By May 30, 2012 Read More →

EDC First Aid Kit

first-aid-kit

Have you ever gone to the store to buy a first aid kit and find ten different ones and each one has a little of what you would expect ONE kit to have?  You also might notice that they are WAY over priced for the material, or lack of, which they possess.  Many people know they need a first aid kit for their homes, their cars or their offices, but when it comes to picking the right one it becomes very frustrating.

The first thing I always suggest is to know what you can do medically.  Obviously, if you’re an EMT, nurse, or doctor you could go with one of the more elaborate first aid kits with suture kits, stethoscope and so on, but most of us don’t have that degree of medical training.  Unless you plan on becoming trained in these areas, I would say to eliminate that sort of kit from your thought process.

You will likely come across first aid kits that have in big bold letters “250 Piece First aid kit.”  Read what’s in these carefully.  Most of these easily contain 100 or more different styles of band aids that you can buy for 5 dollars.  You will find things such as 3- medicated ointment packs, 3 alcohol pads, 10 aspirin/ibuprofen tablets, 2 burn cream ointments packets and the list goes on.  The truth is, a lot of what is in the so called kits you already have at home and it is  more economical than what you would get in a kit.  That is why I prefer, and recommend, making your own kit verses buying one.  The price range on pre-made kits can go anywhere from $20 to $200.

I am going to list a few of the items that comes in these expensive kits that I had laying around the house so you can get a better idea of the money you will save by making your own basic kit.  If you have kids, you will probably have most of these as well. :)

  • Small Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton Tip Applicators (q-tips put in zip lock baggie)
  • Cotton balls (put these in zip-lock baggie)
  • Aspirin and Non Aspirin Pain Relievers/Fever Reducers
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Ipecac (to induce vomiting if poisoned)
  • Allergy medicine
  • Calamine lotion (for poison ivy type rashes)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sting Relief Stick (for bug bites)
  • Alcohol Pads
  • Tube of Burn Cream (you usually get these in 3 small packets for one time use)
  • Multiple Types of Band Aids, including waterproof band aids (put into zip-lock baggies)
  • Neosporin  (also comes as hydro-cortisone packets)
  • Thermometer
  • Needle, matches to sterilize
  • Small spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • travel hand sanitizer
  • bandanas/ sling
  • Ace Bandage
  • Chigger X

Leaving me to buy:

  • finger splints ($3 at walmart)
  • instant cold pack (.99 at walmart depending on the brand and how many you buy)
  • gauze pads (about $4 at walmart)
  • gauze tape  ($2)
  • examination gloves (big box was $3, I keep about 6 pair in a Ziploc baggie)
  • emergency whistle (.99 at walmart)
  • First aid manual (free print on internet)
  • one way valve to administer CPR or a CPR mask ($7 at walmart)
  • snake bite kit ($10 at walmart)

So I spent about $35 to complete a much better kit than a store bought one.  The items I had at home (that you can still purchase) I preferred to use because instead of getting 3 small packs of neosporin in a kit, I got a tube of it which would last much longer.  The same applies to the sting stick for bug bites, burn cream, hydrogen peroxide, calamine lotion, etc.  I am sure you can see how a homemade kit would produce a lot more than a store bought one for a fraction of the price.

I did not get all of this stuff at the same time.  I put it together as I found the things around my house or found things on sale.  For instance, Walmart frequently has things on sale in boxes in the middle of the store in front of the register.  Things like allergy medicine, creams, fever reducer, medicated powders, etc.. for $.88.  When I catch these sales, I will buy about 5 of the item I want and then take one or two and put it in the first aid kit.  The Dollar General, is another good place to shop for these items if you want to buy them cheap.

If you add all of these items up from both lists combined, then you will be paying about the same for an already made first aid kit.  The difference is …..you will get triple the amount of product so you are able to make multiple kits.  One for your car, home camping trip etc.  All you have to do is get one of those old back packs or messenger bags lying around the house and put the stuff in it.

If you intend to go camping or trail hiking, then you will want to add a few more things to your bag.  We add things like: individual person medications, antibiotics, glow sticks, signal mirrors, 2,400 cal food bars, emergency water packets, anything you feel you might need in case of an emergency.

Just remember, if you decide to buy or build a kit yourself, always replace the items you use.  It helps if you keep an inventory sheet of your items, and as you use them, keep record so you know if you need to buy more when running low.  (That is more for OCD people like me lol)  I hope this will help you decide on what sort of first aid kit you want to buy or build for your family.

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Please visit My Store: Jalapeño Gal’s Survival Surplus

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About the Author:

Cari is an editor and author for American Preppers Network. Her family currently live in Georgia. Cari spends her free time gardening, canning, testing products for review, helping other prepare and attending church. She believes preparedness is about love and taking care of your family. Click Here! Please Join My New Blog! Check out my Preparedness Store! Keepin It Spicy, Jalapeño Gal!!

7 Comments on "EDC First Aid Kit"

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  1. Beginning to Prep II - American Preppers Network | October 24, 2012
  1. No doubt it is far better to put together your own kit, not only to save money but to have something that is actually useful. Leave the pre-made kits to those who choose not to know any better. :)

  2. Kathleen O'Meal says:

    Those of us you use first aid packs on a regular basis in all types of conditions are pretty picky about what is in these kits. My preference is “stat pak” like first-aid kits. These are expensive so I make my own and I have pictures of these. (Wal Mart has a great red luggage on wheels that works fantastic and you can hook these into a good shoulder harness for switching to back pack style. My stashed away from home and underground packs are comprehensive and designed to start setting up a home over again or surviving on the run options. My grab and go packs are the same as is my car pack. I use the same principles of organization for my home kits. That is, I put these together in separate fast access contained sub packs organized in categories. I have a well labeled pack with personal protective gear. This one snaps on to the outside of my main pack for immediate access.

    I have a seperate pack that houses all of my airway and breathing equipment (intubation/suction/common airways/trach access/etc..)labeled and colored flouresent for ease to see at night if all lighting fails. Then I assemble and well pack a Wound Kit (bandaging/sutures/all wound care items, etc.) I keep a seperate burn kit with particular items that do overlap into wound care a bit, but have proven hugely appropriate in a seperate kit. I have a shock/hypothermia kit (fast warming devices, fast blow up pillows/wedges to elevate/etc..). I use an orthopedic kit that houses splints/etc.. I have an allergy/poison kit (everything from animal/insect/plant reactions to sever medication reactions/lots of common antidotes). I have an OB/GYN kit. I have a fluid replacement kit with everything from IV equipment to dry mixes and water distillation equipment to set up IV fluid replacement as well as oral rehydration. There’s more, but you get the idea. Each of these smaller Color coded and labeled sub packs fits inside the big red pack that I take to the side of someone in trouble. It is vital to be able to have what you need at the side of whoever needs this. You can buy stat pak componants or packing cubes or any other container that is fast access and will allow you to pack your whole sub kits in one large pack, etc

    The same thing goes at home. Even my medicine cabinet is organized the same way and in seperate little totes. So if someone gets cut at home, which happens often, I can take a fairly comprehensive first aid wound treatment tote right to the site immediately. This way I am not fishing around for what I need and it makes keeping track of inventory and rotating out stuff easier and faster. It also makes cleaning cabinets a breeze. And, even if you do not know how to use some stuff, there may be someone around who is trained and will need what you pack. That said there are a few items I carry with me or keep close by no matter where I am.

    I use a very comprehensive list of items to choose from that are all listed within categories for packing in a prioritized way.
    This list has come after years of experience of providing first aid in the field and in the Hospital setting.

  3. Swiss Guy says:

    Great article…. on a side note – once you have all your stuff together, you might want to put it in a bag that actually indicates its a first aid kit…. (and not a swiss flag)

  4. RTGold_TX says:

    Some websites I use to keep my CLS bag stocked and the Aid Kits at work supplied:

    http://www.buyemp.com/category/first-aid-kits

    http://www.chiefsupply.com/Categories/169-First-Aid-Supplies.aspx

    First aid supplies are relatively cheap if you’ve got the time to comparison shop online.  I usually start off with a purchase of a 25 or 50 person OSHA kit.  I cross level that kit with my CLS bag and stock both with supplies that I need and know how to use purchased separately. The box kit goes in the truck, the CLS kit is part of my 72hr kit and a small butt pack carries my personal first aid stuff.  The home kit is in a big Tackle box I got from Wal mart.  watertight and secure, with smaller divided boxes that can be pulled out for minor stuff without opening the big main compartment and exposing the bigger kit items.

  5. VetMike says:

    Good article Cari. I agree that one’s kit should include what is appropriate for one’s skill level. I am an Emergency Physician so my “stock” is much more extensive than one might see otherwise. I was asked what someone could do to better their first aid skills and I advised that they take the DOT EMT course. It is one hundred hours of training that gives one the basics needed to ride an ambulance. Further, there are several web sites that supply EMT Kits and supplies, the EMS Store is a good one to start with.  Keep up the good work!