*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Surviveware graciously gifted me a large first aid kit and offered small compensation in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this article are 100% my own—I’d never recommend a product I don’t stand behind, love, and use myself.
Hiking, trekking, camping, backpacking – it doesn’t matter what type of outdoor adventure you enjoy; there is nothing quite as serene as being surrounded by 360-degree views of nature and enjoying the tranquility of surviving in the wilderness. But there’s one question I hear ALL the time: how do you stay safe in the backcountry?
The answer: do your research, prepare as much as possible, have the right gear (including a first aid kit), and know how to use it.
When Surviveware approached me to review their large first aid kit, I couldn’t say no. Safety and preparedness are key to making your next wilderness adventure a good one. As a safety-conscious wanderer, this wilderness first aid kit is nothing short of a breath of fresh air that soothes many of my biggest wilderness fears. Since getting my hands on it, it’s something I never hit the trail without.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth the price, what’s inside, what it’s missing, and what makes it so great, you’re in the right place.
Table of Contents:
- The bag itself
- What’s inside?
- What makes this kit unique
- Customizing your kit
- Is there anything missing?
- Weight, size, and suitability for hiking and camping
- Our rating system
- Other Surviveware kits
The Bag Itself: Durable Materials + A Well-Thought Out Design
Before we dive into what this incredibly comprehensive first aid kit comes with, I want to talk about the bag itself.
At first glance, it looks durable and well made. It certainly doesn’t feel like a cheap first aid kit… at all. The outer bag itself is made using high-quality 600D polyester, making it one of the most durable bags you’ll find in the rugged first aid kit category. Simply put: this bag is friggen’ tough. Plus, all of the stitching is solid—Surviveware doesn’t skimp out on quality… anywhere.
Its 600D polyester material also means the bag is water-resistant (it’s not 100% waterproof—but Surviveware offers a fully waterproof option if that’s your jam). However, everything inside the kit comes packaged in waterproof laminate pouches to protect the goods, should water ever make its way inside.
Aside from high-quality materials, the bag is also well designed with clearly labeled pockets so you know what everything is and where it goes when you’re done with it. If you’re anything like me, organization on the trial is crucial to feeling confident and in control. If that sounds like you, this first aid kit is a no-brainer.
Despite being packed full of hundreds of first aid items, there’s still plenty of room to add your own gear (even bulkier items like larger splints, an extra t-shirt, or another pair of socks. ).
The large kit also includes a detachable 50-piece mini kit that’s compact, lightweight, and small enough to clip on your pack or stuff inside.
The bag even comes with a personal pocket so you can add personal items, like prescription medicine, OTC medication, allergy meds, an epi-pen, or anything else you might need (complete with extra bags to put everything in as well).
To sweeten the deal, the first aid kit comes with a removable MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) system so you can easily attach it to the headrests in your car, to a roll cage, your backpack, or inside your trunk for easy access anytime you need it. The beauty of the system is that you can open it up and access all of its contents without removing it from whatever you’ve attached it to. And you never have to worry about the bag falling off or moving around.
There’s a reason the US Army and other Nato armed forces trust MOLLE—it works.
I leave the full first aid kit in the car (for most hikes) and tuck the 50-piece mini kit in the side pocket of my backpack to get us back to the car. So, it’s versatile as well.
The Surviveware Large First Aid Kit—What’s Inside?
From splinters and minor burns to cuts, sprains, CPR, open wounds, and even an emergency blanket, this kit is well stocked with 200+ well-organized (and high quality) first aid items. The large Surviveware kit includes:
- 1x 7.5″ shears
- 1x 18″ splint
- 5x large & 5x medium butterfly bandages
- 5x large Band-Aids
- 30x standard Band-Aids
- 5x square Band-Aids
- 5x mini Band-Aids
- 5x h shape Band-Aids
- 1x cold pack
- 1x combine dressing
- 6x conforming bandages
- 5x gauze swabs
- 1x CPR bag (with instructions)
- 1x CPR mask
- 20x earbuds
- 1x emergency blanket
- 4x eye pads
- 3x fever strips
- 4x pairs of Nitrile gloves
- 5x hydrogel
- 1x roll of hypoallergenic tape
- 10x non adhesive dressings
- 6x extra laminate bags
- 1x trash bag
- 1x pressure bandage
- 10x safety pins
- 10x cleaning wipes
- 10x splinter probes
- 10x sting relief wipes
- 9x strip closures
- 2x triangular bandage
- 1x pair of tweezers
- 1x whistle
- 2x wound dressings
You also get a first aid guide that walks you through how to handle different scenarios until you can call for help. Reading through this definitely gave me the confidence boost I needed to know I can handle emergencies until help arrives—something that becomes more important the more remote you are.
While this kit is a great tool to have, we 100% recommend some form of first aid, CPR, or medical training in addition to your first aid kit—having a first aid kit and knowing how to use it are two different things.
