A stocked first aid kit is an indispensable item for anyone who spends much time in the great outdoors. After all, you never know when you may twist an ankle on a hiking trail or lacerate your arm on a sharp, low-swinging branch. The most common mishaps in the wild are injuries — blisters, cuts, sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures; but gastrointestinal upsets are not unheard of either. Your first aid kit must be able to fix you up well enough to you get back on the trail or in the case of a serious accident, stabilize you until you can see a doctor.
So how does the Lifeline 207-Piece Sports Medic First Aid Kit measure up in the field? We would give it a B.
For one thing, the Lifeline First Aid Kit doesn’t appear to have been designed as a field first aid kit. It’s heavy, which makes it impractical for any kind of camping kit that’s not centered around a truck, an RV or a car. It’s more like an emergency kit designed to be kept in a football coach’s locker.
For another, though there’s an awful lot of gear in the Lifeline 207-Piece Sports Medic First Aid Kit, some essential items are missing while non-essential items are included. For example: there are four disposable thermometers in the Lifeline First Aid Kit. Four! There’s no compelling reason to have even one thermometer in a camping emergency kit since body temperature in degrees is hardly ever a criteria used in administering first aid in the field. The Lifeline First Aid Kit also contains a Hazardous Material Bag, presumably for the disposal of hazardous materials, but unless you’re planning a backpacking expedition to Chernobyl it’s unclear when this would ever come into use.
On the other hand, the Lifeline First Aid Kit contains no absorbent ABD pads, those large absorbent compress bandages used for protecting bleeding trunk wounds. ABD pads double very effectively as menstrual pads for the woman in your camping party who gets her period unexpectedly or who experiences an unusually heavy menstrual flow.
What else does the Lifeline 207-Piece Sports Medic First Aid Kit contain? Six Cold Packs in different sizes – useful for reducing swelling in the event of a sprain; but not a single Hot Pack – the second stage of first aid treatment for those nasty sprains and a fast way of warming up when hypothermia threatens. Four medium-sized pressure bandages (co-flex bandages), big enough for stabilizing ankle injuries but none wide enough to stabilize a sprained knee. Two triangle bandages but no dedicated arm splint. Three different kinds of analgesic — aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen – but no antidiarrheal medications, no water purification tablets and no space blanket.
The Lifeline 207-Piece Sports Medic First Aid Kit does contain plenty of bandages, band-aids, moleskin, and antibiotic ointments for treating the blisters, cuts, scrapes and abrasions that are likely to be your most common injuries while camping.
But are these enough value for the roughly $60 dollars you will end up spending for the Lifeline Kit? You could probably make your own first aid kit for $20 less; the items are widely available in any drugstore. What’s more you could customize your kit for specific activities like camping, hiking or boating.
In conclusion, the Lifeline 207-Piece Sports Medic First Aid Kit contains most of the basic gear you need to cover emergencies in the great outdoors but leaves out some important items. If you are planning to use the Lifeline Kit on a camping expedition you would be well advised to supplement it with a space blanket, an arm splint, three ABD pads and a couple of large Ace bandages.