[Guide] EDC Medical Kits: List & Carriers

We all have an EDC kit.

For some of us, it’s just a wallet and keys, others have that plus some defensive equipment like a CCW.

But how many of you carry medical gear also?

EDC Medical Travis clean kit
EDC Medical Gear

If your personal safety and the safety of your family is on your mind, then you should reconsider what is in your EDC. In your daily life, you’re far more likely to require first aid than you are to defend from an attack.

And if you do defend yourself from an attack, you should know how to save your own life if you’re injured.

We’re going to break down exactly what medical gear is useful to carry and how to carry it!

Table of Contents

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A Big Why 

You might not use it as much as you use your knife, but I’ll bet you a Coke you’ll use it more than you ever use your gun.

Mexican coke
Mexican Coke is the best and you can’t convince us otherwise

Medical gear of some kind is a must-have for everyday carry. Using a gun defensively is a rather rare event, and thankfully so. 

I want you to lean back, puff a cigar, and think about how many times you could have used a medical kit in your everyday life and then compare it to your use of your EDC handgun.

I bet most people have been in more situations in which medical gear and some basic medical training would have been more valuable than a firearm and firearm’s training. 

EDC Medical Travis kit on a rock
Just some of my EDC gear

That’s not to say you don’t need to carry a gun; you don’t have to choose between carrying a gun and carrying some medical gear.

Carry both.

I’m simply trying to assert the importance of carrying medical gear and obtaining medical training. 

Training – Knowledge Weighs Nothing 

Let’s talk training first because I do think it’s incredibly valuable to have. A little medical training and a lot of practice can go a long way.

Stop the bleed poster
Stop the bleed poster

Way back when I was a cool guy in the Marine Corps I did a lot of good training involving firearms, grenades, hand to hand skills, breaching, clearing rooms, and all that fun stuff. 

To this day, I still say the best training I ever received was my medical training.

From Combat Lifesaver to the controversial, but very effective, live tissue trauma training. I remember sitting exhausted, covered in sweat and blood, thinking how valuable the training was after live tissue trauma training. 

Ya’ Boy with an ACOG equipped M249 Helmand Province Afg 2009
Ya’ Boy with an ACOG equipped M249 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2009

Throughout my entire career, we practiced first aid training. We practiced stopping the bleed, checking airways, practiced with tourniquets, and kept our skills sharp.

These skills saved lives and limbs, and in one case, a Marine from my company stopped and saved the life of a 4 AM car crash victim. 

Knowledge weighs nothing, and training to use your gear is an awesome objective. The question is, where do you get training? 

Trained Up 

Dark Angel Medical

Dark Angel Medical is the premier tactical medicine company and is a great group of people.

I’ve got no connection to them other than observing their work and appreciating their approach to tactical medicine. They don’t just teach you how to apply a tourniquet or stuff a wound, and they teach you how to do it in a heightened environment. 

For in-person training, I’d seek out their classes. 

I also know that in-person training can be expensive, and time off work, and travel, and lodging also adds up. While nothing replaces that good in-person training, there are a few free online courses. 

Nothing replaces in-person training, but some training is better than none. Dark Angel Medical offers a free class on stopping bleeding, using tourniquets, and more. Check that out here

Their blog also offers some good information. 

The Red Cross 

The Red Cross offers a ton of classes online. Some are inexpensive, and some are a little more. Red Cross training is widely recognized and will teach you some solid basics at home. You can also search for courses near you. 

American red cross

Medical Gear is Tricky 

Medical gear is tricky because finding quality gear is a little harder than finding quality weapons or knives, or holsters, or whatever else you could desire.

Not only that, but in an EDC conversation, you have to quality gear that’s easy to carry and applicable to your medical training. 

EDC Ankle kit

When it comes to medical gear, my own limited experience forces me to do two things. The first is to speak only from my experience with gear. The second is to defer to higher authorities. 

Where those two lines intersect is with a company called North American Rescue. NAR, for short, is a very well respected company, and they produce fantastic gear that is proven over and over again.

350
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Not every piece of gear in your kits needs to be NAR made, but when it comes to important things like tourniquets, chest seals, and trauma dressings, I choose NAR. 

On the flip side, if NAR doesn’t produce something I need, like hemostatic gauze, I typically go with the product they include in their kit.

Check out Pew Pew Tactical’s recommendations for Best IFAKs (Individual First Aid Kits) and Range Med Kits for more.

Surviveware Kits
Surviveware Kits

Speaking of components, you might be asking…

What Goes in a Kit? 

Keep in mind as we go throughout this guide, this is mainly focused on a smaller EDC kit you could carry daily. You could always add and keep an extra kit in your car with more gear, or a practical IFAK, but this isn’t that list. 

A basic EDC kit should be composed of the following. 

Basic EDC Medical Kit List

Tourniquet

Specifically a tourniquet with a windlass that has been approved by the CoTCCC.

CAT Tourniquet and Blue Force Gear Holder
CAT Tourniquet and Blue Force Gear Holder

This list is small but luckily bigger than ever. I prefer the CAT Gen 7 because I’m well trained on it, they are common, easy to find, as are carriers designed for them. 

