Making a FAK

Discussion in 'Bush Medicine' started by Medic17, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    One of the guys here asked me to help him out with making a FAK.
    He stated he had little medical experience and wanted a comprehensive FAK for his novice skill level.

    My intent was to modify a commercially available kit, but it backfired.
    It seemed harder than what I initially expected.

    I thought a good starting kit would be an Adventure Medical Kit .9.
    The content seemed solid for a good FAK, I though some simple modifications could do it justice. Bottom line, the nylon pouch is not durable (zipper broke) and customer support sucks when directly contacting the company. My only suggestion if you use this kit as a starting kit purchase it from REI or someplace that stands behind their products.

    You can check out the original kit
    Ultralight & Watertight .9 - Ultralight / Watertight - Medical Kits - Adventure® Medical Kits - First Aid Kits and Survival Gear


    • Bandage Materials
    • 5 - Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1" x 3"
    • 3 - Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
    • 1 - Bandage, Conforming Gauze, 3"
    • 2 - Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2" x 2", Pkg./2
    • 3 - Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 3" x 3", Pkg./2
    • 2 - Dressing, Non-Adherent, Sterile, 3" x 4"
      Bleeding
    • 1 - Gloves, Nitrile (Pair), Hand Wipe
    • 1 - Trauma Pad, 5" x 9"
      Blister / Burn
    • 2 - Moleskin, Pre-Cut & Shaped (11 pieces)
      Duct Tape
    • 1 - Duct Tape, 2" x 50"
      Fracture / Sprain
    • 1 - Bandage, Elastic with Velcro, 2"
      Instrument
    • 3 - Safety Pins
    • 1 - Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps
      Medication
    • 2 - After Bite Wipe
    • 2 - Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
    • 2 - Aspirin (325 mg), Pkg./2
    • 2 - Diamode (Loperamide HCI 2 mg), Pkg./1
    • 2 - Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2
    • 2 - Acetaminophen (500 mg), Pkg./2
      Wound Care
    • 6 - Antiseptic Wipe
    • 2 - Alcohol Swab
    • 1 - Cotton Tip Applicator, Pkg./2
    • 1 - Syringe, Irrigation, 10 cc, 18 Gauge Tip
    • 1 - Tape, 1" x 10 Yards
    • 1 - Skin Tac™ Topical Adhesive, Wipe
    • 3 - Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use
    • 1 - Wound Closure Strips, 1/4" x 4", Pkg./10




    [​IMG]
    Bottom Line-
    This is what I gutted from the pouch.

    The original pouch sucked.
    Ace Bandage was too small to be useful.
    Glove were very thin.
    Gauze was replace with Kerlix that was better packaged.
    5x9's - I do not find much value in them in an emergency setting.
    (No need to pack 2 rolls of duct tape.)
    I hate standard medical tape for austere settings.
    I do not believe things should be lock tagged. It prevents inspection and familiarization.

    [​IMG]

    Here is what I added.
    SOL 2 Person Heatsheets- Thermo Regulation and Signaling
    I repackaged it for better storage.
    Whirl Pak with PurTabs. Clean Wound Debreidment and Rehydration
    People drink out of canteens, your mouth is a very dirty place.
    Ceralyte- Hydration, common outdoor ailment
    H&H Primed Gauze- Much better packaging and product than standard gauze.
    H&H Mini Compression Bandage- this would take the place of the 5x9 and cheap gauze.
    SWAT-T - Multi Function Constricting Band that packs really well.
    Scalpel- Generally not needed but better than using a BK2 for medical issues.
    Heavy Duty Gloves and CPR Mask. If you are going to render aid to someone else, be safe.
    Whistle and Glow Stick- Signaling and a source of light in a dark area is very important.
    Trauma Shears- General utility cutting tool. Safer than using your knife, especially with nerves.
    Chem Tape- This stuff is 10x better than duct tape. I roll it against a old gift card for easy storage. 6 feet should do just fine.

    Book
    Medicine for the Outdoors
    It is a very well written, comprehensive resource.
    It is geared to give the lay person exceptional knowledge, without being over ones head.

