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Emergency Preparation: Basic First Aid Kit - April 30th 2014

There are many good commercial first aid kits or you can make up your own.

  1. Every able person in the household should take a basic first aid course and update their first aid knowledge every five years.
  2. Every household should have a large first aid kit for home use and small first aid kit for each vehicle. All first aid kits should be out of the reach of children.
  3. Each home and vehicle should have first aid reference materials.
  4. Once or twice a year replace any used or damaged medical supplies. Never buy medical supplies your don't know how to use.
  5. A good first aid kit should be personalized to fit your family's unique medical needs. This would include any medications for chronic health conditions.

A first aid kit is best stored in a dry place in the house or vehicle. Many first aid kits are stored in a soft or hard shell water-proof container. Some have compartments to organize supplies which is a nice feature but not necessary.

There are many good commercial first aid kits or you can make up your own. Here is an example of a beginner's first aid kit for an individual or small family:

  • soft or hard shell water-proof container
  • first aid booklet
  • personal medication
  • small sewing kit (needles, pins, safety pins and strong thread)
  • 6-10 fabric bandages
  • 4 fabric knuckle bandages
  • 1 small bottle peroxide or Lugol's iodine solution
  • 1 nail clipper with file
  • 1 waxed dental floss, 50m
  • 4 sterile gauze dressings, 10x10cm
  • 4 sterile gauze dressings, 5x5cm
  • 1 roll Micropore tape 2.5cm
  • 5 cotton balls
  • 4 cotton tip applicators
  • 1 elastic bandage with Velcro 7.6cm
  • 10 antiseptic wipes
  • 4 sterile butterfly closures
  • 1 splinter picker/tick remover
  • 2 triangular bandage
  • 1 pair Latex or Nitrile gloves

SOS TIP:GO BOX Storage wants to help with your emergency preparation. To help with your emergency preparation GO BOX Storage is having a giveaway on Facebook. On May 16, 2014 GO BOX Storage will be giving away an Adventure Medical Day Tripper First Aid Kit on Facebook. Watch for the giveaway!

SOS TIP:If you don't use Facebook but would still like to enter to win, finish the following sentence in the comment section below: I'd like an Adventure Medical Day Tripper First Aid Kit because… (your answer). We need your answer to the question so we know who wants to win!

SOS TIP: I have been making up first aid kits for over 25 years for my business and family. My trauma kit has many of the items listed above. Over time my trauma kit has been getting simpler, with more everyday items and less specialized medical supplies. If you are interested in an alternative medicine kit please see Homemade Medical Kit.

SOS TIP: If you are making up your own first aid kit, consider carrying Wilderness and Travel Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide by Dr Eric Weiss.

For more information please see the Emergency Preparation Series.

Updated September 17, 2016: After 14 weekends of camping this year, I have made a number of important changes to my first-aid kit. This was due to a number of minor injuries I sustained this summer. I now always carry ionic silver gel for minor cuts and infections which replaces the standard antibiotic cream. I have also added a emergency eye wash cup and a second nail clipper with file.