Items That Must Be In Your Survival First Aid Kits

Items That Must Be In Your Survival First Aid Kits
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Survival First Aid KitsWhether stranded in the wild or stuck inside due to a disaster situation, there are specific needs that must be taken care of to survive. The obvious needs of food and water should be prepared for ahead of any catastrophe as should medical needs.

While most expect to store the basics, many may overlook the array of materials needed for complete survival first aid kits. If you feel you have stored excessive items, remember that your best chance of surviving is to have items you don’t need rather than needing items and not having them.

Environmental Conditions in the Wilderness

Surviving in the wilderness involves having the ability to withstand a variety of environmental threats that may come your way. In addition to managing to stay alive and avoiding danger, you must be prepared to provide any medical treatment that results from undertaking the first two tasks.Some of the common hazards found in the wild include inclement weather, sun exposure, wild animals, lack of water, exhaustion, foot damage and insects. These hazards could lead to conditions such as low body temperature, burns, electrocution, dehydration and lacerations, among others.  You’ll need items that can help treat such wilderness first aid issues.

Wallowing in Warmth

Once you realize you are stranded in the wild, your first thoughts will involve trying to escape. Subsequent thoughts will involve attempting to overcome each day in your environment.

Once night falls your primary need will be to keep warm. If you are stuck in snow or other cold surroundings, this need is clearly much more important.

If you’ve learned how to create fire the way the cavemen did it, you’re in luck. Unfortunately, if you’re a normal person, you haven’t. In this case a fire starting kit may prove to be your best friend. Waterproof tinder is a bonus.

Seeking Shelter

In addition to keeping warm, you’ll need to keep safe from inclement weather and exposure. A sudden rainstorm, snow storm or heavy winds could cause the temperature to drop suddenly.

Even if your fire starting skills are up to par, precipitation will trump your efforts. You still need to stay warm and dry, thus an emergency shelter kit is a must for ideal chances of survival.

The ideal shelter will be thick and durable with a surface that reflects body heat.

Finding Food

Upon awakening after a night of warm rest, you’ll come face to face with your next urge. At this point your stomach will most likely be empty and keen on letting you know so. To end the rumbles and aches, you will no doubt have come prepared with survival rations, trail mix or protein bars in your survival kit.

If you are the unprepared type, be ready to find food in your environment. If possible, find fresh berries or small animals to consume throughout the day.

It may be worth it to invest in an edible plant identification guide to determine which plants are safe to consume. If all else fails, pack a bottle of ipecac syrup in case you eat the wrong thing.

Sustaining Stamina

Once you’ve filled your stomach and rested, you’ll surely be eager to begin your journey of finding safety. After walking for hours in the sun, you’ll want to keep your skin safe with sunscreen.

As you walk, stay hydrated with an occasional drink of water while monitoring the state of your shoes and feet. When walking for long periods, shoes will eventually deteriorate. When exposed to excess heat or moisture this process is exacerbated.

Keep an extra pair of durable shoes to replace the ones you wear, and bring along blister kits and foot cream to treat injuries. Maintaining healthy feet is one of the most important aspects of keeping safe and mobile.

Foot injuries can easily lead to infections, so keep them as protected as possible.

Sending Signals

To aid in your rescue effort, you will want to signal anyone within close range. If you have enough sunlight, use a rescue flash mirror to signal planes, helicopters and nearby rescue teams. The ideal mirror will be shatterproof while producing a signal with up to 10-30 miles of visibility.

In addition to or in place of a mirror, bring a rescue whistle. Some multi-use tools come with a whistle in addition to a knife and miniature flashlight. More complete survival kits provide nylon cord, sewing kits, steel wire and a fishing kit.

Environmental Scenarios at Home

A natural disaster or other state of emergency may leave you stranded in your home or another building. While the situation may be much less harrowing than being stranded in the wild, the tasks at hand remain the same.

Being stuck indoors presents the same problem as being lost outdoors: You are cut off from any sources of advanced medical assistance.

As opposed to the introduction of new hazards that you would find in the wild, being left to survive indoors prevents you from receiving or administering any treatment needed from encountering common hazards.

If you’ll be left without electricity, it may be wise to store extra matches, lighters and candles to give you a clear work space and to avoid unnecessary collisions in the dark.

Keep a long-term supply of water and non-perishable food in case the situation lasts longer than predicted. To keep updated with the status of your situation keep at least one radio and ample batteries.

Recommended Survival First Aid Kit Contents

No matter your environment, well-stocked first aid bag should include the following:

