Six handy first-aid kits

Posted by Matt Sterne on 25 June 2020

While the best first-aid kit is one that’s customised to your likely needs, says Gear Editor Matthew Sterne, there are some that offer a great template from which to start.

The 85-piecer

Lifeline Large First Aid Kit


The Lifeline Large First Aid Kit, with its sturdy case and varied supplies, including a first-aid guide, looks like something an informed parent might carry. The 85 pieces include bandages for knuckles, knees or elbows, and a triangular one to make a sling. There’s a whole lot more packed in: scissors, tweezers, rubber gloves, alcohol prep pads, sting-relief pads, antiseptic towelettes, sterile gauze pads, combine dressing, conforming gauze roll, adhesive tape wound-closure strips, 20 small and 10 regular-sized bandages plus an emergency whistle. If all those bandages don’t suffice, you probably need a new limb.

For an S.O.SSSSS

Survival Emergency Solutions Snake Bite Kit


If there’s one country that needs a decent snakebite kit, it’s Australia, home to 140 species of snakes. Snake-safety experts from Down Under designed the Survival Snake Bite Kit. It’s built around their Smart Bandage, which uses a pictogram to show how to create the correct tension when applying a bandage (really simple but clever). Weighing 555g, it comes with an emergency blanket, a mini permanent marker, rubber gloves, three pressure bandages, a cotton gauze swab, a snakebite instruction card and a splint.


Johan Marais of the African Snakebite Institute gives this advice for dealing with a snake encounter:

1. Make sure the person is away from the snake, as a second bite would really complicate matters.

2. Forget about tourniquets or cutting and sucking out the venom, and just focus on getting the patient to the nearest hospital urgently.

3. Call a private ambulance service, if possible, and notify the nearest hospital that you’re on the way. Or drive there yourself.

4. For more advanced first-aid measures, check out or download the free first aid for snakebite app, ASI Snakes.

Good to know: Four out of 10 snakebite victims have no symptoms (dry bites) and nine out of 10 don’t require antivenom.

For kids

LittleLife Mini First Aid Kit


For many youngsters, it’s not a proper holiday without a few bumps or grazes, which is why this LittleLife Mini First Aid Kit is handy for families on the go. The size of a very thick wallet, it has many useful items such as small scissors, tweezers, a paper-thin oral thermometer, micropore tape, antiseptic cream and wipes, dressings, burn gel and even some ‘Little Star’ stickers.

For hikers

Lifesystems Adventurer First Aid Kit


The Adventurer has the basics to deal with common injuries. A good choice for multi-day trails, the QuickFind System ensures that the kit is organised and compact. Weighing 330g, the pack consists of 29 items, including bandages, cleansing wipes, micropore tape, burn gel, antiseptic cream, dressings, plasters, tweezers, safety pins, scissors and gloves.

For adventure racers

Lifesystems Light and Dry Nano Kit


The Lifesystems Light and Dry Nano kit was designed with racing events in mind, aiming to help treat minor athletic ailments on the go. Weighing just 95g, it contains 16 tailored components. The items are stored in a waterproof bag and include six safety pins, two sunscreen sachets (which would probably need replacing after one race), five gauze swabs, two cleansing wipes, dressings, bandages and a pack of plasters.

The basics

Lifeline Waterproof Survival Kit


With this survival kit from Lifeline in your back pocket, you might feel like you can go anywhere. And while that’s probably not true (the items are a little gimmicky), it would make for a fun present for a budding adventurer. The water-resistant case holds a small torch, a candle, a whistle, five plasters, a fire starter and a small (rather blunt) multi-tool.

The other essential

Lifesystems Heatshield Bag


In emergencies or cold conditions, a heatshield bag such as this one can be a lifesaver as it reflects and retains over 90% of radiated body heat. About the size of a tennis ball, the bag is super light (110g), reusable and waterproof. It’s long enough to form a hood for a tall person, comes with emergency instructions printed on it, and the bright-orange colour makes for a decent distress-signalling device.

Survival guide app

The Offline Survival Manual helps you overcome tricky situations, even if you don’t have internet access. It can be downloaded for free and contains useful information about making fire, finding food and even the psychological impact of being in a survival situation. Categories include basic medicine, shelter, plants, finding direction, signalling and camouflage.

Images: Getaway/Highbury Media


This article was first published in the November 2019 issue of Getaway magazine.
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All prices correct at publication, but are subject to change at each establishment’s discretion. Please check with them before booking or buying.


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