This is great advice, even though I find the reccomended kit a little lacking, However if you use your head you can do a whole lot with that list.
But like others have mentioned when you are bleeding or someone else is bleeding it can be difficult to take a breath stop and think about how you can rig this or that up using what you have. The right tools for the job can go a long way under the best of conditions, but under critical stress it may be the difference between life and death.
That brings up a really important topic that I feel that article completely missed and that is training. you could have a hospitals resources at your disposal but if you dont know what you are doing, it wont do you, or a person you are trying to help any good. So taking at the very least a basic course that includes CPR and how to treat bleeding, sprains and most importantly shock is IMO essential for anyone going into the woods or anyone for that matter, If you have a first aid kit you need to know how to use whats in it and what to do to treat basic to serious injury. You wouldnt go out and buy a brand new gun and a box of bullets and go hunting, so why would you do that with your lifeline if something goes wrong in the middle of nowhere.
My FAK has some items that are more survival kit stuff, but since I will always take the entire kit with me on even the shortest trips away from camp, It makes sense for me to include them, that with the survival kit in my daypack im pretty well set.
I use 2 1 gallon freezer bags and 6 smaller quart bags for extra protection and organization. I put all of the stuff into smaller bags and press all the air out, this keeps them compact, dry, and helps them to stay closed. that all goes into the first Gallon bag thats pressed as flat as possible, and then it put that in the second gallon bag and Gorrila tape the seal shut.
Ive got a Bleeder bag, Burn Bag, Sticky stuff bag, Mechanical injury bag, medication bag, and a general bag. All of that goes inside the two 1 Gallon freezer bags as i described earlier.
I also have two 6"x2" pill bottles that are outside of the freezer bags since they are watertight and basically crushproof, In them I have a basic kit with small frequently used stuff like band aids, chapstick, sunscreen, antibacterial cream ect, So I dont have to break into the main kit every time someone gets a cut. I didnt list whats in the bottles because its super basic, and Ive got more in the larger kit.
My kit is pretty bulky taking up the entire 10x12 pocket on the bottom front of my pack, but its dedicated to medical except for the 2 road flares I keep in there. and its heavy 4lbs or so, including the pill bottles and a minor surgery kit with a scalpel, hemostats, sutures, scissors tweezers nail clippers, a flashlight ect.
A good flashlight is ESSENTIAL I tossed the crap one that comes in all FAK's and use two AAA penlights one is a Streamlight Microstream, thats in the main kit and in the "Minor Surgery" kit with all the tools I have a Foursenvens Preon 1 80 lumen light that runs 20 hours on a single AAA. I also carry 4 spare lithium AAA's
I also carry 2 each ascherman, halo and bolin chest seals, that may seem nuts but from what ive read, it seems each one has one situation its really good for, and my thinking was if I have to tear open all 6 to get a working seal front and back I dont care. that is about $120 of medical crap right there but its worth it. they are really flat and dont weigh anything.
You can make field expediant seals for sucking chest wounds but Id rather not try when its either me or someone else with a hole/holes on there chest
My FAK contains
4: each 4x4 6x6 and 8x8 kendall drain sponges
2: Isreali field dressings
4: " heavy flow" Maxi pads they are great bandages, cheap, sterile and large
2: 12 oz bags of quick clot (will get hemostatic bandages soon)
2: ace bandages one 4" wide and one smaller 2" wide both 60" long
6: each Assorted bandaids, small, medium, large, large patch, and knuckle
4: elbow/knee bandaids.
12: butterfly closures (better than a suture in the field because yyou will need to clean your wound thouroughly to stitch it up, hard to do in the middle of nowhere)
2: packs of 10 3M Steri strips (its the stuff they use at MMA fights to close cuts)
2: CAT tourniquets
2: Epipen injectors ( rarely one wont work) also pricey but worth it IMO, and you get free replacements if you dont use them before expiration.
