Saturday, 13 August 2016 Home made first aid kits

Based on comments from a previous post, here is some discussion of basic first aid kits.

FWIW, I like to build my basic kits and my much more capable ‘car kits’ around a makeup organizer or a toiletries organizer. I find them often in thrift stores and yard sales for only a buck or two.

New comments, or additions are in [square brackets]


Dave says:
22 August 2015 at 15:18 (Edit)

Here are the contents of my under $10 first aid kit:

30 clear adhesive bandages
0.33 oz triple antibiotic ointment
50 extra strength acetaminophen tablets
50 alcohol prep pads
5 2×2 gauze pads
5 3×3 gauze pads
5 yards of 1/2″ adhesive tape

Everything listed above fits in a one quart zip top bag.

[I think you are a bit heavy on bandaids, and could use more styles. I like the fabric ones as they stick well. Consider having a couple of sizes of traditional shapes, plus finger tip and knuckle, and at least one big one for a skinned knee.]

nick says:
22 August 2015 at 20:15 (Edit)

Hey Dave, some things to think about adding,

tube of crazy glue (to glue skin, stings like fire but works)
wet naps (get some at chick fil a)
packets of sunscreen (like a condiment pack at fast food, might be in the sample size section of your store)
sunblock chapstick
fewer tablets,
gloves- vinyl if you are worried about latex allergies.

[trauma shears are great, but a good sharp ‘kitchen’ style scissor works well. Any scissor is better than none, as long as it is sharp. For a knife, even a ‘wallpaper’ style disposable box cutter works- the kind with snap off blades. It’s cheap, sharp, and small.]

OR just buy one of these kits. I have several versions and like the quality and what’s included.

The 1.0 kit is a good balance of price and performance.

In general, you are right that you can put together a better kit for the money, but the Adventure Medical kits do a good job of proving that wrong (or LESS right.)


BTW- great job taking that step! Keep adding to your preps!

[I still like the AdvMed kit as a starting point.]

Dave says:
23 August 2015 at 14:06 (Edit)


The first aid kit is intended to go in a vehicle emergency kit, which will be a little stripped down to start with. I’m betting that I’ll be there with a knife and a flash light that I’ll remember to grab the flash light out of the car. The other suggestions look like things I will want to add when I expand the kit.

The things I think are missing:

1. Oral rehydration salts.
2. A splint and a more effective pain reliever than acetaminophen.
3. A weeks supply of my prescription meds.
4. Some loratadine tablets.

The last item is for my wife, and the other things are things I actually could have used at one point or another. On our last vacation, my wife and I both could have used the oral rehydration salts. Would have made the vacation a little less memorable.

[the anti-diarrhea meds are a staple of my kit, and in my briefcase, and my boo boo kit. I don’t think you need anything stronger than Tylenol but you might want to consider fewer Tylenol tabs, and adding a few anti-inflammatory tabs, like Motrin, and a few anti-histamines, like Benadryl. I carry electrolyte salt tablets, for dehydration and hangover relief. Splints are likely overkill, and are pretty easy to improvise. ]

[I also think, due to the changing nature of the threat, that you need to consider gunshot or other trauma, even in a basic kit.   I’d add 2 rolls of Kerlix and a couple of 4×4 gauze pads.

A penlight, a Sharpie marker, and a large safety pin would be good adds too.  An instant cold pack is nice if you have the space.

You can still fit this into a pretty compact package, and it adds a great deal of capability.]

[Medical prep in general is a big topic and deserves more in depth coverage, but I’m gonna limit this post to the basic first aid kit.]




ADDED_____________ 2pm


Finally found a couple of the others, so I’ll make this even more of a mega post!


  • nicksays:

    Ok, I’ll bite, since I’m in serious work avoidance mode.

    And I’ve got my ‘blowout kit’ right here in my range bag.

    Small samsonite toiletries bag, about 2.5x4x7 inches, that unzips in a clamshell and lays flat.

    Loose in the middle,
    israeli bandage
    trauma shears
    medical tape
    maglite (if you use led, it must have good color rendering)
    3 pr gloves

    in the loops on one side
    4x sterile pad, 3×3 folded in half
    1x roll kerlix
    1x roll gauze
    4x sterile pad, 3×3 folded in half
    extra shears

    in the zippered mesh pouch on the other side
    8x assorted size and shape fabric bandaids
    4x alcohol prep pads
    2x single use Povidone-iodine ointment
    4x kleenhanz antimicrobial moist towelettes
    1x envelope of wound closure strips (steri-strips) 8 @3 inches
    2x maxi-pads, full size, generic, no fragrance
    1x package, 2 @4×4 topper dressing sponges
    1x 4×4 Exuderm OdorShield (what I had handy as a chest seal)
    1x black sharpie marker
    1x sheet of paper, folded for notes

    So there is some stuff in there that is not strictly gun shot treatment, but then I don’t have to carry another ‘boo boo’ kit (although I carry my altoids tin one whenever I’m with the kids.)

    The bags in my vehicles are scaled up versions of the blowout kit, and include gorilla tape, more of everything, ice packs, etc. I’d have to get one out to go thru and list it all.


    [OFD asked if that all fit in the Samsonite toiletries bag]

    yep all that fits in the little Samsonite bag. The bag goes into my range bag most of the time. Since I don’t travel with the range bag, the blowout kit goes into my carryon. I checked the TSA rules, and trauma shears meet the rules for allowed scissors, and they didn’t steal them on my last trip.

