Two Upgrades For Your First Aid Kit


A First Aid Kit is a ‘must have’ for preparedness. You hope you never need it, but you know that sooner or later you will. While you can buy a ready-made First Aid Kit in a wide array of choices or while you can build your own, I thought that I would mention two particular items that you might want to upgrade or include in your own kit…

Even if you already have these two items, you might consider their quality (or lack thereof), and upgrade if you need to…


Trauma Shears

So called ‘Trauma Shears’ are an all purpose shear (scissors) that should compliment your First Aid Kit. Why? Because chances are that the ‘stock’ scissors in your kit are not that great, and when it comes time to use them – they need to do their job well, and they need to be designed to handle ‘the rigors of the field’.

Trauma Sheers are ‘must haves’ in ERs (hospital emergency rooms). They are found in the First Aid Kit of any EMT or Paramedic (or hanging from their belt), and are commonly found among the ‘hands on’ tools of any nurse.

They may be used to cut through clothing so they must be tough, sharp, and able to cut through thick fabrics and materials.

Trauma Sheers are also used to cut bandages and tape, and the good ones have a high-quality fluoride coating to cut without sticking.

So consider replacing the tiny little First Aid Kit ‘stock’ scissors (that are probably dull and ‘cheap’) with a quality pair of Trauma Shears. There are a number of good choices out there, and the following is just on example of a highly reviewed ‘5-Star’ pair…

Fluoride Coated Medical Scissors – Trauma Shears


Quality Tweezers

Many ordinary First Aid Kits do not come with a decent pair of tweezers (or none at all). How many times have you received a sliver or splinter and wish you had tweezers?

There’s nothing like having a sliver that’s just small enough to be causing difficulty getting it out, and boy can they hurt…

Not only might you keep tweezers in your First Aid Kit, but maybe in the car, at work, etc…

So, having looked through lots of tweezers choices, these look to be good:

Miracle Point Splinter Expert Tweezers

There are lots of upgrades and add-on items for a First Aid Kit, however the two items mentioned above may be worth thinking about…

Tip: For a very basic but good general starter First Aid Kit for home, office, or other… I found this one to be one of the best in that capacity…

Coleman Expedition 205-Piece All Purpose First Aid Kit

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    1. I was thinking about getting Raptor, but some reviewers had some pretty nasty experiences:

      1. I’m a Fire/Medic and have been carrying them since they hit the market. I use them daily, and have yet to see any rust or some of the other issues noted. I absolutely love these things. I’ve even used the glass breaker on them to gain entry into a car. Window broke on the first try. Another example: we conducted a test in station on an old pair of turnout gear. Starting from the bottom of the legs to the top of the shoulder cutting through all 3 layers, I was done before my counterpart got through the knee with a traditional pair of trauma shears. Just some thoughts for consideration.

  1. Also found some heavy-duty tweezers w/rubber grips on the sides at the check out at Menard’s.

  2. First aid kits I believe should include dental tweezers (really players) that can be used for dental extraction, something that will certainly happen to us all after a SHTF event. I almost missed this item, thanks Ken a good reminder.

  3. Hubby had a bad tooth recently. Got me to thinking we needed some dental first aid stuff. He was in quite a bit of pain till we could get to the dentist. If we didn’t have access to a dentist, it could turn into something really bad, just from an infected tooth.

    1. One of the major causes of early death in the past were dental abscesses. It could be again in the future. Proper use of antibiotics are oh so important.

    2. Texasgirl, get a little bottle of organic clove oil, meant for internal use. I had a broken molar with root exposed, work wonders, its highly antibiotic and its fast in acting against pain until a better care is found.

      1. I got some Clove Oil at the local drug store. They also sell kits with a putty to fix a lost filling or broken tooth. IIRC it is called Dental Temp.

      2. I used peppermint essential oil as well for infected gum, highly effective. I used what was on tip of my finger after inverting bottle on it, and applied 3xaday for 3 days then 2x a day for 2 days, at end of the 5th day the gum was no longer tender and abscessing and there was a piece of skin itching, I scratched it and the sac came out the infection had been in… other herbals are antibiotics as well .. including garlic…

  4. Included in my kit: a one sided safety razor blade, and a utility knife blade. My first-aid mirror is my signal mirror (for being able to see injuries on your back side, in your mouth, etc). Also antacid tablets, Aleve/aspirin, a pair of disposable surgical gloves, Imodium AD tabs, Cloroseptic lozenges for at the first sign of a scratchy throat, some vitamins…

  5. I concur on the fluoride coated shears. Don’t skimp on this. You can get cheap ones but they don’t stay sharp and the blades can break very easily.