    [​IMG]

    I also added Mastisol and good Steri Strips for wound closure, along with a triple antibiotic ointment. - Just a little extra for wound care.

    Hydrocortisone Cream and Pepcid was added to aid in Allergic Reactions.

    Overall the kit weighs exactly 1lb more than the original AMK UL .9 kit with the same foot print.
    However it provides much more capability when handling true emergencies.
    This kit would be well suited in a personal vehicle if you came across a motor vehicle accident as well as a bushcraft outing with a simple ailment.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  2. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter

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    Very nice, thanks for sharing

    I didnt think about adding water purification and rehydration electrolytes to the FAK but it does makes sense.
     
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  3. longhunter

    longhunter Northman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    All I carry is an assortment of band aids, tube of neosporin and a large bandana. IMHO that will do for anything I may need as a FAK
     
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  4. teb_atoz

    teb_atoz Banned Member Banned

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    Please read the book before you walk out the door, better yet get some training.

    I like the kit for the pouches, have not had an issue yet.

    Morton light salt is as good as rehydration electrolytes drink mix.

    also some Benadryl tablets.

    cheers
     
  5. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    @Medic17 you rock. When I look at the top banner of the site it reads, "knowledge, skills, integrity", and you are fantastic at all three. This is a great thread and I appreciate it.
     
  6. bowitis

    bowitis Supporter Supporter

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    ????




    Anyway, Thanks! What you bring to this forum is priceless!

    I will gladly pack, carry and practice with this, hoping I never need it and hopefully not panic and have more witts about myself and what I'm doing when time and knowledge is critical.
    It's not so much about me anymore. Lately I often have kids with me, and I would never forgive myself if I should have been able to help and I didn't know how or even worse did more damage.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  7. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Good thread.

    But, Duuudddeee...no oregano oil? It's a medicine chest in a bottle! Yeah, I know...I know...

    One of the few OTC things that I make a point of carrying is Benadryl (in case of an allergic reaction) as mentioned by @teb_atoz .
     
  8. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    Benadryl is included in the original AMK Kit. No need to add more.

    I am willing to hear you out on Oil of Oregano- I'll Guinea Pig myself.
     
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  9. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Sorry, I must have missed it in the original kit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
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  10. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    No worries, I wasn't clear, changed the original post up a bit to reflect that.
     
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  11. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Awesome, I need a new FAK and this thread will certainly help me in knowing what one should contain.
     
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  12. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    If you are open to suggestions:
    A small tweezers - splinters are such a PITA to deal with
    A flat lens - to better see the splinters of course
    As many as you see fit to carry:
    foil packets of alcohol
    foil packets of Provodine
    foil packets of ASA
    foil packets of Tylenol
    packets of sugar (2 or 3) for road rash


    LED Headlamp - small, the kind that uses button batteries - hard to provide aid without a headlamp to fee up the hands

    I modded the slighter later Trauma pack by these folks.
    [​IMG]
    While the manual included is nice, I removed it to gain more interior space. That is something that should be read and re-read at home - with no crisis to distract...



    Thanks for the post!



     
  13. AnthemBassMan

    AnthemBassMan Scout

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  14. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    IMO
    The 12 Survivors kit is very expensive for what it has to offer.
    The roll up kit is nice for layout, it makes it easier to see everything but it is very bulky and may prevent you from carrying it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  15. AnthemBassMan

    AnthemBassMan Scout

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    Do you have any other recommendations for a ready to use kit, or just start from scratch and assemble as I go?

    L8R,
    Matt
     
  16. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    I think the best kit is one you make.
    That way you can tailor it to your exact needs.

    When you buy a ready made kit, it is sure convenient but often times expensive and has a bunch of not needed stuff.
    (Depending on what your needs are.)

    I still think Adventure Medical offers a decent, well equipped, but basic kit.
    It does have some pitfalls. (See my first post at the top of this tread.)

    Kits can range from very basic to comprehensive depending on YOUR NEEDS.
    The best first aid kit will be of little use if you do not know how to use it.

