Features April 2008 Issue

Medical Kits for Onboard First-Aid

Practical Sailor compares basic medical kits under $100 designed for trailer-sailers, dinghies, and other small boats.

One of the most important pieces of gear on any boat is a first-aid kit. For evaluation purposes, we’ve divided pre-packaged medical kits into four categories, based on voyaging needs and price. Our first group, first-aid kits for less than $100, is designed for boats operating on waterways where professional medical help is available within hours. These are basic medical kits for small sailboats designed to help users deal with minor cuts and severe lacerations, abrasions, bruises and sprains. Sunburn, seasickness, head trauma, fractures, hypothermia, and burns are also medical issues daysailors need to be ready to cope with. Kits should include supplies such as band-aids, Ace bandages, gauze, aspirin, and tweezers. We reviewed four kits in this group, rating them on their contents, their storage container, organization, and price. The kits were the Adventure Medical 250, Ocean Medical Crew/Day kit, Fieldtex Day Pak, and West Marine 300. Our top pick contained all but one of the items on our list of basic requirements and came in a durable, shock-resistant case. It is also extremely well organized, making it easier to use in an emergency.

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