What You Need in a First Aid Kit
How To Decide What To Put in a First Aid Kit
If you are going to trust your life to a first aid kit, you want to make sure that you have everything that you need in it. But when you start to build your own, it can be overwhelming to figure out which items you need to have!
A few years ago, when we started to develop our kit, we quickly got overwhelmed by all of the options that were offered to us. Before we could even begin to move through with everything, we made a list of all the potential emergencies that we wanted to have the supplies for. We then brainstormed each item that we could apply to the different situations. Once we had each item for each emergency, we were finally able to begin to see what was absolutely necessary for you to have.
Each item that we looked at then went through a process of deciding which products should be used. We created some different questions that we used to measure the value of each product against each other. These questions included:
- How many emergencies can this item apply to?
- If we don’t include this, is there another item that can replace it?
- What are the most up to date instructions and studies about these items?
- What is the comparable weight and size of this item versus other similar items?
- What is the recovery time if using this item? (we researched what happens in the emergency room with each of these items, and how much long lasting damage there was)
Each item that we looked at was categorized above, and we began reducing all of the items. Many of the most common/important items that everyone has in their kits didn’t make the cut. Other items we hadn’t thought about initially were added in to replace larger, bulkier items. During this time, we spent a significant time developing medical grade duct tape, which had a clean, medical grade adhesive on it, but also had over 288 bandage templates included in one roll. Things like butterfly bandages, tape for stretchers, and fingertip bandages are all included in our roll of tape, so it made it easier to include more items for other injuries.
The Review Begins
When we were pretty confident in our kits, we decided to test them out by sending them to people and asking for reviews. We had current members of the military, EMT’s, ER doctors, and hikers all take out the kit to see what they thought. We had positive reviews from everyone, and a few suggestions on things to change. We made some adjustments to improve.
There were a few things that people said they wanted us to add, but based on the criteria above, we did not include. One of the items specifically asked about was tourniquets. The reason for this is explained more in other blogs that we have.
The Items You Need In Your Kit
After all of the process, we came up with the most comprehensive kit available. Here is a list of the items that we recommend having in your kit:
- 1 pair of scissors
- 2 Safety Pins
- 2 Patches of Mole Skin
- 2 doses of acetaminophen
- 2 doses of ibuprofen
- 2 salt packets (to create saline)
- 1 syringe
- 2 doses of sodium bicarbonate
- 2 doses of allergy medicine
- 1 aspirin
- 2 doses of anti-diarrheal medicine
- 2 Skin-Tac wipes
- 8 alcohol pads (for cleaning tools)
- 6 antibiotic ointment
- 4 burn cream
- 3 cleansing towelettes (to clean hands before/after an emergency)
- 2 applicators (small tongue depressors, used for applying ointment to a wound)
- 2 Splinter Lancets
- Non-Adherent Pads
- 3 2”x3” Pads
- 1 3”x4” Pad
- 1 3”x8” Pad
- 6 2”x2” Gauze pads
- Bags including your own personal medicine
- 1 5”x9” ABD Dressings
- 1 6” Cotton Stockinette
- 1 CPR Mask
Over time, we will update and adjust this as new info comes through. But with only the items that you have in this kit, you should be able to stabilize any emergency that you come across. There was only one other item that we considered including, which you could include yourself if you desired, and that is a clotting agent.
Don’t I need a clotting agent?
Clotting agents can be good, but they can cause more harm then good if used in the wrong situation. Most bleeding can be controlled by firm, direct pressure. We have included a windlass system that can be used with our cloth and carabiner. Only in very specific situations are clotting agents to be used. Because of this, we only recommend adding a clotting agent to your kit if you have read all of the instructions and are comfortable following them in their entirety.
Every clotting agent we researched required you to get to an emergency room within four to six hours from the time of application. Because of this, you should not apply unless absolutely necessary. If we find a better option in the future, we may include or recommend a certain type.
There you have it! These are all the items you need. Do you feel overwhelmed, or are you wondering why you need a certain item instead of a different one? We were too, to start. But we will have more blogs coming out explaining how to use each item in given situations. Each injury that you can encounter, you will find in our blogs, as well as an eBook that we came out with (want the eBook? Just go here and buy one of our items, it comes free with any purchase!). The eBook is a great item that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to apply these items to an injury. It is small and downloadable, so you don’t need an internet connection to have it available on your phone. The blogs have a deeper explanation about each of the injuries, so you can understand WHY we recommend doing the things the way we do.
Don’t want to hunt around for each of these items? That’s fine, go here to get a kit that has all the items included above, compact and weighing less than 1.5 pounds.
If you want to know more about how to be ready for any situation, put your email address in below to be notified when a new blog comes out!