Review: Happy Wanderer First-Aid Kit

A good first-aid kit is a necessity whenever you're venturing far from home, and the Happy Wanderer hits the sweet spot for all kinds of outdoor recreation. It weighs just under a pound with all the included contents, but of course the weight will vary depending on what you choose to add or subtract.

The most important component of a first-aid kit is its pocket layout, because beyond that, it's entirely customizable. The Happy Wanderer has four zippered pockets and two slide-in pockets. So you've got plenty of options for organization. Plus, one of the zippered pockets can completely detach from the rest of the kit as its own pouch, so you can have a mini kit for day hikes and a full kit for base camp, which is quite a nifty feature.

The kit also has a lightweight metal hook on the inside, so that it can be hung and opened for easy access to all the contents.

It comes pre-loaded with materials to treat most basic ailments, from minor cuts to stings, burns, blisters, and splinters. It even includes an instant cold-compress, emergency space blanket, and pamphlet denoting basic first-aid procedures and CPR.

You can tailor the contents of the Happy Wanderer to suit your needs. Personally, I would remove some of the swabs and ointments (the kit comes with way more than you could possibly need for one outing), wood splints (use sticks), space blanket, and cold compress (both of which are bulky and heavy); and I would add a pressure-irrigation syringe, elastic wrap, triangular bandages to make larger splints or slings, some burlier tape, and some basic over-the-counter meds: Benadryl, Imodium, and Tylenol. You should be able to find all these supplements at the drug store.

Overall, the Happy Wanderer is a compact, easy-to-tote first-aid kit that will serve a wide range of outdoors folks. Most importantly, the bag itself is a great foundation from which to build your own personal kit.

Available at; $23.