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Pack for Emergencies but still be Ultra-light

If you haven’t yet – check out my full Packing List for my current whole kit list.

This post is specifically on my Emergency and First Aid Kit

Before you read further, I just want to be really clear that everybody will prioritise different pieces of equipment for emergency situations. It will depend on your specific needs, your location, possibly your own anxieties and interpretation of the likelihood of specific emergencies happening. Please note that this post won’t include bike specific tools.

This is the kit I have been taking on my bikepacking adventures so far and what I plan on taking for the 3 weeks on the Munda Biddi in South West, Western Australia. Because of this location, I’ve focused on the possibility of snakes, cycling injuries, running out of water and cold temperatures that I’m generally not used to. I’ve drawn on my own experiences of been involved in a few alarming situations in the past which I may write about in the future. Outside of my hike/bike/camping adventures, I have also drawn on my education through the Scout Association as a child, working in remote areas over my career and more recently I attended a Bob Cooper’s WA Outback Survival Course held in Chidlow, Western Australia (that I highly recommend).

Most of the equipment I am now carrying comes from one of Bob Coopers Survival kits that you can buy online on the Bob Cooper Outback Survival Website. I recommend you combine this with the Snake Bite Kit and Help Survival Blanket. I have personalised the kit to suit my needs and to avoid double-ups with other stuff I have. Also pieces of the original kit may be packed in other sections due to more common usage (for example, the flint and knife are packed with “Cooking” and therefore haven’t been included in this list).

I have also removed the tin box that it all came into keep the weight down and make it more compact. I feel I have other pieces of equipment that can compensate for the usefulness of the tin container.



In the container: 

(161g, Water tight tuppaware container. 550mm x 950mm. I am tempted to change this to double ziplock bags but I haven’t seen a need yet)

Bandaids x 4 – two different sizes for cuts and blisters

Cotton Swabs – fire lighting fuel and for cuts

Glucose Tablet – fire lighting fuel (chemical reaction with Condys Crystals), medicine

String–  for tying down the emergency blanket to use a shelter, water collection with plastic bags, to keep track of distances

Pencil – ummm….because every First aid kit has one and seems like a good idea

Fishing equipment – emergency food, first aid

Condy’s Crystals – I learn’t about this stuff on the Bob Cooper Course. Check Wikipedia for its many uses. I would probably most likely use it for anti-septic, anti-fungal or water purification. It can also be used to light fires. Pretty useful stuff. Use caution as it’s still a poison.

Iodine and Alcohol swaps – First aid

Mini compass – I really should get a real compass, I wouldn’t trust this one but I didn’t have the heart to leave it out until I have a true replacement

Tweezers – First aid

Surgical blade – First aid…have you seen 127 hours?

Wire – useful stuff….I’ll let you know when I work out why it is useful

Matches – in case the flint carks it

Needle, thread, safety pins, buttons – fashion emergencies, useful when patching tubeless tyres

Little packet of Coffee & Tea – Morale boosting (has helped me twice already)

Vegetable Stock – food and morale boosting

Water purification tablets – spares in case I lose the packet


In Snake Kit pouch

(130mm x 60mm, 268g)

Instructions – n case of panic

3 x compression bandages – First aid for snake bites, splints, sprains and strains. Can use as rope also.

Bob Cooper Emergency Blanket – can be used as a waterproof shelter, a hypothermia blanket, a stretcher, a big sign saying “Help” that can be seen from the sky and also has instructions on how to survive for days in the Outback. Very cool and well thought out invention. Nice work Bob!

Heavy duty plastic bags – Water collection, rain protection

Mirror – Signalling, first aid on face, making sure I’m still there if nobody is there to acknowledge my existence for 3 days.

Magnifying glass – Add to the fire lighting options and for splinters



(150mm x 35mm, 75g)

I have had a couple of anaphylatic episodes in the past with no idea what caused them so I carry an Epipen any remote trips just in case. Unfortunately they make these things so bloody big. If I run out of room I might just electrical tape it to the bike frame somewhere.


Personal Locator Beacon

Great device with an emergency button that when you press it – it notifies the authorities you are in trouble and sends your coordinates. Only to be used in true life or death situations. I have been hiring or borrowing one. I am saving up for the Delorme InReach (added feature of being able to text from your iPhone to anyone anywhere in the world regardless if you are in or out of phone reception). Another device is the Spot Tracker (allows friends and family to follow you on a map at home to make sure you are reaching your pre-determined destinations…and I guess that you are still moving). Both have their benefits over a normal PLB. Watch this space…



Panadol, Nurofen, Aspirin, Anti-histamines, Maxalt (migraine prescription)


When all packed up: 


It’s a lot of stuff in a couple small packages!

Overall weight: 504g

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