EDITOR'S PICK
25
at LAPG

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

More suggestions in our Best Tourniquets & Holders article.

Hemostatic Gauze

Hemostatic agents are designed to help your blood clot faster. Hemostatic gauze, in general, is invaluable and affordable and is more effective than regular gauze.

EDC Medical Travis clotting sponge
Clotting sponge

Hemostatic gauze is made by a company called QuikClot and is the gold standard. 

20
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Big Band-Aids

A lot of memes are made calling the idea of band-aids silly in a medical kit.

They are ultra-small, light and they squeeze in anywhere. They’ve also been super valuable to me for small extremity wounds.

EDC Medical Travis Band-aid
Never underestimate the usefulness of Band-Aids!

For example, I once caught myself on the wrong side of Emerson CQC 7 and cut the hell out of my thumb.

A band-aid was a quick solution to hold the skin together and stopping the bleed. 

5
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Compression Bandages

Compression bandages hold everything in once it’s packed properly. Elastic bandages rolled tightly as excellent companions to your EDC kit.

12
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

A second option and one worth considering also is something like an Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing. This is effectively a compression bandage and a trauma pad in one, combined with a plastic clip to increase direction pressure on the wound.

Best Critical Trauma Bandage
8
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Chest Seals

Just assume it’s a sucking chest wound if it’s in the upper torso and apply a seal.

Sucking chest wound medical
A sucking chest wound is nature’s way of saying ‘slow down’

I still use an old seal, but while writing this, I ordered a smaller NAR HyFn chest seals. These small ones make it easy to carry two or three.

15
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Gloves

Stay sterile, and tightly press some simple nitrile gloves into a small package and shove it in. 

8
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Optional Gear

Regular Gauze

Simple, regular gauze can be perfect when you don’t need hemostatic and can be a friendly helper to hemostatic gauze to fill a wound cavity. 

6
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Medical Tape

Great for bandaging deep cuts and lacerations that don’t require gauze or a hemostatic agent. 

3
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Super Small Flashlight

A handy device should you need to use your kit at night and need to see what you’re doing. Better than your normal flashlight because it can be easily held in your mouth as you work. 

Best Pen Light
20
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

How Do We Carry It?

Carrying a kit can be difficult, but not impossible. The good news is you can carry the gear displaced around your body if you so choose. Y

ou also do not need to worry about concealing the kit. If it shows, who cares? 

EDC Medical Travis full kit
All the stuffs

It’s not a gun or a knife that may legally require concealment. No one cares if you are carrying a medical kit. 

Best EDC Medical Kit Carriers

Defense Mechanisms 

Defense Mechanisms is a small veteran-owned company that is making some extremely high-quality gear. Their ankle kit comes ready for a full-on EDC IFAK. This is an empty ankle kit and is perfect if you want to choose your own gear. 

EDC Medical Travis ankle holster
Defense Mechanisms Inconspicuous Personal Ankle Kit

Dark Angel Medical

Another ankle kit that comes complete is the Dark Angel Medical kit. This is a complete ankle kit full of quality medical gear.

It’s quick, one-stop-shop buy it and forget it kit. If you don’t want to build a kit, this is a great way to go. 

Dark Angel Medical ankle kit
Dark Angel Medical ankle kit

Blue Force Gear Micro Trauma Kit NOW!

Blue Force Gear makes a pouch or a complete kit known as the Micro Trauma Kit NOW!

4. Belt Kit with Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit Now
Belt Kit with Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit Now!

This is a sweet belt-mounted kit that allows for ambidextrous access to your medical gear with a pull-out sleeve that holds it all together. 

80
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

This kit is slightly bulky for EDC, but it’s functional and very well made. 

Dark Angel Tactical Blue Line Kit

These are some kits designed to be pocket carried.

By pocket carried I mean jacket, hoodies, or the best pocket of all, the cargo pocket.

These kits typically folded are independent of a windlass based tourniquet. 

Dark Angel Tactical Blue Line Kit
Dark Angel Tactical Blue Line Kit

The Dark Angel Blue Line is a full-on kit that comes nearly complete. Add your own tourniquet, and you’re good to go. Small, well made, ready to go.

Phlster Pocket Emergency Wallet

Another of the “pocket” carry options, the Phlster Pocket Emergency Wallet is exactly what the name says it is, a wallet for EDC medical gear.

Pick out your favorite options or get one of the filled kits from Phlster and youre set, but again its hard to fit a TQ with this.

Phlster Pocket Emergency Wallet
Phlster Pocket Emergency Wallet

Independent TQ Pouches

North American Rescue NAR GEN 7 C-A-T Rigid Tourniquet CASE

If you go with a smaller kit, then you’ll likely need a tourniquet. The wallet kits do not allow you to easily carry a tourniquet, nor does the Blue Force Gear Kit.

EDC Medical Travis CAT TQ and holster
Hard shell TQ holster

For that, you can use a Tourniquet pouch that just mounts onto your belt and hides under a shirt. 

