Canadian adventure gear company VSSL’s First Aid Stash kit is a durable yet lightweight and compact gear tube designed to be taken or carried anywhere.
Experienced hikers, trail runners, bikers or, simply, anyone who enjoys being active outdoors, will know the importance of being prepared for the safety of yourself and those around you.
A key item to take on any hike or adventure is a suitable first aid kit.
However, it can be surprisingly hard to find a kit that is not only compact but lightweight, durable, and contains good-quality first aid supplies that are tailored to your needs, for when you need them.
What you need to know about the VSSL First Aid Stash kit
Every VSSL unit is made in Canada with seamless aircraft-grade aluminum, which the company describes as being ‘practically indestructible’.
Aluminum is lightweight (this tube with the tins, light, and compass weighs only 11.48oz), and the design of VSSL (pronounced ‘Vessel’) tubes means the first aid kit can be sealed within the tube, with a waterproof seal.
They are available directly from VSSL on their website and cost $80. At this price, you should expect something that lasts a lifetime of adventures – and the company knows it, as they come with a lifetime warranty to support this.
Whether you’re hiking or biking in the rain, or need a first aid kit for climbing or watersports such as kayaking or paddleboarding, having a waterproof container for your first aid supplies is important so they stay clean and dry for when you need them.
When we say it’s compact, the VSSL measures 2 inches in diameter and 9.375 in length, so it fits easily in a small pocket of most backpacks, but won’t get damaged or crushed like a regular kit or plastic-bagged DIY version.
These VSSL First Aid Stash kits fill the aluminum tube, which is sealed at either end. For the top of the range kit featured here, the tube comes with a precision compass at one end, and a flashlight at the other.
The light is capable of signaling SOS for up to 40 hours, or can be used as a torch.
While you can get a pre-supplied first aid kit from VSSL, the VSSL First Aid Stash kit comes with three empty storage tins that you can fill with the essentials you need for your choice of activity or adventure.
If you like the concept but would prefer to have a kit already filled with first aid supplies, then you can get one of those from VSSL, too.
This VSSL first aid kit, for example, comes with the same light and compass, as well as 45+ first aid supplies in a specially-designed roll that fits inside the tube.
I like to carry specific items with me on the trails for hiking, backpacking and fastpacking – not the normal combination that an off-the-shelf first aid kit will include.
As well as taking common first aid items such as plasters, gauze, a needle, antiseptic wipes and blister pads, for longer efforts and mountain ventures I’ll also take items including an emergency foil blanket and spare salt tablets. These will all fit inside a VSSL tube.
However you choose to put together your own kit, it just needs to be small essentials that will fit in the tins within the tube, and will stay waterproof and clean.
Cost and where to buy VSSL gear
The VSSL First Aid Stash kit costs $80 and you can buy the kit, as well as supplies to customize your tins’ contents, on VSSL’s website:
If you want an even smaller (and less expensive) mini first aid kit but love VSSL’s design and features, also check out the rest of the VSSL First Aid Stash Collection, some of which have the light, but no compass. They range in price from $45 to $70.
VSSL gear is available to ship internationally – visit the company’s website for shipping details and costs.
Custom ‘Build-Your-Own’ VSSL Gear Tubes
If you like the idea of VSSL’s outdoor adventure gear kits, then you may also want to check out their other designs, and options for customizing your own adventure gear tubes.
Using VSSL’s customization tool, you can choose from a wide range of tins of gear, from paracord to fishing gear, firestarters and other survival supplies.
These kits make great adventure companions as well as thoughtful and useful gifts for outdoorsy people.