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The Truth about IFAK's

What is an IFAK

The I.F.A.K or individual first aid kit seems to be becoming this evolving animal of perception. Back in the day we would just call it a first aid kit. It was a kit that allowed you to render first aid to yourself or another person. It seemed the only thing that differentiated one first aid kit from another was the level of care a person was able to provide with the kit. With that said, there were very few first aid kits on the market that covered much more than the boo boo level of care.

 Trauma Only IFAK

Today it seems like we have gone to the other extreme. For something to be called a “real” IFAK it must be able to treat severe trauma and only severe trauma.

While I understand, trauma is likely the thing that is going to kill us the fastest, to prepare for major trauma only is a mistake, especially in the backcountry. After all, getting an infection from a minor cut can be just as deadly as bleeding out. Dead is dead, no matter the ride it took to get us there. Moreover, it is much more likely that you will need butterfly bandages for a bad cut than you will need a chest seal for a sucking chest wound.

I’m not saying don’t be prepared for trauma just don’t fixate on it and overlook the big picture.

  Finding the Balance

At Wilderness Survival Systems we believe there must be a balance to make any piece of equipment practical to add to your system. I would not expect someone to carry our advanced IFAK while taking the dog for a walk. The likelihood of needing that level of care while walking the dog is statistically too low to make it practical. On the other hand, if you were on a weeklong hike through the Bob Marshal Wilderness, that would be different. But our compact IFAK, while not having the capabilities of the Advanced IFAK, would be just the ticket for being prepared while walking the dog.  


In the end, we all know having a first aid kit with us is always a good idea, especially in the backcountry. However, being prepared doesn’t mean you need an IFAK for trauma and a first aid kit for everything else. After all, IFAK does not stand for Individual Trauma Kit.


If you would like to find the IFAK or first aid kit that suits your needs, follow the link below.


 If you need us to design a kit tailored to your needs, contact us at


 As always, thanks for reading and remember… Don’t be safe, Be prepared!   


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