First Aid Kit-Comprehensive List

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 70 total)
  • Author
  • #649

    MOD NOTE: This thread has developed into a list for a LARGE medical supply, so I ameneded the subject title to include ‘Comprehensive List’, to differentiate from the smaller, ‘Basic List’ in another thread, found here: First Aid Kit, Basic

    First-Aid Kit

    When I began taking preparedness seriously five years ago I decided that one of the areas I would NOT find myself short on was first aid and medical supplies. This was driven home with the devastation seen after Hurricane Katrina. In a situation where one could be lacking professional medical care for days, weeks, or months at a time, having a comprehensive medical kit could literally be a lifesaver. I took my thinking a bit further after seeing the aftermath. While medical care returned to the area, getting to it could take some time and once there more waiting would be had for those with less serious injuries. Since my mindset was gearing up for self-sufficiency, I wanted to make sure I was set up with a decent first-aid kit.

    I first began looking into ready-made first-aid kits in retail stores. Mainly they amounted to band-aids and small packages of Tylenol. I turned to online suppliers and found a lot of choices. What I discovered was that these kits (while flashy and touting huge number of items) were expensive and woefully lacking for helping with any serious injury. I stumbled upon the article that I previously posted by Dr. Brent Blue, who also thought of these kits as lacking. His writing was filled with great info, and the suggestion to “build your own” medical kit.

    My first kits were a pair of small first aid kits to store in our vehicles. I was putting together emergency kits to keep in the trunks. I had two old fanny packs that were going largely unused. If you don’t have one of these, you can usually pick one up very cheaply at a local thrift store for $1-2. You can of course purchase a brand new one but we’re always preaching frugality in the prepper world, so go for the cheap road. What you are looking for is a pack large enough to hold what you intend to put into it, made from sturdy enough material to take some rough use (leather or a good nylon), and one that is easy to use (e.g. you don’t want hard to open zippers or closures that wont keep your contents safely secure). Make sure that it will fit around your waist (some can be pretty small). Finally, inspect the buckle. If it a easily breakable plastic, buy a repair kit and put a new one on.

    Once you have you bag, the next step is to determine what you intend to put in. When purchasing supplies (or raiding your medicine cabinet), don’t buy small quantities. In other words, buy in bulk. Small travel bottles of Tylenol are far more expensive per tablet than a 200 ct bottle. Generic OTC medications are all basically the same. If you question this, read the labels. The higher prices of the name brands include their marketing and advertising budgets, so frugally speaking again, get the generic/store brand. When it comes to bandages and the like, DO go with the name brands as their components ARE generally of a higher quality (e.g. Wally World plastic bandages vs. Nextcare (3M) fabric strips). Finally, for items not readily available in the stores, make sure you are getting them from a reputable supplier (e.g. scalpel blades, sutures, or hemostats).

    I’d like to pass on a few pointers that I used to solve problems I came up with. For storage of medications, get yourself one of those 7-day pill cases. You can usually pick these up at the dollar store for the expected $1. Another consideration is purchasing some of those small empty travel bottles intended for shampoo and/or conditioner (again for $1 at the dollar store). These are perfect for storing Provo-iodine or Isopropyl Alcohol. I carry one of each. Small key chains are great for attaching a small squeeze-type LED light, a pocket knife, or other equipment you may need at the ready to the outside of the kit. Clip on key chains are cheaper and smaller then even inexpensive carabiners. They also have a smaller circumference to fit within the eyes of the zipper pulls.
    I guess its time to get to the nitty-gritty. What’s in my first-aid pack and how is it stored? I’ll include photos for easier explanation. Just look for the note for what picture corresponds to the text.

    The Kit: All closed up (photo 1)

    This kit is made from a leather fanny pack. It has a small zippered front pocket, a slightly larger zipper pocket, one large main zipper pocket, one narrow zippered back pocket, and a Velcro closed “cell phone” pocket.

    The Front Zipper Pocket (photo 2)

    In the front zipper pocket are: razor blades (3ea), individual Handy-Wipe packs (rinse free cleansing cloths 4 ea), a set of safety pins (5 ea), needles (2 ea), Insect repellant wipes (4ea) and Cotton tipped applicators (Q-Tips 10ea).

    Now for a little explanation, I keep razor blades in this kit as opposed to scalpel blades unless I’m going back-country. There just isn’t need for them as I wouldn’t be doing much emergency cutting of tissues that would need a sterile blade and the razor blades are cheaper to include in the first-aid kit. I use insect repellant wipes as opposed to a bottle of repellant for space considerations. Depending on how you lay out your kit you may decide to have a bottle instead. This is also a consideration if you are going back-country and expect to be eaten alive by skeeters. The rest of the items follow along with suggestions of good ole Doc Blue.

