I was recently given the opportunity to preview Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) Field/Trauma Kit. Adventure Medical Kits is known as a provider of high quality first aid kits, medical, and survival supplies. Their staff of physicians and field experts have years of experience in the field of wilderness medicine and survival. The Field/Trauma Kit is no exception to their commitment to providing purpose designed medical kits. This kit is from their Sportsman series and, as the name implies, it is geared for those of us who like to hunt and fish and therefore subject to both minor and traumatic injuries from splinters and ticks bites to gunshot and arrow wounds.
When I received the Field/Trauma Kit, the first thing I noticed was the fact the nylon carrying case was not only well constructed and has a #8 zipper (medium duty), but made of blaze orange nylon and has a light reflective stripe. All of the Sportsman kits are packaged this way. It is obviously is done to make it easier to locate in emergencies, both day and night, and also has a dual purpose for making a signaling devise. The case has two sets of exterior nylon loops to make it easier to attach to other gear or even a belt. Weighing in at a mere 14 oz., this kit packs a lot of supplies into a reasonably sized package with room to spare.
When inspecting the contents the first thing that caught my eye was a pocket sized book entitled A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine 3rd ed. by Eric A Weiss, M.D. Even though Dr. Weiss’s book makes up more than a third (5 oz.) of the overall weight of the kit, it may be the most valuable component as it is an incredible guide for anyone to render effective medical care in extreme situations. He has compiled his vast experience in emergency and wilderness medicine into a format that is not only well organized but written for the laymen to understand emergency techniques that could save someone’s life. His “Weiss Advise” information boxes include improvised techniques that are not for the faint of heart but can make the difference in an emergency. When describing various injuries, he will include other information boxes titled “When to Worry”. As the title implies, Dr. Weiss gives you the signs when you really need to be worried that your patient is in trouble and what to do about it. This book covers the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of injuries and illnesses common to the outdoor adventurer and also includes information about foreign travel. With the exception of their Light & Fast and Ultralight series of kits, Dr. Weiss’s book is provided with most of their kits. As a medical provider, I am impressed with Dr. Weiss’s book. The information he packs into this little book is invaluable and should be on every outdoor adventurer’s reading list before venturing into the wilds.
The rest of the supplies include a wide range of bandages from small band aids to 5”x9” Combination Pads to help stop massive bleeding from serious injuries. Two pair of nitrile gloves are conveniently packaged with hand sanitizers in zip-lock bags that can be used for other things such as irrigating wounds or creating a barrier field for giving rescue breathing. Also included, are a variety of other items that are for the non-emergent injuries that could shorten your stay in the outdoors. This includes over the counter generic medications like ibuprofen (Motrin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), aspirin, a sample of After Bite, several applications of antibiotic ointment, mole skin for blisters, surgical and bandage tape, wound adhesive for temporary wound closure, and three safety pins. The latter have such a wide range of usage that I was amused to find a new use on page 5 of Dr. Weiss’s book.
One thing that caught my eye, was the compact tweezers found in the kit. I have to admit that I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to form and function of any tool. I tend to look for the thought process of the hows and whys tools are designed and scrutinize the quality. These little tweezers (Precision Forceps) are well thought out and designed for the outdoor adventurer. They are made of what appears to be stainless steel with a finely honed tip that was obviously designed to extract the tiniest of objects such as the mouth parts of a tick. There is a cut out on either side to allow for a better grip and, therefore, control of the tweezers. The tweezers are housed in a clear plastic tube, I presume, to prevent chaffing the nylon carrying case.
It is always easy to look at any first aid kit and come up with a short list of things you would add. Because the lines between survival and first aid are blurred, there is ample room in the case for you to add some of your favorite survival and first aid items. I can say that for a Field/Trauma Kit, it is very complete. The only thing I was surprised not to find was a pair of sharp scissors. AMK does include bandage scissors in their larger kits and offers two different styles on the medical supply page of their web site.
Buying a first aid kit is like buying insurance. You hope you never have to use it but are glad to have it when you need it. The AMK Field/Trauma kit is a good deal for the price of $26.00. It is compact and offers enough supplies to manage some pretty serious injuries.