Don’t skimp on your most needed survival first aid kit contents just to keep your pack light. When the SHTF, access to a medical practitioner is probably going to be limited at best. And if you are on the trail in the woods, having the right first aid supplies can save your life.
But what are the most needed supplies? It would be impossible to prepare for absolutely every situation you might come across, at least if you want to remain mobile. So it is important to weed things down to a manageable size, while still providing a good range of options. Items that do double duty are great and definitely make the cut.
A good recommendation is to start with a prepackaged survival first aid kit, like the one shown on the left by Adventure Medical. It has most of the supplies you will need already in the bag. Then it is a simple matter of adding a few more essentials and buffing it up to your personal standards.
There are several areas that you need to make sure you have covered. (A complete list of most needed items can be found at the end of the post.)
Personal Medications & Special Needs
If you are on any maintenance prescription medications, for instance for high blood pressure, you will want to make sure you have at least a small supply in your pack. The same holds true for any over-the-counter medications you take on a regular basis. If it is something you depend on, you need to have a base supply in your bug out bag backpack.
Something else to consider here is adding an additional pair of prescription glasses to your pack if you need them. With a current prescription, you can get a spare pair of eyeglasses online for under $10, and you really don’t want to be on your own and have something happen that can impair your vision, and your chances of survival, greatly.
A Survival First Aid Kit Manual
Supplies do you no good if you don’t know how to use them correctly. There are several very good outdoor survival first aid manuals out there. (As a side note, one is included in the Adventure Medical kit above.) It would be a good idea to take a first aid class or two as well, to speed your ability to deal with any injury that occurs.
Pain and Fever Management Items
You will need to make sure that you have a decent supply of various pain and fever medications, such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and aspirin. One thing to remember about this type of item, however, is that they have expiration dates. You will need to check your supplies at least semi-annually to update or change out out-dated pills.
Another item in this area that is a nice addition to any kit is a chemical ice bag. Some wounds, such as sprained ankles are handled much better with cold therapy. As that type of injury is common in the great outdoors, a couple of these ice bags can come in very handy.
Supplies to Close Wounds
Here is where things get a little inventive. One of the best, quickest methods of closing a bleeding wound is with duct tape. Before using the tape, however, you will need to irrigate (clean out) the wound to remove any dirt or debris. Then quickly apply some antiseptic (wipes come in handy here) before pulling the wound together with the tape. It is a good idea to start in the middle of the cut or wound and work your way to the far edges.
For smaller, less life-threatening cuts and scrapes, butterfly sutures work well. Be sure to have at least a few in your pack.
Supplies to Help Prevent Infection
In an outdoor survival situation, keeping an open wound clean can be troublesome at best. Keeping injuries covered is of prime importance. This requires the use of gauze, bandages, antibiotic creams, and antiseptics. (See list at end for specifics)
Allergy and Bug Bite Supplies
Antihistamine pills are a must for every bug out bag backpack. There are simply too many things in the wonderful, open spaces outdoors that can cause allergic reactions, up to and including mosquitoes.
Survival First Aid Kit Contents Checklist
Okay, so now we’ve gone over all the different areas you need to make sure you have adequately covered in your kit. Now for the list of most needed survival first aid kit contents. Please note that this list is for a family of 4 or 5. If there will be more people in your party, plan accordingly.
Miscellaneous medical supplies include:
- Non-latex disposable gloves (3 pair, size large)
- Safety pins
- Insect repellent (1 small spray bottle)
- Emergency survival blanket (2)
Medications / Ointments
- Eye Wash (small bottle)
- Aspirin, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen (8 tablets each)
- Antihistamine pills (6 tablets)
- Imodium (4 pills)
- Antibiotic Cream (1 small tube)
- Alcohol swabs (10)
Burns / Blisters: Moleskin patches 4 x 5 inches (5)
Cuts / Wounds:
- Antiseptic Wipes (a minimum of 20)
- Adhesive Bandages (assorted sizes, minimum of 20)
- Knuckle Bandages (5)
- Butterfly Sutures (8)
- Duct Tape (one small roll)
- Sterile Gauze Pads (5) 3 x 3 inch size and (5) 4 x 4 inch size
- Medical Tape (2 rolls of inch tape, 10 yards/roll)
- Sterile Gauze Roll Bandage (2 rolls 2″ wide)
Sprains and Strains:
- Elastic Wrap Bandage (2) 2 yards of 3″ wrap to support affected joint.
- Chemical Ice Bag (2)
Again, the list above is our recommended most needed survival first aid kit contents for a medium-sized family. If you have fewer, or more, people that you will be taking care of, you will need to adjust the supplies accordingly.
So, fellow preppers, did we miss anything? Is there something that you feel is vital to survival that is left off of our list? If so, please leave a comment and let us know.