A First Aid Kit Should Include:


Whether you plan to buy a ready-made First Aid Kit or put one together yourself, it’s a good idea to cross-reference the items contained within (or those which you plan to procure) with other recommended lists of the First Aid items that should be included.

The American Red Cross recommends that all First Aid Kits (for a family of four) include the following items:


First Aid Kit Items List

2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (‘space blanket’)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 Scissors
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
1 Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
2 triangular bandages
1 Tweezers
1 First aid instruction booklet

Note: Be sure to read this quick review regarding a very good basic First Aid Kit.


Additional Items For First Aid Kit

Include any personal items such as medications.

Keep a note inside containing emergency phone numbers (your doctor, hospital, emergency contacts…).

A inventory list of the First Aid Kit contents so you can resupply later if items are used.

Check the kit regularly for expiration dates and refill any supplies that have been used.

Consider keeping a small LED flashlight inside the kit.

Pain relievers and fever reducer. Depending on your preferences and medical conditions, consider keeping any of the following – Acetaminophen for fever and pain, Ibuprofen for muscle pain, and Aspirin for fever and pain (Aspirin not for children under 15).


Reader input regarding additional items /thoughts for a First Aid Kit

(From previous comments)

Take a First Aid course
Know CPR
Allergy medications
Sutures, syringes and lidocaine to stitch cuts
Eye wash, eye drops
Rehydration pack
Blister band aids
Burn gel
Burn bandages
Quik Clot (for major bleeding wound)
Super Glue – medical grade of cyanoacrylate

What do you think? Any further suggestions regarding a First Aid Kit?

(This has been updated and re-posted for additional comment)

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  1. I’d add your usual allergy meds, antacids and chapstick. The problem with First Aid kits is that a really good one is expensive, and the meds expire. If you don’t keep on top of it, a lot of the stuff may not be useful.

    1. I wouldn’t really worry too much on the expiration dates of medicines (with a few prescriptive exceptions)…….Due to the litigious nature of our society, the pharmaceutical companies have placed dates that protect them……in other words, just because the date is “3/14/2005” doesn’t mean it’s not good the following day. Will you lose some potency? Yes. I have over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen that “expired” in 2008 but I still use it with good effect.

    2. Clamps for major arterial bleeding
      Forceps (tweezers) for spinters/foreign object removal
      Needle holders for suturing
      Israeli Bandages are the best (versatile and self applying if necessary)
      Combat Action Tourniquet (self applying)
      Anti-diarrheal meds
      EMT type scissors
      Triple antibiotic cream

      1. For triple antibiotic cream I use the Curad brand with silver. Had a cut by getting a razor blade into my finger tip, it took two days to heal up and close with no infection. Also, go online and look for Weleda brand first aid items, like creams. I have calendula, arnica, burn gel and wound care cream. These work very well. As someone mentioned, sterile suture kits. I have one each for my kids and myself plus the israeli bandages. Quickclot burns when you pour it into the wound. Oh, and put in the new Always pads for periods. They are thin, and very absorbent and dont stick to the wound.

  2. First-aid, both supplies and a working knowledge of how to administer it is something that is severely lacking with most people.

    I have always worked in places where either my employer required a current first aid/CPR certificate or I needed to know what I was doing because doctors and veterinarians (yes animals need first-aid to) were a long ways away. You absolutely had to to deal with things yourself, whether it be minor injuries or treating and stabilizing life threatening injuries until a medi-vac could be arranged.

    When a SHTF situation occurs you will need to be able to handle whatever comes along, as emergency service people will be few and far between or non-existent.

    I think everyone should go and take a first-aid course and get your CPR while you are at it. Just in everyday life help can be slow to get there at times and if you live in a rural area, knowing what to do can mean life or death with a severe injury.

    I find most first-aid kits have too much SMALL stuff in them and they are meant for small cuts and minor breaks. Being able to stop bleeding is of utmost importance and I like to have a good supply of industrial type pressure bandages for that purpose. They are simple to use and they get the job done. A couple of packages of ladies unscented sanitary pads are a great item to have at hand as they work very well for bad cuts and they are reasonably priced.

    I also keep a good supply of sutures, syringes and lidocaine on hand so that we can stitch cuts. You should also have a supply of broad spectrum antibiotics on hand.

