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Gear Review – VSSL First Aid Kit -Great for Backpacking and Outdoor Adventures

Gear Review – VSSL First Aid Kit -Great for Backpacking and Outdoor Adventures

There was a day not long ago when my wife wished she had carried the VSSL First Aid Kit. It was a beautiful day in Waterton Lakes National Park when Debbie and her brother enjoyed a leisurely cycling excursion on Red Rock Canyon Parkway. Cycling the 9 km (5.5 mi) road is always an adventure, but on this particular day it ended up being more of an adventure than they imagined. As they arrived at the parking lot near Red Rock Canyon, they discovered an injured cyclist. The person had lost control of their rented e-bike. They had a deep gash in their leg and needed help. Fortunately, my wife had a first aid kit in her backpack and was certified in emergency first aid. Unfortunately, the first aid kit she had in her backpack was not adequate to help the injured cyclist. A call was made and first responders arrived and were able to get this person to a hospital where appropriate care could be given. If she had been carrying the VSSL First Aid Kit, she would have been better equipped to assist the injured cyclist.

A Good First Aid Kit Can Make a Difference When it Matters

We always carry first aid kits in our backpacks when we are hiking, cycling or participating in other outdoor activities. We also keep one in our vehicle. Fortunately, we haven’t had to use our first aid kit very often. The incident in Waterton Lakes National Park made us reevaluate the first aid kit we carried with us when we went on outdoor adventures. Recently we changed to the VSSL First Aid Kit. It’s the best backpacking first aid kit we have found.

Related: Read our post 15 Fantastically Fun Things to do in Waterton

An image of the VSSL First Aid Kit in its tube.
The ingenious tube that holds the VSSL First Aid Kit together keeps it compact and light. It’s the perfect size for a backpack or even the glove compartment of a vehicle.

The VSSL First Aid Kit is Lightweight and Compact

When you’re backpacking in the mountains, every ounce of weight matters. Some first aid kits are very heavy and bulky and this can be a problem. The VSSL First Aid Kit weights in at 1.06lb (0.47 kg), so it’s lightweight if you are carrying it in a backpack. It’s also packaged in a metal cylinder that is 2 inches in diameter and 9.4 inches long, so it doesn’t take up much space and is well suited for a backpack, a saddlebag or any place where weight and space are at a premium.

Survival – Compass, Flashlight and Trail Marking Tape

One end of the metal cylinder contains an oil filled precision compass and the other end contains an LED flashlight with 4 modes, one of which is an SOS flashing mode that can run for up to 40 hours. The trail marking tape is the final component for the survival part of the VSSL First Aid Kit canister.

An image of the compass in the VSSL first aid kit.
A compass can be a lifesaver if you get lost in the woods.

VSSL First Aid Kit – Other Useful Survival Items

Inside the canister, a beadless whistle, safety pins and tweezers are also useful for survival and in emergency situations. The whistle could help responders find you faster if you became lost in the woods.

First Aid Supplies in the VSSL First Aid Kit

All of the VSSL first aid supplies are packaged in a packet that when removed from the canister and unrolled, has a good assortment of supplies. Wound dressings include knuckle, butterfly and large bandages, blister pads, as well as steri-strip wound closures. The steri-strips and the larger bandages would have been useful in stabilizing the wound that the injured cyclist had. The lightweight first aid kit we used to carry could not deal with a wound that was as large and deep as the one my wife encountered in Waterton Lakes National Park. Antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic cream packs, and burn cream packs are also in the canister.

An image of the interior of the VSSL first aid kit.
There are a lot of first aid supplied neatly packed into a tight space.

The Things You Don’t Think About – Gloves, a Mask, Thermometers and More

There are two disposable thermometers, a nonsurgical mask, gauze, and medical gloves inside the package. Once, a friend of ours who is also trained in first aid was the first person on site at a car accident. She called 911, then provided emergency assistance to the driver of the vehicle who was badly cut and bleeding. Unfortunately, her first aid kit did not have gloves in it. Gloves would have provided her protection when treating a stranger who was bleeding on the side of a gravel backroad. Fortunately, she did not catch a bloodborne infection like Hepatitis or HIV from the incident. She helped to save a life.

Restocking and Build Your Own First Aid Kit

All of these items can be restocked as they are used. I found the option to custom build your own first aid kit very appealing.

First Aid Instructions

On the backside of the first aid packet, there are reminders of the basics of first aid treatment. It is good to be reminded of some of the basics of first aid in a stressful emergency situation. Treatments for bleeding, allergies, bee stings, strains and sprains, broken bones, burns and heart attacks are all highlighted on the back of the packet.

An image of first aid instructions.
Handy instructions are right on the back of the package that holds the first aid supplies.

Where Can You Buy a VSSL First Aid Kit?

Visit to order a VSSL First Aid kit. There are four different versions and the option to build your own. We have the VSSL FIRST AID STASH W/ COMPASS + LIGHT.

Summary – VSSL First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is something that you hope you never need. When my wife needed to use our backpacking first aid kit, she realized how inadequate it was. The VSSL First Aid Kit also has many thoughtful items that could make all the difference to survival in an emergency situation. It’s the first aid kit that we now carry in our backpacks on outdoor adventures. Hopefully, we’ll never need it, but we feel more confident that if we do encounter another first aid emergency we are prepared for it.

Related: Read our Microspikes for Hiking Product Review

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