Hands-on Gear Review

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Backpacker Review

A cleanly organized first aid kit for small groups and short excusions, the AMK Backpacker anticipates the medical needs of most backpackers.
By: Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 6, 2018
Price:  $39 List  |  $39.00 at REI
Pros:  Very well organized, useful
Cons:  Bag is only moderately weather proof
Manufacturer:   Adventure Medical Kits
74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 8
  • Quality - 20% 8
  • Usefulness - 20% 7
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 20% 7
  • Weight - 20% 8
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Our Verdict

The Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) Backpacker first aid kit is cleanly designed and easy to use. Designed to be used for two people for up to four days, we found that it also was able to adequately support a small group of 3 to 4 people for a shorter weekend journey, a situation that many find themselves in. We appreciated the ease of use that the Backpacker kit allowed for, with the thoughtful organization and labeling, users can grab what they are looking for quickly. The AMK Backpacker contains important supplies that are useful for trail-based first aid and also provides a 160-page mini-guide to wilderness medicine.

This is a great option for a long weekend or with a group of 2-4 people, though we recommend the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 for taking out on day trips.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) makes numerous first aid kits designed for medical attention on-the-go. From backpacking to car camping and everything in between, AMK has a kit that is sized appropriately for your group and trip length and which includes implements that are both useful and activity-specific. The AMK Backpacker is a first aid kit that is designed for two people on a trip up to four days long, though it is entirely useful for a slightly larger group on a similar length trip.

Performance Comparison


The expanded contents of the AMK Backpacker. More than enough to cover a small group over a long weekend trip.
The expanded contents of the AMK Backpacker. More than enough to cover a small group over a long weekend trip.

Quality


AMK kits tend to be of above average quality, and the AMK Backpacker is no exception. The carrying case consists of thick, durable nylon, with silicone-impregnated nylon pouches keeping inner contents organized and easy to find. These zippered pockets hold medical supplies based on the kind of injury you need to treat, making the first aid kit much less cluttered than kits that only have one or two compartments for stuffing all the instruments and supplies together. The slight increase in weight to gain organization is well worth it. The kit's contents are generally of a high standard, with quality implements like forceps and trauma shears included.

The AMK Backpacker is extremely well organized with labeled pouches.
The AMK Backpacker is extremely well organized with labeled pouches.

Usefulness


It is readily evident that AMK developed this first aid kit to be useful to backpackers, as the included supplies anticipate many of the on-trail medical needs that might occur. Cloth athletic tape is superior for taping ankles as it allows more flex than synthetic fabrics, and a half roll is provided, enough to wrap two ankles if not going overboard on how much you use. Also packed inside is an adequate amount of blister treatment and a small vial of the sticky tincture of benzoin is provided to ensure that moleskin stays in place. The small selection of over the counter medications in this kit includes loperamide (Immodium). For those who are rusty with their first aid skills, the Mountain Series Backpacker comes with a 160-page book written by Eric Weiss, MD on wilderness first aid.

The three things all backpackers should have in their kits- moleskin  athletic tape and benzoin tincture.
The three things all backpackers should have in their kits- moleskin, athletic tape and benzoin tincture.

Durability


The durable woven nylon carrying case showed no signs of abrasion during our test despite being tossed around in packs, in the dirt, and into travel luggage during our testing period. For trips in wetter environments, such as backpacking in the Pacific Northwest or on ski trips, we placed the Backpacker kit in a quart-sized plastic bag, as the case is only moderately water resistant and the contents are not individually sealed as they are in other small kits we tested.

Versatility


While the AMK Backpacker kit is specifically intended for shorter backpacking trips, it's perfectly useful for a wide range of outdoor activities. The main thing that makes this so useful for backpackers is the ample supply of foot care and small wound treatments, but this kit also benefits individuals or groups looking for a quality, weight-conscious first aid kit.

Weight


We weighed the AMK Backpacker on our own scale and found that it weighs .85 pounds (13.6 oz) with all contents included. Since many users choose to leave the wilderness medicine book out for weight savings, we also weighed it without the book, resulting in a .68 lb (10.9 oz) total weight. It does not represent the lightest kit out there, but for the included supplies and usefulness, it's a good compromise and worth a couple extra ounces.
The confirmed weight of the AMK Backpacker without wilderness medicine book.
The confirmed weight of the AMK Backpacker without wilderness medicine book.

Best Applications


This kit is going to serve small groups of 2-3 people best who are going out into the wilderness for up to 4 days on a trip that is on foot. Backpackers have to carry all of their equipment on their backs, and this kit provides a good blend of usefulness, versatility, and weight that makes it a good choice.

The AMK Backpacker is easily to fit inside a pack  and provides all the necessary supplies when going on a hike.
The AMK Backpacker is easily to fit inside a pack, and provides all the necessary supplies when going on a hike.

Value


With a list price of $39, we feel that the AMK Backpacker is a good value, considering the quality implements and overall usefulness for overnight backpacking trips.

Conclusion


The AMK Backpacker first aid kit is optimized for those adventurous folks taking to the trail for several days, and who may likely encounter the typical issues like twisted ankles, blisters, and cuts, or mild allergic reactions. This kit provides quality supplies for small groups embarking on trips into the wilderness without being overly heavy or cumbersome.

Ryan Huetter

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