Tuesday, March 9, 2010

20 Must-Have Items for Your First Aid Kit

I have various sizes of first aid kits, from a tiny one that fits in my briefcase to slightly larger ones for my car and office, to full-fledged trauma medic kits for my home and bug-out-gear box. Here are the basic must-haves for your first aid kit:
  1. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol (acetaminophen). Yes you need all three because they are all used differently.
  2. An assortment of bandages, gauze, and tape.
  3. Alcohol (rubbing alcohol/alcohol wipes).
  4. Acidophilous (great for upset stomach, diarrhea, and the imbalance in your gut common after taking antibiotics).
  5. Benadryl (good for hay fever, allergies, and allergic reactions).
  6. Antibiotic ointment.
  7. Noxema (best sunburn treatment I've come across).
  8. Tweezers.
  9. Utensils: scissors, scalpel, flashlight (penlight), safety pins.
  10. Needles and thread.
  11. Feminine hygiene products (maxi pads and tampons) which are great for wound compresses.
  12. Duct tape--hundreds of uses.
  13. Ziploc bags (also many uses...fill up a bag with water then cut a small piece of the corner away and use for irrigating wounds or eyes).
  14. Things you know how and when to use: Epi Pen, insulin, glucose tabs, salt tabs, nitro tabs, etc).
  15. Thera-flu and vitamin C.
  16. To prevent the spread of infection: nitrile gloves, mouth piece for administering CPR, waterless hand sanitizer.
  17. Broad spectrum antibiotics.
  18. Burn gel or aloe vera.
  19. Other nice to have stuff: AED, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, LMA, etc.
  20. A thorough first aid guide.


  1. That's a great list, now I have to go check my kit, again. Thanks

  2. how do you get antibiotics without a prescription?

  3. I have asked my personal doctor for broad spectrum antibiotics a few times--I told him I would be traveling out of the country and wanted to have something in case I needed it. I also have friends who are doctors who are fine with giving me a prescription (both because they know that I would use it correctly AND because it is not a controlled substance which can open them up to more liability). You can also buy antibiotics over the counter in many countries, and others have suggested buying antibiotics from veterinary sources then calculating the correct dosage for human use.

  4. Great list....I would like to add liquid bandage.

    Its small and quick for painting on cuts and scratches that ALWAYS turn infected when traveling overseas. I use it often when I'm in the jungle.