Author Topic: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review  (Read 3960 times)

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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« on: October 23, 2013, 05:56:11 PM »
Well, I saw this at walmart for $36 so I figured I'd give it a look and see whether it was worthwhile. I figured I'd take one for the B&B team if it turned out to be a waste.

Here are a few pics:






The kit comes in a black, heavyweight nylon bag that is approximately the size of a "fanny pack", but lacks the belt. The rear of the pack has several straps that could attach it to a belt, or a molle webbing platform. There are 4 zippered compartments. 2 on the sides, one main compartment, and one front compartment. The main compartment contained all of the contents, leaving the rest open for more gear.

In case you cannot see from the pictures, the contents are:

Survival gear

6 4oz. Packets of purified drinking water
6 fortified food bars (2400 calorie)
2 hand washers
1 flashlight
2 flashlight batteries
1 light stick
1 whistle
1 survival blanket
1 rain poncho

First Aid Supplies

15 1"x3" plastic bandage strips
6 BZK Antiseptic Wipes
4 2"x2" gauze pads
4 triple antibiotic ointment packets
2 alcohol wipes
2 first aid burn cream packets
2 sting relief wipes
1 eye pad with strips
1 knuckle bandage
1 fingertip bandage
1 extra large bandage
1 waterproof bandage
1 butterfly wound closure
1 first aid tape roll
1 metal tweezers
1 scalpel blade
1 first aid guide

Medications

2 ibuprofen tablets
2 antacid tablets
2 acetaminophen tablets


Being a kit from Camillus, I expected a better knife than a scalpel blade! Still, it seems like a decent platform on which to build a kit of your own. There is more room inside the bag's exterior compartments for more items. The main compartment is stuffed to the gills, so I chose to move some items out to the peripheral compartments in order to make room for a Mora knife. One potential problem I saw was the AA batteries were just rolling around loose in the bag. I would tape the ends to make sure they can't contact any conductive materials, and put them in a small plastic bag to protect the other contents in case they leak. The flashlight itself is a very cheap plastic thing. I would recommend replacing this with a modern LED flashlight, with a preference toward long run time vs. high output. The whistle is orange plastic. I might replace that with a metal whistle as well.

As you can see, water purification supplies are conspicuously absent. I would add some purification tabs, some tea or other flavoring agent, and a steel cup that can be boiled in. You might be able to fit a wide mouthed steel bottle inside the bag by filling the bottle itself with some of the kit contents. The 24oz. of water contained in the kit is enough for one drink for an adult, not the "three days" implied by the kit's name. You MUST supplement the kit with a means to make water safe to drink.

Also amazingly absent from the kit is any means to make a fire. You will want to add a mag bar, a ferro rod, and some waterproof matches and/or a butane lighter, and a tea light candle and some PJCBs to help get wet tinder going. (Fire starting materials are really a matter of personal familiarity and preference, but you want a few redundant methods in there.)

I am not a first aid expert, but I know we have a few members on the board here who can weigh in as to the selection of first aid supplies and how they compare to other commercial first aid kits.

I'd also suggest adding a good pair of sunglasses and a warm beanie hat to any kit. Hat's can make you feel 15% warmer as people lose massive amounts of heat from their heads. The beanies crush down pretty small and don't weigh much. Can't hurt to throw in a bandanna as well. And sunglasses will help reduce fatigue by preventing squinting in bright conditions. Little comforts can make a huge difference to morale.



Things I liked:

Apparently solid and tough bag with multiple compartments and MOLLE attachment
Additional room for more items
Saves time by allowing you to get many useful items in one package, without having to buy multiples of those items individually, (i.e. a whole pack of bandages to get 2 to put in the kit)

Things I didn't like:

Cheap flashlight
Cheap whistle
Batteries rolling around loose
Lack of water storage/purification
Lack of fire starting

Overall, I think the kit is a decent value for the price, considering the nice bag it comes in, but it should only be looked at as a base upon which to build, not a finished kit! As it comes from the store, there are several items you will have to add to it to make it complete from a 3 day survival standpoint.
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 09:27:25 PM »
Did Camillus become a site sponsor?  Between you and Creek I'm thinking something is fishy  ;D

I'd say your review is pretty on.  Seems like a decent start but lacking some very fundamental items.  Thanks for the share PW!
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 11:16:45 PM »
Thank's for the heads up that its at Walmart. :)     And the review.   


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On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 01:11:47 AM »
Did Camillus become a site sponsor?  Between you and Creek I'm thinking something is fishy  ;D

I'd say your review is pretty on.  Seems like a decent start but lacking some very fundamental items.  Thanks for the share PW!

I wish!

But no, this was just an impulse buy and an opportunity to give our members a closer look than they might get at it sitting on a store shelf. The contents themselves are mostly packed in plastic bags. I didn't want to unpack it completely for fear that I wouldn't be able to get it all back in there again, otherwise I'd have detailed pictures of the contents.

I will try to remember to get some pics when I add the other items I'd like to add and then re-pack it.
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Online upthecreek

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 04:22:07 AM »
Does look like a pretty good start. Nice bag. As for the first aid supplies, again a good start. However If one had anything other that a small cut I think you'd blast through those supplies real quick. However any first aid kit is better than no first aid kit. Got to get some fire making goods stuffed in there for sure! Appreciate the post.