NAR makes one that’s packaged with a CAT Gen 7 and is a perfect companion, but honestly, there are tons of options that belt mount well and are easy to access. 

42
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Keeping Blood in the Body 

Accidents and injuries cna happen anywhere. I mean, I took a big chunk out of my leg with an ax once, and I was thankful to have a little training and a medical kit.

It kept more blood in my body than out of it, and that’s pretty important. 

tis but a scratch

A good EDC medical kit makes the fine line behind life and death a little thicker. It can be literally invaluable to have and should be a major consideration for any prepared person.

If you’re not sold on carrying one daily, consider tossing it in your vehicle and at least having it close at hand. 

Bug out bags (1)
“Car Bag” emergency kit kept in one of our editor’s personal vehicle. Trauma pack, shears, TQ, compression bandage, road flares, thermal blankets.

Does an EDC medical kit make sense to you? Let me know, I’m curious what others think, and more importantly, what do you carry and why? For more on EDC bags and stuff to carry, take a look at these!

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11 Leave a Reply

  • John Anderson

    Haha I took that live tissue trauma training course with 3/2 in '07. My pig's name was Steve. I packed a ham & bacon wrap for the last day in honor of Steve. I couldn't believe how much the quick clot burned my hands while stopping an arterial wound.

    3 months ago
  • Old Guy

    Good article, I wholeheartedly agree with getting proper first aid training. As for additional things to have in your car or truck ALWAYS: Multi-tool leatherman, Duck tape, roll of paper towels, roll of toilet paper, bottled water and small bottle of liquid soap - preferably Dawn. Added to a travel med kit, with blood clot bandage and tourniquet. I also recommend you have a blowout kit in your gun bags. Lastly, get in the habit of checking expire dates spring and fall just like you would for your BOB. Being prepared is more than a motto.

    3 months ago
  • Jeff K

    I find myself needing pockets. The common blue jeans pockets can barely carry a wallet, keys, coins and pocket knife. I’ve tried to add to that but it’s just not very comfortable. For a while I wore what is called a photographer vest. Lots of pockets! I could carry an IFAK contents dispersed in 4+ pockets. I can also conceal my pistol in a chest rig or underarm carry. Unfortunately the fabric, rip stop cotton, isn’t very durable. Plus my favorite vest was discontinued for unknown reasons. What to do... Fast-forward a year or so later. While clearing out the basement, I came across some of my BDU/cammies. I figured that I could have my pockets while using a perfectly serviceable jacket. The tacticool side is I get to wear my uniforms from yesteryear. I also found a set of cammies at a yard sale in the SE Asia tiger camouflage. I like it, it fits and has pockets. So I’ve been wearing the jacket now for over two years. I carry a pen, notepad, earbuds, microfiber glasses cleaning cloth and still have room for other things. I have room to add or subtract items based on, whatever seems best at the current time. A tourniquet, gauze, nitrile gloves, tape, whatever I think the situation warrants. As concealed carry attire, it’s okay. Wearing camouflage doesn’t really hide stuff very well just because few people wear it outside the military. BDU’s stick out like a sore thumb at a hammer convention. Where I live in BFE, camouflage is considered normal wear.

    3 months ago
  • Mitch

    A lot of medics I've talked to primarily used gauze rolls, ace bandages, chest seals, chest decompression needles, and sam splints. They had other stuff as well, but these were the things that they packed a lot of. A lot of them didn't even bother with the Israeli dressings since they could just throw a gauze roll under an ace wrap to do the same thing. I am really surprised that sam splints weren't covered in this article, they are lightweight, compact, reusable, and work great. I can't see any good aid kit not including them.

    3 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Hello! Splints aren't really an item for Every Day Carry, if you're building a static medical kit then it's a good item to have if you know how to use them!

      3 months ago
  • Dave S

    A former Navy Corpman told me he always included tampons as part of his medical supplies while Iraqi. He got alot of flack from the Marine unit he assigned to, but once he saved a Marine's life from a gunshot wound, the flack stopped and everytime he turned around, someone from the unit would put another box of tampons on his bunk.

    3 months ago
    • Travis Pike

      Tampons are a horrid piece of gear for medical use do not use tampons. They are designed to absorb blood not to stop bleeding.

      3 months ago
      • Mitch

        They work well enough to be used for nose bleeds by every high school wrestling team in the country for decades.

        3 months ago
  • Buddy Duncan

    Nitrate gloves are great but don’t buy “tacti-cool” black gloves. No one can tell if it’s blood on black gloves.

    3 months ago
  • Steve

    I wouldn't recommend buying any first aid supplies on Amazon. First, you have the issue of Chinese knockoffs. Secondly, assuming that you are actually buying the real-deal, you also have to worry about expiration dates, especially on products like QuikClot. Buy from a reputable retailer.

    3 months ago
  • Joshua S Santos

    That’s a really good primer, a well written article. Check out the LVAK by Aptus Design Group. It is the best ankle or whatever kit on the market. It’s also super versatile, I stow mine in a Ferro Concepts Dangler on my PC and works great. You still have room left over for full size trauma shears, Surefire ear pro, etc.

    3 months ago
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