    As noted, you have to keep on top of expiry dates, but a lot of things will work okay well past their expiry dates and I know this from personal experience.

  3. Peptobismal, Benadryl, Imodium, Dramamine (can be used as a general antiemetic), Eye wash, eye drops, Gyne-lotrimin. Also a rehydration pack or make your own using sugar and Morton’s lite salt and baking soda. Blister band aids (can also prevent blisters if applied early). Quik Clot. Burn gel and burn bandages.

  4. Crazy glue, use it to close cuts, it will keep them sterilized and is just like what they use in the hospitals minus the purple dye. I have used it to seal several cuts that have needed stitches on myself and saved the hospital bill…they were on my hands frm cutting vegetables.

    1. Actually, the medical grade of cyanoacrylate (super glue) has a different base than that for regular household uses. The standard formula reacts exothermically (heats up) when it cures and can burn painfully. The medical formula does not do this. But, in an emergency, I would agree with Jenna that the initial discomfort with household super glue is worth the benefits.

  5. I’ve also used superglue on cuts and it’s very effective.

    If you’re looking at a first aid box for long-term survival situations, it’s worth it to include some Dramamine. Vertigo can make people nauseous on top of making it hard to walk.

  6. Turn your batteries around backwards in your flashlight, so they can’t be accidentally turned on. Turn them around when you need to use it.

    1. To Lisa: what an awesome suggestion! Not only do the batteries not get wasted, but they’re there when you need them.

  7. Iodine.
    It stings a bit, but it will penetrate a wound better than a cream.
    We should all be aware that putting a bandage on a wound may keep the area moist. Warm and moist. The perfect habitat for bacteria to prosper. A bandage is useful for keeping dirt out of a wound, but keep it dry and try to get some sun on it.

    And you can use iodine to purify water.

    1. Iodine is a for sure for me. I also carry potassium permanganate, and glycerin. Iodine for antiseptic use/water purification; glycerin for blisters, chapstick type ointment, mild laxative; potassium permanganate for water purification, and combined with glycerin, it makes fire.

  8. I scanned the list and the comments. If I am repeating anything then sorry:

    finger splint
    Steri strips (butterfly bandages)
    Sam splint
    Israeli Battle Dressing (or similar)
    2 Tourniquet (CAT-T)
    Elastic Bandage Wrap (ACE type bandage)
    EMT Sheers

    Most everything else is on my list or are so similar that they are not worth mentioning.

  9. From experience when my mandolin slicer attacked me, well, it did!!–cayenne pepper for clotting.
    I couldn’t have gotten a better result at the ER–I was amazed.
    Instant clot–not seconds–instant.

    1. cayenne pepper? seriously? have heard of black pepper (no idea if it works)

      so, did you pour a ton of the cayenne pepper on the cut? sprinkle it? cover with bandage?

      (gotta watch those darn attacks…)

      1. Cayenne pepper is a traditional styptic, which means it stops bleeding. Black pepper is not. You can even use cayenne in the eyes as a well-strained tea in an eyecup- somewhat bracing but not too bad. The main drawback is that it doesn’t last too long. It is fine for garden variety cuts, but if it is deep I use Yunnan Baiyao which stops bleeding for longer. This was used by the Vietcong and has capsules (which you can open and sprinkle, or take internally. It also includes a little red pill for gunshot wounds or serious accidents to take by mouth. You can find it in Chinatown or on the web.

        For long term wounds or ulcerations, white sugar was used in WW2 as a battlefield dressing. It draws out infection osmotically and provides a matrix for new skin cells. I have even used it on diabetic ulcers.

      2. Another use for cayenne prepper or black pepper: If you’re being tracked by dogs, sprinkle it in mutiple directions, it’ll really mess up their sinuses!!

  10. The more complete and useful the emergency kit the less likely it will be with you when you need it. I have one in my fanny pack and of course it is very small. I have a slghly larger one for my daypack it is slightly larger. The one in my backpack that would go with me on a multiday hike is about the size of a thick paperback book and it is fairly complete. I have one in each car and a large and very good one in the motor home. The point being that if I only had the complete first aid kit it would only be with me when I was in the motor home. What you need is at least three first aid kits each one an upgrade over the previous one and then one of the three would be suitable for the specific mode of travel and carry gear.

