Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Gear: Original S.O.E. Gear Tear-off IFAK

I've been in a mood to re-assess my preps lately and add to them and one thing I bought recently was a new medical pouch to mount on the outside of my backpack. This is my new "Original S.O.E. Gear" brand "Tear-off IFAK" medical pouch.
It consists of a panel that attaches right to my hiking backpack via MOLLE webbing, as well as a separate pouch that velcros on to the panel and is further held in place by buckled retention straps.
The benefit of having all of my first-aid stuff on the outside of my pack is that if I need it I can easily unbuckle the retention strap, grab it by the red handle (which denotes medical) and tear it away from the velcro backing to quickly retrieve everything at once and have it in an organized manner, rather than wasting time digging through my bags to find loose items. It also frees up room inside my bag so it's not so jam packed in there.

As for the contents and storage features, let's start on the outside.
On the outside is a small flat-ish pocket which can be held closed with the velcro that lines the edge. Inside of this pouch I keep a small waterproof pouch which used to be a "pocket medic" kit but I used up most of the contents. you can see this peeking out of the pocket in the image above, or in the bottom-right corner in the image below. Inside of this pouch I keep:
  • a multitude of different sized bandaids
  • disinfectant wipes
  • some tweezers and safety pins that came with the original med-kit.
The inside opens fully in a clamshell design for easy access to all of the contents. Even though my purposes are only basic first-aid and convenience items for hiking and camping, it's still really nice to have everything organized and easy to access.

The top half has three different sized sets of elastic straps, one large pouch, and one small pouch. In this area I keep:
  • Sunblock
  • Bug repellent spray
  • ibuprofen (pain relief)
  • generic benadryl (allergy relief)
  • hydrocortisone cream (itch relief)
  • triple anti-biotic ointment
  • hand-sanitizer
On the lower half is one large set of elastic bands and a big zippered mesh pocket. I haven't come up with anything to use keep in the large elastic bands yet, but in the mesh pocket I keep:
  • two 4x4 sterile gauze pads
  • two 3x4 non-adherent bandage pads
  • one set of assorted moleskin blister pads
  • bite & sting kit (a suction kit for such wounds)
A couple of things missing right now that I plan to include are some ace-wrap bandages (such as to wrap a sprained ankle), and some medical tape.

All in all I'm very pleased by the quality of workmanship that goes into Original S.O.E. products. I have no doubt this thing will serve me well on my camping and hiking this coming summer and will be something that will likely outlast me in it's usefulness.

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