    I will say this...
    Not everyone needs Quik Clot, Tourniquets, and Izzy Style Battle Dressings.
    Again, it comes down to threat assessment and what you know how to use.

    The kit above is comprehensive for outdoor ailments. It can also aid in first response if one should come across an emergency.
    It was set up for someone with basic knowledge and minimal experience but had the willingness to learn.
    That's how the kit was designed.

    I have also carried a very simple kit while on my bike which included:

    1 Pair Gloves
    1 Antimicrobial Hand Wipe
    1 H&H Primed Gauze
    1 3x4 Telfa Pad
    3 Band Aids
    1 Pkt Triple Antibiotic Ointment
    50mg Benadryl
    1000mg Tylenol
    800mg Motrin

    This kit is the size of a pack of cigarettes. It is designed to be minimal but still capable for self and buddy aid.
    I personally feel confident that I could at least slow down a heavy bleed with this until help arrived.

    A good single source supplier for making your own kit is Rescue Essentials.

    If any of you have trouble and questions please feel free to ask.
    If you want to be private feel free to PM me.

    This forum has a bunch of resources.
    Check the FAK section in the Bushclass subsection for ideas.
    Some work, some don't.

    Its okay not everyone is willing to render aid, but should at least be able to help themselves.
    Not everyone will have the threat of being shot or stabbed.
    Some will just face cuts from carelessness.

    Bottom line for a good kit tailored to your needs will require some thought.
    There is no easy solution.
     
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  17. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The real problem for non-medical professionals is getting supplies in small quantities. That is the only reason I see for buying ready made kits.

    Even something as simple and basic as a 4x4 gauge pad can be problematic. Buy a box of 25 then put two or three in a kit and the average person may take five years to use the balance of them; and so forth for most everything in your kit.
     
  18. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    WW
    I agree, that is why a commercial kit can be good for a starting point.
    A couple of companies sell modules but ultimately you usually end up with more than you need.

    I do not think its too bad if you are using your kit, you will have a little resupply on hand.
    In general I let meds go a year past their date. Gauze and bandages I do not look at a date if the packaging is intact, or its "clean" looking.

    Single serve packets at gas stations may be the way to go as well.
     
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  19. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I try to keep a small supply of really sterile stuff set aside for the little cuts and scrapes. For serious major trauma I don’t even give thought to the difference between a dressing and a bandage. The wound is already highly contaminated, the victim is going to a hospital, the wound will experience debridement and antibiotics are all but SOP. There is no difference between a perfect dressing or one out of date or a dirty rag at that point; getting the bleeding stopped, and keeping shock at bay is job one—infection control is somewhere way down the line.
     
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  20. eebae015

    eebae015 Scout

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    You can purchase a lot of the needed supplies at your nearby "dollar store" for a considerable lower
    cost. The self-adhering wrap i.e. Kerflex can be purchased at your local agricultural store i.e. Farm & Fleet, Tractor Supply, Rural King, etc. for a lot less money allowing several rolls to be obtained for the cost of one roll of the name brand. These wraps come in many different colors such as white, red, blue, black, etc. The extra items can be kept as back up supplies at home and/or for either making additional FAKs i.e. home, vehicle, hunting, etc.

    I hope this little bit helps.
     
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  21. sgmc

    sgmc Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks this is very helpful I've been fighting trying to figure out what I need for a kit.
     
  22. Lookin4lunkers

    Lookin4lunkers Scout

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    This is great! How about your take on an add on type kit for hemorrhaging? My interest is gunshot wounds and severe lacerations
     
  23. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    I like to have a separate kit for major stuff so you do not trash your whole kit if you contaminate it.
    Plus you are not rummaging through non essential stuff when you are under stress.

    For the simplest kits I like to start off with a pair of heavy duty non latex gloves and a face mask (Laerdal Face Shields). Non Latex are more durable and last longer. Plus you do not have to worry about latex allergies.