  11. These may have been mentioned before.

    Sulfa or similar.
    Serious clotting agents. Mine came from Israel.
    Battle dressings.

    1. iodine/Vaseline…
      interesting…is it a good idea to put a Vaseline type compound on a cut/abrasions? if it is seems like this would be the ticket, so to speak. as Vaseline sure does stick…Never heard of this ..

  12. I myself have several first aid kits, one for my work,car and for Bugging Out.I would advise people to have a First Aid Book to add to their first aid kits. I myself have a VERY extensive first aid kit that is in a fishing tackle box with a see through lid and a storage compartment on the bottom. It is very large and uses a leather carry bag to carry it. Everybody has someone in their group that has existing medical problems so I also advise having a supply of their medications for emergency purposes. Granted some things are expensive so I go to the dollar store and get what you might need instead of going to a big store that charges more for the same thing. One of the items I bought was a staple gun for large cuts. It is faster than stitches and to me less painful and just about anyone can use it on someone that has a bad cut. I also have some things that might not be first aid but will be useful such as tooth brushes and paste, baby wipes (in case you need to go) these can also be used for cleaning blood from the area you are working on and come in plastic unlike toilet paper. I’m not sure if this is correct but I have pain killers like Oxycontin for severe pain. I tried to think of every aspect of bugging out and then thought of what you MIGHT need and bought my products from their. To me I would rather “have and not need than need and not have” but like I said my first aid kit is very extensive and is large but I feel very comfortable in the knowledge that I think I have all my bases covered in any situation that may arise. I also have in my kits power drinks that are HERBAL and I also have several different kinds of pills to take for keeping alert. The only real problem I had was alcohol, Benedictine and peroxide as they are large and in a plastic bottle so I put then in a container to better protect them from being smashed and thus poor out.

  13. Hydrogen Peroxide is miracle stuff and cheap, better than all the quack potions. Purify water, sanitize, cuts, etc.

    Colloidal Silver stops bleeding pretty fast too.

  14. Condoms (plain)

    Extra exam gloves

    Long sleeve cleaning type gloves

    EMS type scissors (cheap version often available at hardware stores)

    Big Shears (if you anticipate having to cut through thick/layered clothing, snowmobile suits, motorcycle leathers, etc. Note: these suckers are heavy.).

    Hydrogen Peroxide


    Small bottles for above two liquids (camping bottles, repurposed Five Hour Energy or similar bottles).

    Ace wrap and/or coban wraps (sticks to itself) (these may be the rolled bandages referenced)

    Steri strips (tape suture)

    Hot and Cold packs


    Nail clippers and small brush (for cleaning under nails)

    Waterless hand sanitizer

    Liquid or regular soap and small washcloth

    Sections of Velcro

    SAM splint roll (can be cut to size with EMS scissors)

    Signaling device

    Magnifying glass

    Bulb syringe and/or regular syringe (useful for flushing out eyes, ears, or wounds; can be used with betadine or peroxide for wounds, or boiled (and cooled) water for all.

    Eye patches

    Mirror (for people in denial or who won’t believe you about size and depth of wounds they cannot see).

    Condoms and gloves useful for soaking contaminated finger/hand wounds in betadine liquid before suturing and/or dressing wound. Longer sleeve glove can do the same for wrist to forearm wounds. Also to keep those wounds dry in wet conditions.

    Peroxide useful for removing blood, initial cleansing of wound.

    1. If re-purposing a drinking bottle (“repurposed Five Hour Energy or similar bottles”) be sure to re-label the bottle in case your not the one going thru the medic bag !

  15. Be careful with granulated quick clot. It can disperse easily in a windy environment. If inhailed it will cause serious complications. There are safer alternatives that are just as effective or more so.

    1. Thanks for the warning. Although at the point that I’m using quick clot there is a very serious situation happening. Rather call 911 myself.

      Any examples of the safer alternatives?

      1. Celox used in a tube applicator or gause is excellent. Being used by military, EMTs and cardiac surgeons. Been on the market for 3 years. Made from shrimp shells so make sure injured is not illergic to shell fish. Used for deep wounds, disolves without causing clots.

