A well-stocked first aid kit should be a foundational piece of gear for every outdoor adventuring person. You might not need it every time, but when you do need it, you REALLY need it.
Last month, we went on a backpacking trip as a family. We made it to our campsite without any mishaps. We even had dinner, again, no mishaps. But when we went to wash our dishes in the woods, my daughter tripped and impaled her knee on a stick.
Thanks to the excellently stocked kit we carried, I was able to fully flush and clean her wound and tape her up without a trip to the ER. Without the kit, we would have been making an emergency descent to the closest Urgent Care in order to avoid infection. This experience really cemented the importance of a good kit.
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Testing the Surviveware Large First Aid Kit
Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out the Large First Aid Kit from Surviveware. I had never heard of this company, so when they contacted us, I was excited to try out a kit from a new company.
I tried out this kit while camping several times, as well as using it during a house move, and keeping it on hand for beach days. One camping trip was 6 days long, at the beach, where there was poison ivy, mosquitoes, poky sticks, sharp shells, and bike crashes–a perfect place to test a kit meant for outdoor family use.
The kit came into use multiple times, and it stood out in several ways.
Survivewear Kit Initial Impressions
This Survivewear First Kit is RUGGED. The heavy duty nylon case isn’t going to wear out or break any time soon. The zippers are large and easy to use. I would classify this kit as a “base camp” or car kit. It is definitely larger than you would want to take backpacking or bike packing. It also would not be ideal for paddling since it is not a water proof case.
The case has several straps which allow you to attach it to another pack, handlebars, or to the headrest in a car. There is reflective piping on the edges. The reflectivity actually is handier than you might think–especially handy when looking around a dark campsite for your bandaids!
The case has many labelled pockets and sleeves for organizing all the various items it can store. Additionally, it has extra room for adding your own items. I like that it had extra small, empty baggies for bringing your own meds or small items. The kit also has a booklet for learning how to use the items in the kit.
Survivewear Kit Contents
The Large First Aid Kit is packed with most of the items you would expect to need while out on family adventures. It is lacking a few things that are essential for me. Thankfully, there is plenty of room to add in items. Here are the items that come stock with the kit.
- 7.5″ Shears
- 18″ Splint
- 10 Alcohol Wipes Adhesive Bandages: Butterfly – Large(5), Butterfly – Medium(5), Large(5), Standard(30), Square(5), Mini(5), H-Shape(5)
- Cold Pack
- Combine Dressing(1),
- Conforming Bandages(6),
- Gauze Swabs(5),
- CPR Bag with Instructions(1),
- CPR Mask(1),
- Ear Buds(20),
- Emergency Blanket(1),
- Eye Pads(4),
- Fever Strips(3),
- First Aid Handbook(1),
- Nitrile Gloves(4),
- Hydro Gel(5),
- Hypo-Allergenic Tape,
- Non-Adhesive Dressings(10),
- Laminate Baggies(6),
- Refuse Bag(1),
- Pressure Bandage(1),
- Safety Pins(10),
- Skin Cleaning Wipes(10),
- Splinter Probes(10),
- Sting Relief Wipes(10),
- Strip Closures(9),
- Triangular Bandage(2),
- Wound Dressings(2).
What I Love
This kit has super well labelled and organized compartments. You don’t have to dig through a mess of stuff just to find the band aids or first aid cream. Additionally, there is plenty of extra space to add in your own essential items, such as extra bandaids, poison ivy wash, etc.
The kit is organized well enough that my children can easily find things they need (under my supervision of course!).
Variety of Supplies
This kit is a great size for a base camp kit. It also includes a wide variety of items that other kits don’t. Included in the Large Kit is a SAM splint, CPR mask, as well as disposable thermometers (handy for those late night fevers) and a plethora of other products.
I am fan of all the bandaids (also known as adhesive bandages). This kit has a good assortment, and plenty of room to add more. Most small wounds that children get can be fixed with a bandaid, so this part is essential.
I also really like that the kit includes an instant ice pack. Bruises and sprains happen, and being able to have a ice pack on hand makes treatment easier.
We have used the sting relief wipes several times–sort of a sleeper hit. The sting relief wipes don’t just work on bug bites or stings; they also work well on poison ivy. And yes, I know this from experience!
What I Didn’t Love
I would have liked to see moleskine patches in this kit. They are one of the best ways to prevent blisters and treat hot spots. The kit has plenty of bandaids, but those usually just rub off or make things worse. I am and avid hiker and trail runner. My kids are often on adventures with me. Blisters happen from time to time, and bandaids just don’t cut it for long hauls.
I also was surprised to see that this kit did not include any triple antibiotic, bacitracin, or first aid cream. Including one of those items in the Surviveware First Aid kit would be really helpful, especially in situations where you have a concern for mild infection.
Not including the moleskine or first aid ointment makes this less ready-to-use in my opinion, HOWEVER, those items are both very easy to buy from the drugstore and there is plenty of extra room in the kit to add in items like that.
The tweezers in the kit are large and bulky, and honestly, would be heard to use for anything but a large splinter. You can always buy a better pair, yet it would be nice if the included pair was more useful.
I also wish that the kit included more of each individual wipe packets. We will go through the insect sting wipes quickly, and I would like to see 20 instead of 10. Same goes for the disinfecting wipes and alcohol wipes. Since this is not a lightweight kit, it could stand to include more of some of those disposable items.
As a general kit, I would recommend this. If you want a kit a more specific for hiking or backpacking, than definitely look elsewhere as this is too heavy. However, as an outdoor mom myself, I actually appreciate having several different first aid kits available. It is great to be able to grab and go, depending on my situation and activities.
Despite having a few flaws, I think this kit is worth using as a base camp/car camping or car first aid kit. It has a variety of supplies for treating the average cuts, scrapes and bruises that tend to occur while enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, it includea a few advanced items, designed for situations that are more dire. I am glad for the SAM splint and CPR mask, even though I hope to never use them.
For day to day first aid, I appreciate that the kit focuses on more than cuts and scrapes. Including the sting wipes and thermometer strips is a nice touch (and we have actually made good use out the the sting wipes!).
Surviveware has done a good job of offering a diverse first aid kit that fits into a well organized package.
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