How to Use a Military First Aid Kit in Civilian Life and Outdoor Adventures

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When planning a trip or putting together a home medical kit, it’s important to include an “emergency” kit that allows you to provide quick assistance to yourself or another person in case of serious injuries or wounds.

The most optimal medical kit for hiking or extreme outdoor activities is likely a combat medical kit, which is stored separately from other medical supplies and provides quick access.

It’s important to note that combat medical kits were developed to provide medical assistance to injured individuals on the battlefield. While they can be useful in domestic and outdoor settings, it’s important to understand that they contain equipment intended for use in extreme situations.

When and how to use

Here are a few steps to help you use a combat medical kit:

Assess the situation. If you have injured or wounded individuals, using a combat medical kit may help provide first aid until qualified medical personnel arrive. However, if you don’t have the necessary qualifications to provide medical assistance, it’s better not to risk using the kit and leave it to the professionals.

Unpack the kit. Combat medical kits typically contain a variety of materials, such as bandages, bleeding control agents, medications, and other equipment. Unpack the kit and find the necessary materials to provide assistance.

First, put on gloves if you’re providing assistance to another person. This is for your protection.

Provide assistance. Apply the necessary materials to provide assistance based on the type of injury or wound. For example, if someone has an open wound, use a bandage to stop the bleeding and disinfect the wound.

Continue to provide assistance until medical personnel arrive. If you don’t have the necessary qualifications to provide medical assistance, continue to monitor the condition of the injured and assist them as needed.

After providing assistance, it is important to check your first aid kit and replenish it with necessary materials. Always check the expiration dates of medications and supplies in your combat medical kit and replace them in a timely manner.

Only use it if you know how

Learn how to use your combat medical kit and provide first aid. Various courses and training are available to help you learn how to properly use your combat medical kit and provide effective first aid in extreme situations.

The use of a combat medical kit can be life-saving in extreme situations. However, it is important to remember that it contains equipment intended for providing medical assistance in extreme conditions. If you do not have sufficient qualifications to provide medical assistance, it is better not to risk using the kit and leave it to the professionals.

Composition of a military medical kit:

  • tourniquet (high-quality, certified) – for stopping arterial or severe bleeding of limbs
  • hemostatic bandage – for tamponading open wounds
  • regular bandage – also for tamponading open wounds
  • Israeli bandage (elastic bandage) – for creating pressure on an open wound after tamponade
  • occlusive dressing (or reinforced tape) – for application in case of lung puncture
  • colored gloves – for personal protection if providing assistance to others
  • thermal blanket – for keeping the injured person warm
  • adhesive plaster
  • marker – for recording the time of tourniquet application
  • non-traumatic scissors – for cutting clothing


This article is intended to help you form a kit for extreme situations that you should have on hand just in case. However, using the items in such a kit requires training. It’s not difficult – I learned and used most of the items in such a kit, but you can’t learn everything from written instructions alone. You need a specialist or instructor to teach you.