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Survival First Aid Kit Checklist

In this guide you’ll learn how to assemble a survival first aid kit. We'll review the essential items for a well-structured med kit and any extra medical and non medical supplies.

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A first aid kit makes the top of our list when we begin to talk about survival items for people who are self-reliant and who take preparedness seriously.

You can buy a medical kit in advance, or decide to start one from scratch and put it together yourself in case of emergencies.

Regardless of the way you get one, a survival first aid kit is a piece that you cannot overlook and that can help you stay organized and become more confident in your survival strategy.

In this guide you’ll see what you need in order to assemble a survival first aid kit.

We'll review the essential items that are necessary in a well-structured kit and any extra medical and non medical supplies that can come in handy.

Finally, we will bring everything together in a survival pack that you can attach to your Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag.

First Aid Kit Types

We will start by looking into the anatomy of a first aid kit, so you can quickly identify all the items that you are going to need or at least have the general idea of what you should start storing.

You will need to assemble supplies as one of the first steps in creating you personalized kit. These can be bought from drugstores, pharmacies, etc.

It’s extremely important to keep first aid kits close at hand, as you never know when you might need them.

As the Red Cross advises:

  • Keep a first aid kit in your home and in your car
  • Carry a first aid kit with you or know where you can find one
  • Find out the location of first aid kits where you work

Reviewing first aid kits should revolve around a multipurpose usage, on a strategic placement of supplies and also depending on where the kit will be stored.

  • A multipurpose kit is better at including a variety of items, not being specifically targeted on a single type of supply. It will also prove to be more versatile than other types, mainly because of its capacity to store multiple elements in it. While you can think of using it for quick emergencies around your house or on a hike, it can take care of a variety of emergency situations.
  • A survivalist bag will target more serious and bigger injuries rather than a multipurpose first aid kit, including trauma equipment for both home usage and at work.
  • For home or office, most recommended are the first aid cabinets instead of kits. Simply having them in a known place within the house or office space, kept well stocked, should be everything you need.
  • There are also the mini first aid kits, best used when needing to pack ultra-light, as in the case of short trips, or can also be used as an extra bag, supplemented with additional packs of items for a more focused care strategy.

IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) Checklist

Every first aid kit is of best help when taking care of your unique medical need, therefore all such bags should be personalized in order to deal with the most likely medical emergencies that you could experience.

You must first be aware of what you already have in your house or kit, what medications you are taking and what you need to survive during emergencies.

Each bag might turn out different in its own way, however there are some things every bag should contain.

You can customize the contents of an IFAK to be small and light enough for an EDC (everyday carry) bag and still have the essential items for emergency survival!

Tools to stop bleeding

  • Tools to stop eventual arterial bleeding which can be fatal in emergency situations. A tourniquet in your IFAK can be a game changer.
  • Bleeding can be easily stopped by applying strong pressure on the affected area. Pressure dressings are easy to use and very efficient regardless of the body area affected.
  • In hemorrhage situations, time is of essence. Hemostatic dressings, such as z-fold or s-roll meshes buy you precious time when you are trying to package a wound in emergency contexts.
  • Small wounds are less tedious to care for, so plain veterinary Coban wraps should be included in your kit for fast sealing of such injuries. This re-usable strip efficiently compresses and protects wounds that don’t require special care.
  • At least one pair of chest seals (chest patches) should be included in every first aid kit. Hopefully you will never need this, but it would be reckless to ignore the possibility of chest hole wounds. Many times, these injuries prevent the lungs from normal functioning, which leads to difficulty in breathing and in worst-case scenarios, breathing incapacitation.

Have a look at the video below to understand how to properly use some of the essential contents of a first aid kit.

Treating Wounds

When you are thinking about preparing your own medical kit, be aware of the most common type of injury: wounds. You need to equip your kit with items that are practical for stopping bleeding and prevent infections. 

A complete wound care supply for your kit should have, at minimum, the following items:

  • Irrigation syringe
  • Nitrile gloves, 5+ pairs
  • Band-Aids, 20+ in various sizes
  • Ace Bandages, x3
  • Alcohol wipes, 25+
  • Suture kit
  • Tegaderm, x3
  • Triangle bandages, x 3
  • Israeli bandage
  • Sam-splint moldable foam splint
  • Iodine
  • Steri-strip/ butterfly closures, 4+

While we are here, let's talk about the suture kit, since some critical situations might require you to completely rely on yourself and your own capacity to stitch a wound.

