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Uncharted Supply Co. Core Review

A small, lightweight day use kit that lacks some supplies for basic wilderness first aid
Uncharted Supply Co. Core
Photo: Uncharted Supply Co.
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Price:  $35 List | $34.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Compact, lightweight and high-quality trauma shears
Cons:  Inadequate variety of supplies, low quality tweezers, not water resistant
Manufacturer:   Uncharted Supply Co.
By Jacqueline Kearney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 20, 2021
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Quality - 20% 6
  • Usefulness - 20% 4
  • Durability - 20% 5
  • Versatility - 20% 4
  • Weight - 20% 9

Our Verdict

The Uncharted Supply Co. Core is an extremely lightweight first aid kit designed to be used for day trips where you don't travel too far from higher medical care. We found that this kit had adequate supplies to treat minor to moderate cuts and scrapes, and we appreciate the inclusion of a CPR barrier, gloves, and legitimate trauma shears. We also found that this kit lacked much else, which helps it weigh little but doesn't help its usefulness. In our opinion, the organization and contents of this kit are a good jumping-off point to start your day trip kit, but it's not comprehensive.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $34.95 at Backcountry$36.95 at Amazon$25.00 at REI$28.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$38.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
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Star Rating
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Pros Compact, lightweight and high-quality trauma shearsVery durable, quality tools, removable CPR kitCompact, lightweight, quality materials, handy wilderness first aid guidebookLightweight, minimal packaging, waterproof, quality components, compactVery well organized, useful
Cons Inadequate variety of supplies, low quality tweezers, not water resistantNo medications, no first aid manualLimited medications, no CPR maskLimited group size, minimal quantitiesBag is only moderately weather proof
Bottom Line A small, lightweight day use kit that lacks some supplies for basic wilderness first aidA very useful, high-quality, and durable choice for individuals or small groups heading into the backcountryThis kit is a great choice for short weekend trips, containing the essentials to guard against many trailside emergenciesThe best choice for trips where weight matters, without compromising on qualityA cleanly organized first aid kit for small groups and short excusions, this kit anticipates the medical needs of most backpackers
Rating Categories Uncharted Supply Co. Core Surviveware Small Mountain Series Hiker Ultralight/Watertight .7 Mountain Series Backpacker
Quality (20%)
6
9
8
8
8
Usefulness (20%)
4
8
6
6
7
Durability (20%)
5
9
9
8
7
Versatility (20%)
4
8
6
5
7
Weight (20%)
9
7
8
9
7
Specs Uncharted Supply... Surviveware Small Mountain Series... ... Mountain Series...
Total Weight (oz) 6 oz 14 oz 10 oz 8 oz 14 oz
Dimensions (inches) 6" x 4" x 2" 3.1" x 6.2" x 6.7" 6.5" x 5.5" x 3" 7.5" x 10" x 2" 7" x 6" x 3.5"
First Aid book No No Yes No Yes
CPR Mask/ Face Shield Yes Yes No No No
Type of Gloves 2 Nitrile gloves Nitrile gloves 1 nitrile gloves Nitrile gloves Nitrile gloves
Medications No No Yes - acetaminophen, ibuprofen, asprin, antihistamine Yes - antihistamine, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen Yes - acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamine, diamode, sting and bite relief wipes
Splint No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The smaller of the two kits that Uncharted Supply Co. manufactures, the Core is the core of a first aid kit that requires supplementation. This extremely lightweight kit provides the basic bandaging materials needed to address common scrapes and cuts, put pressure on a wound, or perform CPR (assuming proper training). Ultimately, we found that it really serves better as the starting point and packaging to what we would consider a basic day kit, and is not sufficient on its own.

Performance Comparison


The contents of this kit are compact, but limited in scope.
The contents of this kit are compact, but limited in scope.

Quality


We found that this Uncharted Supply Co. kit has a wide range of quality in its elements. The case itself is securely sewn and made of a sturdy, densely woven fabric. Internally, the adhesive and non-adhesive bandages were packaged in a secure, waxy paper that resisted tearing and small amounts of moisture when we stuffed this first aid kit deep in a pack. The trauma shears are similarly high quality, full-sized, and close to hospital-grade.

On the other hand, the compression bandage has brittle packaging that cracked under slight use. While not intended to be sterile, a wet, dirty compression bandage can still become less effective. The included tweezers are made of a plastic composite that feels flimsy and breakable. Overall, there does not seem to be a middle ground in this kit, it seems to be split—half are suitable quality contents and half are lower quality with unremarkable packaging.

