First Aid is how you take care of yourself. Second Aid is how you take care of others.
Our First and Second Aid Pouches are zippered, clamshell-style organizer pouches. Both feature two interior zippered pockets: a flat one of clear urethane, and a 3D-pleated one that’s made of mesh and divided down the center into two sub-pouches. Two elastic bands along the spine can accommodate an extra pen, pencil or similar item.
Inside, both pouches are the same; outside is a different story: the First Aid Pouch is red; the Second Aid Pouch is blue. Both feature an embroidered white icon for instant recognition as to their mission.
But what matters even more than the pouches themselves is what you carry in them. First Aid is important; being prepared enables you to take care of yourself. And making sure you can take care of yourself means you can then focus on taking care of others, and that's what Second Aid is all about.
The inspiration for the Second Aid pouch came from a climb Tom went on with his good buddy Mark, a doctor. At the trailhead, Tom was considering whether to bring an extra jacket or not; Mark tucked the jacket back into Tom’s pack, noting that even if Tom didn't need the extra jacket, someone they ran into might. “The life you save”, said Mark, “may not be your own”.
After that hike, Tom gradually compiled a kit that now includes, among other things, an extra headlamp, extra energy bars, and an extra pair of warm gloves and a hat—items that, while perhaps not life-saving, could mean the difference between a crummy hike and a comfortable descent to safety.
Discussing the idea of Second Aid further with people here at the factory and our friends and family, we realized we could create Second Aid kits for travel, conferences, and just everyday life: into our Second Aid pouches went painkillers, extra pens, mints, chocolate bars, tea, instant coffee, cash, a small notepad, hand sanitizer. Anything, really, that we could think of that we could offer to a friend or stranger to make their day a little better.
Here's some suggestions for what to pack in your Second Aid pouch:
- Inexpensive headlamp and/or flashlight: getting un-lost, providing first aid, searching for lost car keys or companions—they’re all harder (and even dangerous) in the dark. Don't cheap out too much on the headlamp—thinking you have one and finding it doesn't work is a big drag. Check the batteries regularly. If you can find one with a flashing red safety mode, so much the better. Remember that a headlamp can be held in one's hand, but a flashlight is hard to attach to one's head. Just saying.
- Thin glove liners: cold hands are no fun, but the diminished dexterity that comes along with icy digits can be incapacitating, turning an otherwise helpful person into a useless bystander.
- A very light-weight fleece cap can slow heat loss from one's head and can make a big difference in comfort and safety. A bicycle helmet liner (AKA "skull cap") works great.
Note: while we are all about having the very best of any piece of gear we own, we tend to buy cheap versions of the the above items, on sale when possible. You're likely to never see them again, and they might very well provide their utility in a one-time use.
Also, don't buy black stuff: drop your black gloves in the dark, on a windy mountain top, or on the floor of a parking garage, and they're gone; they’re also harder to find inside your pack or pouch. Bright colors are good, ok?
- Clif Bar or simulacra: some extra, easy-to-digest calories are always good to have, and can turn around a cranky, complaining child (of any age).
- Ibuprofen and/or aspirin: the ability to relieve pain can turn you into an angel, and that's pretty cool.
- Foil-wrapped towelettes: not everyone will agree with this one, but getting cleaned up a bit can be a big attitude changer. And when the chips are down, attitude can be everything.
- $5.00 - $20.00 or the equivalent in your local currency, because sometimes money can solve a problem.
- Tampons. Need we say more?
- A spork.
- Hydration tablets.
- A chocolate bar and/or chocolate-covered espresso beans!
- Notepad and pencil: good to be able to leave a note under a rock at a trail junction, or under a windshield wiper at the trailhead.
- Portable phone charger.
- Duct tape.
- Herbal and homeopathic remedies.
Whatever you carry in your Second Aid kit, we want to see it. Share your photos of Second Aid on Twitter and Instagram #secondaid
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
― Rabindranath Tagore
- Matee M.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, Versatile1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, VersatileRated 5 out of 5 starsPerfect for a small aid kit!
The blue second aid pouch is near perfect for a small emergency kit I put together for my family. Though the aid pouchkins are no longer available, I found the medium organizer pouch & super mini ghost whale organizer fits very well inside and provided nice extra compartments. The fully embroidered aid symbol is a nice touch! Highly recommend if you’re putting together your own small kit!
- Rachel3 years agoRated 5 out of 5 starsPerfect for my epipen - fits in the bottom of my handbag/purse and easy to grab
I have to carry a bulky epipen box in case of emergency and for the longest time I kept it in a ziplock bag and it was bulky and the box got beat up pretty bad. I decided to try the Red First Aid kit and the epipen box fits like a dream. It's easy to spot in my handbag or Makers Bag to grab quickly. I also was able to put Benadryl and other anti-allergy medications in it as well. Very happy with my purchase and will be buying additional double leafs for the First Aid bag.TBTOM BIHN3 years agoGreat tip about how the epipen fits! Thanks for your review, Rachel. - Darcy, CEO
- Rebecca L.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage SizeRated 5 out of 5 starsPerfect Size, User Friendly
This first aid kit is an amazing sized bag. It had great organizational qualities, which make it the perfect on-the-go kit. Plenty of storage room for emergencies products for both me and my dogs. I only wish the organizing pouches were available when I purchased mine.
- Peter2 years agoRated 4 out of 5 starsminimalist first aid pouch
Well-made little travel first aid pouch, but a bit fey in aspects of its design. The little zip pockets certainly keep everything in place, but are smallish for normal size first aid supplies. In a first aid emergency (or even a mini-travel-related first aid situation) you really want your supplies to be spread out in front of you--gauze pads handy to apply direct pressure, irrigation solution, clotting sponge, tape, etc. EMT and military kits are designed like that. My daughter cut her finger rather badly on the slopes in Switzerland last January, and I found myself rummaging around in the little pockets of my Tom Binh kit to find all the right items. My previous kits were made by one of your Seattle colleague-companies (Outdoor Research). In OR's previous iteration, they used to make first aid pouches, with a fold out sleeve that was great for finding stuff quickly. Just a thought! I love the stuff you make, and the fact that you make it here.
- Eugene S.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, DurableRated 5 out of 5 starsEasy to find in your luggage
As with all of Tom BIhn’s products, this is solidly built and well designed. The red color with the white cross makes it easy to find. On a recent trip to Spain I needed some ibuprofen in the middle of the night. It was easy to find and grab out of my suitcase, even while half asleep.
Sewn in Seattle
Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?
Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.
THE BIHN Guarantee
Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 and we stand behind what we make.
If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.