Therefore, you really should own a medical grade survival suture kit.

You have to be prepared to learn how to use it first, so you can put it to good use, otherwise it might be safer to not use it at all, as the situation that is not handled correctly can get even more complicated in a matter of seconds.

A suture kit is comprised of a set of tools and other elements that can be used to close an open skin wound.

Some of the best suture kits can be found on Amazon and include various accessories, depending on the level of difficulty and its final purpose:

  • Antiseptics
  • Anti-inflammatory pills, creams or ointments
  • Palliatives - Codeine is the most common
  • Heat/Ice Bags
  • Local anesthetics, Lidocaine being the most common
  • Antihistaminic drugs

You might not currently be aware of any allergies that you might have, however, some allergies are spontaneously caused by food, insects, plants or air particles to which you hadn’t been previously exposed.

It is important to not overlook this possibility and include creams or pills that prevent or treat allergies.

Personalized medication

There is not one single first aid kit that suits all individual needs.

The medical kit you are preparing should be personalized to your own needs as well as the needs of those close to you, however, the pre-built ones can be used as a good starting point for your own kit.

First aid kit with medicine and emergency tools
Make sure you have your essential medication in the first aid kit.

First of all, think about the prescription pills you are currently taking on a daily or periodical frequency and add them to the kit.

Your emergency medical kit can also include the following over the counter (OTC) medication:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil), 25+ for pain relief
  • Aspirin, 25+ for clot-related stroke or heart attack prevention
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol), 25+ for pain or fever relief, especially peptic ulcer pain
  • Anti-histamine, x20 for anti-itch use
  • Cranberry extract, x20 for urinary tract or bladder health
  • Throat lozenges, 20+ for throat and canker sore relief
  • Sudafed, x15 for pain and sinus pressure relief
  • Oral rehydration, x5 for adults against vomiting, diarrhea, and hangover
  • Imodium/Loperamide, x20 for relief from diarrhea, gar, cramps and bloating
  • Dramamine, x 10 for relief from motion sickness
  • Bismuth tabs, x20 for relief from indigestion and heartburn
  • Laxative or stool softener, x 15 for bowel movement and constipation relief

Remember to check the kit on a regular basis and check the expiration dates of each of the products.

Extra First Aid Kit Supplies

  • Oropharyngeal (OP) Airways and Penrose drain tubes
  • Large syringe and Nasogastric tubes
  • Bouillon cubes and mobile radio
  • Manual suction device and Foley catheters
  • Reference materials, copies of personal documents and maps of the area
  • Extra cell phone battery and charger
  • N-100 high filtration respirator or face mask
  • Ear candles and LED lights
  • Extra cash and contact information
  • Large commercial trash bags
  • Organic vitamins or multi B vitamins
  • Reflective cones and needles
  • Inhalers for asthma
  • Comfort items such as blankets
  • Treatment for emotional stress
  • Food and fluids like water
  • Puzzles or small toys to comfort kids; calms distress or agitation
  • Toiletries such as deodorants, razors, toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Sunblock and Purell
  • Bug repellent and a survival lighter
  • Aquamira or iodine tablets for water purification
  • Waterproof matches and a CPR pocket mask

Don’t always choose the cheapest options. Some of the best first aid kit supplies might cost a bit more, however can provide you with better help when you most need it!

Red Cross offers a suggestion of first aid kits, supplies and packs that can serve as a fundamental helping hand that you can buy in order to be prepared for the unexpected.

First aid survival pack with severe use marks
The next level of the first aid kit is the survival pack.

Survival first aid kits conclusions

It is probably impossible to foresee all types of emergency situations and therefore have a suited first aid kit prepared for these.

It is even more challenging to have one prepared for each type of hazardous situation out there, however, the common-sense aspect of these context is: time is of essence.

Being able to treat an injury immediately by having the right tools at hand can become a life or death question for you and your dear ones.

Some emergency first aid kits are already available in many varieties out there, but here are some ideas that you can use:

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For more examples, you can check the best rated first aid kits on Amazon, as they offer an insight on the purpose of each of the products, as well as allow to have an overview on the best products on the market on this topic.

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Hi, I'm Russ!

I've been prepping for a long time, but 2020 convinced me that I need to take it to the next level.

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