I use a series of 4 zip lock freezer bags marked with a strip of colored tape to indicate its contents. The bags measure up to 8.5 x 7 inches. Carefully squeezing out the air, when stacked they are less than 3 inches thick (and very light).
I carry them in a small back pack that measures approximately 10x11" (Jansport ½ pint on the left)1 or 12x9" (Camtoa on the right).1, 2 These easily accommodate the freezer bags and leaves plenty of room for extra layers of clothing, tools, spare tire or whatever else you may want to take on your ride. One can also use a bike rack bag3 or panniers4.
Here's what each zip-lock bag in the back pack holds (as well as some optional items or "carry-on's"):
Red Striped Bag: The red striped bag is for acute trauma associated with bleeding.
Hypoallergenic Nitrile 9.5" Gloves5 that are strong and won't tear (for your protection from blood, biohazardous, contagious materials)
2 or 3 absorbent (ABD) trauma pads6
2 packets of Celox7 (2 gm each) for quick clotting only if continued pressure fail to stop bleeding
Bicycling, hiking and boating do pose dangers from poor road conditions and vehicles, poor trail or boating accidents. For those wishing to carry an emergency kit with the minimal of supplies and that occupies the least space, we will show you what to pack. One should also know how to use the materials and how to respond to emergency. See Emergency Response 101.
Your charged cell phone is the most important item you can carry in case you need to call 911.
Now let's look at what to carry in your emergency pack:
Black Striped Bag: The black striped bag is empty to stow biohazard materials (left over cleaning gauze, debris, gloves) for later biohazard discard (consult your local rescue unit for appropriate discard drop off).
Yellow Striped Bag: The yellow striped bag contains medication and cleansing supplies.
4 chewable 81mg baby aspirin8 for use in individuals with symptoms of possible heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath, chest tightness, pain radiating down arm or through to back, etc.). Administer all 4 immediately.
4 chewable 25mg Benadryl tablets9 (administer 2 if suspect, or previous history of, allergic reaction and hold other 2 for later if needed help does not arrive).
Wound and hand cleaning material (large alcohol pads10 and towelettes11)
Antibiotic ointment (small 0.5 oz. tubes)12
Sting Relief Packet13 (optional)
Biofreeze14 (optional) for swelling associated with sprain and strains (optional)
Compact Emergency Kit: What to carry!
Blue Striped Bag: The blue striped bag contains additional gauze pads and band aids.
Sterile pads of varying sizes including non-latex and non-sticking pads15
Oval eye pad16 (optional)
Band aids, large and medium size17 (small size are rarely necessary and optional)
Finally, several other optional items:
This includes a "space blanket" to keep an individual warm18 when necessary and a small baggies containing self-adhering gauze19 (Optional - to use to wrap gauze around a limp including head wounds) as well as a strong tape20 (strong and adhesive but can be torn by hand - optional but recommended) to use with gauze pads.
One can also carry the chewable baby aspirin and Benadryl in a small pill case attached to your key chain21 to be available at all times along with a small mini ambu protective shield for those trained in CPR (see Key Chain Emergency Kit) .22
Note: Having the first aid materials available and knowledge of how to use them (See Emergency 101) is a key to rapid stabilization while awaiting paramedics. Sometimes all you can do is call 911, make sure the injured and other individuals are safe (from vehicles or other dangers) and do the best with what you have and what you know.
Materials (suggested list) - The materials not linked can be obtained from CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens or other drug stores: