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What's in your first aid kit?

Posts: 497
Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
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After an injury last week to my dog that made me realize that I hadn't restocked my first aid kit after the LAST medical misadventure -I'm restocking my car/backpacking first aid kit, and also creating a separate "in house" first aid kit. In a panic, I've realized I do not remember to go down to my car to grab the kit there.

I went to the store, intending to buy a "fully stocked" first aid kit from the pharmacy - and was unimpressed with what I found there. $40 buys you a bag with a lot of bandaids and plastic tweezers - but I don't use bandaids!

I figure most of the people on permies are also in the camp of keeping a well stocked first aid kit, capable of dealing with a variety of injuries around.

So here's what I keep in my first aid kit, what do you keep in yours?

- A variety of sizes of gauze pads and non adherent pads, from quite small to quite large.
- Hypafix or similar adherent dressing - I use this instead of bandaids and instead of medical tape, because it's flexible, hypoallergenic, breathable, and does a better job of sealing gauze pads to the skin.
- Vet wrap, several rolls.
- Two small vials of saline solution. Never used them, but for use cleaning an eye if necessary
- Alchohol wipes
- Tiny bottle of hydrogen peroxide, to induce vomitting in the dog if I ever need to
- Triangular bandages, min. 2.
- Decent tweezers and small scissors
- Butterfly bandages to close small wounds
- Rolled gauze
-Vinyl gloves
- Instant cold pack

Basic meds:
-Benadryl, in case of major allergic reaction
- Gravol (chewable)
- Antibiotic ointment

Backpacking specific stuff:
- A filtration straw
- Reflective blanket
- Hand warmer things
- Rehydration salts
Posts: 3119
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Electrical tape and napkins are my goto for any bleeding injury.
I'm not saying its in any way adaquate but , it' is surprisingly effective,and much better than band aids.
Posts: 276
Location: New Zealand
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I always have a tourniquet and haemostatic gauze when trekking or riding my motorcycle.
Odds are I'll get squashed by a car who hasn't looked but it's a start.
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Posts: 3953
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Catie, that is a great list of things to have.  I added a few of them to my shopping list, like the saline solution.

I would suggest adding some herbs and essential oils. And tea bags and/or cayenne to stop bleeding. Aloe vera for burns.

Here is a thread on making an Herbal first aid kit:


And this is a great list of explanation from Wellness Mama about the different herbs for a Natural First Aid Kit:


Catie George
Posts: 497
Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
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William - I much prefer paper towel and duct tape, but each to their own :D

Drew - They've stopped teaching how to use a tourniquet in Canadian first aid courses, and including them in first aid kits, citing that they cause more damage than they are useful. I'm a bit skeptical of that (especially since I often live/work/travel in remote areas). I was shown once how to improve one with a stick and a triangular bandage, and always figured I'd do that in an emergency. Good idea on the heemostatic gauze - I'd not heard of that before.

Anne - thanks for those links! Always good to know about herbal/more natural remedies

Posts: 279
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Great topic.

Off the top of my head - its in the car:

Anica montana, homeopathc and gel
Tecnu poison ivy scrub
Essential oils; lavendar, tea tree, helicrysum, thieves, camomile,
Dentek dental repair kit
Hydrogen peroxide - great for disinfecting and making dogs vomit
Ace bandage
Big square cloth for sling or pressure
Yarrow flowers, dried
rescue remedy
Similisan complete eye care relief
Black cumin oil
Lenghth of rope
Cotton balls
Witch hazel
Betadine solution
Ratcheting tie down straps
Liquid skin
Finger cots
Dental floss
L theonine
Willow extract
Grapefruit seed extract

Posts: 394
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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I used to use the hydrogen peroxide for inducing vomiting in dogs; now use heavily salted water per vet suggestion - foaming HP can be inhaled much to easily and is not kind to lungs.

You have a great list, including the vet wrap, love that stuff! A few extras I deem must haves are listed below.

10 ml syringe for flushing

Instead of saline single use I now use hydraSense baby nasal spray - it is ideal as an eye wash, wound flush, or nasal flush and is sterile with just enough velocity that it is between a mist and a spray.

Eye antibiotic and QTIPS for applying.

Immodium, Ibuprofen and a small stash of prescription/daily use meds and supplements.

Baby wipes/Paper Towels (to dry area after cleaning a wound).

Small bottle surgical scrub (chlorehexidine wash - often pink - my bottle is called dexiden4 detergent)
Non adherent pads (telfa)

NexCare waterproof bandages (nothing like regular "bandaids!)

Paper Tape.

Tube Gauze and applicator: super versatile for fingers and paws, works for compression too if done tight enough.

Finger cots (think finger condom).

Small amount of flour/cornstarch to staunch blood flow.

Bandage scissors (short blades, angled handle, blunt tip)

Duct tape - great for a million things, but especially for splints, alone or with bracing from sticks, magazines etc.

Most areas have a industrial safety store - vests, first aid, fire, earthquake kits etc. They have wicked first aid sections where you will find all sorts of cool stuff. But I agree, most 'ready to go' first aid kits are expensive and full of crap.

Note: always put ointment on sterile bandage or Qtip, not the wound, to prevent contamination, and yes, chuck out the nearly full tube when it is expired.
Posts: 1800
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I have a few a bunch of first aid kits, strategically placed and geared for where they are. There is one in my motorcycle pack, with things like activated charcoal, calendula hydrosol, aspirin, caffine tablets, bandanas (to use as a tourniquet, wound dressings, wash cloths, or various other things), mirror, a small razor-sharp knife, a lighter, a sealed bottle of water...
But, I've also got them in both of our cars, both bathrooms, the goat barn, the hen house, my travel 'go-bag', our BOBs, and GHBs. The ones in the house are the most comprehensive, the ones in my 'purse'  and puppy-kit, are the smallest...
Posts: 3576
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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If someone more medically-versed than I can chime in, that would be appreciated, but I understand the crux of the issue with tourniquets is that when improperly applied, they do damage to the veins and arteries. Once that occurs, the rest of the limb is useless unless surgery is performed fairly soon thereafter, to the point that amputation is often the result.

But I suppose that if you're bleeding out and can't stop the bleeding any other way, you're up Shit Creek anyways, right? Rather lose a limb and keep my life, personally.

My first aid kit, survival kit, and survival tin are all straight out of The SAS Survival Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman. I have separate stashes of critical seed stores, mostly medicinals that I would have a hard time finding in a long-term survival emergency. This thread has a lot of good herbal information.

Posts: 296
Location: West Virginny and Kentuck
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Excellent thread.  Taking notes now.

My contributions:

For assist in eye cleansing, these antique eye cups are easily found and inexpensive:

For insect stings, I have a spice jar of meat tenderizer (sting poison is a protein; the enzymes break it down rapidly.) and a spray bottle of benedryl to combine and apply.

I hadn't heard of Tecnu for poison ivy.  I introduced Impatiens capensis, Orange jewelweed, to my property, so it is available for the entire growing season.  (It's a great introduced plant; rapidly went wild, even on the ridgetop.)  Just grab a handful, and rub on the exposed skin. There are local ladies who incorporate it into soap, in case it's needed in the winter.
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