic reactions. It's small enough to stash with you wherever you're headed and even includes a Pet First Aid Manual. The specs:
Next up, if Fido tends to have more trail adventures than backyard chill sessions, the Trail Dog Medical Kit is right up your alley. Equipped with the basics of the Heeler kit, it also includes wound irrigation supplies and a larger assortment of bandages. It rounds out at:
Need a stocking stuffer for your pup's stocking too? Throw in a pack of Adventure Dog Wipes, $5. Keep your pup looking and smelling clean - and save your upholstery - after a fun day on the trail!
Head back tomorrow for Part 4 as we take on the next three categories of The 10 Essentials: Knife, Fire, and Shelter!
PS: Did you know that your online shopping can also support rad nonprofit organizations like Military Wild? If you're stocking up for that holiday feast or ordering gifts for family and friends, check out AmazonSmile! When you shop through AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your purchase is donated to a registered charity of your choice, at no extra cost to you.
Be sure to shop through the AmazonSmile site rather than the traditional Amazon site. At login or checkout, search for and select Military Wild (or a number of other incredible organizations) to receive your donation. We're so thankful to be a part of this military family and it brings us so much joy to continue supporting you through this wild ride with the help of donations!