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This gear review is on an important piece of gear that I think is often overlooked. I will plan/daydream for days before a big trip about the gear I need to take. This mostly falls in the category of fly fishing core essentials like what weight rods I will need and, reels with spare spools for streamer tip or full sinking lines, flies for the area and countless other things that are running through my mind before a trip. The thing that often gets overlooked as we gather our fishing or outdoor gear is a comprehensive first aid kit. My trips often involve taking my Family friends and sometimes the dog well off of the beaten path and far away from medical care. We could be on a multi-day float trip or just that remote secret spot that took 3 hours to 4-wheel to and another hour hike. Because of the remote places, we fish and Hunt and my desire to be prepared and self-sufficient, I went in search of a first aid kit that would meet the needs of our group when in the outdoors. I found the Outback 6500 kit from Outer Limit Supply to be the best out there for my needs. Now I'm not a medical professional and having this first aid kit does not make me one, but I have found after going through the kit to familiarize my self with it that is not as overwhelming as if first seemed. Let's look at what inside and what I like and dislike about it.
Inside you will find the supplies can be broken down into three categories Dressings, Tools and Medications. The dressings included the standard items you would find in a large first aid kit band-aids, gauze pads, gauze rolls, and tape. Also included were more uncommon dressing items like Moleskin, liquid skin and an ace bandage. Many of the dressings are packaged in a reusable red bag that could be used as a biowaste bag if you are in a situation were a biowaste bag is needed while treating a wound.
In the tools section, I found things like antiseptic wipes, burn gel, tweezers, gloves and the usual things you would expect. The tools that I was surprised but glad to see included were a Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T-GEN7), CPR masks both adult an child, a light stick for low light conditions, a rescue blanket and a wilderness first aid reference book.
The medications are all housed in a trifold medication wallet and have an informational card included that tells you what each of the medicines is and how they are used. This contains eight different over the counter medicines ranging from painkillers to electrolytes and motion sickness pills.
I added the optional First Care Provider Pack upgrade kit to my 6500 Outback. This adds three advanced pieces of equipment to address more serious trauma cases like knife wounds, gunshot wounds or similar large hole lots of blood trauma situations. This added two HyFIN Vent chest seals to treat a chest puncture as well as one OLAES Modular Trauma bandage and one flat pressure dressing both intended to stop bleeding.
The kit is housed in an almost indestructible waterproof, crushproof, dustproof hard case. I keep mine mounted to the bed of my pick up truck with the quick release that is available from Outer Limit Supply I also have mounted a second quick release base on the frame of my raft so when we are out on the river for a multi-day trip we have the whole kit ready and accessible.
A couple of issues with having a first aid kit this big, first there is a bit of a learning curve. I was overwhelmed when I opened it and took everything out. I wondered what half of the gear was and if I would ever be able to use it all. Then I wondered if I could get it all back in the box again. It did all fit back in, and I have learned more about the gear in the kit from the videos on the Outer Limit Supply website and reading the wilderness first aid manual. That said I do plan to take one of the training courses on wilderness first aid that is offered By Outer Limit Supply here in the Colorado area. I should mention that Outer Limit Supply is owned by Paramedics, and their trainers are Paramedics. This gives me confidence that the supplies in the kit are the best tools for the job and the highest quality. This along with the awesome case it comes in were two factors in purchasing this first aid kit over others.
The other issue is it’s a bit big, while that works mounted to the Bed of the truck or raft frame it just too big to carry on your person very far. In the future, I will be putting together a smaller kit to carry in my backpack when I'm away from the vehicle or base camp.
I've carried this first aid kit with me for over a year on adventures to remote places and just around town. I've been lucky and have only used it for small things like moleskin for the kid's feet at soccer tournaments and patching up a hooked finger and arm. I don’t know how to use every piece of gear in it yet, but I continue to learn, and I'm glad it's with us on our adventures. I feel I could make a difference in an emergency just with what I have learned so far. You never know who is going to be out there in the wilderness to come to your aid they could be a Doctor or Paramedic and by having this comprehensive first aid kit along, I've brought them the tools to assist my family or me better if an emergency occurs.
So on your next trip don’t forget the first aid kit. You can start small this kit was not my first First Aid kit and probably won't be my last. If your kit contains some advanced tools and dressings like mine get some training on how to use them so you ready under pressure. Check out this Kit the 6500 Outback and other smaller first aid kits over at Outer Limit Supply.