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Survival / July 10, 2016

Review: MyFAK Med Kit

Written by: Kevin Linderman

There are certain traits that define an adventurer. Curiosity, preparation, fitness and grit to name a few. There’s also an expectation that comes along with being an adventurer. You are likely to get hurt.

Depending on the activity, the frequency of the activity and the inherent risk of the activity, the level of potential injury may vary from simple abrasions or blisters to more serious trauma situations, to even, God forbid, death. It’s this sense of living on the edge that makes some of us feel more alive. The closer to the edge you get, the closer you are to getting hurt or winding up in a compromised position. Hence the other aforementioned traits of preparation and attention to detail should hopefully afford calculated decisions in potentially life threatening situations. However, sometimes it goes wrong and the final trait of emergency preparedness is called into action.

There’s really two parts to emergency preparation: training and tools. There are many vendors entering into the space of emergency preparation, training and product development. Particularly given the increased frequency of mass shootings, terrorist attacks and unpredictable weather patterns, the need for people to be trained and have the tools to execute the training is becoming more paramount than ever.

 

The MyFAK Kit

MyMedic is making a name as a strong player in this space. I’ve been hunting for a solid med kit for some time, so needless to say, I was excited to get the opportunity to get my hands on the MyMedic MyFak med kit. My first impression when I picked up the box was the weight. At 3.21 lbs, I knew before I opened it that this particular kit was probably not something that I would carry on my person for any real length of time. For long hikes, bike packing, or even fishing excursions, everything you carry matters and the weight adds up over time.

When I opened the box, I was extremely pleased with the bag itself. Compact with Velcro attachments allowing you to affix the bag to the headrest of your vehicle and plenty of places to clip or fasten add-ons as needed. The MyMedic Logo looks strong on the outside as well.

Unzipping the bag revealed a nice personal touch from Ryan Welch and other members of the team. Apparently they put a hand written note in every MyMedic kit that is sent out. I like this touch a lot. Without even getting into the nuts and bolts of the kit itself, I already knew these are people that care about their product and their customers. Ryan writes, “People, not things (originally misspelled, scratched out with a comment that says “I suck at writing”) are what’s important in this life.” Nice work guys.

 

Letter from Ryan Welch and team.

Overflowing with contents. The Outdoor Survival Guide is a great touch loaded with information.

As I open the pack, it is overflowing with contents. There’s an additional third removable insert of the bag also stuffed with contents. As I dig into the pockets I am pleased with the accessibility of the pack. Although there’s a lot of contents (full content list can be found on their site), I can get to everything and it’s laid out intuitively. Continuing to familiarize myself with the bag and the contents, I realize there are certain items that I’m not familiar with and may do more damage than good if it were up to me to respond to a certain level of trauma. So, I had a couple of doctors I know (one a neurosurgeon, the other a trauma surgeon) give their two cents as well.

Both doctors reacted a bit negatively to the RATS tourniquet. They felt as though the RATS and the SWATS tourniquets were hazardous and could cause more damage than good. They observed that the inclusion of the scalpels, granular-based hemostatics and the nasal trumpet really require additional level of training to be effective. Both commented positively on the bag and the modular capabilities of the bag. I asked one of them how much they would pay for the kit and they said $100, which is right on target for the basic version of the MyFak. They wish they saw a sharpie for note taking and a SAM splint, not just the finger splint. That’s the beauty of the bag though, you can stuff it with whatever you want and make it work for you.

 

The removable insert.

An example of the depth and breadth of the kit.

RATS Tourniquet

Afixed to the headrest in my truck. Prepared!

From my perspective as predominantly a layman when it comes to first aid and trauma response, I want to circle back to my statement at the beginning. It comes down to training and tools. Through my experience and basic training in CPR and First Aid, I feel comfortable with a significant portion of the tools included in the MyFak. I would need additional training to properly execute in an emergency situation, the more advanced tools in the kit. If I reflect back to the basic goals of first aid, it comes down to the “three P’s”: Preserve Life, Prevent Further Injury, Promote Recovery. Without proper training my application of some to the tools in the bag may result in the opposite effect of the three P’s, but in the proper hands these tools could literally save your life. Frankly, I’d rather have it than not.

In conclusion:

  •       MyMedic cares about their product and their customers
  •       The bag is durable, modular, and attractive
  •       The contents are plentiful and high-quality
  •       The MyMedic website is easy to navigate and you can purchase the refills and other individual components of the pack as well
  •       Training is essential. Significant training for tourniquets, scalpels, hemostatics and nasal trumpets is highly recommended. Purchase the Basic version if you are not comfortable with the trauma items.
  •       MyMedic offers some great insight in their Journal section. However, we recommend outfits like Backcounty Lifeline   to help prepare you for a trauma situation.
  •       As a complete kit, it’s probably too heavy for most people to lug around for too long. Its modular configuration would easily allow someone to remove certain contents and only carry what is needed for the adventure at hand.
  •       It’s perfect for your vehicle

 

Ryan at MyMedic may “suck at writing”, but you don’t suck at customer service and the delivery of a solid product. Nice work.

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about the author

Kevin Linderman

Kevin Linderman is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer for Shoulders of Giants. Kevin has spent his entire professional career in and around the field of information technology, but has always been an avid outdoor enthusiast and a seeker of knowledge.

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