The 50-piece travel kit weighs next to nothing and fits in the side pocket of my pack for quick & easy access on the trail. The mini kit includes 5x safety pins, one pair of Nitrile gloves, a small pair of shears, 3x antiseptic wipes, 20x adhesive bandages, one conforming bandage, one roll of tape, one CPR mask, 2x splinter probes, 10x gauze swabs (q-tips), and one combine dressing.
While it won’t help with major injuries, it’s excellent for smaller hikes or on a longer trip where weight is a top priority. You can use it to get you by until you get back to your car and can open up the full kit.
It’s very lightweight, compact, and helps with a lot of the most common minor injuries you may experience on the trail, like scrapes and cuts. Plus, you can also get creative with some of the items (like safety pins, tape, shears, and bandages, in an emergency).
As a bonus, there’s enough room to add small items so you can personalize your mini kit however you’d like.
What Makes the Surviveware First Aid Kit Better than Other Kits on the Market?
Besides all the first aid essentials (bandages, gauze pads, sting relief wipes, & cleaning wipes), this kit also comes with extra supplies that you don’t see in other kits, like a CPR kit, an 18″ splint, 60+ bandages in different sizes, high-quality shears, and a cold pack.
It’s also high-rated, used, and loved by medical professionals as well.
However, the two main things that make this kit stand out from the rest… are quality and organization.
Every single piece of medical equipment is built to last, withstand the elements, and hold up against everyday wear and tear. Plus, the bag itself is water-resistant & good quality. Its 600D polyester makeup + MOLLE system + fully labeled structure is the most rugged (and user-friendly!) option on the market today—you won’t find this level of sheer quality & ease of use at the same price point anywhere else.
The labeled pockets inside the bag make it easy to find what you need, even if you’re in a hurry, hurt, or rushing to help someone else.
The large kit‘s well-thought-out design also makes it easy to see everything at a glance, pull out what you need with one hand, and restock anything that’s missing.
We put the kit through extreme heat (on accident) during the northwest heatwave June 25th – 28th, 2021. We went on a backpacking trip with the travel kit AND left the large first aid kit in the car in 110+ degree weather. Both kits are still as good as new. Nothing melted, nothing got stuck together, and everything is exactly as we’d left it.
If you want a first aid kit you don’t have to worry about… that’s easy to use AND packed with quality items, Surviveware is the way to go.
Is there Room to Customize Your Surviveware Kit?
One of the (many) things we love about Surviveware survival kits is that there’s plenty of room for customization, with more than enough space to add personalized items. There’s even a pocket to help you keep these extra items organized.
While the Surviveware large first aid kit is packed full of essential items, it also acts as a blank canvas ready for you to add whatever you need.
If you’re hiking, backpacking, or camping, make sure you’ve covered the 10 essentials. Some items won’t fit in the bag (like navigation, extra clothes, extra water, extra food, and a light source) but a lot of them will.
For example, we added fire starters, duct tape, a lighter, and waterproof matches (we highly recommend these as part of the 10 essentials) to our mini kit that comes with us on every hike—no matter what.
Even with those added items, there’s still plenty of room to add more.
In addition to the mini kit, we also take the blanket from the large kit with us on most hikes to use as an emergency shelter (one of the 10 essentials). We highly recommend doing the same.
Another pro tip: if your backpack doesn’t have a built-in whistle, don’t forget to grab that out of your Surviveware large first aid kit and toss it in your mini kit.
You can also throw in extra batteries, sunscreen, bug spray, a small piece of biodegradable soap, a lightweight blanket or bivy (that doubles as an emergency shelter), a knife or multitool, and a repair kit.
Aside from the essentials, you should also think about any types of medication you may need on the trail. From allergy meds and an epi-pen to pain relief, salt tablets, contact solution, chapstick (be wary of it melting), eye drops, and anti-inflammatory meds, there’s plenty of room (and extra bags) for whatever you need.
What, if Anything, Is the Large Surviveware First Aid Kit Missing?
While this first aid kit is well stocked with supplies for minor injuries, it’s missing a few things for more serious injuries, including a QuikClot, a tourniquet, an Israeli bandage, and a knife or multitool.
It also doesn’t come with any medications, Neosporin, or other antibiotic ointments (there are cleaning wipes you can use to keep your hands, scrapes, small cuts, & minor wounds clean, though).
Note: Some reviews mention that Surviveware will send you a tourniquet for free if you let them know you’d like one.
Since we received the large kit as a gift, we didn’t ask.
A few other odds and ends we thought were missing include a permanent market, a small notebook (great if you forget your journal, need to write something down during an emergency or need kindling for a fire), and a knife or multitool.
It’s also important to point out that this kit doesn’t come with any water or food, since it’s not a full bug out bag—we definitely don’t see this as a negative, since that’s not what the kit was intended for.
