You may never know when the need for survival might come knocking on your door. You may have a pleasant morning and the next thing you know, there’s a massive flood hitting your city.
You might be having a good time in the wilderness when suddenly a fellow camper gets injured. With the unknown that might happen anytime, it would be wise to have a survival first aid kit which will serve as your way of getting out of a desperate situation alive.
Should You Buy or Make Your Own First Aid Kit?
So the thing that pops out everyone’s mind whenever they want to prepare a first aid kit is choosing between buying a first aid kit and building one.
Well, each option has its benefits, but there is still a huge gap between the two. So here are some insights that you might want to check.
Advantages of buying first aid kit
- You don’t need to gather all the stuff as all kits come in a package where things are already inside the box.
- You can save time because all you have to do is to make a simple purchase and you already have a kit that’s ready to use.
- Buying a first aid kit online usually comes with a free first aid manual.
Disadvantages of buying first aid kit
- Already-stocked first aid kits from stores are generally expensive. The cheap ones are usually of low quality, and a lot of things may come missing.
- Since every person has their own preference or particular conditions, buying first aid kits from stores (both locally and online) may not be enough for some. For instance, you may need to buy your medications separately to add to the box.
- Depending on the user, there are also times when there are some contents in the box which a user doesn’t really need.
- Some people, probably including you, may depend on their purchased first aid kits without checking it or getting to know its content at the very least. Once a minor emergency occurs, some would find out what they actually need is not inside their first aid kit.
Advantages of making your first aid kit
- Building your own first aid kits is more affordable than buying one.
- Building your own kit gives you the flexibility to choose the content that you want to include in your kit.
- Building one means you have the freedom to refer to your own preference on which items to include in your box. For instance, having specific allergies means you can purchase treatment and place it in your kit to make it handy when time comes.
- You also get to choose your own box or bag when making your own set, allowing style and design to be implemented by the user.
Disadvantages of making your first aid kit
Building your kit requires you to have your own checklist of the items that must be included in your kit. Otherwise, you might end up forgetting some items, and it would be too late to realize once an emergency is already happening.
You need to buy your own first aid manual. But not a big deal, though.
Bottom line – it would still be better if you get to make your own first aid kit as it’s cheaper and more flexible. This includes buying these necessary items:
- Five sterile gauze pads (4” x 3”)
- Five sterile gauze pads (3” x 3”)
- 25 adhesive bandages (different sizes)
- Eye pad or eye shield
- Gauze roll
- Elastic bandage (for knee, ankle, elbow, or wrist injuries)
- Adhesive tape roll
- Sterile cotton balls
- Cotton-tipped swabs
- Two triangular bandages (for making arm slings and wrapping injuries)
Stopping Bleeds and Closing wounds
Survival first aid kit must, of course, come with things that you can use in times of dealing with injuries and blood. You must have a medical kit that has items that can deal with bleeds and wounds. You can at least help prevent infection or save lives in the process.
A butterfly suture is an approved way of closing wounds, particularly small ones. Just like a doctor’s sutures, butterfly sutures can also pull the small cut’s edges together with its adhesive strips – ideal to prevent blood loss or infection that could have happened if a wound stays open.
It may be bizarre but yes, duct tapes can also serve as a first aid tool; and it deserves a spot in your first aid kit. When the medical team takes a long time to adhere to your emergency needs, you can take matters into your own hands through something that is conveniently found in your home or right in your backpack.
A duct tape can be a lifesaver by using as an adhesive to pull together the edges of an open wound. Thus, it buys more time to help someone’s life while waiting for the real medical personnel to arrive.
Before using butterfly sutures or a duct tape, you must clean the wound first with water to clean it up with foreign elements you don’t want to get trapped in the wound when you apply the adhesive.
It’s also more beneficial if you have an antiseptic in your kit as you can apply it first in the affected area before closing it with butterfly sutures or duct tape. Start applying in the central part of the wound, working your way to its edges where you apply the strips.
Sanitation issues can arise in times of survival scenarios. This particular issue can pose a problem when it comes to actually surviving whatever situation you might yourself stuck in. Infection, for instance, is a grave threat to you and your team especially when one or more have open wounds.
To prevent infection, make sure to include these items in your list.
- Adhesive wound dressings (like the ones mentioned just above)
- Broad Spectrum Oral Antibiotics
- Antibiotic creams and ointments
- Disinfectants and antiseptics
Disinfectants and antiseptics
Things that must be in your kit must include Isopropyl Alcohol, Peroxide, and PVP Iodine Ampules and Antiseptic
Broad spectrum oral Antibiotics
This one’s a tricky part. You can’t just waltz in a pharmacy and ask for one of these; you must have a doctor’s prescription to purchase one.
However, there are a lot who are willing to prescribe broad-spectrum oral Antibiotics as preventive measures. You can take this into our advantage when you plan to camp in the wilderness.
There are still things that could cause you to have an allergic reaction even if you don’t have any “known” allergies. In worse cases, people who react to allergens (like from food, plants, etc.), must be immediately treated when they show symptoms of allergies.
They could suffer from anaphylaxis reactions which could be a matter of life-and-death when not dealt with as soon as possible. Ensure you have these in your survival first aid kit.
Epinephrine or EpiPen
Having this with you could save lives. Buy some time while waiting for professional medical help by treating a person with an anaphylaxis reaction with an Epinephrine.
Creams that treat allergy can also help you big time for particular applications such as skin allergies.
The most common of antihistamine is Benadryl. Antihistamines are the most popular allergy treatment; it can help alleviate symptoms.
More things to put in your survival kit are pain management items. From the word itself, pain is something that you wouldn’t want to suffer from especially when you are outdoors. Depending on your condition, you need to have items that can deal with your pain issues.
- Codeine or any other type of pain killer (check with your doctor)
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Tylenol
- Chemical Ice bags
More Medical Needs
There is no kit-that-serves-all as every individual has his own preference or specific conditions to deal with.
Over the counter meds
If you have condition/s that requires OTC meds, you will thank yourself later when you have a sufficient amount of supply of these things in your kit.
Extra prescription medications
Have extra medications for you or your team. You wouldn’t know when you’ll need one.
Medical manual and first aid stuff
It is also important to bring with you first aid instructions manuals for you to follow should you need to deal with medical activities. You must also have Band-Aids, tissues, and extra cloth.
More Things to Put in your Survival First Aid Kit (Optional)
- Surgical blades and sterile needles
- Emergency dental kit
- Quick clot gauze
- Cleaning or grooming tools (e.g. disinfectant alcohol, soap, fingernail clippers, antiseptic wipes)
- Disposable thermometers
- Sterile eye wash
- Disposable gloves
- Burn dressings or creams
A survival first aid kit sure is not just some random bag to take for granted. A kit is just a simple collection of things but is highly relevant enough to save your life or someone else’s right when you need it. So make this as your checklist and start gathering now.