  16. Didn’t read all the posts, but two things I would include are laxative tabs or liquids, everyone is always worried about dehydration but constipation can be almost as bad. Second, one of the battery powered(2 aa types)items for burning through a nail. Nothing is much worse than a crushed finger or toe with blood under the nail, and while there are other ways to do the job, the professional burners are great and made for it. Available at good drug stores, or from a friendly nurse/doctor.

  17. Gather items that are sometimes difficult to obtain during emergencies such as real painkillers. As mentioned above Oxycontin or similar opiates is important to have on hand when aspirin just doesn’t cut it.

    Lidocaine 5% for numbing of the skin is good to have on hand for cuts and such. Dr Numb or Deep Numb generally available and work well.

    Don’t forget heavy duty antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin and Cephalexin. Some doctors don’t like to give it out but you can order it cheaply from ebay under fish supplies category.

  18. After a thorough research and combining different items required for different minor and major medical first aid which can be used at home, office, travel or in car.
    Basic essentials of a first aid kits are easily available in the market or you can take the help of list given below:

    1. Small Wounds
    Adhesive Platic Plaster (19 x 72mm)
    Adhesive Platic Plaster (25 x 72mm)
    Textile Plaster (6cm x 1m)
    Gauze Pad 5cm x 5cm
    Wound Cleansing Wipes

    2. Medium Wounds
    Elastic Bandages (5cm x 4m)
    Sterile First Aid Dressing-medium

    3. Large Wounds
    Sterile First Aid Dressing-large
    Wound Cleansing Wipes

    4. Eye Care Kit
    Sterile Oval Eye Pad (6cm x 8cm)
    Eye Wash 10ml
    Eye cup Blue
    Elastic Gauze Bandage 5cm x 2m
    FAK Box5. Additional Items
    Adhesive Tape 1.25cm x 300cm
    Vinyl Glove Large Pair
    Safety Pins
    Plastic Tweezer
    Cetrimide Cream 10gm
    First Aid Scissor 4.5″
    CPR Mask
    Burn Gel
    Savlon 50ml
    Instruction Booklet

    6. N/W Triangular Bandage 96 x 96 x 136cm

    7. Rescue Sheer 140cm x 204cm

    8. Instant Cold Compress

    9. Wooden Split 1.5″ x 9.5″

  19. I would also add sutures and butterfly closures. For large bleeding wounds I had read that maxi pads work far better than gauze for absorbing large amounts of blood. I would probably start with sterile gauze then cover with a maxi pad to absorb the bleed through. Most people freak out when they see large amounts of blood, so to have most of it absorbed by a large maxi pad it will help to keep everyone calm.

    1. In regards to the maxi pad, you can even say something like “Oh honey, stop your whining, I go through a dozen of these every month and I haven’t died from blood loss yet”. (Gotta keep the patient calm with humor).

    2. That’s a great idea regarding maxi pads. Thanks…

      Also, do you recommend a particular way to practice suturing? I believe I’ve read that you can use ordinary chicken (the skin) from the fridge… (although one would have to clean up well afterwards given that you’ve just worked with raw poultry – or toss it on the grill for dinner afterwards ;) ).

      1. I have heard of practicing with sutures, but never tried it. I’m not sure if I want to waste my sterile packaged sutures on chicken skin :). I’m hoping it would never be needed. Also will most likely rely on one of the two certified EMT’s that are in the family, one living with us. Like I said, I just hope none of these supplies will ever be needed, but there is a certain peace of mind just having them on hand.

        1. EMT’s don’t suture. I don’t even think paramedics suture in most places. It’s not in the scope of practice, and they do not cover it in the curriculum. Suturing doesn’t do much for the control of hemorraging, which is the big issue. If you suture prior to controlling hemorraging, you will just cause subdural hematoma. Sutures are merely for the assistance in the healing process, but a proper balance of skin moisture/dryness/nutrients and as much closure as possible will provide the same effect.