  6. Any emergency event that doesn’t involve nature. Has the potential of civil unrest. With that said, perhaps the best tool regarding first aid could be extensive training. Having knowledge of how to start an I.V., how to treat a gun shot wound, the use of Celox as a blood cloting agent.

    When or if emergency services are no longer functioning, having this training and knowledge could be life saving.

  7. Leatherman, eyeglasses, small vial of whiskey and the kit should fit into a small insulated bag (lunch kit type)this keeps creams etc from freezing.

  8. Also- There are some Really Good comments in the blog article links above. I especially like the first aid kit items that you can eat, like honey, sugar, and cayenne pepper- lol!

  9. I have a few first aid kits. There is one in my GHB that is very basic. I have a larger one that I bring on longer trips, and a very extensive one at home. I think it is important to consider what likely situations the kit might be used, and restock it accordingly. I always have an irrigation syringe when I am mountain biking, but never when I am back county skiing. There are seasonal considerations as well. Sting-eze is not necessary in the winter, but gel heat packs are.

  10. I can personally attest to the need for tweezers. I was cleaning a deer in eastern Montana when I got a cactus thorn under my finger nail. By evening my finger was throbbing. When I got back to town I purchased some tweezers and removed the thorn. I couldn’t believe how much agony that little thorn had caused me. Tweezers are in all of my first aide kits today.

  11. Timely topic! I just found a tick on me after a weekend in the Piney woods of East Texas. The tweezers were awful in my backpackers first aid kit. Ended up using a lit cigarette and my BK7 to remove it. Good times.

  12. Tweezers have many good uses, but if you simply want to remove a splinter, another good choice to have around is the Medi-Point Stainless Steel Lancets. A box of 100 is less than twelve bucks on Amazon, and they are individually wrapped. Officially they are single use, but they are easy to sterilize and use again. The single use wrapping makes it easy to put a few in smaller medical kits. They seem to be the exact same thing as the Medi-point Splinter Out, which costs four bucks for only ten. Our school nurse uses these, and the kids love them!

  13. Another good thing to have is a decent TICK Remover. There are few good ones out there. I bought several to stash in all my bags. Ticks are just the nastiest little things that could potentially cause you lots of problems in your future if you don’t deal with them quickly.

  14. Don’t forget: a granular hemostat with applicator, AED, a set of OPAs/NPAs (with training), a BVM (with training), an NRB, M sized O2 tank, occlusive dressings, an ARS needle (with training), sutures/suturing supplies (with training), betadine, 4x4s, 3x3s, and tons of cling. (among many other things) :)

    Also learn how to do a tracheotomy!… and maybe an anastomosis! You know, just in case… Those look like good fun! :D

    On a more serious note though, and I’m sure you all do–carry Asprin…. I know that some of you are…. uh…. more experienced than others when it comes to life. :) Can’t be too safe. :P

  15. @ youngster, and throw the kit in the BMV, w/training, and you’re good to go :) On a more serious note. Be sure that you know what is in your medic bag and also where everything is located.

  16. A credit card edge can be used to gently drag stingers out of a bite (per an adult ER colleague. Never tried it myself).

  17. Crazy glue gets more use than bandaids in my life. Especially for finger and knuckle cuts.

  18. Hi Ken, again the Swiss National colors on the First Aid case? Remember, its a red cross on a white ground. But thanks anyway for the nice info!

    Greetings from Switzerland

    1. @Andy, Whoops, I don’t know how many times that I’ve done that ;)

      I’ve corrected the image to reflect the true colors (red cross on a white background). I’m glad to have a resident Swiss here to keep me in line…

  19. Something I use quite often: locking tweezers from my dad’ medic kit from his army days. Think they’re called hemostats? I like that they’re like scissors, but have a ridged grippy tweezer area. Lock shut so you don’t lose your grip. Have taken needle out of my finger with them, but they work great for tweezing eyebrows too! lol


  20. Super glue is a must for cuts that could use a stitch or two. I didn’t have any and have gone through 20+ bandaids in 2 weeks. They get wet, dirty,etc. Cheap bandaids are the worst…buy cloth.

    Mistake I made this summer was to use tweezers to remove a bee stinger. I pinched sac of venom which made sting much worse. Use a swipe of a credit card to remove stinger.

    1. Carefull with the superglue. Gotta disinfectant the split or cut first, or you’ll seal in the bugs. Pus city

  21. read/have “where there is no doctor” in your kit…elmers glue when your 2 year old takes a walk through the cactus….or fiberglass i suppose. cutco makes incredibly good scissors.

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