When it comes to choosing a place to put your IFAK on your plate carrier, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
First, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easily accessible in case of an emergency. Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that it’s not in the way when you’re moving around. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that it’s well-protected from the elements.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best places to put your IFAK on your plate carrier.
Table of Contents
- What is an IFAK?
- Where does an IFAK go on a plate carrier?
- Choosing the right IFAK for your plate carrier
- Key Takeaways
What is an IFAK?
An IFAK is a vital piece of kit for anyone entering a tactical situation. An IFAK, or individual first aid kit, is a small med kit that is typically carried by soldiers and other front-line personnel.
IFAKs are designed to provide basic care and treatment of medical trauma in the field, and they can be easily attached to a plate carrier or battle belt.
The contents of an IFAK can vary depending on the mission, but they typically include items such as bandages, gauze, gloves, and tourniquets.
In recent years, IFAKs have also begun to include items such as Combat application tourniquets (CATs) and nasal naloxone kits for treating opioid overdoses.
While IFAKs are not meant to replace larger med kits, they can provide essential care in a variety of situations.
Where does an IFAK go on a plate carrier?
The location of your IFAK on your plate carrier is critical because you want to be able to access it quickly and easily in the event that you are injured.
Also, check out our review of the best plate carriers on the market today!
What to keep in mind?
What you need to bear in mind with IFAK is designed for your own treatment in an emergency situation, not for the treatment of others. Instead, if you come across someone on the field that needs help you should use their own IFAK for supplies.
That is why one of the most important considerations is the placement of IFAK on plate carrier. This is because you need to make sure it allows whoever is treating you to be able to find it quickly.
An IFAK on your plate carrier should be easily accessible with both hands while in the standing, kneeling, or prone position. It should also be placed in a location that will not interfere with other gear.
Indeed, a fast first aid response in a trauma situation can mean the difference between life and death. With that in mind, you need to carefully consider the placement of your IFAK so it can be found, recognised, and accessed fast.
So keep in mind:
- The IFAK should be easily and quickly accessible in the event of a traumatic injury.
- You should be able to access the IFAK with either hand while wearing gloves, and while under duress.
- The IFAK pouch shouldn’t interfere with the operation of your weapon or other gear.
- Neither should other tactical gear or pouches on your plate carrier interfere with accessing your IFAK.
- Ideally, your IFAK should be easily recognized as such, so that in the event that you are incapacitated, others can easily find and access it.
IFAK placement on your plate carrier
Despite it being critical that every IFAK can be identified and accessed quickly, there is no one standard way of wearing them. There are a number of placement options on your plate carrier to consider for your IFAK. All of which have both pros and cons. Read on to find out the specifics for each position below.
The first IFAK placement on the plate carrier that you may wish to consider is the front middle of your plate carrier. The advantage to the front middle position is that your IFAK will be instantaneously visible, and quickly accessible with both of your arms.i
Additionally, wearing your IFAK on the front middle part of your plate carrier helps distribute the weight more evenly, which can be beneficial if you are carrying a lot of gear.
On the downside, it can interfere with reaching and accessing your magazines quickly.
The back side of the plate carrier
Another IFAK placement option is on the back side of your plate carrier. Ideally, you would want to keep the IFAK on the lower part of the back. Because it’s a lot easier to reach there.
The great thing about this backside position for your IFAK is that it both makes it easy to access, but also keeps it out of your way, meaning your mobility will be less impaired.
Unfortunately, wearing your IFAK on the back side of your plate carrier does also come with some downsides. An IFAK in the backside position can be awkward to reach, especially if you are injured and laying on your back.
Side of the plate carrier
Positioning your IFAK on the side of your plate carrier is another option that you will want to consider. The main benefit of the side position is that it makes it easier for others to access your IFAK when you need urgent assistance.
However, many people do not like to wear their IFAK in the side position because it can cause them to shift their weight to one side, making them unbalanced, and also causing additional discomfort when moving over long distances.
Also, if you are wearing a battle belt setup or just keep magazines on your belt, the IFAK can get in the way of reaching them quickly.
Front below your mag pouches
The last position for your IFAK to consider is at the front of your plate carrier below your mag pouches. The critical benefit of wearing your IFAK in this position is that it is incredibly easy to access and deploy, which is vital in an emergency situation.
Unfortunately, wearing your IFAK below your mag pouches can once again cause issues with mobility and movement. Then there is also the issue that access to your mag pouches can be impaired by wearing your IKAF this way, so it’s important to carefully consider what will work best for you.
Choosing the right IFAK for your plate carrier
IFAK pouch for a plate carrier
When it comes to choosing the right IFAK for your plate carrier, there are several factors you need to consider. The first is where on your plate carrier you will position your IFAK, a topic that is discussed in detail above.
Additionally, you must also think about the shape, size and type of an IFAK pouch that you will need.
- Size: The size of your IFAK pouch is important for two reasons. The first is that you need to make sure the IFAK pouch you choose can actually fit onto your plate carrier. The second reason is that you want to make sure your IFAK pouch is not too big or too small for the contents inside.
- Type: There are several different types of IFAK pouches available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. There are rip-away pouches, static pouches, slip pouches, and a few other types that allow for quick access.
In addition to the type of pouch you will choose to house your IFAK you will also need to consider the items it will contain. Of course, these may be dependent on the type of conditions you expect to experience, although a good starting point for any IFAK includes the following:
- Sterile gloves
- CPR mask
- Safety pins
- Medical tape
- Alcohol wipes
- Antiseptic ointment
The position of your IFAK is vital because it needs to be easily recognizable and accessible in an emergency. However, it also needs to allow for movement and comfort.
IFAKs come in a range of shapes, shapes sizes, and closures.
The contents of an IFAK vary but usually include first aid basics such as sterile gloves, alcohol wipes, medical tape, gauze, and bandages.
Written by Silver Vincent Sutt
Silver Vincent Sutt is a former sergeant of the Estonian Defence Force, where he served for about 2 years. He is also an active member of the Estonian Defence League. He has been part of the Defence league for over 18 years. Read bio!