9 Best IFAK Kits (& DIY Builds) For Traumatic Emergencies

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: July 19, 2022

Best IFAK Kits And PouchesToday we are going over what IFAK stands for, what goes into an IFAK pouch, and why you need one.

Then we’ll cover the best IFAK Kits on the market today.

One thing is for sure. After reading this, you’ll know what you need to patch someone up in a traumatic accident or emergency.

Knowledge is power, and in a survival situation, the people with the best gear (and know how to use it) will thrive.

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micro trauma kit - pocket trauma kit

9 Best IFAK Kits On The Market Today

MyFAK TriFold Oganization

2
EVERLIT Emergency Trauma Kit
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3
Lightning X Gunshot Trauma/Hemorrhage Control Kit
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4
LIVANS Tactical EMT Pouch
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5
Ever Ready First Aid Tactical Trauma IFAK Kit
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6
GRULLIN MOLLE IFAK Trauma Kit
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7
MediTac IFAK Molle - Eagle Type Tactical Trauma Kit
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8
Lightning X Rip-Away Officer's Patrol Tactical Gunshot & Trauma IFAK Kit
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What Is An IFAK Kit?

IFAK stands for ‘Individual First Aid Kit” or ‘Improved First Aid Kit.”

Let’s get things straight right off the bat. An IFAK is NOT a standard first aid kit.

An IFAK isn’t a kit for carrying baby wipes, aspirins, and chapstick. Typical first aid kits are made for bumps, bruises, and cuts and can be useful to have in your home.

An IFAK kit is a first aid responders bag for traumatic injury.

They tend to be tailor-made for the type of person carrying it. And houses essential life-saving medical devices and supplies, such as:

  • Bleed Control Supplies
  • Tourniquets
  • A Nasal Pharyngeal Airway
  • Plus Other Major Wound Treatments

Before the acronym ‘IFAK” became popular, military medics carried “IFAKs type” kits into dangerous situations. These small portable trauma kits treat and prevent various illnesses and injuries.

The bottom line is IFAKS are compact, wearable trauma kits that go with you.

Side Note: there’s also the acronym TFAK – which stands for Trauma First Aid Kit.

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Who Should Own An IFAK Kit?

Today everyone should have some kind of tactical first aid kit.

When there’s a car accident or a workplace injury, civilians are usually first on the scene. Before the medical pros arrive, you may need to give life-saving treatment.

Paramedics and EMTs wear simple IFAK pouches for quicker responses – even when they have extensive trauma kits in their emergency vehicles.

If you enjoy hiking or camping in remote areas, you absolutely need an IFAK. Hunting and fishing excursions don’t happen near hospitals.

Ambulances can’t get to you in the remote wild.

So whenever you’re deep in the bush, you’re on your own. And if there’s a traumatic injury, an IFAK is essential to saving your life or the life of a loved one.

The point is this:

Get an IFAK and stock it with the essentials you need for a serious medical emergency. Tailor it to what you’re doing and your medical skill level.

That way, you’ll be prepared for the most likely accidents you’ll come across.

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Best IFAK Kit Features

Your IFAK can be in the form of a knapsack, bag, or pouch. It can carry critical emergency medical supplies as long as there’s quick access to what you need.

Here are a few of the essential features a quality IFAK should include:

Tear Away Pouches

Depending on the size of your IFAK, you should have side pouches that hold vital supplies.

These IFAK pouches should detach quickly from the main kit so you can get what you need rapidly.

IFAK pouches should also be MOLLE compatible to add to the outside of a survival backpack.

Heavy-Duty Zipper

You don’t want to have a problem opening up your pack in a crisis. A snagged zipper could turn into a delay in accessing critical supplies when time is of the essence.

A robust zipper will keep your supplies secure and open rapidly with confidence.

Well Laid Out Interior

When you open up your IFAK, the layout inside needs to be well organized.

Separate zipped areas, pouches, and compartments can separate your items.

That way, you don’t have to fumble through a pile of stuff to find what you need.

Robust Handles and Straps

You need to react fast to a survival situation, and bugging out can happen quickly. Robust handles on your pack are vital for rapid moves.

You may have to grab and go fast and run for a long distance.

Having straps to wear your IFAK as a backpack or fanny pack will keep it secure on your body.

