This tip was brought to you the folks over at the Preparedness Podcast. Even though we offer for purchase various first aid kits in our Not Just Food store we are always promoting making you’re own first aid kits and bags. You can make them personal and who knows you better you? If you would feel better purchasing a ready made kit and add items to it, that is okay just as long as you have one. Having a well-stocked first aid kit (FAK) is a given. You should have one in your home and one in your vehicle, as well as your emergency packs.
Once you have a basic first aid kit, consider adding these 8 items: Liquid Bandage Though this has become more popular, surprisingly, many people still don’t know of this item. Liquid bandage, like New Skin, is just like it sounds: you apply a the liquid to a small wound and within minutes, it dries into a protective bandage. It’s good for keeping out dirt, germs and water. Super Glue This is a common household item that also has a use in first aid. You can buy the expensive, prescription-only version called Dermabond, but it’s far cheaper to use a common tube of super glue. This works a lot like the liquid bandage above, in that you apply it to the wound and when it’s dry, it will hold the cut together. The glue doesn’t go into the wound, it’s suppose to go over the wound. Basically, you hold close the cut and apply the glue over it, to bond the two sides together. Most people do this wrong and don’t wait long enough for the glue to dry.
Just make sure not to use super glue on the following: eyes, lips, genitals, wounds with a high risk of infection like animal bites, and deep wounds that involve damage to muscles or tendons Tampons and Maxi-pads While using these for their normal role is one aspect, they also have uses in first aid. Tampons are good for plugging up puncture wounds, like bullet holes, and the pads make good dressings. Just make sure you get the non-scented type so you’re not injecting the scent chemical into the wound. Hand Sanitizer You can’t always wash your hands in the wilderness, but you can sanitize them with the common alcohol hand sanitizer. This is good to use both before treating wounds and after your hands have been covered in blood. As an aside, it’s also a very good fire starter (it’s basically gelled alcohol).
Safety Pins This seems like it’s a common item to find in first aid kits, but you would be surprised at how many kits don’t have these. Not only can you hold bandages in place with these, but they are also good for digging out splinters. They’re safety design makes them easy to carry in your kit. A non-medical use for them is when you lose a button on your shirt or pants. Tongue Depressors While common in pediatrician’s offices, you should have a few of them in your FAK, too. The main use for them is as a finger split. A broken or severely sprained finger is best to immobilize it. They’re also good for kindling if you need to make a fire Self Adherent Bandage Most of us have probably learned that the way to dress a wound is to put gauze dressing on it, then wrap in gauze roll bandage and secure with a safety pin, or tuck the end under one of the wraps.
In talking to a Navy corpsman, it seems that it’s preferred to use the self adherent bandage or cling wrap, sometimes called by its brand name Coban. This wrap looks much like an Ace bandage, only that it clings to itself. This makes it far easier to wrap, unwrap and rewrap a wound, as you’re not having to mess around with pins or other fasteners. A few rolls of these and some maxi-pads and you have some excellent field dressings.
Hemostatic agent These go under several brand names, like QuikClot, Celox, and HemCon. What they do is quickly cause the blood to clot, stopping the bleeding much faster. These are best used in large wounds where the risk of death from blood loss is high. These can be more expensive than other first aid items, but they literally can mean the difference between life and death in severe trauma. Whether you’re making a new kit or adding to your existing kit, the items above can add to the functionality of your first aid kit. This preparedness tip was brought to you by the Preparedness Podcast. Please feel free to share this tip with your friends, family and preparedness group!