If you’re here, it’s probably because you can’t decide which Wilderness Medical Systems kit to buy. We can well understand the dilemma…How do you choose the best kit for your purposes?
Balancing Capability and Weight/Volume
There are a lot of opinions out there as to what is best to have in an emergency first aid kit. Ironically, I often say that building a good wilderness first aid kit is as much art as it is science. One must balance the capability of handling a particular illness or injury in the field with the practical reality of the weight and volume of the items needed to do this. The more capability you want to have, the greater the weight and volume of your kit, and vice versa.
How We Choose A Kit
Let me share here our approach to making a kit decision that we have used. Perhaps it will be useful for you as well. We also encourage you to avail yourself of expert advice and the recommendations of your own personal physician. Choosing well is choosing wisely and that takes some thoughtful pondering of different factors.
When selecting an emergency first aid kit, we feel there are four questions one ought to answer before selecting a kit:
- Where Are You Going?
- How Many People Are In Your Party?
- How Long Will You Be Gone?
- How Will You Transport The Kit?
Where Are You Going?
The answer to this question will determine if your destination is less than or greater than 8 hours from a critical emergency medical care hospital. Adequate care facilities are often found in cities in South Africa, the U.S., Western Europe, South America or Asia, to name a few. If you plan to be far from a region with a trauma center, you will need to be prepared to care for someone who is injured or ill for a longer period of time. We suggest that you take a sufficient quantity and variety of supplies to enable you to be more medically self-sufficient. This usually means a larger kit both in volume and weight.
Some of the destinations that are less than 8 hours from critical emergency medical care include: Argentina, Namibia, South Africa, U.S. Lower 48, Western Europe, Mexico, parts of Asia and Canada.
Conversely, some destinations that are greater than 8 hours from critical emergency medical care include: Tanzania, Eastern Siberia, the Poles, Fly-in areas of Alaska, Ethiopia, Greenland, Tajikistan and oil platforms off Sakahalin.
If you are unsure whether your destination is greater or less than 8 hours from critical emergency medical care, we are happy to talk to you, sharing our experience and that of our clients.
After you have determined the answer to where you are going, the next criteria to consider is: How Many People Are In Your Party?
We will cover that topic in our next post.