Chinook Medical MinimalistPAK Review

Chinook Medical MinimalistPAK ReviewI received this little pack from Chinook medical and more pleased I could not be. The pack seems small and the cost of the pack is very reasonable at $26.95; at first I didn't think it had that much in it, but after taking some time to really check the pack out I was surprised.

For such a small Medical pack this pouch really packs a lot in such a small space. First off you have it all packed into a LOKSAK waterproof and tear proof bag, these waterproof bags come in some SPEC-OPS brand gear so I've used them a number of times and they've been great. Similar to a Ziploc bag but much thicker and more like what is found in a water reservoir but not quite as thick.

This may just look like a bag to some people but to a survival person, this is a multiuse item. Sure it can store your kit but you can use it to gather food, and both carry and treat water with a purification tablet. Which I would like to see some in this pack, as they have included a DripDrop Medical grade rehydration powder - you just add a half liter of water to it, it's similar to Gatorade. You could add as much water as you like, but it will just water down the taste and effect, so it could be used sparingly for a number of drinks.

Chinook Medical MinimalistPAK ReviewAfter going through this kit, I began thinking of all the small problems I've had hiking and 90% of them could be fixed from this small first aid kit. The MinimalistPAK has an Emergency survival blanket in case you get cold or wet (it will help to reflect 80% of your body heat back into your body) and Nitrile gloves. These are the black version used in the battle field, they tend to be a little thicker and the black color makes them blend in much better than running around with a purple glove on!

You also get packs like antimicrobial wipes ad 3 packets of burn gel for those burns around the fire or sun burns, 30 Band-Aids as well as 6 moleskin, which are great for blisters or problems with feet, and 6 knuckle bandages which as we all know are very useful when it comes to small joints like knuckles on your feet or hands, where a Band-Aid will just not hold or protect as well. You also have something I've carried for years in a first aid kit - wound closure strips in size 0.25 x 4" which are good where you need something more than a Band-Aid. If the cut is deep and you don't have any sutures on hand, they act like a stitch to hold the wound closed so it can heal, or at least till you can get to a doctor to get it stitched up!

You have some gauze pads in the MinimalistPAK as well. They are small 3"x 3", but I've found these items useful if you have bleeding cuts, you can always double the 3"x 3" pad if you need a small thicker pad and you get 4 so they can be used in combination if need be.

You have also a number of wipes, 3 similar to wet naps but they have been soaked in povidone-lodine, which is an antiseptic solution to kill any bacteria when cleaning cuts and wounds.

Also a number of pills are included in this little kit as well: Aspirin 2 x 2 packs, ibuprofen 2 packs of 2, 2 pack of Diamode which is an anti-diarrheal, which we know you can get from drinking or eating just about anything in the woods that's not treated or cooked right! Also Diphen 2 packs – it's an antihistamine, which is used for allergies, you get 2 which instructions on the back say to use 1 to 2 every 4 to 6 hours so this supply is best for 6 to 12 hours use.

Chinook Medical MinimalistPAK ReviewIn addition included in this kit are 3 antibiotic ointment packets along with three hydrocortisone cream packets that look like little ketchup. One thing I've carried for years that not all people do is the hydrocortisone, this is not common but very useful as it's a topical cream that can be used to treat everything from burns to bug bites or damaged cracked hands caused by dry skin, which can happen very easily in the woods exposed to the elements!

Stretch gauze, which is useful for small wounds on feet or hands, allows you to apply constant pressure to the wound and can be wrapped very tight if need be. You can also use the non-adherent dressing in a similar manner; it's ideal for putting on wounds where you don't want it to stick to the skin like burns. One small 5" by 9" trauma pad, which is basically a thick pad use for large bleeds.

Another good thing to have on hand is an elastic bandage wrap - 2" x 4.5yd - which is also included in this kit is ideal for strains or applying pressure to a wound or twisted ankle. The best part of this material is it only sticks to itself, not to other bandages or skin, so it makes an ideal option if you have something you want to make sure the bandage doesn't stick to.

Lastly you again get two must-have items in a survival kit: tweezers, a must have for getting rid of splinters or pulling ticks and leeches off, and 2 yards of green 100 mile an hour tape or also called by the brand name duct tape. We all know how useful duct tape can be! The duct tape is backed so you can just cut a piece and pull off the backing like a sticker, so it's very easy to deal with if you should have to use it with one hand!

All in all the MinimalistPAK is small yes, it's very affordable in price, but for what it offers, it covers a lot in the must-have categories as far as a first aid kit goes. For me I would round out this kit with a few more items but that's because I tend to use it for an EDC (every day carry) first aid kit. All I would add is one or two Israeli field dressings and one SOF tactical tourniquet.

If you're going to add it to a larger bug out bag I would add one SOF tactical tourniquet and two Israeli field dressings one 4" and one 6" and maybe a package of QuikClot. Adding these items together would give you a really good setup for your kit and you can also check out  BleederPAK by Chinook which has a nice presetup kit to add. The best thing about buying the MinimalistPAK, is 90% of the work is done for you with a small price tag. Why I would add the additional items to a medical kit is, I've seen where sometimes you can get into trouble: you fall, shove something into your leg, or catch your self on something, and you're bleeding bad, you need the above items I mentioned to get things under control. It can happen very fast and being in the middle of the woods, if you can't get severe bleeding under control you might not make it out, so it's always better to be safe than sorry!

This is my preference from what I've experienced in the woods but everyone is different, and in most case the MinimalistPAK has everything you would need in a day hike pack or every day carry situation and at a $$26.95 price range you can't go wrong. All said and done what I think I like about the MinimalistPAK the most is that it's set up with high quality items and things you would use, and nothing you would not. A lot of medical kits have a ton of junk that in most cases someone would never use, but going through this kit I can see instances where I could have used every piece of this MinimalistPAK. That's why I know it's ideally sourced and created by people who know what they're doing!


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