The Best Way to Set-up Your IFAK & Why Every Survivalist Needs One

An IFAK, or a custom first aid kit, is an essential part of any survival arsenal.

No survival kit is complete without a compact IFAK pouch. Your backpack may contain all of the tools and accessories you need. What if you got hurt? Read on as we show you how to prepare the best IFAK like a pro.

CONNECTED: Wilderness Emergency Medicine | First aid in case of emergency

Every survivor needs an IFAK

Why are first aid kits important?

Getting injured in a remote area is a difficult situation and bad enough. But without a rescue need, it would be a living nightmare. In such situations, a simple first aid kit would mean the difference between life and death.

What is an IFAK?

Before the IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) went mainstream, a tactical medical backpack was standard military equipment. The likelihood that soldiers will be wounded in combat is high. This is why tactical medical bags are just as important in warfare as weapons and ammunition.

Contents of the military first aid kitFirst aid bandage for soldiers, wound healing agents, tourniquets, pain relievers-IFAK

A tactical medical pouch is specially designed to treat minor injuries and various diseases. Its content is based on a specific understanding of combat situations and risks. The following are the basic items found in a standard combat medic’s bag:

  • Bandages, bandages and adhesive tapes
  • Chest wound dressing and trauma kit for abdominal wounds
  • Diazepam injection syringe and coagulant
  • Heat radiating water-repellent blanket
  • Intravenous equipment and atropine injection syringe
  • Splints, scissors and scissors
  • Alcohol swabs, nasal trumpet and eye protection

Civil trauma kits

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A modern IFAK is a far cry from traditional Army medical kits and is more like a trauma kit. Instead of first aid items like bandages, it contains trauma aids for urgent life-saving treatments. Trauma kits are designed to address deadly medical problems such as hypothermia, respiratory problems, and bleeding.

The best trauma kit?


There is no single list of first aid kits for trauma. These kits are configured based on how healthcare professionals respond to potential risks. The content of an IFAK also depends on the particular training that a doctor has completed.

This means that SWAT medics can use trauma kits, for example, that are different from those of a regular paramedic. The tactical first aid pouch can include airway insertions, needle decompressions, and other invasive surgery tools. This type of medical procedure requires intensive professional training.

Modern professional first aid kitHands receiving medical supplies or drugs from drones or quadcopters during Covid-19-IFAK

Prior art IFAKs can vary depending on the specific conditions under which they are used. However, all modern first aid kits contain a tourniquet and hemostatic agents. Hemostatic agents are agents used to stop excessive bleeding in patients.

Note: In general, regulators approve the use of hemostatic agents. Bleeding is a common cause of death in both civilian life and military combat. It is avoidable, however, provided combat medics are equipped with a hemostatic agent and modern trauma aids.

CONNECTED: Do you keep a combat casualty kit in your pocket?

Why do you need a first aid kit?Medicine box on wooden background-ifak

In life-threatening emergencies, the most common person in the area is most likely a civilian. It is not uncommon for bystanders to be injured in vehicle accidents or shooting incidents. Bleeding can occur when this occurs, and the ability of another civilian to respond can be vital to sustaining life.

An emergency is a major reason even civilians should always carry a basic first aid belt pouch. You never will when life and death can occur. The worst possible scenario is that you and your loved ones may be involved. You would wish you had a FAK in tow, but it might be too late.

Smart and practicalPortrait of a woman with first aid kit on the blue wall background-IFAK

It is therefore advisable to always have an IFAK with you. Whether you’re just shopping for groceries or going on a trip, a first aid kit comes in handy. A medical first aid kit, as the stereotype says, could mean the difference between life and non-life.

Customize your IFAKMilitary medical aid, first aid kit-IFAK

Did you know that you can even design your IFAK based on your risk profile? Yes, and you can also choose the best first aid kit that suits your level of training. In short, your bespoke IFAK pouch could make an excellent insurance policy for you and your loved ones.

How to set up your compact IFAK pouchFirst aid kit bag-IFAK

Now that you know the basics of owning an IFAK, it is time to prepare your custom kit. No doctor is required to set up a first aid kit. All you have to do is follow these simple guidelines:

1. Plan your first aid kit

Planning your IFAK is central so that you can respond effectively to life and death situations. The aim is to be able to manage life-threatening incidents with minimal medical equipment. With this in mind, you can determine the essential elements for your kit.

Note: A belt-mounted medical bag is a good option. This makes it easier to carry anywhere. Other than that, the small size of your medical pouch makes it easy to access in an emergency.

2. Choose the correct items

Choosing the right medical articles is critical to an effective IFAK. The best first aid kit contains the most common devices for treating typical injuries. Basic 3 x 6 IFAK contents are:

  • Tourniquet
  • Gloves
  • Ventilated chest seal
  • Fight against (hemostatic) gauze
  • Burn dressing
  • Israeli associations
  • Printing compound
  • Trauma scissors
  • flashlight
  • Ibuprofen
  • Permanent marker

Note: Larger 6 x 6 medical kits may contain items such as tape, extra gauze, trauma tape, control film, splint, and nasopharyngeal airways.

3. Make your IFAK easy to spot

In addition to placing your kit in an accessible location, it is also important that you can easily see it. In emergencies where everything could be blurred, this would be most important. So if you are going to buy or make a first aid kit, make sure the color is light and easily visible, e.g. B. yellow or red.

In summary, an IFAK works like your personal medical assistant. It is your trusted ally who should be with you whenever and wherever. There’s a reason the advice “it’s better to be safe than sorry” never gets old. Bottom up!

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What do you think are the most important items in a first aid kit? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Macallister Anderson

I am by no means an expert in every aspect of this stuff. I plan to learn, and when possible, enlist the help of experts in various fields to come together and offer their knowledge. In a few years, I dream that this site will be a virtual survival encyclopedia and allow a total novice to come on here and be supplied with everything they need to prepare for anything.

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