How Duct-Aid Was Started
What is the Best First Aid Kit Available?
In 2018, two of our founders (Wade Melling and Ryan Logan) began the process of starting an emergency preparedness company. We looked around and realized there wasn’t an affordable option that delivered an excellent bug-out-bag, or 72 hour kit. If you don’t know what that is, it is a backpack that you can grab in case of an emergency that will help you survive for 72 (or more) hours.
We began extensive research on what type of bags are available, what is recommended to be inside of them, and design the best bag. There were many areas of improvement that could be done, but the biggest hole they saw in EVERY bag was a decent first aid kit. Many leading experts talked about having everything else you need in one bag and carrying an entirely different backpack with all your medical emergency essentials. These first aid kits even cost $250+ all on their own!
We resolved to find a better option, but nothing was out there! Most compact kits (called IFAK, or Individual First Aid Kits), had only a few items in them for $100+, and the items in them only helped with catastrophic situations. They didn’t have items for many of the injuries that could happen in an emergency. What about a burn? What about road rash? A snake bite, or spider bite? What made the situation worse was the limited amount of information on how to apply these first aid supplies to a given injury.
We rapidly realized that there was no good solution in the marketplace for this type of situation. Even new companies were just selling the same old thing under a different name. Sure, they might have innovated in a different type of carrying case. But the underlying products remained the same.
That’s when we got together with Mitch Melling, the final founder of Duct-Aid. He is a board certified Family Practice Doctor, and we asked him what kit was best. He researched the kits and came to the same conclusion that the other two had: there wasn’t a kit he felt was going to be good in emergency situations. We decided to design a kit that would address the needs of everyone that needed it. Furthermore, we resolved to deliver the information to help the person with the least amount of medical knowledge know how to apply the items for each injury.
The Quest For the Ultimate First Aid Kit
The process that we went through to design the kit started with duct tape. Many professionals recommend using duct tape for first aid situations, and survivalists have duct tape in their kits for emergencies. Plus, Mitch had worked in many emergency rooms throughout Utah and South Dakota, and he had seen people who came in that had taken care of their emergencies with duct tape. In some circumstances, it’s likely that the tape had even saved a person’s life.
In researching duct tape, we rapidly realized that the adhesive on duct tape is not approved to be applied to skin. Many people have had negative reactions to the adhesive on the duct tape. So, we began the quest of finding a duct tape that had medical grade adhesive. This provided a challenge for us, as duct tape is not made in a factory that makes any type of medical tape.
During this time, we decided that the quest for coming up with the ultimate first aid kit should be the number one priority of our company and efforts, so we shelved the project of bug out bags for the time being.
It took over 16 months to find a factory that could put medical grade adhesive on duct tape, but we were finally able to find someone to help us manufacture it!
In the meantime, we began vetting items and designing the rest of the kit. The process of deciding each item was extensive, and we have a more detailed description of it here.
Also, during this time we began to develop an app that would have step by step videos that can walk you through any emergency. We are still in development of it, but apps take way longer than we originally anticipated when we started out. So, because we wanted to get the kit into the world much faster, we developed an eBook that has 45+ emergencies in it. As we can, we will make these into videos for YouTube, and ultimately, we will launch the app when it is finished.
We recently launched and are so excited to be live and begin helping people! As we continue on this journey, there is one main mission that we have:
Prevent every death that occurs simply because the supplies or knowledge are not available.
We aren’t out to save everyone; that would be impossible. Even in the best case scenarios, people die in hospitals with the best medicines, machines, tools, and doctors looking after them. Sometimes, that is going to happen during an emergency. That’s not what this statement means.
We want to give everyone the best chance in case they have an emergency. This means that they know what to do and have the items available to stabilize the situation.
While having these things available in the time of need is good, preparing for them before hand is even better. This is why we have a blog on this site called “injury how-to’s”. We will be updating this regularly and posting the instructions for taking care of different emergencies. This will have more info than the eBook does, and will help you prepare for each emergency ahead of time!
We will also offer insight to many of the main emergency first aid items available currently. If you want to ask a question about a specific item or situation, you can go over to the contact section to submit your request, and we will make a post and video about the reasons why we have (or have not) included specific items.
So, we want you to become prepared! To stay in the loop, follow us on our social accounts (links below), and sign up to be notified when a blog comes out! We promise not to send them too often, but 15 minutes a month could help you become more prepared. And don’t forget to pick up one of our kits, so you can be prepared for everything that could come your way!