For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed making first aid kits. Everything from the small mint tin ones all the way up to multiple day hike kits for two people. Having good quality first aid supplies will help you tremendously when you need them. The following is a checklist to get you started in the right direction.
There are many items and supplies you can put into your kit but we all need to start somewhere.
Basic – Every Kit Should Have
This is a checklist of the basic items I feel everyone should have. I am not putting the amount of each item you need. This is because all of our situations are different. If you are by yourself you might only need a few of each, but if you are a family of five, you better have more than one or two of each item listed.
- Alcohol prep pads
- Antibacterial ointment
- Fabric type bandages
- The mediation you or your family use
Other Considerations – Always Nice to Have
If you have the extra room, or just want to add to the above list, there are additional items I like to have close. Again, some of these will overlap (like the medication) but I do not take any medication daily. Instead, I like to have a few of them always on hand for a headache or heaven forbid, stomach issues.
I have mentioned this before but it is always important to have the correct training. If you have specialty items, like blood-stopping devices, you should know how to use them. I have run into people that have items they don’t even know what they are. That is OK if you are around people that know what they are doing, but what happens when you are alone? Taking a basic first aid class will help you more than you can ever imagine.
Now let’s get back to our checklist:
- Pain-Aid (this stuff helps me a lot for everything)
- Sugar tables
- Diarrhea medication
- Eye drops
- Throat lozenges
- Finger splint
- Blood-stopping gauze
- Liquid bandage
- Sunburn gel or spray
- KT/Rock tape (if you haven’t ever used it, you should try this amazing stuff)
- Moleskin or 2nd Skin blister pads (this stuff helps when you have blisters)
Tools and Supplies
I must admit I love tools. By this I really mean it, most of the guys I work with are always looking at the latest item I purchased. I know most of these will already be in your vehicle. But having some of these will help you out in a jam, or if you’re traveling you always have a backup (I tend to follow the ‘two is one, one is none’ saying).
- Knife (or better yet a multi-tool with pliers)
- Scissors (like the Leatherman Raptor)
- Black permanent marker
- Paper or a note pad
- Safety pins
- A needle (and a small amount of thread)
- CPR mask (they also make a disposable sheet kind)
- Emergency blanket
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
Each one of these lists could be an entire article by themselves. I could go into each item and expand on each one. There are obviously multiple examples of each item as well. This article is intended to be a starting point for your first aid kit. I also wanted to try my best to keep it short and to the point.
It is always a good idea to have a few completed first aid kits stocked with an item you know how to use. I mention this because some people do not know how to apply a tourniquet or stop bleeding from a large wound.
Personally I have one kit for my travel bag, one for home use (also the one I use to restock the others), two in my vehicle (larger one in the back and a small one in the glove box), and a few for work (I have a large bag with a ton of supplies in the truck, one next to me in the drivers seat, and always a tourniquet on my person…part of being a first responder).
One reason I have different kits is because what I use at work is not always allowed in my travel bag. This is mainly due to not being able to fly with items such as a knife, scissors, and I’ve even had tweezers taken away by TSA. I also do not want to carry more than I need to when I’m hiking, so I have a small kit that is what I call the bare bones kit (moleskin, a band-aid, wet wipe, etc.).
This is just a start, do you carry anything that I left out? Let me know in the comments below!