The US Army Medical / Compass Pouch (LC-1) is a nice little nylon pouch that at one time, was used to hold the compass or medical supplies. I like these pouches for their portability and the fact that you can stick one in any coat, pocket or clip to your belt. It’s small enough to not draw attention, but has a large enough capacity (as you see in the pictures) to carry over the counter (OTC) medications as well as minor first aid and a few other items.
Not all compass pouches come with an Alice clip. If it’s something that you want, then make sure that the one you purchase does indeed come with the clip, or buy them separately. There’s not too expensive.
The Compass Pouch itself can be found online in a price range of $2 to $8.
While I’m primarily calling it a compass pouch, it also had a dual purpose of being a first aid pouch that held a battle dressing. That’s more what I’m going for in this pocket size Everyday Carry.
Starting with the pouch, it has two loops on the back where the ALICE (All purpose LIghtweight Carrying Equipment) clip attaches. The Alice clip is a clip system that was used before the current MOLLE system, and it was more of a love/hate relationship than the MOLLE.
The front of the pouch has a fold over cover that’s held in place with a snap. Depending on the one you get, there may or may not be “US” lettered on the front of the pouch.
On the right outer side of the pouch, I usually carry a small EDC Flashlight. Sometimes it’s a Streamlight Microstream and at other times it’s a Kelpie Ripper. I use one of my daughter’s hairbands to keep the flashlight from flopping around against the pouch, while the pocket clip is inserted into the pouch to hold it.
Inside The Medical / Compass Pouch
Opening up the pouch, There are many items that are in a plastic bag to stay dry, and quite a few items that sit freely in the pouch. The best way to go through it is by the numbers in the picture.
1. The Bag. First of all, this isn’t a chintzy plastic bag. This is one of those hearty 1.5mil bags that you really want to keep if you come across one. The bag probably isn’t water proof, but it is pretty weather resistant and has been in the rain before with no effect to the contents. We will go into the inner bag below for it’s contents.
2. One HotHands Hand Warmer. This is in the pouch for winter, just in case the hands get cold. If things get bad, I can alternate the pack between hands, or even feet. I have four more of these in my coat pocket as well, but they’re not actually a part of this EDC pouch, so I did not include them in the picture.
3. StanBack Aspirin Powder. This powder is excellent when you have someone that just can’t swallow a pill to save their life. Aspirin can help deter heart attacks, and having Aspirin in both pill form (in the bag) and as a powder gives you options if it’s needed. This particular Aspirin pouch came with two powders which is equivalent to two doses of two tablets.
4. The ALICE Clip. This is attached to the back of the pouch for belt attachment.
5. Two hairbands. I use one as mentioned before, to keep the flashlight secure against the pouch, while the other one is in the pouch. My daughter keeps loosing hers, and so I carry them if she needs one.
6. Two “Pickers” tooth picks. Because hygiene matters, and getting something annoyingly stuck in your teeth without something to remove it sucks.
7. Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Paper. At any time, I know I can write a note and jot something down in any weather situation. I find these little sheets very handy.
8. The pouch itself. The carry all.
9. AAA Flashlights. As I mentioned before, I either have the Streamlight or the Outback attached to the pouch.
10. Dude Wipes – it’s just a baby wipe. Freshening up is one of the things that’s really important. Can’t go in smelling like butt, can we?
11. Folding Razor Blade – This is just a cheap, folding razor that’s in the pack for general use. I got 5 of them in a pack for about $9
12. Fisher Space Pen “Stowaway” – Fantastic slim pen that can fit in just about any EDC I have. It’s just a bit bigger than the space pen cartridge itself, and not much bigger in diameter.
13. Nitecore TUBE – My secondary light, the TUBE is a rechargeable little flashlight that offers low, high, momentary and variable brightness modes.
Just a note, the bandanna that I took the photos on is NOT in the pouch. It’s usually in the same coat pocket as the pouch, though.
In The Smaller Plastic Pouch
Let’s take a look inside the smaller plastic med/first aid pouch (no. 1 in the list above).
1. Two 2″ bandaids and one non-stick pad with 2 feet of surgical tape – Good for scrapes and spills off the bike
2. Three 0.75″ Band-Aids, two cloth, and one waterproof for minor cuts
3. Ibuprofin – general pain relief
4. Claritin – For seasonal allergies
5. Zantac – For heartburn
6. 3 more ibuprofin tabs
7. Alcohol swab to clean area around cut or scrape (but not directly on the wound).
8. Iodine swab
9. Sting relief – kind of a carry over from the summer, but it stays in this bag just in case.
10. Anti-Diarrhea tabs – because it can happen at any time, even to the best road warriors.
11. Asprin (Excedrin) – General pain relief
12. Alka Seltzer cold tabs – because downtime sucks
13. Those pluckers somehow made it into this shot too… there’s only two in the pouch. Sorry guys.
14. Triple Anti-biotic Ointment
15. Two safety pins
16. P-38 can opener
17. DayQuil cold gel caps
18. My business card with dotted backside to write on
19. The bag itself
20. Matches and sandpaper
21. One weatherproof match. You have to be desperate if you need to use this. I do usually carry a Zippo or BIC in my normal pocket carry as well
22. Three paperclips are enough to create a lock pick set if needed, but I use them to clip paper.
23. One more Asprin Powder pack
I like the compass pouch’s small size overall. It’s very portable, ensuring that I have the essentials with me whereever I go. The key is functionality and every part of this EDC is fuctional to a point for things that you may encounter in daily life. I do tend to over prepare to some degree, and the pouch, when full sits at 1.5 inches in depth. I definately feel it in the coat pocket but it’s not obtrusive.