First Aid Kits for Preppers

Just Knowing how to take care of immediate medical needs as well as having the equipment to do so is vitally important whether in a SHTF situation, or just day-to-day living. So lets look at some types of first aid kits you might consider, and where to locate them.

Flag_of_the_Red_Cross_svgMany folks have a basic first aid kit in the home or car, but if you want to be really prepared for any emergency or situation, you need to have certain first aid supplies located at key locations. They will range in size and contents depending on their purpose and where they are kept. Every individual and family situation is different, so I thought to publish my kits as a way to stimulate your thinking in this area, and allow you to select the level of first aid preparation that is right for you.

The size, location and contents of these kits are my own personal choices, and yours may differ depending on your needs. Some folks buy ready-made kits and add to them as needed. I chose to build mine from scratch. I highly recommend that you take a good first aid course like the ones the American Red Cross give.

Every Day Carry

edc-first-aid-kitMy small EDC first aid kit I carry in my briefcase/computer bag at work. I put it together in a Cabellas gift card tin as it will hold slightly more than an Altoids tin and is flatter. It is just designed to handle the small owwwees I might experience and I need to put a small pair of tweezers in it. Alcohol pads and swab, small gauze, aspirin, burn gel, anti-itch creme, antacid, band aids, diarrhea tabs , Alka-Seltzer, decongestants, anti-biotic ointment, and a small credit card knife are the contents.

Driver’s Side Door in Jeep

Front of Jeep KitThis is a small first aid bag I got with my AAA membership and I added a few items to it. This is kept in the door next to me along with my escape tool (seatbelt cutter/glass breaker) and is designed to handle minor injuries so I don’t have to take items out of my IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) on my Bug Out Bag in the back, or to handle something serious in a hurry. In addition to the normal owwee items, I added a G.I. combat bandage, soon to be replaced by an Israeli bandage.

Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) on Bug Out Bag in Back of Jeep

IFAKI keep a mini-BOB in the back of my Jeep with additional items to give me a minimum 72hr survival capability no matter where I am. For my IFAK, I chose the Condor Rip-Away Pouch. It attaches easily to the outside of my BOB or on a belt. Contents include:

Scissors medical  1
Anti-Bacterial Cream  1 tube
Israeli Bandages  1
Combat Bandages 1
Cotton swabs (Q-tips) Pkt 1
Quick Clot  1
3″ rolled gauze  1
Ventolin Inhaler 1
Scissors small  1pr.
Latex Gloves 1pr
Band Aids (Various)  1 pkt.
Chap Stick  1
Mini Mag lite 1
Buck Lite Knife 1
4″x5″ transparent dressing  2
4″ x 4″ sterile gauze pads 2
2″ rolled gauze 1
2″ x 2″ sterile gauze pads 4
Forceps (tweezers)  1
Alcohol wipes  7
Anti-Bacterial Cream  1 tube
Burn gel (sml. Pkts.)  4
Self Sticking tape  1 roll
Sinus Tabs (pkts)  4
Ibuprofen (10)   2
Diarrhea medication  1pkt.
Cotton swabs (Q-tips)  10

I have ordered additional Israeli bandages and a combat tourniquet to complete this kit. I also have a tube of insect repellent as well as a one week supply of any prescription medication I am taking in it.

Bug In/Bug Out Medical Bag

Voodo M-3For my major medical bag to use at home or to grab when bugging out, I opted for the military M-3 style as I was familiar with it, it can hold a lot of items, and is portable either by the carrying handle, shoulder strap, or belt loops. The one I chose was the MOLLE compatible M-3 bag by Voodoo. This is the list of items I have in it:

First Aid Manual   1
1″ roll of cloth adhesive tape  1
2″ elastic wrap   1
2″ rolled gauze   2
2″ x 2″ sterile gauze pads    4
4″x5″ transparent dressing   6
3″ rolled gauze   2
4″ x 4″ sterile gauze pads   4
36x36x51 Triangular bandage   1
Israeli Bandages  4
Combat Bandages  3
Alcohol wipes    23
Acetone swabs    6
Antacid (Alka Seltzer)   10
Aspirin  1 btl.
Anti-Bacterial Cream  1 tube
Aloe Gel   1btl.
Band Aids (Various) pkt.  1
Burn gel (sml. Pkts.)  4
Chapstick    1 tube
Chem Light   1
Cold Pack   1
Cotton balls (pkt) 1
Cotton swabs (Q-tips)  Pkt   1
Cough suppressant tabs  18
Diarrhea medication Box 1
Eyewash   1 btl.
Tweezers  1
Facial tissue pkt   1
Finger splint  1
Hand Sanitizer 2oz  1
Hydrogen peroxide (16 oz btl.) 1
Ibuprofen (50)  1
Iodine swabs  9
Insect repellant 1tube
Latex Gloves  2pr
Chap Stick  1
Molefoam or moleskin (for blisters)   1pkt.
Pain Killer btl  (prescription)  1
Quick Clot  2
Small knife.  1
Small Soap Bar  1
Small flash light  1
Safety pins  6
Scissors small  1
Scissors medical  1
Sinus Tabs  10
Self Sticking tape  1
Splint flexible  1
Blood Pressure Cup 1
Sunscreen  1 tube
Thermometer  1
Ventolin Inhaler 1

The above system gives me good overall coverage. My EDC handles minor owwees at work, and as there is a large first aid kit and AED (Automatic External Defibulator) on the wall behind me I am pretty well covered there. My Jeep has a mid-sized kit up front with me and a IFAK on my BOB in back that takes care of travel needs. My large bag at home covers day-to-day home needs and is ready to be grabbed with the rest of my pre postponed bug out gear.