    Add on Gauze, I prefer Kerlix type from H&H medical called Primed Gauze. Its vacuum packaged in a very durable wrapper.
    I do not like military style dressings. They can be complicated especially if you are not familiar with them. I do not think they are as multi functional either.

    Get yourself 2-3 good commercial tourniquets.
    1 Dedicated for Training and 1-2 for your kit. Sometimes bad bleeders may require more than one tourniquet on the same extremity. CAT Gen 7's have been awesome but there are plenty out there.
    Check out the tourniquet thread.

    Ace Style Dressing- I love TacMed Control Wrap. It has velcro bars so if you drop it, it does not run away from you.

    Duct Tape- I like about 4-5 feet flat rolled onto a old gift card.

    Shears or a Hook Cutter- Helps with Exposure.

    HeatSheet- It protects people from the elements, nice to have but not required.

    If you are ambitious and have some extra funds look into a hemostatic gauze like QuikClot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  24. Lookin4lunkers

    Lookin4lunkers Scout

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    Thanks @Medic17! When you say military style dressings are you referring Israeli or H&H H bandages that induce pressure?
     
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  25. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    @Lookin4lunkers
    All of them actually Izzy, H&H "H" Dressings, Olaes, and what not.

    (The H&H Mini Compression Bandage is a little different. Essentially its small trauma pad with a ace stitched on. No complicated packaging or specific technique of application.)

    The problem is that the military /pre-fab dressings have double wrappers or hard to open wrappers, weak spots, specific techniques for application all or any of which can really be cumbersome in an emergency.

    Yes the fancy dressings can be more efficient if you are proficient with them.
    The problem is that people usually do not practice with them. Many often scoff at the idea of buying some expensive wiz bang dressings only to "waste" them by opening them and practicing with them.

    That's why I prefer a simple Ace Dressing and Rolled Puffy Gauze.
    I can hand it to anyone and they can figure it out. If I am under stress I am going back to my most proficient / basic supplies of bandaging.


    _____________________________________________________

    I posted this in another thread and thought it applied to the question.

    If you do not want to order from a bunch of places I would suggest contacting Rescue Essentials. They are a pretty good single source place. Here is what I prefer for a really good (basic) bleeding control kit. The items are listed in priority. My suggestion is items 1-4 then 5. Item 6 (QuikClot) is gravy.

    1. 2-4 H&H Primed Gauzes (In general 2 Gauzes for Each Ace Bandage)

    2. 4" ACE Bandage with Velcro. I like Tacmed Control Wrap- Its multi strip velcro ACE style wrap so if you drop it, it does not unravel and run away from you.

    3. 2-3 Non Adherent Pads- Reduces Pain and Tissue Damage when you get a heavy abrasion or filet yourself. It will keep sticking to a minimum when the bandage gets pulled off at the ED/ER.

    4. Flat Rolled Duct Tape

    5. CAT Tqt. (Buy 2- One Blue for Training- Write "Training" on It.)

    6. QuikClot

    In general I do not like ready made bandages like Israeli Dressings.
    They limit your options and people do not practice with them enough to be proficient.

    Your kit does not have to be fancy. Items 1-4 will cost under $20 and they will control most significant bleeding situations. Store it in a quart freezer bag with a pair of gloves. The H&H Primed Gauzes and ACE Style wraps are really cheap so get a few extra to play with and scatter about for other kits. I prefer the Primed Gauzes over other prepackaged gauzes because they are rolled and not folded. The packaging is really compact and durable.

    Vet Wrap / Coban is cool (useful) but it is not as multi use as a ACE Bandage.

    Only get a CAT TQT if you plan on buying two and actually practicing with one of them.

    This kit may seem simple, but it's intended to be. Don't let the simplicity fool you, its still VERY effective. The more training and experience you get the more preferences you will have. At which point you will be able to make up your own mind on what you like and need.

    Chinook Med is also a good supplier but they do not have Control Wrap.

    http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/bleeding-control-kit-help.187534/
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  26. Lookin4lunkers

    Lookin4lunkers Scout

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    Thanks Brother this thread has really helped clear up some things for me
     
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