No matter how careful you are, injuries can happen anywhere at any time.
Make sure you’re prepared for your next outdoor adventure by investing in the best medical kit.
A well-stocked and portable medical kit is your first line of defense in the outdoors. From minor injuries to more serious ailments — having a medical kit on hand will help reduce the severity of the injury and prevent infection. Today, the market is filled with lots of ready-to-use medical kits that are pre-stocked with all the necessary essentials — so you can go further and stay out longer.
If it’s your first time buying a portable medical kit, we’ll help you make the right choice with our list of
Designed and tested in the Australian outback, the Bob Cooper Survival Kit contains all the necessary supplies and items for survival in the wilderness. This medical kit was developed by survival expert Bob Cooper for remote camping and hiking, with contents selected specifically for a more effective system of survival. Aside from the usual swabs and medication for trail-related injuries, what makes this kit unique is its addition of survival gear, including a pocket knife, fishing gear, signaling devices and water procurement bags.
- Light tin can case
- First aid items
- Water sterilization agents
- Fire lighting tools
- Pocket knife
- Signaling devices
- Mini compass
- Assorted fishing gear
Verdict: The BOB COOPER survival kit is more than just your ordinary first aid kit. Unlike other medical kits on this list that will only last for a few days, this heavy duty kit is intended to last for long trips — ideal primarily for bushwalking and long distance backpacking trips. This kit is designed to sustain any adventurer on the trail by focusing on five main priorities: water, warmth, shelter, signal and food.
Weighing less than 1kg, the ST. JOHN AMBULANCE Personal Leisure First Aid Kit is one of the most lightweight medical kits on this list. Like most kits for outdoor use, it comes with basic supplies for treating minor injuries, fractures, and sprains. It also comes with a bit of survival tools like scissors and a shock blanket — perfect for outdoor adventures that last for only a few days. Its unique design features a roll-out compartment for easy access to supplies and a belt loop for hands-free carrying.
- Roll out compartments
- Belt attachment points
- Hypo-allergenic adhesive strips
- Emergency accident blanket
- First aid quick response manual
- Non-adherent dressing
- Safety pins and forcepts
- Gauze swabs and triangular bandage
Verdict: Compact enough for on-the-go adventures or an extra kit to keep at home, the ST. JOHN AMBULANCE Personal Leisure First Aid Kit is a great pack to have onhand for when accidents happen. It comes in a small zippered carrying bag that you can easily fit into small spaces in your backpack. Filled with practical first aid supplies as well as detailed instructions for how to use them, this medical kit is designed for rapid response for a range of personal emergencies while waiting for professional help to arrive.
If weight is your main consideration, then you’ll definitely love the AMK Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit. What makes this medical kit so small and compact is its Ziplock-like case that consists of two waterproof layers: a DryFlex water-resistant inner bag and outer bag that’s bolstered with a durable water repellent finish. Like most medical-grade kits on the market today, this one also comes with a great selection of high-quality components that caters specifically to typical trail injuries like wide elastic wraps for stabilizing fractures and sprains, and gauze sponges with non-adherent dressings for wound cleaning and bandaging.
- Group size: 1 to 2 people
- Trip duration: 1 to 4 days
- 2 layer waterproof bag with DryFlex inner
- Bandage materials (sterile gauze, non-adherent dressing)
- Blister/burns (pre-cut moleskin, gloves)
- Fracture/sprain (wide elastic bandage with Velcro)
- Medications (antihistamine, aspirin, ibuprofen)
- Wound care (alcohol swab, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic)
Verdict: The AMK Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit is incredibly lightweight and compact, making it the perfect kit for going out for a day hike or a short overnight trip with a small group. Because it comes in a carrying bag, it can be easily stuffed inside your backpack or camping bag with ease. Contents are well-organized, with medications that are individually packed and well-labeled.
The COMPANION OUTDOOR Adventure First Aid Kit is a compact kit that consists of a variety of 63 pieces of practical emergency supplies for treating minor injuries on the trail, along with a detailed instruction manual for first timers. It comes in a carrying bag that features a three-fold design — three individual, resealable, and transparent storage compartments that make identification easier and more accessible.
- Three fold design case
- Individual resealable storage compartments
- Hypo allergenic bandages (triangular and conforming)
- Safety pins and scissors
- Cleaning soap wipes
- Normal saline cleansing wipes
- Vinyl disposable gloves
- CPR face shield with valve
- Basic first aid instruction kit
Verdict: Weighing less than 1 kg, The COMPANION OUTDOOR Adventure First Aid Kit can be carried in your daypack everyday and is suitable for day trips and other short outdoor activities. Despite its compact size, it contains all you need to treat any minor medical issue on the trail — from blisters, sprains, and wounds. It even comes with zip locked waste bags for easy disposal.
As its name suggests, the MODULAR SURVIVAL First Aid Kit features a unique design with internal detachable modular pockets that are properly labeled to enable rapid response in case of emergencies. This medical kit contains a variety of first aid items that include aloe vera gel for burns, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, antiseptic for wound care and even comes with a couple of items for outdoor use like a compass and insect repellent.
- Modular color-coded internal compartments
- Zipped up durable compact case
- Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent spray
- Compass and whistle
- PVC duct tape
- Aloe vera spray for burns and sunburn
Verdict: The MODULAR SURVIVAL First Aid Kit is a comprehensive medical kit that prioritizes organization above all else. All its compartments are detachable, properly labeled and even color coded — so you can act quickly and identify the supplies needed in an instant. This is truly a complete emergency pack that even comes with reflective tape for more visibility at night.
THE BEST MEDICAL KITS -- WHY BUY ONE ANYWAY?
All kinds of outdoor activities come with certain risks and cautions — so safety should always be your first concern.
Whether you’re hiking or camping, the common denominator is that you’ll most likely be off-grid, without cellular coverage, and away from civilization.
This is why having a medical kit on hand is an utmost necessity. Without quick and easy access to a medical facility or professional, injuries and even life-threatening ailments will need to be handled and remedied on the spot.
Not only will a well-stocked medical kit help you with the usual injuries that commonly occur while in the outdoors — like cuts, scrapes, and blisters — but it can also keep you prepared for survival situations that might arise while on your trip. It could be your ticket between life and death.
Even when you don’t end up using your medical kit, having easy access to one will keep you calm and give you the peace of mind that you can stay prepared at all times.
THE BEST MEDICAL KITS -- BUYING GUIDE
The medical kit you choose should be able to handle the situation or injury likely to accompany your next outdoor trip.
If this is your first time purchasing a medical kit, here are a few important factors to consider:
1. First Aid Training
Here’s the real deal — the most important thing you can bring on your trip is the knowledge of what to do in different emergency situations.
Even if you have the best medical kit on hand, this will be of no practical use if you don’t know how to use it properly. If you’re an absolute beginner, consider taking a basic outdoor-focused first aid course.
If you’re planning to carry your kit on long trail-based adventures, you should choose something small that will fit easily in a backpack or fanny pack. It should also be lightweight and clip easily to a pack or harness.
Since you’re likely to place your kit on the ground, choose one that has a waterproof case. Zipper quality is also important, so make sure to test it. The best medical kits should also have protective pockets inside to keep medicines and bandages dry and intact.
4. Type of Outdoor Activity
Some medical kits are made for specific outdoor activities that have been put together with special consideration for the kinds of injuries that usually occur during these trips. For instance, a medical kit for hiking should include supplies to deal with a sprained ankle or foot blisters.