First Aid Kit (Advanced)

Defibrillator, Pocket Mask, Airway management, Critical bleeding kit

On this page we're showing what we usually have in the van or add to longer journeys. Links to can be affiliate links.

In somewhat order of importance, I'd recommend to upgrade any car or outdoor emergency kit with the following:

First, a bit of background & reasoning as the initial response to our kit has sometimes been a confused "are you an ambulance?" by people without any experience of first aid applications.

Cars usually come with a very basic and small first aid kit, as required by law. Take a moment to get to know what it contains. According to DIN 13164, and include a pair of protective (latex or similar thin rubber) gloves, a triangular bandage and a couple of bandages and plasters. So enough for a medium cut. Hardly enough for a serious bleeding injury, a car crash, a large animal collision, a heart attack, ... or any other serious incident away from immediate professional emergency services.

When camping in Scandinavia, the nearest hospital or open "Vårdcentral" can easily be 100 kilometers or more away.

We're a bit biased as I volunteer in the  Swedish Sea Rescue society and train our local team in first aid (D-HLR / Lx-ABCDE), and our child is dependent on medicines requiring needle plaster injections most days of the week. Therefore, our medical kit in our van is more extensive than most would see as necessary. But I'd rather know I have a better chance of helping ourselves (or others) in a tricky situation far away from organised help. If your main commute is in Germany where 15 minutes might be a realistic average time for an ambulance to show up, your attitude may differ.

These are the main items we've chosen to add to our kit:

  • Defibrillator (we chose the Heartsine Samaritan 350P for a small portable size at a decent price point (we got it in Germany for about 1000 EUR during Corona times).
    A defibrillator applied within three minutes of a stopped heart is the only thing that can get it going again on an adult person. Heart-lung resuscitation is vital to allow a person to survice a stopped heart, but you need to do this until someone arrives with a defibrillator, else the person will not stand a chance to recover. My sincere hope is that from sometime soon every newly produced car can be equipped with one. It would be a small cost at that scale and a tremendous boost of defibrillators available and training takes about an hour to a complete novice, including theory and practice. Hint: Go a course this month and boost your chances of helping a loved one (or stranger).  
  • Tourniquet and blood clotting powder
    A massive bleeding caused by a severed hand/arm/foot/leg is not stopped with a bandage alone. Trying to find a belt and stick is a time-wasting compromise unlikely to be fast enough. A quality original CAT-7 or SAM tourniquet is around 40 to 50 Euros and will be a one-off investment. Worth it, even if you only hand it to someone who knows how to use it but doesn't have one. Seconds count with massive arterial bleedings!
  • More bandages. Sharing is caring.

We've now rearranged it so all of the gear - apart from one IFAK Trauma kit (behind the passenger seat, see cover picture) and the defibrillator - is in one slim-line backpack from Tasmanian Tiger (Link to

These are the contents:

In the outside pocket, there's a pair of gloves, a vest, a headlamp and some light-sticks.

Inside, there is a CAT-7 tourniquet at the top, a couple of gauze rolls and bandages for severe bleedings. Also, some smaller burn-shield packages.  

Behind the "front" flap, there's a few SAM splints, a cold-pack, and some lightweight rescue blankets.

On the "back" part, there are three see-through plastic pockets which are removable by Velcro, the bottom one holds Airway related items, with the pocket mask being the most important one.

Between the blue airway and the red critical bleeding pocket, a Maus Xtin* fire-extinguisher fits nicely. *the difference to normal powder extinguishers is this doesn't turn your car into a junk-yard, normal powder extinguishers are better used on 'other people's cars'...

Inside the red pocket, we have a bunch of OLAES and standard pressure bandages, also some sutures and 'Reli strips':

The smaller top see-through pocket contains some pain- and allergy medication, salves (Savlon, Xylocain), some wound disinfectant, moskito repellent and small plasters, tick removers, spare defib shaver and tape.

Product links:

AKLA Första Förband Försvarets modell
AKLA Första Förband, 20x20 cm, Försvarets modell
Olaes 6 Tum Förband Rulle
Olaes 6 Tum Förband Rulle
CAT Tourniquet
Combat Application Tourniquet, Rescue Orange (GEN 7)

Buy on

HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P
HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P