A First-Aid kit is a requirement when the situation demands that you act to survive. You will want to have separate First-Aid kits for your vehicles, your home, your workplace, and for vacation homes or recreational vehicles. Your employer may already have a First-Aid kit available at your workplace, but if you rely on this you will have to depend on someone else to keep it updated and supplied, and you may not have first priority or easy and immediate access to it.
Every good First Aid kit should include a First Aid manual. Many First-Aid kits available for purchase come with some form of First-Aid manual, but you may wish to purchase a more complete reference manual.
If you are creating your own First-Aid kit and you are not a trained professional a good First-Aid manual is essential. Visit this page for more information on First-Aid Manuals.
Purchased or DIY First-Aid Kit
You have two basic options for your First-Aid kit: you may wish to purchase a pre-assembled First-Aid kit or, if you are the do-it-yourself type, you may wish to make one of your own.
Whichever way you proceed, review the contents of your First Aid kit annually and replace any used, out-dated, or expired items. See below for a list of suggested items that a First-Aid kit should contain.
Purchased First-Aid Kit
If you don’t want to go to the bother of assembling your own kit you can buy one that is already fully supplied. There are many good First Aid kits available.
Do-It-Yourself First-Aid Kit
If you are making your own first aid kit, it should be contained in something water-proof, dust-proof, and easy to carry such as a fishing tackle box. You can use a small back pack if you first place the first aid supplies inside a waterproof container and then place the waterproof container inside the backpack.
If you wish to make your own First-Aid kit take a look at the following list of suggested supplies to include in your kit.
Suggested First Aid Supplies
- First aid manual
- Waterless, alcohol-based hand sanitizer or germicidal hand wipes
- 2 or more absorbent compress dressings 5″ x 9″
- Package of adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- 10 sterile gauze pads (5 each 3″ x 3″ and 4″ x 4″)
- 2 triangular bandages
- 1 roll of adhesive cloth tape (10 yards long x 1″ wide)
- 2 rolls gauze bandage (1-3″ wide, 1-4″ wide)
- Antiseptic wipes
- Sterile cotton balls
- Hydrogen peroxide to wash and disinfect wounds
- Cotton swabs
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Hydrocortisone ointment or cream
- Packets of aspirin, acetaminophen (paracetamol,) and ibuprofen
- Over-the-counter antihistamine
- Prescriptions and any long-term medications (keep these current)
- Paper cups (for water to take medications)
- Eye drops and eye wash cup
- Nitrile gloves, 2 pair minimum, large (like those used by doctors)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury and non-glass)
- Pocket knife
- Needle and thread
- Small plastic resealable bags
- Breathing barrier with one-way valve (for CPR)
- Bar soap
- Light-weight thermal blanket (mylar, space blanket, etc.)
- Instant cold packs for sprains
- Instant heat packs
- Ace bandage
- Safety pins
Extras, if you have room:
- Anti-diarrhea medicine
- Antacid tablets
- Anti-gas tablets
- Splinting materials
- Sunscreen (SPF 15 minimum)
- Insect repellent
- Magnifying glass