1: 18" SAM splint
5: SAM finger splints
2: Heat packs I get the largest Thermacare back pads
4: handwarmers (that and the heatpads for treating hypothermia and shock, the back pad goes on the chest or neck and the handwarmers in the armpits)
2: small instant Ice packs
3 feet of almost every tape, paper tape, nylon tape, waterproof tape (latex free), 3M coband, its self adhesive only stretch tape great for holding bandages on and its easy to change them and re-secure. , (that Mcnetts Camo Gun wrap is very similar).
2: 30' sections of Gorrila duct tape. I wrap the medical tape around small sections of cut up plastic cards and wrap the Duct tape around full plastic cards.
this keeps the tape in nice flat and compact, and Ive found it much easier to use than wrapping tape around itself in a small roll, especially with gorrila tape.
1; SOL space blanket
1; SOL Space blanket bivvy.
12; q tips
1; pack of tissues
10; heavy duty Blue Shop paper towels from the auto parts store
1;; pack of "camp shower wipes"
1; 1oz bottle of nystatin powder (antifungal powder)
1; pack of colgate wisp waterless toothbrushes
1; tube oragel.
Those last 6 items are more comfort than First aid but I dont take my hygene kit out for a day hike, I do take the FAK. and if I get stuck or hurt and have to stay put that simple stuff can do wonders for morale.
10; each alcohol pads, iodine pads, and moist towelettes.
2; 2oz packets of Burn Gel. For minor burns like 1st and 2nd a good minty toothpaste is very soothing if you dont have burn gel
I also keep a chocolte bar (dark chocolate) and 2 Cliff bars (protien and energy bar) and a 12 oz packet of emergency water and 6 packets of powdered gatorade mix for electrolyte replacement, also for flavoring any water I have to treat with tablets (that stuff is awful). a Platypus 20oz water bag, some h20 purification tabs, And an Aquamira Lifestraw water filter
Also a "rite in the rain" 3x5 waterproof notebook and one of the super compact space pens.
Thats for keeping treatment notes or just writing or drawing to keep spirits up and your mind off of whatever is going on at least temporarily. thats what the chocolate is for too
I also have a small basic first aid handbook and a laminated sheet of contents of the FAK and a Basic Do's and Dont's of first aid. Thats so anyone going into my kit to save my ass will know what ive got and where its at, and at least some basic first aid instructions for those who didnt know in the first place or someone who does (myself included) but the situation has got you so stressed/overwhelmed your brain just inst working, and you cant remember your name let alone how to treat shock.
The assorted pills, Pain meds, antibiotics, antihystamine pills and cream, asprin, Ibuprofin, naproxin,Antiinflamitory, Anti diarrhea pills, Antacids.
I saved this for last because of a very important not I wanted to make.
Either buy pre packaged travel medications that are sealed and usually waterproof or if you buy bulk, or if you stock your kit from the medications you have at home especially prescriptions ensure they are clearly labeled, with the name of the drug the dose and what its for. I label any bags with a Sharpie then use clear packing tape over the writing so it wont wear off
SUPER IMPORTANT, Keep all the pills that are not individually sealed, Seperated from one another, Dont throw a handfull of asprin, tylonol, and ibuprofen in a bottle.
If someone is severely allergic to asprin and you stopped them from bleeding to death, it would be a shame for them to die because some asprin dust got on the Ibuprofen you gave them to help with any pain.
thats also important if you have any personal medications, it may have ingredients someone is allergic to or cause a reaction with some medication they are on.
That may sound stupid but Ive seen it happen, my buddy had a really bad reaction, because the asprin and other stuff in someones FAK was just tossed in a bottle. He was handed some Ibuprofen after he sprained his ankle, and within a minute he couldnt breath and had swollen up considerably and had to use his epipen. the only allergy he has is Asprin. and its also important to note that if he had a traumatic wound and had some pretty bad blood loss and the same thing happened, the epinephrine injection could easily send someone in a weakened condition into shock. and that would probably kill them.
Sorry for the really long post (its probably longer then the article) but Its a really important subject.