          Most first aid is relatively simple, you just have to know how to think about the situation properly, which is the hardest part to become accustomed to. Know your basic life support skills, ABC’s, and how to correct each one. Know how assess a patient (learn the head to toe assessment), keep trauma injuries clean, and stop medical conditions that result in either 1. loss of oxygenation, or 2. loss of circulation/volume (diarrhea, vomiting). Know the symptoms and prevent instances of the different types of shock. Some cheap, easy things to consider adding to a kit…

          1. Oralpharangeal airway kit (very cheap and easy to use in instances of CPR)
          2. Dramamine/ Immodium AD/ Anti-constipation Medications/ Benadryl (stick to OTC and recommended doses) These aren’t necessarily part of any scope of practice, but for yourself/family its a good way to stay away from the need for prescription meds/ IVs. Catch signs early b/c if you wait too long, they won’t be able to take med’s orally.
          3. Be able to obtain and monitor vitals. A BP Cuff and Pulse Oximeter, Glucometer, and Thermometer will tell you a lot along with Respirations (Listen to lung sounds) and Heart Rate.
          4. Ammonia Inhalents/ Sternum Rub to rouse a seemingly unconscious pt
          5. Emisis bags and gauze can be used to measure the amount of volume lost in vomiting/bleeding, maxi pads and plastic bags cannot.
          6. Simple extrication tools: window punch, pry bar
          7. Pay attention to pediatric respirations, and geriatric contraindications of meds.

          1. A subdural hematoma does not result from suturing a still bleeding wound. A subdural hematoma is a result of a closed head injury.

  20. @ gray fox….

    a heated bent paper clip works great for poking holes in nails with blood under them. The doctor only charged if blood squirted on him! greatest trick I ever was taught!

  21. All of these suggestions are great. I hope you all would add a set of ears that listen to the injured party. Iodine and any sticky “tape” type thing would do me a world of harm. Something as simple as an Ace bandage will cause more harm due to allergies to the elastic.

    I believe in people and their desire to help, but handing someone a pill with the instructions to “swallow this, you’ll feel better” instead of answering the question with what the med is can cause life threatening issues.

  22. Saline solution – may be used cleanse a wound or if in a squirt bottle to help ease congestion
    (Squirt bottles availabe from Sam’s Club in a three pack)

  23. Hope this gets to Ken
    Can you do an blog about buried food catches, how to build one, what can be used as container and make water tight in my northern state. Thanks

  24. Duct tape, tourniquet,ibuprofen, hydrogen peroxide and a minor surgical kit. Maybe a Sam splint. Plastic bags are good if used in conjunction with direct pressure or duct tape can stop bleeding by sealing the wound. Keep the person from bleeding and you will probably save their life. Just a thought.

  25. A headlamp is a better alternative than a flashlight. Your hands are free for care. For night use, with security concerns a headlamp with a blue lights/LED’s will help highlight blood.

    Long term, your going to need a LOT more 5×9’s and 4×4’s for wound care. Ace wraps can be used and reused to secure the dressings.

  26. Vet-wrap is a cheap and self-adhesive way to keep them maxi-pads in place…works on the horses anyway.

  27. The best advice I can give is to go take an EMT class at a community college, volunteer FD, or county hospital. After you finish training and certification requirements, you can work as an EMT as a side job to obtain real world experience. I ran a non-emergency service for a few years; I hired several people on a part-time basis who were looking to get started or experience. Good luck! Willgate

    1. Agree best advice, I started on my kit and quickly, besides knowing a few basic things I really need some training in properly using the stuff I had especially for major / trama type stuff.

    2. At least a first responder course, then follow up with a mountaineering specific first aid course. Some of the EMT courses are very specific to “what’s available on the ambulance”

  28. Oxycontin. Really great pain killer. If you can’t get it try heroin. They are comparable! Both of them are very addictive and having oxycontin in your first aid kit could get you arrested if you don’t have a prescription for it or (in some states)if it is not in the bottle the pharmacy dispensed it in.

    Back in the day when I worked ER one of the newer nurses brought me a patient from triage. She told me that she had no idea what was wrong with her. The young lady was absolutely climbing the walls. Moaning in pain and extremely anxious. I asked her if she took oxycontin and she replied “yes”. I then asked her when she ran out and she said “yesterday”. IT IS A HEAVY DUTY MEDICATION!

    It has now received FDA approval for use in children. Personally I can see it as a onetime use after surgery or for regular use with a terminally ill child.
    This is not something you want to be taking on a regular basis in SHTF situation. When you run out you are going to have severe problems.

