When it comes to riding motorcycles, whether that be dirt bikes, adventure bikes, Harleys, or any other type of bike, we all know that the first principle is always safety. Even if that safety is not for you, you might be riding in a group with your friends as you would on your dirt bike or an adventurous trail ride, and you never know when a safety kit or first aid bag might come in handy.
While we usually ride with a tool bag, we often neglect some of the core essentials that you would find in your typical everyday medical aid kit. You might even think that a simple bag of plasters and a roll of duct tape might be good enough, but the reality is when an emergency strikes, it’s always best to be prepared no matter what the situation is.
Throughout my days of riding, I’ve run into numerous situations where somebody has injured themself in a non-life-threatening way, but I’ve even had an experience or two where we have had to airlift a fellow rider out of a dangerous situation.
I remember one specific incident where we were riding through the mine dumps, which are full of soft yellow sand best ridden after heavy rain, where you get maximum traction and peak enjoyment. On this particular day, we adventured deep into the dunes towards some of the very steep inclined hill climbs. Admittedly I’ve never actually made it to the top of one of these hills because they are so massive, but some of the other guys in our group were a lot more skilled and eventually made their way to the top.
One particular rider in our group cruised his way up to the top of the climb until he reached the steepest part of the hill and ended up looping his bike in spectacular fashion, sending his bike catapulting up into the air, which eventually rolled its way down the hill. While the bike made it down relatively okay besides for a few scratches, bent handlebars, and a snapped brake lever, the rider wasn’t quite as fortunate.
During the entire spectacle, my buddy Marko actually flipped and did at least two backflips before landing awkwardly, buckling his knees and tearing the ACL on both of his legs. Now your basic first aid kits won’t be able to do much in this situation, but nonetheless, this is just a clear example of how fast things can go wrong, and it’s always best to prepare for the unexpected.
Simple injuries can happen even faster. On multiple occasions, guys have cut their fingers while working on their bikes, accidentally sliced into the skin with a pair of side cutters while making adjustments to cables and wires on the bike. In this situation, all you really need is a good role of medical gauze to wrap the injury and a bit of duct tape to keep the gauze in place.
During another ride in the Rocky Outback mountains, I remember being so exhausted after reaching halfway up the rocky climb that I decided to take a break. I pulled over and sat among the rocks while I waited for the rest of the group to catch up with me. While I was waiting with my buddy, something you’d never expect happened.
While we were sitting there panting deeply, trying to catch our breath, we took off our helmets and lay them aside so that we could cool down. To enjoy the ride and capture some memories, we took a slow walk down the mountain with our phones and GoPros to capture some epic footage of our fellow riders. A few long minutes later, when everybody had made their way to the top, I walked back to my bike and grabbed my gloves, my neck brace, and my helmet to get ready to make my way to the end of the trail. After I put my gloves and my neck brace back on, I reached for my helmet, and upon reaching for my helmet and lifting it up, a bright green snake fell right out of my helmet.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure what kind of snake it was, but nonetheless, I did s*** myself. I can only imagine what would have happened if I put that helmet on while the snake was still in it. I probably would have s*** myself twice. This is just another clear example of how something so unexpected could go so incredibly wrong. If that snake was venomous, that could have been a serious life-threatening situation.
Now obviously, most medical aid kits won’t once come with all different types of anti-venom and supplies that you could use in case of emergencies like snake bites, tick bites, or any other kind of wildlife attacks, but being prepared for the unexpected is key. Things can go wrong, and things do go wrong.
So when you looking to buy a medical aid kit for your dirt bike or for your adventure travels, you really don’t need to go for one of those huge medical aid bags that you might expect an emergency professional to carry to a crime scene, but you should have at least got the basics to cover up any cuts or even just help brace a broken bone.
During another incident, I was competing in the Roof of Africa hard Enduro qualifying race, I had big intentions of making it right to the end and finishing well. To my complete disappointment, within the first 10km of the race completed, I had a small oopsie.