    The Larger Front Zipper Pocket (photo 3)

    In this compartment you will find: a small plastic box for bandages and dressings (1ea), Steri-Strips (1 pack of 10 ea), Instant Hand Sanitizer (1-.5 oz btl), Orajel (1-.5 oz tube), Triple-Antibiotic ointment (Neosporin 1-1 oz tube), Hydrocortisone Cream (1-1oz tube), an insect bite pen, and one butane lighter. Inside the plastic box: butterfly closures (10 ea), 1×3” Fabric Bandages (5 ea), 1×3” plastic bandages (6 ea), and 2×2” gauze sponges (4 ea).

    Some possible substitutions in this pocket are: replacing the insect bite pen (which is ammonia based) with Doc Blue’s suggested bottle of Tea Tree oil or (if your pharmacy carries them) the insect bite swabs. They look like a Q-tip, but are preloaded with a small glass vile you break to release the liquid relief medication. The Orajel tube can be replaced with either the liquid version or the new instant dissolve mouth strips (they look and act like the Listerine Mouth Strips but contain benzocaine). For the triple antibiotic ointment, my wife’s surgeon ordered using straight bacitracin as opposed to the triple antibiotic. It seems that it is better to prevent infection than the Neosporin. After having to do daily wound care regimens, I have to agree with his hypotheses after seeing the results. Once this tube expires or is used up, I will switch it out.

    The Main Zipper Pocket (photo 4)

    Inside the main pocket is: 4×4” gauze sponges (4 ea), 3” Ace Bandage (1 ea), 3” Conforming Gauze (1 ea), Maxi Pad (unscented, individually wrapped 1 ea), Provo-Iodine (1-2 oz btl), Isopropyl Alcohol (1-2oz btl), Tape (1-1 ½” roll) and the Pill Box (1 ea). Inside the pill box is: 200mg Ibuprophen (20 ea), 500mg Acetaminophen (12 ea), 2mg Loperamide (Immodium/anti-diarrheal 24 ea), 750mg Calcium Carbonate (Tums 4 ea), 325mg Aspirin (10 ea), 85mg Ranitidine HCl (Zantac 75-5 ea), and 30mg Pseudoephidrine (Sudaphed/Decongestant 24 ea).

    The pill box contains seven (7) different OTC medications. If you have access to prescription substitutions such as Tylenol 3 with codeine can be made. Quantities can be adjusted as you see fit. Just make sure that when allotting quantities, you don’t waste pills. Keep the number of pills equal to a rounded number of doses. If you intend to need your kit to administer medication for children add-in the children’s versions of the needed medications. I labeled the pill box on the bottom with the medications name, quantity, and expiration date. The Provo-Iodine (AKA Betadine) is essential! There isn’t a better disinfectant available. Do not substitute Hydrogen Peroxide. Peroxide destroys cell integrity so while it will kill off bacteria or viruses, it will also destroy tissue cells making for more difficult healing and larger scars. The Isopropyl Alcohol isn’t a must, but I keep it handy for disinfection of hands or instruments in a pinch.

    The Rear Zipper Pocket (photo 5)

    In the rear pocket I keep mainly instruments. Inside there is: Forceps (tweezers, 1 ea), 3” mosquito hemostats (sterilized, 2 ea), Paramedic Shears (1 ea), Wound Probe (1 ea), Duct tape (1-36” roll), Notepad (spiral bound, 1 ea), Red Sharpie Maker (1 ea), Detailed checklist (1 ea).

    As stated, the rear compartment is mainly for instruments. Of these, I would not exclude the forceps and the paramedic shears, they are too valuable. Forceps (tweezers) are ideal for removing splinters that can cause a bad infection if out in the woods for a week. The shears are indispensable for cutting bandages and clothing. One note on paramedic shears, they tend to dull rather quickly (even pricey ones). I found you might be better off getting a large quantity at the Dollar Store, rather than buying a $20 pair. Hemostats are a Doc Blue recommendation. You can purchase surgical grade instruments, but lower quality instruments that you find at hobby shops will work for a first-aid kit. You’re not performing multiple surgical procedures out in the field. The wound probe basically is like a dental pick with a dulled point. It is handy for exposing a bad wound so that it can be adequately irrigated with water or saline solution. The note pad is invaluable to store information. When returning to a populated area, or when professional help arrives, it is necessary to be able to give them vital info that you may forget in a stressful environment. The description of a snake that bit a group member, the length of time a tourniquet has been applied, what time a dose of medication was administered, etc. The marker can be used to write with, mark and injury location, or in worst case scenario, mark the forehead/hand of multiple patients (dead, mortal injuries, 1st to be care for etc). The detailed checklist is a guide for your pack. On it you can itemize all of the packs contents including expiration dates. When it comes time to reload your pack after use, you have an exact detail of what was inside. Also, in the event that somebody else needs to restock the kit, they will know what to include. I made my checklist using MS Office Excel, but any spreadsheet program would do fine. Finally, Duct tape…….do I really need to tout the MULTIPLE uses of duct tape? LOL.

