Portable Medical Bag

The first aid bag needs to meet 2 criteria:

  1. It should be just large enough to hold everything.
  2. It should be small enough to fit where you want to keep it.

Before picking a first aid bag, decide what's will be inside, and where it will be. If it’s kept in the house or car, a larger bag is fine, but for portability, space and weight are issues.

The main differences between a vehicle/house bag and a portable bag are volume and convenience. In a portable bag you will be able to fit everything (excepting bulky items) you’ll need for a one-person emergency and for minor medical incidents, so it’s important to note that you’re not sacrificing quality by going small. You will not be able to fit much extra of anything, so if you use one item a lot you’ll run out quickly.

Most items will have to be compressed down or, in the case of things like Betadine and B&W ointment, put in a smaller container to make it fit. Obviously for large emergencies your supplies won’t stretch far either.

Example First Aid Kit:

The Orca first aid kit bag is 4x6x8in (10x15x20cm) when full. This is everything I’ve put in it.

  1. Quikclot gauze 3x24in (7.5 x 61cm) (x2)
  2. Quikclot sponge 50g
  3. Israeli bandage
  4. Halo chest seal (x2)
  5. SAM splint 36in (91.5cm)
  6. 4x4 sterile gauze (x4)
  7. Nitrile medical gloves (x4)
  8. 1in medical transpore tape
  9. Mylar blanket
  10. Folding scissors
  11. Ivarest cream 2oz (59mL)
  12. Vetbond .1 oz (3mL)
  13. B&W Ointment .25oz (7mL)
  14. Pepto Bismol tablets (x6)
  15. Benadryl tablets (x12)
  16. Bonine tablets (x8)
  17. Aspirin tablets
  18. Povidone Iodine 4oz (118mL)
  19. Triangular bandage

This bag is very full, but it’s not difficult to close. When packed carefully a small bag can fit a lot of equipment. This first aid kit weighs about 2lbs (.9kg).

Summary:

  • 2 main sizes: portable and home/car/office
  • Portable bag = same quality, less quantity than larger bag

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About Peter Oldani - Author of Inside First Aid

About the author

Peter Oldani graduated college with a B.S. in biomedical engineering, worked as an EMT to gain hands on experience in emergency medicine and completed active shooter training as part of New York State’s initiative to prepare civilian organizations for disaster response.