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/
Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of “homegrown food on every table.” Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her “Grow Your Own Groceries” video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.