Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Gear Box: Adventure Medical Kits
A first aid kit, much like car insurance, is one of those things that we buy and hope we never have to use. It's one of those 10 essential items that we should always have in our pack when we head out on the trail, and yet, it's one of the items that gets the least attention. We stuff a few band aids in a box, maybe some ibuprofen and thats about it. Well, I"m here to tell you that the first aid kit is one item that you shouldn't scrimp on, but fortunately Adventure Medical Kits is here to make it easy on us all.
As their name implies, Adventure Medical Kits provides top notch, pre-made med kits that are ready to go in our backpacks and stay there until we need them. The kits come in a variety of sizes and specialities, for what ever your outdoor pursuits happen to be. For instance, their Paddler Series comes with everything a kayaker would need out on the water, and it's all sealed up in a nice drybag, while the Mountain Series is designed for longer alpine expeditions.
My AMK comes from the Ultralight line, which is specifically marketed for multisport athletes such as adventure racers. The kits are perfect for races where a med kit is standard equipment, and any race above a sprint probably does require one, because they are small, compact, and light weight, yet still carry everything you'll need and more. For instance, I have an Ultralight .9 which comes pre-packed with several varieties of bandages in different shapes and sizes, trauma pads, gloves, moleskin, duct tape, safety pins, splinter packs, antihistamines, ibuprofen, a plethora of wound care items, and a lot more. All of that is packed into a waterproof pack, and it all sits nicely inside a backpack.
In addition to all the great stuff that comes in each of the medical kits, the AMK website has some great supplemental gear that you can add to your kit to enhance its usefulness in the backcountry. For instance, they have a variety of insect repellants, hygiene products, blister protection, and other essentials. There are even repair kits that allow you to fix your broken gear, even while on the go. Put all this stuff together, and you have everything you ever need to cover medical issues no matter where you are.
I have to say that I am throughly impressed with the Ultralight .9 pack that I have. It lives up to its name, barely adding any weight to your pack and despite its size, the kit remains very versatile and useful. While AMK recommends it for adventure racers and other outdoor athletes, I believe that it is equally useful for backpackers, long distance trekkers, and even travelers in general. It really is a nice piece of gear that will fill most people's needs right out of the box. Add in a few extra items that may be essential to you specifically, and you have the perfect customized med kit that is always ready to go when you are.
All of the kits from Adventure Medical are also very affordable, which means that we don't have any excuses to not have one with us in the backcountry. Select one of the kits that works best for you, and you won't want to ever leave it behind either. You might even think that it's essential.