To this day, I’m still not exactly sure what happened, I’ve watched the GoPro footage over and over, and it looks completely ridiculous. Needless to say, in this incredibly small little accident at slow speeds, I fell awkwardly with my hand outstretched and somehow managed to break the scaphoid bone in my right wrist. Obviously, I did not know this at the time, nor did I have any type of medical equipment other than a few trays of painkillers, which came in very, very handy.
I don’t recommend taking as many painkillers as I did, especially when you’re out in the mountains on a dirt bike, but it certainly did help me get back to base camp. Ever since that day, a tray of strong painkillers has always been with me in my bum bag.
Most of the time, it’s much easier just to buy a first aid kit or a medical bag, but there are a few key items that you should always make sure that you carry with you at all times.
The essential list of medical supplies:
- Medical scissors
- Burn ointment
- Sting ointments
- Roll of duct tape
- Small strong splint
- Space blanket
- Alcohol swabs
- Water filter
Most of these items will already be included in a medical bag set, but if they’re not, it’s no big deal just to pick up a few loose ends and throw them into your bum bag.
If creating your own medical aid kit from scratch is not something you’d like to do, and you would like to save yourself the hassle by just getting a hold of already-made medical aid kits, which I strongly suggest, here is my list of go-to medical aid bags for motorcycle riders dirt bikers and adventure riders.
When it comes to road safety, one can never be too prepared. A reliable first aid kit is a necessity, especially for long-haul riders who find themselves miles away from immediate medical help.
The TOURAM brand is well-known for its first aid kits and survival kits. Among the myriad options available, the Military Survival First Aid Kit is a worthy contender.
The kit contains over 30 types of emergency tools and supplies, designed to address a wide range of injuries.
Not only does it contain a robust assortment of medical supplies, but it also includes a multi-tool, emergency blanket, and compass, all of which could prove critical in a survival scenario.
What sets this kit apart is its rugged, water-resistant bag. Unlike many competitors, this kit is designed to withstand harsh conditions, providing reliable protection for the medical supplies within. This feature is particularly valuable for riders, as weather conditions can change rapidly on the open road.
The Military Survival First Aid Kit is a must-have well-rounded solution for motorcyclists, combining medical supplies and survival tools in a rugged package. However, every rider has unique needs and preferences, so it's crucial to consider the specific scenarios you might encounter on your rides when choosing a first aid kit.
- Comprehensive Medical and Survival Tools: Covers a wide range of potential emergencies.
- Rugged Construction: Ensures that supplies are protected against the elements.
- Compact Size: Easy to fit in motorcycle storage compartments.
- Limited Pain Medication: Could benefit from a wider variety of pain relief options.
- Pricing: A bit higher than some competitors but justified by the added survival tools.
Motorcyclists who venture onto long trips know that safety equipment is just as essential as the ride itself. Amongst these, a reliable first aid kit is an absolute must, and the Breakwater Supply™ Waterproof First Aid Kit certainly rises to the occasion.
The Breakwater Supply™ Waterproof First Aid Kit boasts an impressive array of medical supplies that can handle most minor to moderate injuries. It comes packed with over 30 different tools and medical essentials, catering to a wide range of needs. However, what's truly notable about this kit is it's surprisingly lightweight. Despite its extensive content, the kit weighs in at just 1.2 pounds, ensuring that it does not add any significant load to your motorcycle journey.
A standout feature of the Breakwater Supply™ Waterproof First Aid Kit is, as the name suggests, its waterproof casing. This resilience against water is a step above many other kits on the market, making it ideal for riders who often encounter varying weather conditions. The durable construction of the casing also provides added protection to the medical supplies within, ensuring that they remain intact and sterile until needed.
Against alternatives such as the Military Survival First Aid Kit, the Breakwater Supply™ Waterproof First Aid Kit scores points for its lightweight and compact design. Although both kits offer a comprehensive range of supplies, the Breakwater Supply™ kit's waterproof feature and lighter weight make it a more comfortable choice for motorcyclists concerned about space and weight limitations.
- Lightweight and Compact: At just 1.2 pounds, it won't weigh down your gear.
