WHAT IS AN IFAK?
An IFAK is an Individual First Aid Kit, and it could save your life. Obviously, you should therefore take the utmost consideration when building your IFAK pouch. The best IFAK pouches are made, not purchased; otherwise, you will have unnecessary items in your kit that you’ll toss and missing items that will make you pull out the credit card again. Every person will need different IFAK contents in their trauma kit depending on their circumstances and individual health susceptibilities.
WHEN WILL YOU NEED AN IFAK?
It is useful to always have emergency supplies on hand, but your IFAK contents will vary based on the situations that you might encounter, how much room you have, where the supplies will be carried, and for how long.
Some like to carry a heftier IFAK pouch inside their vehicle, in which case the more supplies the better so long as the pouch is organised and the supplies easy to find.
For your everyday carry, or EDC, basic medical supplies are always useful – but your IFAK contents will depend on your job or daily routine. The EDC pouch contents will vary for a traveller and a construction worker, for instance, which demonstrates the importance of building your kit from the ground up. While trekking through the wilderness, it makes sense to carry a trauma kit that you can count on while bleeding out on the side of a mountain. The best EDC pouch will be compact and specific so that you are covered in an emergency without lugging around excess supplies.
Everyone should have some form of IFAK pouch in case of emergency, but the best EDC pouch contents must be determined individually. There are, however, some items that are valuable across the board.
Ask yourself: What is the worst-case scenario and how can I prepare for it?
WHERE SHOULD YOU KEEP YOUR IFAK?
If you mean to carry your IFAK on your person, there is one keyword to remember: accessibility. You, or someone else, need to be able to reach your kit in an emergency. A belt is one good place to store your kit. If you want to keep your kit in your bag, put it in an easily accessible pocket, or ideally, have it attached to the outside of the bag for visibility. Some people like to store an IFAK pouch in their vehicle, in which case a backseat will suffice as long as it is always within reach, not buried under a mountain of gear, or in my case, beef jerky. Even the best IFAK pouch is worthless unless you can reach it in time.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE BEST POUCH?
The best IFAK pouch should be accessible, easy tosecure and tear away. It should also be identifiable to others with a red cross patch. A compact and waterresistant design are essential features as well.
WHAT SHOULD YOU HAVE IN YOUR IFAK?
Some of these items can be found at the local drugstore or hardware store, others online or at specialized stores.
Stay safe, lads.
*Requires special training