However, Surviveware does have a complete bug out bag if that’s something you’re interested in.
Lastly, we wish there was a way to buy individual items to restock our kit as we use things up. Currently, Surviveware offers a refill pack that includes a lot of the supplies, but it doesn’t cover everything in the large kit and you can’t just buy what you need—you have to buy the whole refill pack.
How Much Does it Weigh, How Big Is it, & Is it Suitable for Backpacking or an Overnight Trip?
The full first aid kit with the mini kit inside weighs 3.25 lbs, so it’s a bit heavy for long trips and overnights. It’s also pretty big, at 12″ x 8″ x 6″. There’s no denying it’ll take up a ton of space in your pack.
If you don’t want to strap it to your pack or carry the whole thing with you, get strategic about what you take—you probably don’t need to take every single thing in there (do you really need 60x Band-Aids?). You can also leave the actual bag itself in your car. There’s no need to carry that with you if you’re worried about weight. It’s heavy and ditching the bag for a few nights can help shave off some extra lbs.
You can use a zip-lock bag (or no bag at all) to carry things that won’t fit inside the mini kit as well. Doing so gives you a lot more flexibility in where supplies go to make the most of what little space you have. For example, we stuff the emergency blanket anywhere it’ll fit (or even around other things to maximize the space).
We recommend making a checklist of every piece of emergency gear you want to take. From there, you can lay it all out, decide what fits inside the small kit, and figure out where everything else will go.
To answer your question: you can certainly turn the large Surviveware kit into a backpacking first aid kit with some creativity. But out of the box, it’s not suitable for long trips or overnights because of its size. The mini kit, on the other hand, is perfect for long trips because it’s compact and lightweight.
But it may not include everything you need.
What We Considered When Testing & Rating the Surviveware Large First Aid Kit
We do our best to provide real value and helpful reviews you can actually use when making crucial decisions about the gear you buy and use.
In light of full transparency and my nerdy affinity for numbers, here’s a look at the factors we (Dalton and I) considered when writing this hands-on review and rating the Surviveware large first aid kit.
Durability: 10/10 – when choosing a camping, hiking, or backpacking first aid kit, you need something that’ll withstand time and rough conditions. The exterior of both bags this kit comes with are made with 600D polyester, making them incredibly durable and water-resistant. Both are key to keeping the contents safe.
With Surviveware, you never have to worry about the bag failing, a zipper opening up on the trail, or low-quality supplies inside.
Comprehensiveness: 9/10 – the Surviveware large first aid kit comes with everything you need to take care of minor injuries. It’s one of the most comprehensive kits we’ve seen. However, we would sacrifice a few things here and there with supplies for survival, heavy bleeding, and more serious injuries as well.
Versatility: 10/10 – the versatility of this kit is great. We love that it comes with a small, lightweight, and compact 50-piece mini kit we can take with us on the trail while leaving the full kit in the car. We also love that there’s plenty of room in both kits to add personal items, medication, survival gear, and major injury supplies (complete with extra bags and compartments to keep everything organized).
Ease of use: 10/10 – if you’re a fan of labels and organization, this kit is a no-brainer. You’ll love the numerous compartments, pockets, and zippers that make it easy to find exactly what you need without wondering what’s what. Its layout is well-thought-out and you can see everything at first glance—no more digging around looking for that ONE thing you need in a hurry.
It also comes with a printed first aid guide that walks through how to handle various scenarios and use the supplies inside your large kit.
If we could fairly rate all of Surviveware’s kits a 20/10 for ease of use, we would.
Weight: 7/10 – At 3.5 lbs, this kit is heavier than most of the other options on the market. If you’re not planning on carrying it with you, weight doesn’t really matter. But as a hiker/backpacker, every ounce matters. Weight and size are the tradeoffs for crushing it in durability, ease of use, and comprehensiveness.
With that said, you can shave off a lot of weight by stuffing the travel kit, being strategic about what you bring, and leaving the bag itself in the car. Just make sure you know what everything is and how to use it since you won’t have the handy labels and organization system to help you out.
Price: 8/10 – if you bought everything separately at your local drug store, you’d pay around $150 on the conservative side. And that doesn’t include the extra supplies in the mini kit or either of the water-resistant, ultra-durable bags. At this price, this survival kit is a steal. With that said, it’s a bit more expensive than other (lower quality) kits on the market.
Overall score: 9/10
Other Surviveware First Aid Kits
Looking for something else or curious to see what else Surviveware has to offer? With a full fleet of survival first aid kits & personal hygiene products, you’re sure to find what you need.
Aside from first aid kits, Surviveware sells restock packs, multi-purpose splints, biodegradable wet wipes, compressed wet wipes (just add water!), firestarters, waterproof matches, waterproof duct tape, and more.