The trauma shears are the best component of this first aid kit, and...
The trauma shears are the best component of this first aid kit, and these old jeans were no match for them.

Usefulness


This kit is marketed and intended for lightweight day trips and hikes, so we evaluated it as such. Overall, we feel that the contents of the Core kit are lacking even for a lightweight day use pack. The contents provide the resources to treat up to medium-sized cuts and scrapes, but that's about it.

There are no medications included in this kit. The tape provided is only ½" wide, narrowing its use to adhering bandages and eliminating possible uses for ankle and joint stabilization. Plus, there's not much tape on the roll to start with. The compression bandage has a flimsy, thin weave that does not feel secure when we test-wrapped it on our ankles. Additionally, the tweezers included are plastic and have a flat square tip that makes them difficult to use for precision debriding, splinter, or tick removal. It is important to note the Core does include a set of gloves and CPR barrier to allow a quick and safe response for a victim of cardiac arrest. In general, however, this kit proves only useful in a small portion of common day trip injuries.

This kit is useful for bandaging minor to medium scrapes and cuts...
This kit is useful for bandaging minor to medium scrapes and cuts. Pictured is a non-adhesive gauze pad and a non-sterile conforming bandage.

Versatility


The Uncharted Supply Co. Core begins lacking a few items for even a day trip size, so it cannot really be pared down for smaller trips and we were left to evaluate how easily it could be added to. The kit does leave an empty pocket labeled "personal" that can be filled with any additional items you desire. Each pocket is labeled specifically for the item it holds, not the injuries it is meant to treat, so the labels become inaccurate if you add enough items for a longer trip. Regardless, this kit has only a handful of the items needed for an overnight trip, meaning beefing it up is comparable to building a whole kit from the ground up. In other words, not very versatile until you purchase several additions in build-your-own style.

The extra space labeled "personal" leaves room to customize the Core...
The extra space labeled "personal" leaves room to customize the Core to fit your needs for short day trips.
Photo: Jacqueline Kearney

Durability


Similar to the quality of the components of the Core, the durabilities of its elements are a mixed bag. The exterior of this kit is tightly woven and tear-resistant fabric. This resisted tearing and rubbing on coarse rock and branches in our testing. Contrastingly, the zipper is bi-directional, but the teeth are large and clunky and the pulls feel light and cheap. Over the testing period, we also noticed that the zipper leaves an obvious gap where the bi-directional zipper meets. This creates an avenue for moisture to more easily affect the supplies within this first aid kit. Those supplies also vary in durability. The trauma shears are large and sturdy, with adequate space in the pack so they do not poke through the case, leading us to favor them among many trauma shears we encountered. On the other hand, the plastic construction of the tweezers makes us believe they will quickly lose precision, break or bend, causing us to replace them. In summary, this kit's durability was questionable aside from the trauma shears.

Sturdy canvas and a plastic sleeve for the included CPR card in the...
Sturdy canvas and a plastic sleeve for the included CPR card in the Core.

Weight


The Core is the lightest weight of the kits we tested. This, however, does not mean that it's the best. Lightweight benefit is all about efficiency in your travel and supplies. While this kit may save you ounces on the trail, its limited scope of injury treatments might also leave you wishing you had just carried a few more ounces in the event you needed to use it. This option is not lightweight because it is pared down to essentials in minimal packaging; rather, it is lightweight because it is lacking essentials.

We barely even noticed the weight of the Core on an early season day...
We barely even noticed the weight of the Core on an early season day hike in the Green Mountains. Slippery rocks and bare branches presented plenty of first aid concerns.

Value


This kit is priced right around, or slightly above, the other lightweight day trip kits in this review. Given the Core kit's lack of versatility and usefulness in its contents, and somewhat limited packaging, this feels a little high for what you're getting. Unfortunately, to bring this kit up to a standard that our experiences in the medical field dictate, we need to beef it up significantly. Given this additional cost, we think there are more budget-friendly and value-filled options out there.

Conclusion


The lightweight benefits of the Uncharted Supply Co. Core model are balanced with the variety of contents it has. If you would like to be able to build on and customize a bare-bones kit then this may be a decent option for you. This kit on its own, however, does not provide adequate supplies to treat many common day hike injuries such as burns, blisters, splinters, or sprains. For this price point, there may be another kit that meets more of these needs.

Lightweight, fairly compact, and specifically labeled, the Core does...
Lightweight, fairly compact, and specifically labeled, the Core does leave room for personalized improvement.
Photo: Jacqueline Kearney

Jacqueline Kearney