I can easily say that, out of all of our preps, first aid is the one area that I am least confident. It feels like we will never be at a satisfactory level of supplies OR knowledge….I have been creating a well-rounded larger medical kit off and on for years now. I can sense my reluctance every time I pick back up on that project…I’ve been reluctant to write this post but,since this article will be covering part of what we’ve done so far, here it is.
This is what we have decided to do for basic first aid preps. I’m not a medical expert and don’t recommend that you do anything the way we do. You will need to decide what’s best for you.
My first aid training began as a Boy Scout. Some things have changed but the basics learned still apply. I’ve added quite a bit of FREE class time since then. One of the best ways I found to get free training was to volunteer for the Safety Committee at every job I’ve ever held. Most of it was redundant but it kept the procedures fresh in my head and the hands-on medic duties were a perfect way for someone in my line of work to get practical experience. I worked in the skilled trades at steel processing plants and, while on the safety committees, had to deal with occupational accidents like burns, lacerations, and the occasional severed finger. A side benefit to that job is the mental conditioning that a person can only get from experience. After a awhile, it became second nature to stay calm and decisive during an emergency.
I no longer have those same opportunities but I still keep an eye open for free training in my area. Fire departments, the YMCA and Red Cross usually offer some sort of training. I instruct my wife in what I have learned as often as possible since she has had little time to formally learn basic first aid.
I’ve never been a fan of the little generic first aid kits. A customized kit with quality supplies is the only way to go in my opinion. Stocking up on the RIGHT supplies overwhelmed me at times, (possibly due to too much reading). There are some reputable and professional first aid kit suppliers that provided online lists that could be tailored to fit any group size. Adventure Medical Kits is one such source. Their site has printer-friendly lists and it’s one of the best sources online that I’ve found. They are not a sponsor here and we have no affiliations with them.
In our little world, the most likely life or death emergency that my wife or I could encounter on an average day would be an accident with bleeding injuries. A worst case scenario for us means that we would need to control bleeding until the medics arrived. After that, our kits would just need have the items necessary to tend to minor stuff like cuts, burns, foreign objects in the eye etc.
We started with the basic first aid kits in our EDC bags and cars. And again, these kits were only designed to control severe bleeding and take care of common small injuries while away from home. These basic kits will fit into a 1 quart freezer zip bag.
- One Tourniquet/Large emergency bandage
- Two 3″x3″ gauze
- One 4.5″ x 12′ gauze roll
- 1 Roll of AdhesiveTape
- Adhesive Strips
- 2 butterfly closures
- 2 Iodine swabs
- 2 Antibiotic packets
- 2 Antiseptic wipes
- Small scissors
- Fingernail clippers
- Single use sterile eyewash
- 4 aspirin
- 2 antihistamine
- 4 antacid tablets
- 2 packets rehydration mix
- 1 pair nitrile gloves
That’s it. The kit is simple, small and the extra gauze roll allows for improvisation if necessary. Some sites recommend QwikClot or some other instant blood clotter. I’m still undecided about using any clotting agent From what I can find, there are some downsides to using those products. They won’t be added to our kits until I am more knowledgeable on their use.
We replace items used out of these kits as soon as possible. All replacements are kept in a larger kit which stays in our preps closet and ready to go at all times. The contents are inventoried at least once a year or whenever we grab a refill.
Our first aid preps really never stop but we had to start somewhere. The topic is deep and even the professionals don’t stop learning or checking their supplies.