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EDC First-Aid Kits

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Photos by Sara Liberte

An Assortment of Must-Have IFAKs

All of you procrastinators out there may be dismayed to learn there’s really no excuse anymore not to have a medical kit with you. More and more companies are offering smaller EDC-style med kits. Quick-Clot, tourniquets, and other life-saving tools are easily carried at all times. You don’t want to be one of those nimrods who’s caught unprepared, do you? No one wants to even think about needing a med kit, but you damn well know you should have one.

In previous issues of RECOIL Magazine (Issues 12 and 17), we’ve featured articles about the importance of carrying first aid supplies, as well as the different types of kits — from those designed to deal with major trauma like gunshot wounds to general medical needs like cuts, bumps, sprains, and gastric distress. Most of the products in this guide are trauma kits (also known as an IFAK, or individual first aid kit), pared down to be as compact as possible for on-body carry, though one larger kit also includes other general first aid supplies. There’s even one designed to strap on to your pooch.

An IFAK may contain hemostatic agents, gauze and bandages, tourniquets, chest seals, nasal airways, gloves, tape, and scissors. Given the compact EDC nature of the products highlighted here, each of the kits contain all or some items from this list to form the most compact kit to get the job done. You can always add extra items as desired to customize your kit.

Whether you prefer donning a pouch, slipping something in your cargo pocket, or strapping a kit to your ankle, there’s something here to fit your needs. Finally, while it’s critically important to have life-saving kit with you at all times, it won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it. So seek out training and learn how to save your own, or someone else’s, life.

Cynology War Labs
K9 Trauma Kit

The K9 Trauma Kit was designed specifically for military and police working dogs, but anyone with a four-legged best friend can use it to keep a trauma kit close at hand. That is, if your dog isn’t a tiny a fashion accessory that you dress in seasonal sweaters, since the collar and kit are designed for larger dogs.

The pouch secures to loop-side Velcro, whether Cynology War Labs’ collar or other types of canine vests. Placed on the collar of your dog, the pouch is easily accessed — you can opt for a bundled bare bones trauma kit that includes QuikClot gauze, a tourniquet, and a dressing/bandage, all vacuum-sealed. The pouch is pretty compact; you can play Tetris and cram as many of your own items into the pouch as you can, if you prefer. The trauma kit components are available as a refill as needed for $40.

Despite the K9 intentions of this kit, a pouch is a pouch, and it works just as well attached to your own belt or anywhere else as a very compact and light bare bones IFAK.


> QuikClot gauze
> TK-4 tourniquet
> Trauma dressing/pressure bandage
Black, coyote, ranger green, multicam, ATACS-AU
Full kit:
4.8 ounces
Pouch only:
1.3 ounces
Vacuum sealed medical
3.5 ounces
$40 for pouch only, $75 with full trauma kit, plus $45-55 for CWL standard collar

Dark Angel Medical
D.A.R.K. “Blue Line” Trauma Kit

Dark Angel’s “Blue Line” kit is all about being low profile. It’s very slim, like a thin paperback, and fits nicely in a cargo pocket, sling bag, man-purse, or whatever else will keep it conveniently on your person.

The kit is a pared down trauma kit, lacking a nasal airway, tape, and scissors. It’s also small enough that you’ll have no excuse to leave it behind. You’ve got everything you need to get control of a good sized bleed ‘til more help arrives. Since there are no sharps, you can even leave it in your carry-on bag.

The minimalist pouch is essentially a sleeve, made of tough 400D fabric, and is skinnier than a Hollywood starlet. The sleeve does a fine job protecting the contents from punctures and tears. If for carry in a bag, we might opt for a pouch with more functionality, but for carry in something tight like a cargo pocket, it’s pitch perfect.


> QuikClot bleeding control dressing
> Fox Seals chest seals
> Nitrile gloves
> H&H Mini Compression bandage
> SWAT-T tourniquet
6 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches
9 ounces

ITS Tactical
EDC Slimline Pouch

The EDC Slimline Pouch is designed to be belt-mounted, either vertically or horizontally. It can also attach to MOLLE-compatible gear with the MALICE clips included with the pouch. The clips can accommodate up to 2.5-inch belts. Made of 500D Cordura, the pouch is durable yet weighs just 2 ounces. It’s a perfect fit for the ITS Tactical’s EDC trauma kit, but also accommodates any other similar-size items or your own DIY IFAK.

The pouch flap has strips of Velcro on either side, making it easy to slip a finger underneath to open it — anyone who’s struggled with Velcro flaps while under stress or with thick gloves will appreciate this design. There’s also an elastic strap in the pouch to help secure its contents.

