First, what is your level of first aid training?  That has a lot to do with what should be in your kit.  Training is a lot more important than stuff.  Being able to recognize serious, often subtle conditions is very important - what does it mean if pupils of someone who has just tripped and fallen are different in size?

I would add in, just thinking off hand, a couple of 3"elastic bandages - really versatile items and perhaps a few 4" sterile dressings.


It is worthwhile to look over the rest of your kit in search of items that will be useful in first aid.  How would you fashion a splint for a broken/badly sprained ankle or leg (you usually can't tell the difference without an x-ray).  Could you incorporate a trekking pole (or pieces), tent poles?.  What about padding for the splint?  Out of tape?  How about the duct tape in your repair kit?  and so on.... Good improvisation can be just as effective as specialized, one use items, if done right.

If you are deep in the woods, how will the victim reach definitive care?  Is the person alert, oriented, and generally OK?  Is the person properly hydrated? (most of us are typically slightly dehydrated).  Can you keep the victim warm or cool as conditions require?

If you are dealing with a serious situation, your most important item may be a cell/PLB to summon outside assistance.  Signalling gear (whistle and signal mirror) come into play here, or possibly a good, roaring signal fire....

Again, so much comes down to training and experience,using thoughtful judgment.

My comments are based on training to nationally certified EMT level and extensive experience at back country SAR scenes.  I would loe to hear from higher level medical professionals on this subject.

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