The 5 Minute Prepper #12: 8 Items You May Have Overlooked For Your First-Aid Kit

By Rob Hanus

 If you don’t have any FAKs or want to run a quick check on them, I suggest starting here: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/category/first-aid-medical/

 Once you have a basic first aid kit, consider adding these 8 items:

1.  Liquid Bandage – Surprisingly, many people still don’t know about this item. Liquid bandage, like New Skin, is just like it sounds.  Apply 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. Very convenient and unlike typical bandages, it is waterproof.

2. 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 mentioned above, in that when you apply it to a dry wound, it will hold the cut together. The glue doesn’t go into the wound, it’s suppose to go over the wound. Hold the cut closed 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

3.  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 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.

4.  Hand Sanitizer – You can’t always wash your hands in the wilderness, but you can sanitize them with 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 gelled alcohol).

5.  Safety Pins – This seems like it would be a common item to find in first aid kits, but you’d 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. Their safety design makes them easy to carry in your kit. A non-medical use for safety pins is when you lose a button on your shirt or pants.

6.  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. It is always best to immobilize a broken or severely sprained finger. They are also good for kindling if you need to make a fire.

7.  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. A Navy corpsman friend of mine prefers to use the self adherent bandage or cling wrap. 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.

8.  Hemostatic agent – There are several brand names, like QuikClot, Celox, and HemCon. These products quickly cause the blood to clot, stopping the bleeding much faster. They 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.


Rob Hanus is the author of the book “The Preparedness Capability Checklist” which is an easy to read book with the absolute best method for intelligent and deliberate prepping. Rob is also host of the Preparedness Podcast.

You can get the Rob’s book here http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/capability-checklist/

and tune into Rob’s podcast here: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/preparedness-podcast/


(Visited 502 times, 1 visits today)

Categorised in: , ,

This post was written by Marjory


  • grammyprepper says:

    Duck Tape! It should be in any BOB, but it has a lot of first aid applications as well! Agree with your caveats about superglue. A basic sewing kit can serve as a temporary stitching kit, or some needles and very fine fishing line.

    DH works construction, and asked me to put together a basic FAK for him to keep in his tool bag. For $10, I bought hand sanitizer, wipes, misc sized band aids, ATB ointment, gauze pads and eye wash, as well as a cheap plastic pencil box to put it all in. Not comprehensive, obviously, but what he needs for his situation. Obviously, you can personalize FAKs to your situation.

    1. Scott says:

      I agree that band-aids are a much better solution than pads and tape for small wounds, especially those to fingers. The duct tape is a good idea, especially for heavier jobs like splinting a leg; although it is bulky. Eye wash is also a good idea, but sterile saline would work as well and could be used to irrigate wounds. A sewing kit is essential for large wounds – I carry a plastic container of dental floss with a needle inside, which is small, self-contained, and sterile. I’m not accustomed to carrying wipes, but can see how they would be handy – I carry bandanas (a cowboy’s best friend) for that function along with hand sanitizer. Of course, there many other things that would be good to have for emergencies, but the objective is to keep it small and lightweight.

  • Roberta Watkins says:

    As to the self adhesive bandages, they can be quite expensive to just a small amount at the drug store. you can get larger rolls, much cheaper, and in a variety of colors at a feed store or vet supply store.

  • gena says:

    I had most of these items. I also have included some inexpensive items purchased from either Amazon, as add on items, or from Emergency Essentials. I recently bought a couple of splints for broken bones, and I have smaller splints for broken or sprained fingers. Very inexpensive, and could be essential. I also have a couple containers of eye wash solution for use if a person gets something in their eye(s). I also bought cheap items from Amazon to put “staples” to close wounds, and a staple removed. Both are sold as pet vet supplies, but work just as well on humans. If you have an ugly wound and no doctor or nurse around, they are not that hard to figure out and could be essential. You can also buy suture sets on Amazon.com. If you know how to sew, you can suture, with extra care for keeping out infection.

    1. Pogo says:

      Gina & Others: If you want a FREE splint. Next time you empty a bleach bottle or similar shaped bottle save it. Clean it out. Dry it. Cut off the top at the point it begins to taper. (save that for a free funnel) Then cut off the bottom. (for a free saucer for your plants or small paint project) Now you have a tube with both ends open. Cut the tube vertically (up and down). Now you have a long piece of plastic that is fairly stiff. Hold the plastic down to overcome its tendency to go back to its original shape. While holding the ends down, curl it the other way so you have a long skinny tube instead of a short fat tube. Place it around a leg or arm. Then tape it in place. A guy teaching first aid showed us this. he keeps several different sizes in his FAK. He places them on the outside perimeter of the inside of the kit Like a lining. They help hold the bag shape and keep it open when needed.

      1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

        Ohh! Nice tip. Thanks Pogo.

  • Darryl C. says:

    Finger splints – Popsicle sticks.. Self adhesive bandages.- Live near a Co-op or near a rural farming area… They come in many colors in the horse wrap area… Liquid bandage, super glue, tampons etc, hand sanitizer… Big Lots or dollar stores…

  • Sylvie says:

    An alternative to an expensive hemostatic agent would be granulated sugar. Pour it on and compress it with a bandage. The sugar clots the blood, but doesn’t last as long as the medical agent.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.