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IFAK stands for Individual First Aid Kit. There are many different types of first aid kits and they should be designed around your purpose, whether that be hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, or just driving to and from work. Acronyms have become all the rage these days so don’t let the fact that a first aid kit is just that, a first aid kit. First aid kits come in all different shapes and sizes ranging from the MFAK, Mini First Aid Kit up to full EMS Trauma bags. For this post, I will be focusing on various IFAKs.

Now I am not a Combat Medic nor am I in the medical field, so many of the these I will be referencing withing this post I HIGHLY advise getting the proper training before using. I am however someone who understands the importance of being prepared, which includes the necessary training needed to use the items that are contained in your first aid kit.

Now, while every IFAK should be purpose-built, there are a few things that should be in every IFAK no matter what. Those items are as follows.


Bag ( Obviously! )

Tourniquet ( CAT, RATS, or SWAT )

Clotting Aid


Gauze Roll

Surgical Tape

Pen Light / Small Flashlight

Small Sharpie


EMT/Trauma Shears

These are the starter items that are a must in every kit as these can be used for pretty much any scenario you could encounter. Tourniquets are important as they are used to stop bleeding on the extremities. Clotting Aid is used for center mass wounds or wounds that aren’t able to be stopped with a tourniquet. Gloves help prevent contracting or passing infections and disease. Gauze plus tape may be used to create bandages, which are vital in keeping the wounds from becoming infected and also help with bleeding. The Trauma Sheers are there to cut clothing, seat belts, or whatever else you may need to remove to gain access to the affected area.

Some of the more advanced items you can add to your kit, which I highly recommend gaining real training on before using on yourself, or another is as follows.


Nasopharyngeal Airway

ARS Needle for Decompression

SAM Splint

From here is where you can start to customize your kit based on the type of activity you are undertaking. You could build a full kit that has everything I am about to mention, but for general first aid, these are the items I tend to keep in my IFAKs. Some can and should have multiples.

GENERAL ( Contained in all following kits )

Green Chem Light

Duct Tape

Survival Blanket

PES Eye Shield

ETD Responder 6in

CPR Face Mask




Multiple Sized Bandaids

Wound Closure Strips

Anti Burn Cream

Wound Cleanser Bottle




Eye Wash

Elastic Bandage

SAM Splint

Water Proof Wrap

Small Sharp Knife

Self Grip Wrap


Wound Irrigation Shield

Gauze Pads

Square Bandages

Hyfin Vent Chest Seal


Small Needle Nose Pliers


Wound Irrigation Shield

Water Proof Wrap

Eye Wash

Duct Tape

Extra Burn Cream

Zip Lock Bags (Multi-Use Item)

These are just the basics, and sometimes things will get added, updated, or removed from the kit. For me, I am usually not far enough away from civilization to need what I would refer to as an expanded kit. This kit would be a kit that contains enough materials for your entire party, along with items from every kit to account for every potential issue. Extended kits are great for backpacking trips and hunting trips that require you to be in more remote areas.

A few resources if you are interested in purchasing a prebuilt IFAK kit or just looking for quality gear are below.

Highly Recommended!

Bear Independent

Other Resources

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