Tips to Buy an Individual First Aid Kit IFAK

A simple IFAK can save your life when it comes to trauma care. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, first responder or someone who likes to be prepared for emergencies, an IFAK should be on your gear.

You’ll want to be sure you’re buying a kit that’s well-organized and easy to find in an emergency. If you’re not sure what to buy, here are a few tips to help you pick out the right IFAK.

1. Size

The size of an Individual First Aid Kit IFAK depends on the needs and requirements of its owner. A military IFAK, for instance, is a much larger, more robust set of medical supplies than a civilian IFAK.

In the military, IFAKs are issued to soldiers and typically carry critical life-saving gear such as chest seals, tourniquets, nitrile gloves and more. The contents vary by unit and branch of service, but they are designed to address the most likely deadly injuries and life-threatening situations.

In contrast, a survivalist or wilderness medicine IFAK is usually smaller and more tailored to the person’s specific environment. Whether you’re camping, hiking, hunting or simply preparing to go into the wild, an IFAK needs to fit your needs and be within arm’s reach in case of an emergency.

2. Material

Whether you’re a police officer, first responder, or an active outdoorsman, your Individual First Aid Kit IFAK (aka IFAK) should contain life-saving medical supplies to help with trauma events. These include things like bleeding control materials, a tourniquet, and other essentials.

When it comes to injuries, bumps and bruises are all well and good, but a survival situation can quickly get serious and leave you with traumatic injuries that require immediate treatment. Having an IFAK that’s tailored to your risk profile and level of training can make the difference between surviving and needlessly losing a loved one.

The best IFAK is a prioritized checklist, with items ranked according to their utility in a variety of situations, and explained why they were included. It’s also important to consider where and how you’ll store and carry your IFAK. Whether you’re wearing an ankle or cargo pocket kit, placing it where it can be reached easily with both hands is vital.

3. Design

An Individual First Aid Kit IFAK is a trauma treatment kit that contains a number of vital lifesaving supplies for treating traumatic injuries. Whether you’re a civilian responder or an active military serviceman, it is important to buy the right kit for your needs and environment.

The design of an Individual First Aid Kit IFAK should contain items that are easily accessible and effective for treating the injured in an emergency. This kit should also include a tourniquet and other medical devices to help prevent further complications from a bad cut or gunshot wound.

Most first aid kits are designed to care for bumps and bruises as well as small cuts and scrapes. Adding extra materials can make your kit heavy and bulky, which will affect its effectiveness in an emergency situation.

4. Price

Unlike Everyday Carry (EDC) first aid kits, which are often built around specific contexts like the military or backpacking, IFAKs are generally intended for civilians with an interest in preparedness. They’re not cheap.

IFAKs are typically packed with essential life-saving materials, bleeding control and major wound treatments. They also contain items such as a tourniquet and chest seal that aren’t included in larger survival medical kits.

For example, PPT Editor-in-Chief Jacki is a huge fan of the Mountain Man Medical Sweetwater & Yellowstone IFAK. These packs contain pretty much everything you’ll need to treat a serious injury while on the go, and they’re made of durable cordura nylon with MOLLE straps.

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