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Adventure Medical Kits – Ultralight / Watertight Medical Kit .7

Adventure Medical Kits - Ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit .7
Adventure Medical Kits – Ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit .7

I bought a lightweight first aid kit this year from Adventure Medical Kits to bring on the Appalachian Mountain Club hiking and backpacking trips I lead as a volunteer. I bought a commercial kit instead of just rolling my own because I wanted something that was clearly marked as a first aid kit and that I could easily share out as group gear.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend that you buy this kit for your personal use if you want anything more than an easy-to-grab first aid kit for solo or family day hikes. On that score, the ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit 0.7 is sufficient, if just barely, but if you really want a first aid kit capable of supporting “1-2 people for up to 4 days,” you’ll have to look elsewhere or assemble your own.

Adventure Medical Kits - First Aid Contents
Adventure Medical Kits – First Aid Contents

Here’s what $27.00 gets you: it sounds like there’s a lot more than there is.

  • 5 x Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1″ x 3″
  • 3 x Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
  • 3 x Bandage, Butterfly Closure
  • 1 x Bandage, Conforming Gauze, 2″
  • 2 x Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2″ x 2″, Pkg./2
  • 2 x Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 3″ x 3″, Pkg./2
  • 2 x Dressing, Non-Adherent, Sterile, 3″ x 4
  • 1 x Gloves, Nitrile (Pair), Hand Wipe
  • Moleskin 1 sheet
  • 1 x Duct Tape, 2″ x 26″
  • 1 x Bandage, Elastic with Velcro, 2″
  • 3 x Safety Pins
  • 1 x Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps
  • 2 x After Bite Wipe
  • 2 x Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
  • 1 x Aspirin (325 mg), Pkg./2
  • 3 x Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2
  • 4 x After Cuts & Scrapes Antiseptic Wipe
  • 1 x Alcohol Swab
  • 1 x Tape, 1″ x 10 Yards
  • 1 x Tincture of Benzoin Topical Adhesive
  • 3 x Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use
  • 1 x waterproof ziploc bag
  • 1 x zippered pouch

The Bottom Line

What can you do with these supplies? You can bandage up minor scraps and cuts, ameliorate an allergic reaction to a bee sting, take the sting out of mosquito bites, moleskin over some hot spots (on feet), remove ticks and splinters, and that’s pretty much it.  For all of these treatments, there are probably just enough supplies to get you back to your car at the trail head after a day hike, and not much else.

Build on this Foundation

If you wanted to beef up this system for longer, extended trips, here’s what I would do.

  1. Replace the moleskin with more duct tape, which is equally good for hot spots and lasts longer.
  2. Add 6-12 benedryl tablets to control allergic reactions for a longer period of time.
  3. Add 6-12 ibuprofen tablets to control pain and inflammation.
  4. Add 4-6 capsules of immodium to prevent dehydration from diarrhea.
  5. Add a 1 ounce tube of zinc oxide to cure/prevent thigh chafing.

These simple additions make the Ultralight / Waterproof Medical Kit .7 much more functional and supportive of overnight or multi-day trips and it’s likely that you can get most of them from your bathroom cabinet. Why pay more?

Disclaimer: Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) owns this product and purchased it with his own funds. 

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15 comments

  1. I’ve been very disappointed with the contents of most commercially made first aid kits. I guess if you don’t know any better and want to grab something off the shelf, some of them are a good starting point. I’ve always rolled my own kit to carry and by doing so find that I can swap and change items depending on my trip, there are always some basics you should have of course. I guess you ended up with a nice hi-viz zippered bag at least :)

    • That has occurred to me. :-)
      I still carry my own kit on club trips even though I bring this one along. I reckon having a commercial kit provides an extra degree of liability protection too.

      • Good point on the liability issue given your more formal status. Talking of which, did you as a leader/instructor have to take out any liability coverage? I assume so, but curious.

  2. The Appalachian Mountain Club covers us for liability and all club participants have to sign a waiver before each trip; there is also an umbrella of legal precedent protection for volunteer leadership that is particularly strong in Massachusetts. The model is quite similar to how the boy scouts protect adult leaders – you’re active there, aren’t you?

  3. Good memory and yes I am. The BSA has a great program to protect its adult leaders and great training and policy in place to help support that as well as minimize potential liability risk to the individual and organization. Great to hear AMC has you covered.

    Very much looking forward to reading your reports and stories after the upcoming trips you have mentioned, maybe when my kids are in college I’ll have more time for this type of involvement. Great stuff, have fun Philip!