    The Velcro Closed “Cell Phone” Pocket (photo 6)

    The final pocket on this kit is the cell phone pocket. Inside there I place 4 pairs of exam gloves. Currently I have high-quality latex, but as I switch out pieces of the kit every six months I will switch to purple nitrile gloves. If you know that no one in your group is allergic to latex then you can go with those, but beware being the Good Samaritan. You can turn a minor first-aid event into a full blown emergency with anaphylactic shock if a patient IS allergic to latex. Lastly, I found a great product in the stores. They are individual portion packages of instant electrolyte solution. In other words, they turn a regular .5l of water into a dose of Gatorade. I keep 3 packages of these with the gloves. They are great for fluid replacement in the event of heat related injuries or if a group member gets stricken with diarrhea and is still waiting for the Loperamide to take effect.

    Next to this pocket I also attached a Swiss army knife in a nylon case. It is always good to have a back up blade. This is also handy if another person who does not carry a knife themselves needs to grab your kit. Finally, I have a clip on bottle of sun block (SPF 40). Also attached to the kit, as I mentioned before, is a mini squeeze LED light, (use obvious).

    Wrapping it all up

    I think I have a fairly complete kit in the event of small emergencies. It does double duty for an emergency in our vehicles as well as being a good kit to take outdoors for a camping or hunting trip. I hope this help anyone wanting to fill out a good kit for themselves. BTW, if you thought this post was long, wait until I pen out the contents of the large trauma bag LOL.


    Thanks for suggesting the 7 day pillbox for storing medications. That’s a great idea! I plan to stop at the dollar store this weekend and get a few.


    This is an excellent post. Thank you!


    TY edea and Marica. Keep your eyes open for the next posting…I’m putting together the post for the large trauma bag I have ready for mass casualty/first response/ Its a biggie!!


    i can only agree with the other posters – D_Loki thanks for sharing your amazing knowledge here – we really appreciate it! and so many of us are learning from you! keep it up friend!


    Here’s a post on another forum for a trauma kit:

    FLA_MEDIC’S TRAUMA KIT” onclick=”;return false


    RedayMom….the link appears to require registration to the forum. Do you have another link to the posting?


    @D_Loki wrote:

    RedayMom….the link appears to require registration to the forum. Do you have another link to the posting?

    Looking ….


    @ReadyMom wrote:

    @D_Loki wrote:

    RedayMom….the link appears to require registration to the forum. Do you have another link to the posting?

    Looking ….

    Try this one … different forum, same post shared:″ onclick=”;return false


    If that doesn’t work, here’s the post with appropriate accreditation:

    Fla_Medic @ Plan For Pandemic:″ onclick=”;return false

    @Fla_Medic wrote:


    Everyone should have a good medical bag. The store bought plastic ones are both overpriced and pretty much useless for more than a cut or a scrape. Granted, my kit contains some items that a layman might not wish to include, but I thought a tour of my kit might provide some ideas to all of you of things you can do to make your own.

    First, you need a proper container for your first aid supplies. I bought this duffle bag at Big Lots for 9.99. The old and faded paramedic patch, I added. 😉

    This particular duffle bag has hand and shoulder straps, two webbed pouches on the front, a zippered pouch behind that, a zippered compartment on each end, and a cavernous center compartment. The top slouches inward a bit because I’ve left room for a few goodies I’ll be adding in the future.

    Starting with the front webbed pouches, I keep several pairs of latex gloves, alcohol wipes, a notepad and a pen.

    Behind the webbed pouches, I keep an assortment of items. Small stuff that I go for frequently, and don’t wish to rummage thru the bigger compartments for. Spare gloves, a multi-tool, alcohol gel hand sanitizer, spare alcohol pads, a digital thermometer, and a pouch of sports drink. I have couple more of those stashed away under meds in another compartment.

    The Center compartment is where I keep my ambu-bag, airways, Stethescope, C-collar, B/P cuff, N95 masks, and goggles. These are bulky items, and need to be readily accessible. I also keep a suture set in there.

    My suture set consists of assorted sutures (2-0, 3-0 chromic), Lidocaine, syringes (not shown), a disposable sterile scalpel, Needle holder, Kelly Clamp Iris scissors, and tweezers, along with a syringe for irrigation

    On the Right side of the bag, I keep my trauma supplies. Lots of Kling (you can never have too much), 6×6, 4×4, and 2×2 sterile dressings, several trauma dressings (sanitary napkins), Bandaids, Steri-Strips, Paper Tape, Bandage Shears, and Two old Rx bottles, one with 5 yards of duct tape rolled around it, and Superglue inside, and another filled with Q-tips.

