I believe that every Prepper has a first aid kit in their Bug-out-bag and at home. It is one of the most necessary items after food and water, as it is part of taking care of our health in times of crisis.
If you are a Prepper with experience in the field of practical medicine, then you know well what products you should have in a first aid kit. And those who have no experience in functional medicine (which is the vast majority), end up buying a cheap first aid kit, relying on the products and items that the manufacturer includes in that kit to make them eye-catching to the buyers.
Unfortunately, the products and items that the manufacturer has chosen for their kits, in most cases, are low-quality products, putting your health at risk, and it becomes a waste of money in the long run. Unless you did your proper research before buying and making sure you bought a perfect quality kit.
Many store-bought first aid kits are made in China. The quality of these kits is proven to be appalling. For example, cut bandages only last for minutes before they start to peel off from the skin. The absorbent speck inside the dressing hardly absorbs when there is a cut. Aspirins, creams, and alcohol pads are also of deficient quality. In short, you get what you pay for and put your health at risk by not having high-quality equipment and products.
First Aid Kit – The Basics
When you are preparing your basic first aid kit, you have to think about everyday and current situations that can happen, and that are not life-threatening. Examples of this would be; slight cuts, small burns, muscle aches, insect bites, eye cleaning, and other situations that immediate medical attention.
Below is a list of essential first aid kits items.
Good quality adhesive bandages in different sizes
Sterilized gauze of different sizes and thickness
Disposable alcohol and non-alcohol wipes
Triple antibiotic cream
Aspirins and tablets for pain (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and others)
Eye cleaning cups and eye cleaning wash.
Scissors for medical use
You can add more things to the list according to your needs, but remember, always taking into account the weight it attaches to the backpack.
Also, learn about natural remedies; they may be handy during survival situations.
Advanced First Aid Kit – The Trauma Kit
There is an essential distinction between a first aid kit and a trauma kit for starters.
The first aid kit is to treat any mild medical situation that does not require immediate medical attention or no medical attention. A first aid kit does not require any training, although it is advisable to familiarize yourself with practical essential teaching videos.
The trauma kit is for treating high-risk medical situations that require immediate medical intervention. It is imperative to stabilize a person’s wounds until professional help (paramedics) arrives.
The trauma kit does need basic trauma training. Certified training is not necessarily required (although it is recommended). But still, the person owning the advanced first aid kit should know how to use or how to apply each item that comes in the bag. There are many videos on YouTube about how to treat trauma cases and some of them with a survivalist mindset.
*** You should not, for any reason, have a trauma kit in your backpack if you don’t know how to use it. You can create more damage to the injured person. ***
The Basics of a Trauma Kit
Tourniquet – Very necessary to stop the flow of blood (major wound) in one of the extremities (arms/legs).
Elastic Pressure Bandages – It’s for when the bleeding wound is not so severe, and direct pressure can help to stop the bleeding.
Chest Patches – To seal puncture wounds in the lung area.
Blood Coagulant – To apply to a bleeding wound before being bandaged.
As the blood coagulates, it is easier to stop the bleeding with direct pressure bandages.
Thermal Blankets – To maintain body temperature and avoid hypothermia.
Triangular Bandage – For wounds in different areas of the body.
Gauze Sponges – For wound cleaning.
So. Which of the two kits should you have? Boricua Prepper recommends having both, as they have different functions. But if you decide to have both, take seriously about wanting to train for the use of trauma kit.
You should have both, your first aid kit and trauma kit be in separate compartments, to have access from outside the backpack for immediate use if necessary. Many preppers use “MOLLE” compartments connected to the main bag and disconnected when needed.
It is essential to emphasize the importance of taking into account the backpack’s final weight when preparing the first aid kit. When making a backpack for one person, it is easier to have a light bag, since the medical equipment needed can be reduced, by omitting some items. But when the bag gets prepared for the family needs as well (and more if there are children), it is more difficult to omit any articles.
It is challenging to avoid the temptation to buy a ready-made first aid kit, but as I said initially, the quality of the content in most purchases is deficient, then you end up paying double.
I recommend that you buy the empty compartments (or MOLLE attachment) and gradually build a good first aid kit. Remember, you may never use your first aid or trauma kit, but if you do, you can, by all means, depend on what you have because you took the time to research and spend the money on good quality products.
Lastly, my preppers, train yourself in skills necessary for survival and first aid, are among them. Find out if there are any government or private agencies that provide free or low-cost training locally. Look for videos on YouTube. And above all things; Practice-Practice, and Practice more.
The more skills you dominate, the more reliable you become. In the worst-case scenario, your expertise becomes an asset in your community. You could also trade your skills for something that you may need (food and water be at the top of the list).
I hope you can take advantage of this article and please share it with family and friends and remember…
These videos allow you to begin the process of self-training in the correct use of some first aid kits/trauma kits.