Why first-aid kits? Accidents happen more often than you’d think. Let me tell you something very important.
Having a first-aid kit is an important part of being prepared and is generally a good idea.
If you’re an adult, you understand well enough that this is true.
At some point in your life, you’ll be in a situation in need of a first-aid kit. No matter what you do. Mishaps happen all the time. It could be a stranger, someone you love, or even yourself. So do yourself a favor and prepare in advance.
For most situations, basic first-aid kits for tending light wounds and scratches will do. When you’re out traveling, you must have at least a basic first-aid kit. Always have one in your bag.
Most kits are brilliantly packed into small enough package. You could just easily slide it into your travel bag without any hassle or worrying.
You might be someone that does a specialized activity and needs a specialized kit.
If you are, keep reading to find a list with which to guide you in building your own DIY first-aid kit. It is also a good idea to learn about applying first-aid and how to properly use the kit’s contents.
It’s also important that whatever first aid kit you choose, make sure to restock and replace whatever contents that were used.
Basic and Lightweight First-Aid Kits
For the general day-to-day activities, most emergencies can be covered with a basic first-aid kit. This is helpful in cleaning light wounds to avoid further infection.
Comprehensive First-Aid Kits
First-aid kits that are almost complete and ready for any kind of emergency are also available. They are a little bigger compared to the basic first-aid kits but can accommodate more needs. This type of kit is ideal for long trips and long-term outdoor activities like camping.
DIY First-Aid Kit Ideas – Build Your Own Kit
But if you need a specialized kit for your activity, you can actually build your own. We’ll try to list the things you need in your kit. You can then use it as a guide and select whatever you need most based on your activity.
For starters, just complete the basic part. Then, do some research about the common mishaps for your activity. Once you have an idea of what you need, you can then hand-pick the advanced section to build your own kit.
Most Basic Inclusions for First-Aid Kit
The following list contains the most basic parts of a first-aid kit. Try to fill your kit with all these items as complete and as much as you can.
- Container or bag – this is important but depending on how you build your kit, this could be chosen first or last.
- A first-aid manual – just having a first-aid kit is only half of the equation, you must also know how to properly use the contents.
- Bandages – this can come in assorted shapes (like strips and butterfly) and sizes, try packing as much as you can.
- Non-stick sterile rolled gauze – these also come in all sorts of sizes and, pack an adequate amount.
- Crepe rolled bandages – have at least one roll in your kit, add more if necessary.
- Elastic wrap bandages – in addition to rolled banded as gauze, elastic bandages are also a good part of a first-aid kit.
- Eyeshield, eye-pad – also called as eye dressing, the kit must have at least two and they must be sterile.
- Triangular bandage – helpful when immobilizing limbs.
- Aluminum finger splint
- Petroleum jelly – or other lubricants.
- Skin rash creams – such as hydrocortisone or calendula.
- Cream to relieve insect bites and stings – this can be in spray or lotion form.
- Antiseptic cream – or antiseptic solution.
- Distilled water – for cleaning wounds.
- Antibiotic ointment
- Eyewash solution
- Soap or hand sanitizer
- Disposable gloves – non-latex, pack in several pairs.
- Towelettes – for various wiping and drying needs.
- Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
- Cotton balls
- Cotton-tipped swabs
- Adhesive tape – and duct tape if space in the bag is not an issue.
- Plastic bags – assorted sizes, pack in several.
- Syringe, medicine cup, or spoon
- Instant cold packs
- Safety pins – assorted sizes
- Scissors and tweezers – for cutting bandages, clothes, and other things.
- Thermometer – put in whatever is easiest to read, preferably digital.
- Breathing barrier
More Advanced First-Aid Kit Ideas
Disclaimer: Building a more advanced kit requires a little bit of technical knowledge in the medical field. I myself am not an expert, especially in the medications section. It is always best to consult your doctor to find out if you have any allergies. Please consult your doctor first before packing anything in the medications section.
Advanced first aid kits are suitable for people or groups of people that do long-term camping and other outdoor activities.
- Aloe vera gel
- Calamine lotion
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antihistamine – such as diphenhydramine.
- Pain relievers or painkillers – such as paracetamol (infant paracetamol for children), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and aspirin (never give aspirin to children).
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Medication for coughs and colds
- Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration
- Auto-injector of epinephrine – only if prescribed by your doctor.
- Emergency phone numbers – including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers, and the poison help line.
- Medical consent forms for each family member
- Medical history forms for each family member
- Emergency space blanket
- Cell phone with solar charger
- Waterproof matches
- Insect repellant
- Small notepad and pen – preferably waterproof
- Flashlight or headlamp – preferably waterproof and with extra batteries
Here’s a video on how to perform basic first-aid and how to use most of the first-aid kit contents.