- Waterproof Casing: Offers protection against changing weather conditions.
- Comprehensive Supplies: Equipped to handle a range of minor to moderate injuries.
- Price: The waterproof feature comes with a slightly higher cost than some non-waterproof alternatives.
- No Integrated Survival Tools: This kit is strictly a medical supply kit, with no added survival tools that some alternatives offer.
The PUMIER First Aid Kit is a collection of medical supplies, including essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, and a range of other necessities that can assist in treating a variety of injuries or situations you might encounter on the road. It has a solid count of 152 pieces, which is a substantial amount given its lightweight feature.
The PUMIER First Aid Kit stands out for its compact design and comprehensive contents, all kept within a weight of approximately 1.1 pounds, which makes it an ideal choice for riders who need to be mindful of weight distribution and storage space.
It comes in a hard-shell case, ensuring the contents remain undamaged even in harsh riding conditions, and its compact size (8.2 x 5.1 x 2 inches) easily fits into a motorcycle's saddlebag or tank bag. Its case is bright red - a small but practical design choice that ensures the kit is easy to locate in a time-critical situation.
It's important to note, as with any first aid kit, that its usage requires basic first aid knowledge. The PUMIER kit does include a handy first aid guide, which is a great touch and useful resource, especially for new riders or those new to first aid.
The PUMIER is ideal for riders who need an essential set of medical supplies without the extra weight and bulk. Whether you're going on a short ride or preparing for a long tour, it offers the peace of mind that you're equipped to handle various first aid situations that may arise on your journey.
- Lightweight and compact: Weighs approximately 1.1 pounds and sized 8.2 x 5.1 x 2 inches
- Comprehensive: Contains 152 essential items
- Durable case: Its hard-shell case protects contents effectively
- Improved design
- Basic survival items: Lacks some advanced survival items compared to certain competitors.
- First aid knowledge required to effectively use the kit.
Weighing in at 1.3 pounds, this kit offers a comprehensive assortment of 230 pieces of medical supplies while ensuring portability. The compact design (8.27" x 5.31" x 3.15") complements its lightweight attribute and makes it convenient to store in various motorcycle compartments.
One of the distinctive features of the DAVEMED First Aid Kit is the variety and abundance of supplies. It provides everything from bandages and gauze to emergency blankets and a mouth-to-mouth mask, offering a wider range of possibilities for addressing different injuries or emergencies.
In comparison to its competitors, the DAVEMED Kit stands out due to its inclusion of professional-grade medical tools, such as stainless steel tweezers and scissors. This positions it as a cut above the rest in terms of functionality. The newest version has addressed previous issues by adding a tourniquet and increasing the quantity of some items such as alcohol pads and adhesive bandages, thereby further improving its comprehensiveness and utility.
When considering other options, the DAVEMED First Aid Kit may serve riders who prefer a comprehensive first aid kit with professional-grade tools. However, those who require a minimalistic approach may consider lighter, smaller options.
- Comprehensive: Packed with 230 items catering to a range of situations.
- Lightweight and Compact: Easy to carry at 1.3 pounds, with a compact design.
- Professional Grade Tools: Includes stainless steel tweezers and scissors, which are not commonly found in typical kits.
- Quality Materials: The hard-shell case is rugged and durable.
- Size of Items: Some users may find the bandages and dressings smaller than expected.
- Limited Survival Gear: Lacks certain outdoor survival tools such as a multi-tool or fire starter
For many guys out there, I’m sure we’ve heard it over and over and over and over again, safety is always a primary concern and should always be considered when riding motorbikes.
I know every single time I go out to ride my dirt bike my mother tells me to ride safely, don’t be silly, and ride smart. But in all honesty, I’ve actually only recently started riding with a medical aid kit which is something I should have done a long time ago. The small medical aid kits are compact and easily fit inside either my bum bag or my CamelBak, so there really is no reason not to ride with one. Thankfully it hasn’t come in too handy other than a few plasters and pieces of gauze. Hopefully, it stays that way.