  • nick says:

    Ok, ‘boo boo kit’ in an altoids tin, goes in pocket whenever I go anywhere with the kids.

    Loose, or in top half

    6x assorted shapes and sizes fabric bandaids, incl one big enough for a scraped knee
    3x sheets of rite-n-rain notepad paper.
    3x imodium anti-diarrhea med

    tucked firmly and completely into the bottom half
    6x alcohol wipes
    1x single use triple antibiotic cream
    1x small tube crazy glue
    4x fabric knuckle bandaids
    1x One third of a paper book of matches
    1x wooden golf pencil
    1x prethreaded sewing needle, 18 inch black thread, wrapped around pencil
    1x lens cleaner wipe
    2x stick of caffinated chewing gum (BlackBlack, from asia)
    1x safety pin

    It is a little puffy, and won’t quite stay closed by itself, so I have a rubber bracelet around the outside (like the ‘live strong’ bracelets)

    I also wrote “med only” on it to remind myself not to put anything with a blade in it so I can take it on the plane.

    If I had a small tweezer, I’d include that too. and since I carry a credit card sized magnifier in my wallet, I don’t need one in my kit.




I like toiletries organizers or cosmetics organizers for medical bags. They fold open flat, sometimes with a pouch that folds out again for a tri fold, they have zippered mesh pouches and elastic loops. They are super cheap at yard sales and thrift stores, and some of them are better quality than the chinese import tactical bags. No external molle, but that’s not a problem. I like them about 8 x 9 x 3 inches for truck bags. Big enough to hold a lot of supplies, small enough to fit under a seat. I wouldn’t recommend the classic ‘dopp’ bag, or any other that just zips open on the top (shaving bag). You want it to fold open and lay flat so you can see everything.



Saturday, 13 August 2016

10:31 – Barbara is off to the wellness center to volunteer for a day-long event for the library reading program. She’s picking up take-out for dinner on her way home.

We made an apple crisp yesterday for our dessert/snack, using apples from the tree in our back yard. We kind of combined two or three different recipes, and it turned out well.

I read Locker Nine: A Novel of Societal Collapse, Franklin Horton’s latest, last night. Unlike most self-published PA novels, Horton’s are well-written and well-edited. He does a professional job all around. This book follows his three-part Borrowed World series, which is also excellent. Amazingly, he writes these things on his lunch hour at his regular job. He’s smart enough to pay for professional editing, layout/formatting, and covers. It shows. His books are indistinguishable from traditionally published books. Of course, none of that would matter if the content wasn’t also professionally done, which it is. This boy can write.

Email overnight from another newbie prepper. I’ll call this one Jason. He’s 33 and his wife, Jessica, is 31. They have a toddler, and another child on the way. They both work, and have a decent middle-class income. They bought a house five years ago, just before his wife found out she was pregnant with their first child. They have a mortgage, two car payments, child-care expenses, and all the other financial commitments typical for a young married couple, but they live within their means. Their home is in a nice suburb of a mid-size city in a metro area of just over 100,000 population. Like most people, they follow the news, and they’re both getting extremely concerned about what’s going on in this country.

A couple weeks ago, they decided to start getting prepared for whatever is coming down the road. They made a Sam’s Club run and stocked up on cases of canned goods and lots of bottled water. Jason and Jessica have both been spending a lot of time browsing prepping sites, and are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they need to think about, buy, and do, and the decisions they need to make. Jason said his top priority at the moment was to buy a gun because they have no means of defending themselves. Neither of them have any experience with guns, and Jason wanted my advice about what to buy.

As is my habit, I answered his direct question first. Since they’re prepping on a budget, I told him that the best and most economical choice for him (and his wife, if he wants a gun for her as well) was a short-barreled pump-action tactical shotgun. For anyone large enough to stand the significant recoil, I said the Best-Buy award in my opinion went to the Mossberg Maverick 88 tactical shotgun in 12 gauge, which can be purchased for under $200. Jason said Jess is “five-foot nothing and 95 pounds dripping wet.” I told him in that case a 12 gauge with heavy buckshot loads is much too much gun for her. The alternatives would be to buy a 20-gauge Remington 870 or Mossberg 500/590 for Jess (or both of them) or to buy reduced power 12-gauge buckshot loads for the Maverick 88. The advantage to both of them using 20 gauge is ammunition commonality. The disadvantage of the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500/590 is that they cost $150 to $250 more than the Maverick 88.

I suggested to Jason that no matter how many and which shotguns they buy, they should buy 100 to 250 rounds of mixed buckshot and rifled slugs for them, along with a bunch of #7-1/2 birdshot rounds that they can use at their local sporting clays range to achieve basic competence with a shotgun. I also suggested that they fire at least a dozen or so rounds of the serious stuff to get accustomed to the difference in recoil between light birdshot rounds and serious defensive rounds.

Other than that, I suggested that their top priority should be securing a reliable long-term supply of water, getting their food stocks built up (including powdered baby formula) and the means to cook that food, and making some provision for staying warm in winter. Jason has been following this blog for several months and Jessica has started reading it, so I’m sure they’ll pick up a lot by osmosis.

Back to science kit stuff. I’m going to make up solutions while Barbara is gone today.