First Aid & Emergency Kit Bag

Post by blogger | September 30, 2011      

Shop for backcountry first aid kits here.

If you like carrying a minimalist combo first aid and emergency kit, a small rectangular zippered bag makes a nice container. You can use a stuff sack, but everything gets jumbled up and it’s hard to access the contents. I happened on this small (4x9x14 cm, 50 grams) clamshell zipped bag while grocery shopping the other day. Acquired immediately, as my slightly smaller bag (and old beacon case) has always been slightly too small for what I like carrying during big days. What’s cool are the interior clear plastic interior side pouches, and a bit of elastic at the bottom that’ll hold a film canister or something like that. For the price you also get a few first aid supplies and a Patented! fish hook removal tool. Not sure that works for tree branches, and probably won’t test any time soon.

Backcountry skiing first aid kit, closed up, with coin for scale.

Backcountry skiing first aid kit, closed up, with coin for scale.

Because this is a clamshell, if you’re handy with a sewing machine you could easily add any desired mods to the interior. Overall construction is actually above average in quality for this sort of thing, but we’re not sure how well the plastic inside dividers will hold up in the cold; if they don’t, no great loss. I modded mine by cutting off an extraneous hook/loop strap on the exterior, but I left the carabiner loop for now as it might be nice to be able to hang the bag up while accessing. The bungie cord zipper pulls are lame, but they function and are easily swapped out. When packing, to prevent damage to the zipper coils keep hard objects away from the insides of the zippers.

Backcountry skiing first aid kit, clamshell open.

Backcountry skiing first aid kit, closed up, clamshell open.

Packed up, first aid kit.

Packed up, first aid kit.

Admittedly, this little clamshell bag is low-end. What worked for me more than anything is the size is perfect for my ski touring needs, and the price was right. I noticed that Ortovox and some other gear companies make similar zippered first aid kit bags of various sizes. Leave a comment and share your favorites. Good way to prep for the season.

Shop for backcountry first aid kits here.


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23 Responses to “First Aid & Emergency Kit Bag”

  1. ty September 30th, 2011 8:13 am

    4 things that are in mine:

    space blanket
    quick clot blood clotting agent
    a few air activated heat packs
    water treatment tabs.

    these items maybe weight in at a 1/4 lb…..light and handy in emergency

  2. Bryce M. September 30th, 2011 4:00 pm

    I picked up a few smaller versions of these on sale for about 5.00 bucks total and I group first aid, repair, and emergency items in zip-locs inside it to keep things dry, organized, and easy to find.

  3. Scott September 30th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing Bryce. I edited your link to clean it up a bit.

    I tend to carry something like this, still small, room for a few extra things also.

    In addition to the usual first aid items, I tend to carry a CPR pocket mask, gloves, nitroglycerin tabs and baby aspirin. If a pocket sized AED was available, I’d probably carry that too.

    Yeah that stuff adds a modicum of weight, but it could be the difference between life and death, and keeping you the rescuer somewhat protected in the process as well.

  4. Jim October 1st, 2011 9:53 pm

    What’s in your small first aid kit?
    Roxicet, ibuprofen
    butterfly wound closures
    sterile pads, bandages
    hydrogen peroxide, bactine
    liquid bandaids
    needle, floss
    basic get yourself home stuff

  5. Keith Murray October 1st, 2011 10:13 pm

    Hi Lou and others,
    Apologies if I am posting on the wrong thread or something, not quite sure how to do this.
    I recently waxed my skins with globstopper. I very gently heated the wax with an iron- such low heat I could touch it, to melt it into the hairs, thinking this would make it penetrate deeper and last longer. Ever since then, I have had terrible balling up problems, which were rare before. When skiing with others, my skins have been worse than everyone else’s, despite being the only person to have waxed them again the night before. They goop up even in conditions where they nevere did previously. Is it possible I somehow altered the nylon of the skin and now it is not so waterproof? Has anyone come across this before?
    I have now sprayed some silicon on to see if this will help, but yet to try them out again.
    Any thoughts?

  6. Kirsten Alburg October 2nd, 2011 12:05 am

    As a wilderness first aid instructor, I really appreciate this conversation. I’m currently teaching a class of teenagers who are hoping to do some backcountry skiing this winter and will use this for my class.

    If Wild Snow is doing any outreach type programs for kids or service focused activities, I think you should post them on:

    It will be a great way to get your blog more vis and I think that your site would give a lot to their efforts.

  7. Lou October 2nd, 2011 9:27 am

    In a previous post I listed what was in my kit, since changed a bit but check out the older post before I do a newer one.

  8. Skip October 2nd, 2011 6:07 pm

    So great to see a discussion on this, thought my friends and I were the only ones that discussed the importance of a well stocked lightweight emergency kit. In addition to the above suggestions I took a hint from my wife(ex professional ballet/modern dancer). Dancers tape, it’s light and it gives you amazing support in a pinch.

    Taped a guy’s feet on Shasta (blister infested, real nasty condition) who was left by his climbing buddy, nice right. Oh, and a pair of latex gloves, can’t hurt! Got him off the mountain to ski another day.

  9. JQ October 2nd, 2011 9:32 pm

    Actually just did this for summer hikes.

    steri strips, band aids, gauze, adhesive tape (in a zip lock)
    lighter w/protector over trigger. small candle, small folding knife
    Aleve, tylenol , ibuprofin in a zip lock with a note about which is which.
    Hydrocodone in a bottle w/ about 24″ gorilla tape wrapped around it.
    15′ parachute cord, space blanket, sm. ace bandage
    mini headlamp should be in there but seems to come and go

    will check out ‘dancers tape’

  10. JZ October 3rd, 2011 8:31 am

    Vet Tape! Learned this from a major ice climbing accident where the victim suffered multiple fractures and profuse bleeding. Vet tape is cheap, stretchy, lite and will stick to itself even when wet. It even comes in fun colors. The tape can be applied over dressings (like a beanie or puffy) and create compression to slow bleeding or provide spliting. It has replaced the ace bandage in versitility in my kit.

