First Aid Kit, Exposure, Hygiene
Its probably pretty apparent that you should carry supplies to care for the most common sorts of injuries: cuts, insect bites, sunburn, nausea, allergies, headaches and have on hand any specific medications your family members may require. There are several pre-made bug out bag first aid kits on the market, and it is a good start, but consider supplementing them with other items based on your expected use case in your region. For example: if you live in an area inundated by mosquitoes nearly year-round bug-spray is high on your list.
Make sure you've got a good backup supply of and daily medications needed. Ask your doctor to push your supply out to at least 90 days if possible. Then get in the habit of rotating the newer medications into your bug out bag, and start taking the older ones - that way you don't have to worry about them expiring.
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Adventure Medical Kits
An easy to carry first aid kit that's lightweight and waterproof which covers you for cuts and some medications. Lots of gauze and tape. If you don't want the effort to make your own, this gets you going quick. Designed for 1 person for 4 days, so depending on the size of your family you may need the bigger ones.
UST B.A.S.E. Case
Anodized aluminum capsule with a screw top cap and O-ring for a waterproof seal. Lots of ways to use these, but we like it for backup medication containers because we can color code them.
Badger Balm Anti-Bug Spray
No synthetic chemicals, DEET or petroleum products. Why would you spray that crap on you if you could avoid it? Hey gasoline will keep the bugs off but I ain't spraying it on my skin, knowwhatimsayin? Keeps the mosquitoes and flies at bay. Not as good as Gandalf but it'll do.
Badger SPF 35 Sunscreen
Being over exposed to the sun can really set you back: headaches, fatigue, and pain. So sunscreen is important, even in snow. We like this Badger cream because it has just 5 ingredients. Water & sweat resistant for at least 80 minutes of swimming or activity. 100% Certified Natural and 94% Certified Organic.
What are we buggin out from?
So if you are reading this far, its probably safe to assume that you have given some thought to the possible scenarios you could face in an unpleasant evacuation scenario. We wont go through all of them here (why invoke something no-bueno?) but lets look at some of the gear you need to have handy just in case, in addition to the items in your bug out bag first aid kit.
We have written an article which goes into greater detail with on the proper use of these items, and how to protect against contamination. Read the full article here.
iOSAT Potassium Iodide
Should there be a nuclear occurrence near you and contamination is possible, you need to have these pills to counteract the exposure. ONLY TAKE IF TOLD TO BY A DOCTOR. The FDA approved IOSAT Potassium Iodide tablet works by saturating the thyroid with stable iodine so it will block the absorption of cancer-causing iodine released from a reactor or bomb.
Kimberly Clark Respirator Masks Filter
Price: $15 for 35
Learn about N95 Filters and how the CDC classifies them here (these are technically filters, not respirators.) These offer you good protection against virus and bacteria exposure. Having a full-blow respirator system would be the best protection but they are pricey. Can also be used as a pre-filter for cleaning sediment out of water.
Dupont QC127 Tychem QC Coveralls
Don't be fooled by the cheap Tyvek kits online. TYCHEM is liquid repellent and rated for protection against blood and other fluids. 3M's Technical paper on Protective Clothing for the Ebola Virus Disease here. You need to put them on and take them off properly: CDC guidelines for proper technique here.
Liberty Nitrile Gloves
Price: $16 for 12
Its pretty easy to think of all the reasons you might need these gloves, and none of them are really that pleasant. Best case scenario, you can inflate them and put it on your head. These longer gloves are preferred when planning for pandemic type situations or for funky chemical exposures.
To keep the heaviest contamination off of you in an exceptionally messy environment, it is proper to equip an apron in addition to the coveralls. This gives you extra protection by increasing your allowable exposure time as well as allowing you to see the contaminants more easily which have accumulated on you.
3M TEKK Professional Chemical Splash Goggle
Pretty great goggles for the price. You can fit a pair of glasses under them also. Good protection from debris along with liquids. Don't go cheap with the goggles, the strap is usually the first thing that goes on them, and these have a sturdy one. The eyes are a very vulnerable to contamination because they are moist and exposed.
Tyvek IsoClean hood
The Tychem coveralls have hoods on them, which is great, but you will need something a little more protective to keep liquids from entering around the facial area. A hood like this should do the trick by adding an important second layer of protection and reducing points of entry.
Tyvek Boot Covers
Gravity dictates that all liquids want to head to the floor. Ergo, that will likely be the messiest place around. The folks who work in pandemic areas have rubber boots to wear while treating patients but for our concerns we need to cover up the shoes we have on so we don't spread contamination all over the place.
Surefire Sonic Defenders Earplugs
These can be a little fragile, so be kind to them but the Surefire brand makes really great product. You can still have conversations with someone (with the tabs out) and you can even connect these to communication devices. Maybe not as good as the over-ear headphone blockers, but much much smaller.
Liberty Mountain Compact Toothbrush
Teeth! We all have them. Well, some more than others. Be part of that dental elite with proper oral care! Keep your sweetheart happy and make your mother proud with a clean mouth. And it wouldn't hurt to floss every once and a while either, just sayin.
Swiss Army Victorinox Nail Clippers
Hey grizzly man, what's going on with your nails over there? Are those potatoes growing underneath them? Nice. Real nice. What? You want to borrow MY nail clipper? Um...no...I don't think so... (See what could happen? Not so crazy to have this on the list now, is it?)
Uncle Bill's Sliver Gripper Tweezers
These are tiny tweezers. High quality stainless steel wont rust or lose its sharp edge, making them useful for removing splinters, ticks, etc. All around very smart thing to have.
Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Soaps
These things are super handy. They come in little strips which you get wet and use where needed (don't forget behind your ears!) Several different varieties available: conditioners, shampoo, etc. A good alternative to carrying liquids around, and extremely compact.
Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda
Price: $7Wait, what Baking Soda? Um...why? Well, allow me to retort! Baking soda can be used as deodorant, toothpaste, a cleaning agent, for an upset tummy...the list is endless. Possibly one of the most useful items we can think of to have. Heres 51 uses for it.
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Price: $16 and up
After warshin' down yer gonna need a dryin'. These lil' fellas can do the job, and are wee-tiny. The "small" size has enough capacity to dry up a 6' person pretty well and did we mention its wee-tiny?
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Cosmo Pouch
If you haven't already figured it out, we're organizers. Maaaaybe a little too organized. But in this case you can't say boo about having your toiletries kept separate from your other items. That's just common sense now, isn't it? A Ziploc bag could also work here, if you don't want to spring for a pouch like this, but this is a little more durable.
NEXT STEP: Shelter & Bedding