Out Living It… Safely!

By: First Descents & Adventure Medical Kits

Spring is filled with exciting things for FD with the kickoff of our weeklong programs, and many local adventure experiences! We can all agree that the wilderness is a powerful and magical place but even a well planned trip can go downhill, which is why it’s important to be equipped with all the right first aid gear in case of emergency. Recently we partnered with Adventure Medical Kits to promote safety and awesome outdoor experiences. FD and Adventure Medical Kits have teamed up to empower young adults impacted by cancer to embrace the Out Living It lifestyle in a responsible, safe manner.

Adventure Medical Kit products range in terms of contents, but each kit holds crucial safety supplies for emergencies that may occur in the backcountry away from immediate medical help. Along with the tools, the kits are equipped with easy to read instructions for properly treating illness and injury off the grid. Tender Corporation (owner of Adventure Medical Kits) is dedicated to providing the highest quality safety supplies for those who can’t stay away from wild places.

For 30 years Adventure Medical Kits has partnered with top wilderness experts and organizations perfecting their kit design and contents to provide efficient and effective emergency aid.

FD caught up with Adventure Medical Kits on the partnership and they gave us some tips for packing right and light for an outdoor expedition.

How do you prioritize packing light weight while still carrying all of the necessary medical gear you might have?

When picking out gear, consider a few specific criteria:

1. How well does the gear support your goal? 

Look at everything you are bringing and determine how well it supports and/or limits your achievement of your goal. The latter is fairly easier to determine. Does it weigh a ton? How much “just in case” logic did you use to justify that in your pack? How does it directly support your goal? Your goal should be 1) whatever outdoor objective you’re gunning for, and 2) getting back out alive. As the great Ed Vestures said “Getting to the top is optional – getting down is mandatory.” While “what if” thinking is sometimes helpful, it shouldn’t encourage you to pack for every extreme.

2. How much effort does this gear take to use?

“Ultra-lighters” live by this one. Ounces add up to pounds, and that weight ends up on your back (or your adventure buddy’s pack). The lighter the better, but also refer to criterion number 1. Some things are absolutely worth their weight. That being said, if you can minimize weight and/or use items for multiple purposes, you can cut weight elsewhere.This criterion also holds true for ability to use – simple, easy-to-use items work better for a team. As with anything in life, a good balance is key.

3. How reliable is this piece of equipment?

This is really a combination of criteria 1 and 2, but it warrants its own attention. Emergencies don’t happen when you’re alert and ready for them; they happen when you are tired, hurt, or have already made one or many bad decisions. In that moment, you don’t want your equipment to fail you. Your answers to these questions will likely depend on how experienced you are, both in the backcountry and with wilderness first aid. There is always a tradeoff between weight and utility, with the key being to have everything you need and nothing you don’t. Also consider your own peace of mind – if you won’t be comfortable leaving something behind, don’t.

Though the partnership with FD is new, Adventure Medical Kits have long been supporting the healing power of adventure mantra.

“By providing First Descents with medical kits, we’re supporting our mission of equipping people to enjoy the outdoors safely by providing the first aid supplies First Descents needs to keep its participants safe. We value the power of the outdoors and how First Descents is enabling others to experience it, which is why we’re proud to provide the supplies they need to make this experience possible.”

A big thanks to our partners and friends at Tender Corporation, who provide us with the best medical equipment to serve our community safely. The support of Adventure Medical Kits helps us all get #OutLivingIt in the safest possible way.

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