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Online wsdstan

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 10:20:26 AM »
Might be a good start to an emergency kit to keep in a vehicle too.  Add the fire making materials, a space blanket, a polar fleece blanket and stash it in the vehicle.
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Offline Saintnick001

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 10:58:43 AM »
Are the bandages and whatnot brand name or generic? I've found that most first aid kits use generic bandages and are about worthless.
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Offline trentu

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 06:18:00 AM »
Look like good Christmas presents for the kids. Thanks PW.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 01:07:09 AM »
Are the bandages and whatnot brand name or generic? I've found that most first aid kits use generic bandages and are about worthless.

These appear to be generic, for what it's worth. The contents differ somewhat from the picture on the tag (not the description, just the picture).
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2013, 11:05:56 AM »
I think the pack it comes in looks pretty nice.  IMHO, I think most 1st Aid kits are just starters.  Everyone that I have ever bought needed some upgrading. 

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Offline Dano

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 12:14:21 PM »
Definitely looks like a start and with a few additions would be more useful.  Can't tell from the pics of the bag size, but looks like you could throw the contents in a Nalgene, add some cordage and firestarting materials, some water purification tablets and have a good starter emergency bag.

Thanks for the review!!

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 04:21:37 PM »
Definitely looks like a start and with a few additions would be more useful.  Can't tell from the pics of the bag size, but looks like you could throw the contents in a Nalgene, add some cordage and firestarting materials, some water purification tablets and have a good starter emergency bag.

Thanks for the review!!

Yep, it's big enough to fit a good bit more. It's a large "fanny pack" sized bag.
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Offline Draco

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 07:15:47 PM »
It does look like a nice bag.  Too bad they did not include a belt so it could more easily be use for a fanny pack. 

As for the medical I would add a triangle bandage.  You may need to immobilize a arm or something and the triangle is great for that. 

The tourniquet is still controversial.  Somewhat less so since the bombing in Boston and so many lives were saved by the use of one.  Just know if you use a tourniquet the chances of whatever limb you used it on being saved is very slim. 

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 08:47:23 PM »
It does look like a nice bag.  Too bad they did not include a belt so it could more easily be use for a fanny pack. 

As for the medical I would add a triangle bandage.  You may need to immobilize a arm or something and the triangle is great for that. 

The tourniquet is still controversial.  Somewhat less so since the bombing in Boston and so many lives were saved by the use of one.  Just know if you use a tourniquet the chances of whatever limb you used it on being saved is very slim.

I will definitely keep that in mind. I guess a tourniquet is only a good idea if the person is going to bleed to death without it. I'll consider a triangle bandage as well. Do they take up a lot of space?
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Offline Draco

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 09:00:33 PM »
It does look like a nice bag.  Too bad they did not include a belt so it could more easily be use for a fanny pack. 

As for the medical I would add a triangle bandage.  You may need to immobilize a arm or something and the triangle is great for that. 

The tourniquet is still controversial.  Somewhat less so since the bombing in Boston and so many lives were saved by the use of one.  Just know if you use a tourniquet the chances of whatever limb you used it on being saved is very slim.

I will definitely keep that in mind. I guess a tourniquet is only a good idea if the person is going to bleed to death without it. I'll consider a triangle bandage as well. Do they take up a lot of space?

The triangle bandages are pretty small.  Maybe the size of a roll of gauze or just a little larger.   If you have never immobilize an arm with a triangle bandage you need to practice it.  It is not nearly as easy as it seems but once on that arm is not moving much.  Here is an excellent video on how to use one to immobilize an arm.


Offline Strider

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2014, 08:32:42 PM »
It does look like a nice bag.  Too bad they did not include a belt so it could more easily be use for a fanny pack. 

As for the medical I would add a triangle bandage.  You may need to immobilize a arm or something and the triangle is great for that. 

The tourniquet is still controversial.  Somewhat less so since the bombing in Boston and so many lives were saved by the use of one.  Just know if you use a tourniquet the chances of whatever limb you used it on being saved is very slim.

I will definitely keep that in mind. I guess a tourniquet is only a good idea if the person is going to bleed to death without it. I'll consider a triangle bandage as well. Do they take up a lot of space?


Tourniquets are dangerous.  One really has to weigh the risks when using one.  Loosing a limb is very likely and it only seems worthwhile if someone is bleeding out or dealing with venom(snakes).  Dealing with venom with the tourniquet is especially dangerous to the limb as it basically concentrates and traps the poison in the limb.

Offline Yeoman

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2014, 04:36:35 AM »
I've seen a few reviews of these kits recently. I haven't seen them for sale around here yet.
Might make good gifts for family members (with appropriate additions).
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Offline Nature Boy

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2014, 09:28:50 AM »
Saw a couple of those kits at my local Wally World last month. Would have bought one but all of them had been opened and 'picked' through :(. From what I saw left in them the flashlight is a cheapo, no batteries in either kit I saw or whistles.....the add-ons/upgrades you recommend would make it an excellent kit and the bag looks pretty darn sturdy.
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Offline wturiel

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Re: Camillus First Aid 3 Day Survival Kit Review
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2014, 07:45:39 PM »
I saw this kit at Xmas time and you could order it with free shipping and it came with the les stroud folding knife for 36 bucks at the time.  If u watch the walmart web site they will sometimes bundle products at a discount.
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