Following on from my earlier post about Trauma Kit´s and how, after an incident in which I cut myself quite badly, I decided to separate my First Aid Kit into two kits, one for minor to serious Trauma that can be reached for in an emergency and easily opened and the other, for all the general first aid type of thing.
Over the years, I have assembled quite a range of items that I have found useful from time to time while away on trips around the world and even at home. This is my general First Aid Kit and I came up with the following considerations before building it
- It must be small and light enough that it does not take up too much space and is not therefore a candidate for ¨weight saving¨ when I am looking to save weight
- It must be contained within a waterproof bag
- The Items within should allow me to keep body in reasonable condition in the event of a minor injury or sickness
- Some items have been added that are there simply to improve my quality of life
- Have enough items within that I can treat other people without running out of items for myself
- Be designed to work in conjunction with a separate Trauma Kit
Like the Trauma Kit, Our First Aid Kit must be configured to meet the likely threats that we will face and these may differ depending on what we are doing and where we are located. This kit here is designed to be used in Temperate regions, in a Bushcraft type environment eg; somebody spending several days in a remote location, camping and far away from doctors and hospitals.
- Lip Balm – having dry, sore, chapped lips can be very uncomfortable, I seem to experience this in cold or windy climates and have learned to make sure that I have some with me at all times
- Small LED head torch¨
- Tweezers, sharp folding scissors and assorted safety pins – These are contained in a sealed bag to keep them together
- Shears for cutting clothes
- Surgical Tape for affixing dressings
- Elasticated support bandage – This is also useful for handling snake bites in tropical countries
- Oral Rehydration salts – Useful when sweating a lot or when you have diarrhea. When the body looses fluid by sweating or diarrhea, it looses salts that are essential for maintaining the sodium level in the body. Replacing these is essential.
- Small tube of high factor Sun Block. Even in cold climates, the sun can take a nasty toll on exposed skin, sun burn or even skin cancer are best avoided at all costs
- Antihistamine insect bite relief cream. Useful when you are having trouble sleeping due to the infuriating effects of itchy insect bites. This stuff is very effective.
- A small ¨open and shake¨ hand warmer. When very cold, treating cold injury or somebody in shock, It may not be possible to reheat them immediately, this can help to warm the affected area until a fire can be built
- Bandage designed for use around the hand
- Bandage designed for use around the elbow or knee
- General purpose bandage
- Triangular bandage – used for creating slings
- Bag of mixed medications. At the moment, this kit is configured for a temperate but Boreal environment, it is very cold, below zero. The bag contains several courses of Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Codeine, Dihydrocodiene for pain management, Loperamide for diarrhea, any regular medications that I will need and some Diphenhydramine as an antihistamine for allergies. IN warmer climates I might include antibiotics and anti malarial medications
- 2 bottles of clean water for wound irrigation and eye wash
- Large, water proof plasters (band aids)
- Antiseptic wipes
- A range of compeed blister pads
- A range of plasters for cuts, including extra long finger plasters
- Low absorbent wound dressing, large
- Low absorbent wound dressing, small
- Steri Strips – for wound closure
- Burn Gel – for treating (cooling) minor burns in the absence of enough cold water
- Small water proof dry bag to store it all in
- Small lock bag to essentially double bag it all – everything goes inside this and then this goes inside the red dry bag.
Note that where practical, I have put separated the items and put them into their own smaller plastic bags, this helps to keep it all organised, clean and dry.
There is usually a small bottle of iodine in there. I use a small atomiser so that I can spray a wound to disinfect it.
There are few items in this kit that can be used to treat trauma injuries, I have that covered in a separate kit which you can see here in part 1
A decent First Aid kit helps a lot but it does not compensate for a lack or training or knowledge on the subject. I can´t recommend enough that you get some training on Wilderness First Aid, Rescue Emergency Care or Remote Medicine as a priority. We don´t need this knowledge until we need it but when we need it, we really need it!