    On the opposite side, I keep meds. Alcohol (70%), Betadine (Provodone-Iodine), Chloroflush (wound cleaner), Sterile Saline for Irrigation, Liquid children’s Benadryl, and Benadryl capsules, Loperamide tablets, Tylenol, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen. I also keep an epi-pen, albuterol inhalor, a flashlight, and antibiotic cream here. I found room to stash a couple more sports drink pouches, as well.

    What’s missing?

    Well, all first aid kits are a compromise. There are still a few items I plan to add. A couple of IV bags, with setups (1-.9% Saline, 1- Lactated Ringers), some pediactric airways, and perhaps a combitube airway. I may add a CPR mask, too. Although with the ambu-bag, that’s probably redundant. A SAM splint would be a nice addition, too. And I need to get a couple of Triangular (cravat) bandages for the trauma side.

    All totaled, this kit weighs in at about 20lbs. It balances nicely, and it has virtually everything I would need to handle most emergencies


    Great kit!! It is very similar to my large trauma bag. A few of the things in there that I need to still get, but will have to get from a Doc, the lidocaine, and IV bags. You can’t buy those unlicensed. I diasgree with the CPR mask being redundant with the ambu-bag. That allows use for multiple casualties and/or a unequipped second responder. I might alter the CPR mask with disposable CPR shields which are cheaper.


    I have a red ‘First Aide’ duffle bag in my vehicle, one in our DD’s vehicle (she’s away at college, so I wanted her prepared), one in my DH’s vehicle (on a smaller scale) and will prepare one for our DS when he drives his own vehicle. This is what I have in my First Aide Duffel Bag:

    BAND-AIDS-‘Advanced Healing pad
    BAND-AIDS-Finger Size
    BAND-AIDS-Knee Size
    BANDAGE: Elastic 2″
    BANDAGE: Elastic 3″
    BENADRIL CREAM (Hydrocortisone)
    COLD PACK -Instant
    COLD PACK -‘Snap’
    COLD PACK – For Burns (Cold Wrap)
    EAR Syringe (1)
    GUAZE PADS: Non Stick – 1.5×2″
    GAUZE PADS: 2×2
    GAUZE PADS: 3×3
    GAUZE PADS: Surgical 5×9″
    HEAT WRAP – Instant
    ICHTHAMMOL (Black Save)
    MASK: Respirator/Face
    MIRROR (small)
    PADS: (4) Small
    PADS: (4) Medium
    PADS: (4) Large
    PAIN RELIEF MED. (Adult Ibuprofen
    TAPE: Water Proof -1/2 ” (6)
    Tape: Water Proof -1″ (6)
    SPLINT STICKS: Small (Popsicle)
    SPLINT STICKS: Large (Popsicle)
    SPLINT STICKS: Blue Metal-Lg (2)
    SPLINT STICKS: Blue Metal -Sm (1)
    SPLINTS: (Old Shin Guard)
    SUNSCREEN: 30 spf
    WARMERS: Hand
    WARMERS: Toe

    I have this list printed in excel format and placed in a plastic sheet protector for each bag. I check off each item, when I re inventory. I date each sheet upon re inventory. I try to keep just a small travel size of any pain meds because I don’t want to waste due to temp. changes. All my meds are in larger quantities @ home. -k


    RM: Awesome! I love to see people using spreadsheets!!


    Thanks to all of you. I have started putting our emergency medical supplies together and each of you have given me good ideas of a few things I hadn’t thought of. I appreciate the time you took to not only prepare your kits, but to write it down for this post. Who knows–it may result in a saved life some day.


    Nice setup, Loki. I’ve been working on mine, but I’m far from completion.

    From what I can see, I’ve got four categories I’m trying to set up.

    For one, sprains and muscle injuries. These can be a serious problem if you have to be on the move, so I am trying to add stuff such as elastic supports for wrists, ankles, and knees, as well as a sling. I’ve also got a finger splint thrown in.

    Secondly I have a pretty good variety of medicine, high count bottles of just about everything I can think of that I would need, aspirin, excedrin, sleeping pills, benadryl, nausea meds, etc. This is the only category that I feel like I’m completely covered in so far.

    The third category I’ve got is for cuts. Seeing as I haven’t used a bandaid in years, I decided it would be best to cut straight down to business with gauze, tape, alcohol, and soon to add quikclot. I’d like to add a small surgery kit for removing stuff like glass and other fragments that would cause problems if left. I also threw in an old tshirt for applying pressure to or wrapping a wound.

    The last category covers hygiene and comfort. Stuff such as hand sanitizer, eye drops, burn gel, and insect repellent.

    Also, i have general supplies such as flashlights, a knife, and water. I’m definitely open to suggestions on anything I’m missing.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 70 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
American Preppers Network Forum