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18 thoughts on “First Aid Kits for Preppers

  1. Pingback: 10 Items To Stockpile For A Disaster | Azweaponcraftprepper

  2. Talk with your doctor. Some will write prescriptions for stocking up on “low risk” meds like general antibiotics and possibly Lidocaine and meds you normally take. Go for the cheapest (still useful) options, since insurance doesn’t cover it. If you get the line “But it’s not medically indicated”, a good response is “Nothing in a first aid kit is medically indicated. Until it is.”

    A reputable doctor won’t do this for narcotics, of course. For those, when you get a legitimate prescription (don’t forget dentists prescribe for these too), use as few as you can and save the rest.

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    • All good points. Especially about the dentist. As I am retired military and get my meds free on base, I have my doctor keep my prescriptions 90 days ahead. Many critical meds are really not too expensive.

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  3. What about the millions of people on coumadin and need a special blood testing machine to monitor our blood to make sure we have the right consistency because if we don’t, it’s a deadly outcome and it doesn’t even pay to bother to prep if we can’t check our blood levels?

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    • There are millions of people with medical conditions that will be exasperated in a long term SHTF situation. I myself am currently on heart medication and I keep a 90 day supply in reserve. I am researching various natural substitutes for the meds I take and there seem to be quite a few of them. I am forming a Plan B.You should ask your doctor about having a possible Plan B. Since I am not familiar with your condition, I don’t know what more to say. Good luck to you.

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      • Read the book EMP just for fun and a motivator….main character’s dad died when his pills ran out…..he didn’t have any alternative’s.

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  4. I’m not saying carry the cooler with you. If you have to grab the bag and go, take the meds out of the cooler and shove them in your bag. This is just a thought on how to extend the storage life while stored in a vehicle subject to high temps.

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  5. Perhaps having them in a small cooler powered from the auto battery would be a help. I’ve got one about the size of 6 hardbound books side by side, runs for several days off the car battery and is good for about a 15 degree reduction in temperature. This would only be practical if you use the car pretty much every day, though.

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    • That might be viable short term. Long term it would become a fuel issue. And if you have to abandon the vehicle and move out on foot….. I plan on doing some research on the effects of temperature on various meds.

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  6. Come to think of it, I got a “hospital in a box” designed for missionary doctors. back in 1999. It even came with anti-biotics, surface anesthetics and possibly other general purpose drugs. I recently checked online and it appears this is no longer available, though. Great for a fixed location, but probably a bit big for any mobile usage.

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  7. Note that storing medication in a vehicle subject to high temperatures may reduce their life considerably.

    My major “first aid kit” is a EMT kit I got from Galls. I also have an oxygen tank, which is becoming quite difficult to get filled.

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    • You are correct that exposure to prolonged heat will degrade their usable life span. Having to bug out in a climate like the Arizona desert here in summer doesn’t leave one with a lot of choice though. LOL.

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  8. Good list of important and necessary items.

    I’m not very knowledgeable about prepper first aid kits, but I was wondering if you think that a 10-day course broad-spectrum antibiotics would be useful? Infection is something I worry about, although I realize that a lot of infections can be prevented by proper cleansing of a wound.

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    • I agree that anti-biotics are a serious neccessity for a long term first aid kit. I didn’t mention them in the article as they are difficult to get (reliably) without prescription. However, there are many anti-biotics used for animals, primarily fish, that are exactly the same as those for humans only with different names, and can be purchased without prescription. I plan on doing a future articel on them.

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  9. Very nice selection of kits but most are too rich for my pocket.

    Pain killers.
    Some people cannot tolerate NSAIDS like ibuprofen or Aspirin.
    especially those taking anti coagulants like Warfarin or Coumadin.
    It’s advisable to talk to your health care advisor to find something all the family can tolerate.

    Iodine. A good all rounder BUT contact for some can lead to Anaphylaxis shock. Caution should be exercised by anyone allergic to shell fish, or has a thyroid problem, or pregnant and understand it is sometimes used in purifying water.

    I also carry an EpiPen® (epinephrine aka adrenaline) auto-injector , an emergency treatment for anaphylaxis. Great for those with a peanut allergy.

    Don’t forget a few sachets of oral re-hydration salts as severe diarrhea can be fatal in hours if not controlled and you getting enough fluids back inside you.
    A handful of sugar and salt sachets take up little room and are also the basic ingredients for a DIY rehydration fluid i.e.
    1/2 teaspoon of salt, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and a liter of water.
    If possible, add 1/2 cup orange juice or some mashed banana to add some potassium.

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    • Good points about pain killers and the Epi Pen. I am trying to think in terms of helping additiional people other than just myself, ergo the Ventolin inhaler. I am constantly running into asthmatic people. I get a lot of my supplies free from the military as I am retired and my healthcare is pretty much free. I always ask for a few items extra when I get treated for anything. Like you, I have learned to be a creative scrounger.

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  10. Pingback: First Aid Kits for Preppers | Azweaponcraftprepper

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