  29. Ok all

    I have read and compiled a full list of 99% of everything on this post.
    I also have come to the conclusion that I need to buy a Paramedic Van to carry of this. I guess my point is use your heads when it comes to a Medical Kit that your going to carry. Get what you need and hope for the best.

    So for those interested……

    2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches), 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch), 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram), 5 antiseptic wipe packets, 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each), 1 blanket (‘space blanket’), 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve), 1 instant cold compress
    2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large), 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each), 1 Scissors, 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide), 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide), 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches), 5 sterile gauze , pads (4 x 4 inches), 1 Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass), 2 triangular bandages, 1 Tweezers, 1 First aid , instruction booklet, Personal Medications, Allergy Meds, Antacids, Chap stick, Clamps for bleeding, Forceps, Tweezers, Needle for holding suturing, Israel Bandages, Combat Tourniquet, Anti-Diarrheal Meds, EMT type scissors, Triple Antibiotic cream, Cured brand with cream Silver, Calendula cream, Arnica Cream, Burn Gel, Wound cream, Sterile Suture kit, Quick clot, Always Pads, Suters, Syringes, Lidocaine, Pepto-Bismol, Benadryl, Imodium, Dramamine (can be used as a general antiemetic), Eye wash, Eye drops, Gyne-Lotrimin, Rehydration pack , Blister band aids, Burn gel, Burn bandages, Crazy Glue, Dramamine, Iodine, Potassium , permanganate, Glycerin, Finger splint, Sterile strips (butterfly bandages), Sam splint, 2 Tourniquets, Stethoscope, Elastic Bandage Wrap (ACE type bandage), Cayenne pepper, Cut resistance gloves, Yunnan Banyo, Sulfa, Tooth brush, Tooth Paste, Baby wipes, OxyContin, Powder Drinks, Benedictine, Colloidal Sliver, Condoms (plain), Extra exam gloves, Long sleeve cleaning type gloves, Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine, Ace wraps and/or corban wraps, Sterile strips (tape suture), Hot and Cold packs, Knife, Nail clippers and small brush (for cleaning under nails), Waterless hand sanitizer, Liquid or regular soap and small washcloth, Sections of Velcro, SAM splint roll (can be cut to size with EMS scissors), Signaling device, Magnifying glass, Bulb syringe and/or regular syringe, Eye patches, Laxative, Lidocaine, Dr. Numb, Deep Numb, Ciprofloxacin, Cephalexin, Duct Tape, Ammonia Inhalants, Pen Light, Cervical Collar, Adhesive Plastic Plaster (19 x 72mm), Adhesive Plastic Plaster (25 x 72mm), Textile Plaster (6cm x 1m), Gauze Pad 5cm x 5cm, Wound Cleansing Wipes, Elastic Bandages (5cm x 4m), Sterile First Aid Dressing-medium, Sterile First Aid Dressing-large, Wound Cleansing Wipes, Sterile Oval Eye Pad (6cm x 8cm), Eye Wash 10ml, Eye cup Blue, Elastic Gauze Bandage 5cm x 2m, FAK Box5. Additional Items, Adhesive Tape 1.25cm x 300cm, Vinyl Glove Large Pair, Safety Pins, Plastic Tweezer, Ceramide Cream 10gm, First Aid Scissor 4.5″, CPR Mask, Burn Gel, Savion 50ml, Instruction Booklet, N/W Triangular Bandage 96 x 96 x 136cm, Rescue Sheer 140cm x 204cm, Instant Cold Compress, Wooden Split 1.5″ x 9.5″, Maxi Pads, Paper Clips, Saline Solution, Sam Splint, Plastic Bags, Head Lamp, Vet-Wrap, Toothache and earache meds.


    1. Nice list NRP. Now I have a list I can refer to against what I have on hand.

      I do have one thing to add. I know it’s not really a first aid item, but it can really help. Toothpaste for people with sensitive teeth. I use it regularly. My DH does not as he never had a problem with sensitive teeth. Well the last few month’s he has been going through hell with his teeth. As it turns out, he needs to have most of them removed. While the dentist has been trying to determine the best coarse of action he has had to deal with aching teeth (usually after he eats). One day was really rough for him, so I recommended he use the toothpaste that I use for sensitive teeth. He decided he had nothing to lose, so he started using it. Now granted, it’s not a quick fix. It took about 3 days of brushing a few times a day. He admitted that it did take the edge off. His teeth are now down to a dull ache. After the SHTF, people may find themselves in a similar situation, and unable to get to a dentist or even find one. So I recommend everyone keep a tube on hand for emergency dental care.