Compact and Lightweight

You don’t need a bulky, heavy bag to carry around. Your IFAK should only contain the essentials you need for the situation.

The easier it is to pack, the more likely you will bring it along on all your adventures.

Here’s an excellent video that shares even more advanced IFAK features and tips:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

IFAK Kits Contents

IFAK Content List | How To Build An IFAK From Scratch

You should build a DIY IFAK bag according to your risk profile and level of training. That’s why they should include basic first aid supplies, such as bandaids and pain killers.

But, the primary purpose of your IFAK Kit is to treat severe trauma.

There are many pre-packed kits out there you can buy. But for those serious, it can be better to build your own, based on what you need for the situation.

Because you don’t want to make your pack any heavier than it needs to be.

Traditional medical emergency procedures focus on ABC (Airway, Breathing, Circulation). In a survival or combat situation, the military uses the MARCH algorithm.

This acronym lays out the necessary steps in priority for saving lives in combat.

  • M-massive hemorrhage – Arterial blood is pumping out of a person
  • A-airway – Any obstruction in the airway
  • R-respiratory – An injury like a collapsed lung or sucking chest wound
  • C-circulation – General bleeding from the body
  • H-hypothermia – The body losing heat faster than it can make it

You should pack an IFAK for individual trauma emergencies as well as minor injuries.

Here is a list of your must-have IFAK contents to include in your own DIY IFAK build (watch the video or read our list below):

Compact Gauze

Gauze may be the most important thing you carry.

Compact gauze is a multi-use item that is essential to pack a large wound and stop bleeding. You can also wrap an injury as well as make a sling or splint with it.

It’s very versatile and cheap, so make sure and have a few rolls in your kit.

Combat Gauze

This gauze is more expensive, but it is vital in stopping massive bleeds.

It has a coagulating agent in the material. This material helps to stop bleeding faster, and you apply it directly to a cut artery.

Their primary function is direct contact with a massive hemorrhage.

Israeli Bandage

This type of bandage works on hemorrhaging and provides compression. It combines a sterile dressing and an elastic bandage to keep constant pressure on a wound. And also comes with a closure bar attached to secure it in place.

An Israeli Bandage works well for head or groin injuries too, and if you are alone, you can quickly put it on with one hand. These are another must-have in your IFAK kit list.

Tourniquet

A tourniquet is a band used to stop blood flow from an extremity wound.

Complications from using one can lead to tissue damage. But it can keep a person stable until you get them to a hospital.

Deep cuts, gunshot wounds, or crushed limbs are situations for a tourniquet.

Take the time to learn how to use one properly.

Nasal Pharyngeal Airway

There are situations where you need to supply an open airway to an injured person. Having an NPA is the best way to treat an airway.

In an unconscious person, the tongue or airway muscles can block the throat. That’s why you need to get them breathing again FAST.

It’s easily inserted into the nostril to open up an airway and keep them alive.

Chest Seal

If you get a puncture into the chest that causes air to pour in, you need to close that up ASAP.

Using a chest seal like the HALO Seal is a quick way to seal the hole.

Note: It sticks to skin, hair, blood, and sand. It’s also really flexible and will cover large, uneven areas around a wound.

Burn Gel and Dressing

Burns tend to occur unexpectantly from open flames or hot surfaces. So it’s essential to carry burn gel to ease pain and help jumpstart healing in the affected area ASAP.

You can also get a burn dressing with water gel in the material so you can apply it right on the burn.

From there, you can use gauze to cover the area.

Control Wraps

Along with tourniquets, a control wrap can help stop bleeding. But it can do so without cutting off direct circulation.

You can also use them as an outside dressing over the gauze and extra support for sprained knees and ankles.

Besides these “trauma” focused items, your IFAK content list should also have additional medical supplies, including:

  • Nitrile gloves
  • Different sizes of Band-Aids
  • Neosporin
  • Pain relief (aspirin)
  • Flashlight
  • Tweezers
  • Shears

Here’s an excellent video that goes over (in detail) how to use an IFAK in an emergency:

Final Thoughts

Well, there it is, everything you need to know about IFAK Tactical First Aid Kits.

You’ve learned what they are, what’s in them, and where to get them. Now it’s time to equip yourself for the next great adventure!

“Just In Case” Jack

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Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

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