  4. I did the same thing, Philip. I’d carried my own first aid supplies for years but finally this year bought a commercial one (the red ones from REI) because I wanted the bag that said “First Aid.” It seems a lot of money to pay simply for a bag that says “First Aid,” but I guess having such a thing makes you look like a more responsible leader. And we can always replenish with cheaper stuff from a local drugstore when the other stuff runs out. I always carry extra Benedryl and Vitamin-I no matter what. And in fact those are the only two items that I’ve needed to use so far, fortunately.

    • Sounds like a business plan Liz! (We really need to co-lead a trip together sometime.)

      The only thing I’ve used is the cloth tape (which will never weather a year’s worth of humidity) to tape a toe which I thought was broken – kicked a bookcase at home!

  5. Gotta watch out for those interior trailside hazards at home! The night after my brother and I finished our 47 mile hike on the CDT in Montana, I broke my toe on the couch in his living room. The next morning, I hooked it again on a chair. Nothing in my homemade first aid kit (or any I could have bought at REI) relieved the agony.

    I haven’t found a commercial kit that suits my needs. I package the meds and supplies I think I need into some Ziplocs and all that, along with my toiletries packed in their own Ziploc, goes in a red Outdoor Research waterproof roll top bag so I can access it easily in my pack.

  6. I also bought one of these (.9 version, I think) to take on a 2 week trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in NM for a group of 11. It was to replace a “rolled my own” that I normally carry because I wanted the more recognizable packaging and to replace expired items. I supplemented it with the following:
    – Kinesio® Tex tape- I added to replace duct tape and moleskin. Said to be best tape for blisters http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/Taping-for-Blisters.html I was told during Wilderness 1st aid to stop using duct tape because it leaves too much residue that actually will lead to more blisters.
    – Compeed- Sold in US as Band Aid Advanced Healing Blister, I found this in Europe on a 300 mile hike. We took about 8 of these. Best thing made for blisters. http://www.band-aid.com/our-products/advanced-protection
    – Mini Bodyglide Anti-chafe Balm Pocket Size .21oz- This was smaller than your zinc oxide and less “white”. http://www.amazon.com/Bodyglide-Anti-chafe-Pocket-21oz-Total/dp/B007XVO7SU/ref=sr_1_5?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342036384&sr=1-5
    – All the meds you added.

    In the end I had to not use the outer bag because the kit got too large. ;-(

  7. Yes, Philip, we really do need to co-lead a trip together. I want to do a traverse of the AT on Moosilauke in Sept or Oct this year. Interested? (I sent in my application for full leadership status but the committee won’t review it until Sept, so I’m still a CL for now.)

    And speaking of interior trailside hazards at home, on Saturday I hiked Monroe and Washington without incident but last night hit my head on my mailbox. Ouch!

  8. I like this review but warn against the use of ibuprofen during exercise.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/phys-ed-does-ibuprofen-help-or-hurt-during-exercise/

  9. I used one of these as a foundation for what is now largely roll your own. The waterproof bags inside it were the most useful part (snicker). There were too few (vinyl) gloves, cleansing supplies and bandaids for a scout trip and far too many over-wrapped advils.

    added:
    Big orange water-resistant bag to carry the lot (from walmart of all places)
    cable ties
    sam-splint
    tick-remover
    small flashlight
    leukotape for blisters
    small tube of antibiotic ointment
    extra providone wipes
    extra bandaids
    3-4 vinyl gloves
    small amount of ibuprofen, imodium, diphenhydramine
    keep some child’s dissolve in mouth diphenhydramine in very accessible area.
    ( used labeled blister packs when possible)
    small pencil stub and soap-notes

    removed:
    miscellaneous individually wrapped single dose medicines
    Thick moleskin (kept thin as some people prefer it).
    single use antibiotic packs (duplicated and need to watch expiration dates).
    small glass vial of smelly stuff (what was it for?)
    useless microtweezers.

    I actually kept the bag as that adds confidence that the kit is “approved” in some sense.
    The orange bag wraps the whole thing and serves to make it visible – “go get the orange bag” sort of works.

  10. Philip – just a thought – did you consider a more robust kit for your larger groups? From reading your review and the kit you picked, it seems you are trying to make a 1-2 person limited kit work for a larger group trip. For a group kit that covers more wider basis and has more supplies like a Sam splint, CPR mask, etc I’d suggest checking out the Ultralight Pro by AMK. It’s certainly more expensive at $120 but it also covers more areas than just band-aids and meds that come in the ultralight .7 kit.

    I’m sure you’re interested in the lightweight options, but if you are interested in utility and resources another option for weekend group trips is the Mountain Series Weekender kit which has a hefty supply list and is just under 2 pounds for $60.

    • Those are good options too, but since I already own all those supplies, I’m just going to go the orange bag route suggested by Rob in the previous comment. A loud bag that screams First Aid Kit….

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