  30. You get what you pay for. Bandage scissors or Lister scissors used to be the rage in nursing. Since then trauma scissors or trauma shears have become the most frequently carried in the ER. Buy quality and dedicate them to the medical kit. Buy the cheap ones for every day use around the home. The ones I carried were by Miltex and have fluoride coated blades. Expect to pay close to 50 bucks for them. IMHO they are worth it. Miltex item #73386.

    Roller bandages get the name because you roll them on. Start low on a limb and roll up the limb. Elastic bandages or Ace wraps are great but don’t put them on to tight as you can impede circulation. I’d always tell patients if you are starting to feel numb you need to take the wrap off. The reverse of this is they can be used to hold pressure on a bleeding wound. Remember, direct pressure is the first thing to try when trying to control bleeding.

    A caution on this is if it is to tight you will also impede blood flow past the wound. Elastic wraps are roller bandages. If you are using the newer kind they have Velcro closures on the end. No more little metal tabs to hold them on. The Velcro will be on the wrong side of the bandage if you don’t roll it on. Roll it off when taking it off in order to be able to reapply it with the Velcro on the right side. Elastic wraps come in 2″, 3″, 4″ and 6″ sizes. You should have at least one of each size. 3″ for hands, 4″ for ankles and 6″ for knees. Go down a size for children.

    Vet wrap or Coban is great stuff. It is also reusable if care is taken. Hint on this, a roll of it will self adhere making it difficult to find the end when you go to reuse it. Dog ear a corner. You will be able to find the end with out problems. I would not reuse it on different patients and wouldn’t reuse it on infected wounds. It too can be used to help control bleeding with the same cautions as above.

    Reusable splints are great for knee injuries, ankle injuries, hand and thumb injuries. Look for them used in thrift stores or at yard sales. Wash them with bleach when you get them home.Crutches are also good to have on hand. kook on You tube for instructions on using them. Two basic ways, one is non-weight bearing the other is partial weight bearing.

    Hope this is helpful. Remember first aid is what you do first. Always seek a higher level of care whenever it is available.

  31. Ken, Pig skin is great to learn how to suture on. NRP, great list. Look up all of the non prescription name brand medications and write down the generic names. Go to you pharmacy and ask for bulk pricing. Usually sold in bottle of a hundred tabs. It’s much more affordable and completely legal as they are classified as over the counter medications.

  32. Knowledge is power: Taber’s medical dictionary and encyclopedia. Davis Drug Guide for Nurses (because it is easier to read than the Physician’s Desk Reference and it talks about drug-drug interactions.)

    EMT’s and Paramedics used to use the AMPLE survey upon arrival and finding an injured party that can speak english. Before treating and after gaining consent, I used to ask: Allergies- to medications, foods, shellfish (iodine or contrast dyes) insect stings or bites. Medications- you are currently taking. Previous- illness you are recovering from. Last-meal eaten? and did you throw up? Experience- prior to our arrival. Did you pass out? What were you doing when this happened to you?

    Ambulance Acronyms that bloggers may find funny from the world of Emergency Medicine:
    FLK ; Funny Looking Kid Literally or figuratively, ambulance code for: “something don’t look right, lets drive code 2 to the ED”

    5150: from the CA penal code: involuntary medical hold for 72 hours for health and welfare. Patient may be catatonic or full-on, batsh-t crazy.

    Montana Sandwich: “stabilization technique” (read: take down technique) involving 4+ big healthy young firemen pressing a batsh-t crazy 5150 against a wall using a mattress so the police officer can disarm and cuff the patient/suspect (take your pick) It beats using pepper spray.

  33. Honey. Topical antibiotic that never goes bad – with a double-duty if you need to eat it.

  34. Something I always bring with me is a product called Bio Med wash, it a Sterile Water in a pressurized can. Its excellent for flushing wounds

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