The ultra-compact EDC Trauma Kit shown here is focused on preventing you from bleeding out, with just QuikClot and a tourniquet, all vacuum-sealed together. In fact, you could place it in its small sleeve and just carry that in a cargo pocket. By itself, the EDC Trauma Kit is $100.

> QuikClot combat gauze
> SOFTT-W tourniquet
> Nitrile gloves
> Sleeve
> Contents list and CoTCCC Care Under Fire instructions
> ITS MED PVC patch
5.75 x 3.75 x 0.75 inches
Black, coyote
$125 (bundled with EDC Trauma Kit, as shown)

Solo Premium

This offering from MyMedic is the least tactical, in its glistening clear plastic waterproof case, but is packed full of medical supplies. It’s a little thick at 1.75 inches deep, but you could still stash it in a fat cargo pocket or in a bag.

For that extra bulk, you get a lot of additional items to address bleeding, burns, and topical relief, as well as pain and allergy medication. While it has hemostatic gauze and a tourniquet, it lacks extra gauze, chest seals/tape, and a nasal airway, for those so trained. It also includes some survival and other items, such as a whistle, paracord, tweezers, and moleskin.


> R.A.T.S. tourniquet
> Celox hemostatic gauze
> Liquid skin 5 gram
> Butterfly bandage large
> Fabric bandage 2 x 4.5 inches
> Frabric bandage 1 x 3 inches
> Burn gel
> Sunscreen
> Chapstick
> Medicaine sting bite aid
> Generic orajel
> Hand sanitizer wipes
> Triple antibiotic generic Neosporin
> Hydrocortisone
> Tylenol
> Benadryl
> Ibuprofen
> Rescue whistle
> Atwood 550 paracord 10 feet
> ReadyMan medical card stainless steel
> Moleskin
> Tweezers, stainless and non magnetic
> Carry case waterproof
4.75 x 3.5 x 1.75 inches
11 ounces
Clear plastic

PFC Loadout
Ankle Med Kit

One way to expand the real estate available on your body to carry gear is to eat a lot of pizza and donuts. But that also reduces your life expectancy. So another healthier option is to wrap it around your ankle.

If you’re not used to carrying gear on your ankle, it may feel cumbersome but allows for a good amount of cargo capacity for medical gear. The PFC Ankle Med Kit is made of padded, breathable nylon which wraps around your ankle and secures with Velcro. It features several elastic compartments, stuffed with a bundled trauma kit that even includes a nasal airway. When ordering, you can select your choice of tourniquet, either a CAT or SWAT-T.


> EMT shears
> QuikClot combat gauze
> Hyfin chest seal
> Ambu Res-cue key shield (CPR mask)
> Nasopharyngeal airway with lube
> Gloves
Black, coyote tan
$156 (SWAT-T), $166 (CAT)

RE Factor Tactical
Drive-By Kit

For a little variety, the RE Factor Tactical’s Drive-by Kit, unlike the others, is primarily designed to mount in a vehicle. Specifically, it mounts to a headrest, where it’s easily accessible, and can be ripped off by yanking on the red pull tab — a nice “grab and go” feature. You can then clip it onto a belt loop, your kit, or wherever’s convenient.

The pouch is constructed of 1000D Cordura fabric, with rows of webbing on the exterior and bungee retention straps on the inside for your medical gear, or anything else that you’d like to have close at hand. RE Factor doesn’t bundle the pouch with any medical supplies, so you need to source your own.

It also has pouches on the back for two AR mags, because sometimes offense is the best defense.


No supplies included
Black, multicam, tan

US Palm
LowProGear Ankle Cargo Cuff

The LowProGear Ankle Cargo Cuff is another option for carrying medical supplies on your ankle. Constructed of heavy-duty elastic webbing, it’s partitioned into five pockets with an additional slip pocket. The inside surface has a panel of loop material to create additional friction to help prevent the cuff from sliding down like your teenager’s jeans.

So, if you don’t mind channeling Lindsay Lohan, US Palm offers good value for tactical kit with the ankle cuff plus a trauma kit, with a tourniquet, hemostatic gauze, bandage, tape, and gloves, for $85.

> TK-4L tourniquet
> CELOX RAPID hemostatic gauze ribbon
> 4-inch trauma bandage
> Combat medic tape
> Nitrile gloves
19 x 4.75 x 0.25 inches
Full kit: 13 ounces
Cuff only: 5 ounces

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