  • Durable case: It should be sturdy with ample space for storing items. It should also be easy to open and carry.
  • First aid reference manual: This will ensure those who perform treatment do so as safely and efficiently as possible.
  • Disposable gloves: Gloves prevent contamination between multiple parties.
  • Antibacterial soap: When cleaning hands, the soap helps stop the spread of germs from contact with bodily fluids.
  • Antibiotic ointment: Ointment is used to prevent wound infection.
  • Antihistamine tablets: Antihistamines control allergic reactions.
  • Antiseptic wipes: Before treating a wound, it should be cleaned with antiseptic wipes.
  • Aspirin: This acts as a pain reliever and a blood thinner for victims of heart attack.
  • Bandage sheers: These special scissors are needed to cut roll bandages or to remove clothing that blocks an injury.
  • Biological waste bags: Use these to discard medical waste, expelled fluids and used supplies.
  • Blood stopper powder: When a patient is severely injured, this treatment prevents excessive loss of blood.
  • Burn gel: This specialized gel helps burn wounds heal.
  • Burn pads: These pads are more suitable for burn injuries as they will not stick when pressed against the wound.
  • Butterfly bandages: For lacerations, these bandage help keep wounds closed.
  • Cotton swabs: Applying ointments, gels and cleaning wounds is made easier with these in the first aid kit.
  • CPR barrier: When performing CPR, this is helpful for preventing transmission of germs and disease.
  • Emergency blanket: In extremely cold environments, these blankets provide warmth and help prevent shock.
  • Eye cup: When removing debris from the eye cavity, the eye cup helps catch rinsing solution as well as helping to hold water to rinse the eye.
  • Eye solution: The solution helps rinse debris from the eye.
  • Hand sanitizer: When you have no access to antibacterial soap and water, this acts as a suitable replacement.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: Use this for irritation and rashes on the skin.
  • Ibuprofen: This reduces swelling and acts as a pain reliever.
  • Instant cold pack: Cold packs treat hyperthermia, sprains and fractures.
  • Instant hot pack: Hot packs treat hypothermia, pulled muscles and stings.
  • Large dressings: Dressings larger than 5″ x 5″ help control blood loss.
  • Medical tape: Medical tape is used to keep bandages secure in wound dressing.
  • Oral thermometer: This helps monitor body temperature.
  • Pen and small notepad: When monitoring a victim’s vital signs, a notepad comes in handy for documenting and noticing any important changes.
  • Roll bandages: Roll bandages are used to dress wounds and keep gauze in place.
  • Self-adhesive bandages: These are used to protect minor cuts and injuries.
  • Splinting material: Splints should be used to stabilize parts of the body that have sustained fractures or dislocation of bones and joints.
  • Squeeze bottle: A squeeze bottle can be used with sterile water for irrigating wounds.
  • Sterile gauze pads: Gauze pads act as a dressing for small but significant wounds.
  • Tongue depressors: These are useful for checking injuries of the mouth and throat as well as acting as splints for finger injuries.
  • Triangular cloth: The unique shape helps to immobilize fractures and sprains.
  • Tweezers: These are useful for removing splinters and other debris embedded in the skin or open wounds.

Medical Kits and Emergency Kits

Depending on your situation, potential victims or training, your may want to pack these first aid kit supplies as well:

  • Automated External Defibrillator: An AED is used to immediately treat cardiac arrest.
  • Blood borne pathogen kit: When cleaning up bloody treatment areas, this helps prevent the spread of germs and disease.
  • Blood pressure cuff: This is for monitoring a patient’s blood pressure.
  • Cervical collar: For neck injury victims, this device keeps the area immobilized, reducing the chance of additional injury.
  • Eye goggles: Eye protection may be needed in some situations. Find those that are more resistant to breakage or fogging.
  • Forceps: These are used to close blood vessels during excessive bleeding.
  • Portable stretcher: When a patient is not able to walk or needs to be moved while unconscious this tool comes in handy.
  • Scalpel: This may be needed to remove tissue or open wounds for minor surgery.
  • Snake bite kit: Treating a snake bite appropriately may make a significant difference in how, or if, the patient recovers.
  • Stethoscope: This is useful for monitoring breathing and heartbeats.
  • Surgical masks: These prevent bodily fluids from contacting the nose and mouth.
  • Sutures: More serious wounds will require stitching.

Additional items that go beyond medicine but may help during treatment include:

  • Head lamp: The larger light works better than a pen light to illuminate the treatment area.
  • Insect repellant: Deters disease-carrying insects.
  • Sun block: Sun block prevents sun damage when exposed for long periods.
  • Super glue: The strong adhesive helps close wounds.
  • Swiss Army knife: This comes in handy for accomplishing a variety of tasks.
  • Tampons: These plug wounds and slow blood loss in addition to serving their main purpose.

Practice Using Your Survival Kits

After stocking a primary kit as well as any backup first aid kits, take as many appropriate opportunities as needed to use it. Family outings, company functions and weekend hiking trips provide a simple chance to supply materials to those who need them.

Your friends may think you need the “medical assistance” once they spot you lugging a first aid kit, but they will also feel grateful when small accidents do occur.

As more opportunities arise to use your backpacking first kit in less serious situations, you will feel much more capable of handling big medical emergencies. Using your first aid supplies regularly will also allow you to keep track of those items that need to be updated or discarded.

Make Certain To Rotate Materials as Needed

Just like food in the pantry, medical supplies have a limited life span. Many materials will come with an expiration date, and should be used before it arrives. If remaining medications are not used, they should be properly disposed of then replaced in the kit.

In addition to medicines and ointments, treatment materials will also have to be replaced when not used in time. Gloves are well known for lasting only a short time; they should be checked once a year and replaced when used.

When the survival kit is kept in hot surroundings such as cars, garages and RVs this worsens the deterioration. Adhesive bandages also wear quickly as the adhesive is broken down with time and higher temperatures. Without the ability to adhere to the skin, it serves no purpose and should then be replaced.

In addition to your personal knowledge and medical training, you should consider your potential environment and any other activities that may take place during your survival scenario. All of these aspects will come in to play when using survival first aid kits.

For example, if going boating, you won’t have much use for a snake bite kit.

Finally, you should also remember to keep enough supplies to treat the number of people in your party.

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