  11. Scott Nelson October 3rd, 2011 12:57 pm

    Wonder if ‘ vet tape’ is the same as that kineseo tape? Stretchy, sticky, supportive stuff. Sounds like a good idea, but wonder if duct tape wouldn’t do the same thing, except for absorbing any fluids like blood or something.

    I would add something like iodine or tincture of benzoin (sp?) to help sterilize wounds. I took a nasty digger during a trail run race recently, and because it was a race I didn’t stop and instead just put pressure on the wound (which was on my hand) to eventually stop the bleeding. But in so doing I just encased all that dirt and whatever else in the wound, and the result was an nasty infected wound a couple of days later that required antibiotics to get rid of it. Makes me think about carrying something really minimal like alcohol towelettes or iodine ones if they make them to keep that from happening again.

  12. Lou October 4th, 2011 6:18 am

    Keith, regarding your skins, you probably wrecked the DWR factory treatment somehow, or else the heat you applied messed up the skin fibers. I’d keep a good coat of glop stopper on there (no need for iron) and continue to experiment. If you keep balling up way worse than anyone else, might be time for some new fur.

    One thing everyone needs to realize is that wax, including glop stopper, works on a ski base because it’s hydrophobic (repels water), but at the same time actually makes a thin film of water due to friction against the snow. When you use wax on skins, you theoretically get the hydrophobic effect, but little to none of the water-film effect. Thus, things like ironing your glop stopper into your skins is probably overkill. As for silicon, it’s somewhat of a joke as it gets quickly scoured out by snow and any water that does happen to occur.

  13. Glenn Sliva October 4th, 2011 6:42 am

    I don’t carry one I either ski with Lou because I know he has one or I just ski near the rescue HQ. Just kidding.

    Don’t forget some kind of hand warmer and a sugar fix. The SAR pros hand a coke or similar drink to a frigid person to fuel the inside fires.

  14. Greg Louie October 4th, 2011 10:47 am

    Keith, I’m not sure what the source of your problem is, but I doubt it’s the heat.

    I rub whatever alpine wax I’m putting on my bases (yes, fluoro too) hard BOTH ways on the skins and iron at the same temp I use on the skis (~140-145C) several times a year on all my skins, then brush with a coarse nylon brush tip-to-tail. Works great on nylon, mohair mix and pure mohair – just don’t let the iron stop moving.

    I’m guessing MORE wax and heat will fix it.

    PS There are some conditions – like moving from a warm area in the sun with some melting fresh snow into a cooler sub-freezing area in the shade – that will cause snow to stick to any skins, no matter how well prepared.

  15. Greg Louie October 4th, 2011 11:09 am

    Three really useful things in my first aid kit that my friends don’t seem to carry:

    Fingernail clippers – People are always tearing nails while transitioning or forgetting to clip their toes the night before

    Compeed patches – Don’t know if the Johnson & Johnson version is the same as the Euro stuff, but these can be applied in the field over a bad blister, and form a cushion that will stay put for days. Make sure your skin is dry before applying.

    Naproxen tabs – Will take care of some serious pain but leave your motor skills intact so you can still ski out

  16. Dascmo October 5th, 2011 9:42 pm

    My BC pack usually contains this stuff…

    Athletic tape (crucial), butterfly closures,
    couple alcohol prep pads, antibiotic ointment packets
    couple gauze pads, latex gloves, tweezers (Uncle Bill’s)
    Ibuprofen and pain meds (hydrocodone)
    small irrigation syringe, iodine tabs

    Wire, zip ties, screws, small hose clamps.
    Pole section for splinting.
    Multi tool and pozi-driver bit

    Bivvy Kit:
    tuna can (to hold supplies and melt snow in)
    candle stubs (firestarters)
    lighter (wrapped with athletic tape)
    space blanket, trash compactor bag
    Tiny LED flasher light for signaling
    Cell phone

    Looks like a lot of stuff, but it weighs very little and packs small. I am sometimes vindicated for being such an “Outward Bounder” by having some important bit that helps out a friend!

  17. Alex October 7th, 2011 7:33 am

    Any idea if we can buy this clam shell online somewhere? I’ve been meaning to pick something like this up to replace my zip-lock bag. However, most clam shell bags already come with first aid materials that I don’t necessarily need.

  18. Lou October 7th, 2011 7:37 am

    Weird, I put a buy link in that review! Now it’s gone! I’ll get it back in, in a moment. Lou

  19. Lou October 7th, 2011 7:41 am

    Added the buy link back in, look for it in the middle of the post, also added a text link to end.

  20. ShailCaesar! October 12th, 2011 11:28 am

    I found one of the Dynafit kits that are supposed to come with ski crampons, but are always mysteriously absentLOL! You can fit quite a bit into it, I added stuff like blister kit, folding scissors, etc. Pricey though at $37. Fits inside your ski crampons for extra room, neat!

  21. Lou October 12th, 2011 11:34 am

    Shail, I was going to talk about those and link to them, but I couldn’t find any online! Did you find it online shopping?

  22. ShailCaesar! October 12th, 2011 12:28 pm

    No, I live in Kelowna, BC and found it at this specialty bootfitting, ski tuning shop Stay Tuned Sports. They’re good, and I think they have lots of little accessory type things there. Good bootfitters too!

  23. ShailCaesar! October 13th, 2011 2:50 pm

    I just went into Stay Tuned Sports today to get my skis waxed and they still have one of those first aid packs in there. 250-860-6830 if anyone’s interested!

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