First Aid Kit, Exposure, Hygiene
It's probably pretty apparent that you should carry a medical kit in your Get Home Bag, and Bug Out Bag to care for the most common sorts of injuries: cuts, insect bites, sunburn, nausea, allergies, headaches, and especially blister treatment and prevention supplies.
There are several pre-made bug out bag first aid kits on the market you can add to your emergency supplies, and it is a good start when you are in the beginning stages of prepping.
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 should probably high on your list.
Specialty First Aid Kits
If you want to have a top-notch first aid kit for your home or RV, or bug out location, check out our article on How-To Build an EMT & Paramedic First Aid Kit.
Also take a look at our deep dive into our favorite first aid kits from MyMedic.
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.
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.
BTW If you buy anything from the links we provide on this page we might get a small percentage of the sale. For more info click here.
Typical Price: $120 - $240
One of our favorite first aid kits of all time. Really well put together and a very well made product chock full of emergency medical supplies. Save time and money, get the right kit the first time. Two versions available, Basic and Premium. Go for the Premium, it's worth the upgrade.
Read our full MyMedic MyFak review here.
Typical Price: $37 - $105
A great affordable option for your first aid kit supplies. We have all of their kits, and went into a deep dive on them in our Surviveware review. Very well organized, with easy to read labels, so you can find what you need quickly. More of a light trauma kit, if you have medical training you can supplement with some of the items below.
An easy to carry first aid kit items in a lightweight and waterproof kit supplies treatments for cuts and some medications. Lots of gauze and tape in this kit. 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. See our full Adventure Medical Kit review.
Typical Price: $30
The CAT Tourniquet (Combat Application Tourniquet) utilizes a durable windlass system with a patented free-moving internal band providing true circumferential pressure to the extremity. Once adequately tightened, bleeding will cease and the windlass is locked into place.
A hook and loop windlass retention strap is then applied, securing the windlass to maintain pressure during casualty evacuation.
Stop the bleed! CAT Gen 7's are the gold standard. Official Tourniquet of the US Military. Beware of counterfeits out there, only purchase them from the source at North American Rescue or accredited dealers like LA Police Gear.
A must have addition to any emergency first aid kit.
Typical Price: $40
If you have a wound that is bleeding profusely and a tourniquet is inappropriate or not possible, then a coagulating bandage like the Celox Rapid will clot up the liquid to help stabilize the patient. Or in fancy talk: it's a chitosan laminated hemostatic agent with Chito-R used to stop severe arterial and venous bleeding injuries. Works on people who are taking anticoagulants, unlike QuickClot.
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.
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.
This is a very important but often overlooked category for survival kits. Hygiene supplies not only keep you comfortable and clean, but can prevent infection and sickness as well.
There's ways to do it in a small kit that won't add a lot of weight and space. Don't throw a huge can of shaving cream and a bar of deodorant in your what is essentially a travel hygiene kit, instead get the smaller sized versions that you can find nearly anywhere.
Here are a few ideas:
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'. This is a foldable
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?)
We've had these clippers for a long time. They fold up small and are light, and have kept a very sharp edge. Love them.
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.
Price: $6 ea
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.
Wait, 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 with you. Keep a little bit in a small container or plastic bag.
Price: $10 - $22
After warshin' down yer gonna need a dryin'. These lil' fellas can do the job, and are wee-tiny and lightweight. The L or M probably good enough for most.
- Small: Facecloth
- Medium: Small hand towel
- Large: Small bath towel
- X-Large: Bath towel
Price: $18 - $23
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 and stands up on its own.
You can avoid many types of injuries and conditions simply by limiting your exposure to caustic elements in the environment around you, whether that be smoke, ash, particulates, viruses or bacteria.
Some elements to protect against based on your environment:
- Smoke and airborne particulates from home or wildfires
- Extremely loud noises
- Falling objects and debris
- Viruses and Bacteria
- Nuclear or Chemical agents
- Riot control smokes like mace or pepper spray
We have written an article which goes into greater detail with on the proper use of medical PPE items, and how to protect against biological contamination. Read it here: Pandemic Protection.
This is a huge subject and we will only briefly touch upon a few items here.
Typical Price: $27
If you are in a city or metropolitan area all kinds of things are above you that could just be waiting to fall on your unexpecting head. You need noggin protection the same way construction people do. This one is low-key and doesn't scream "helmet." You could also go with a bike, skateboard, or even motorcycle helmet. Anything to protect your head.
Typical Price: $20
Your eyes are prone to getting bits of debris in them, which could cause serious damage. Protect them at all costs, you'll need them at some point, right?
Typical Price: $25
When things are dicey you'll need to protect your hands. You might need to do some demo work or grab hold of sharp things. Don't be one of the helpless wounded. Get a pair of heavy-duty gloves, not those cheapo ones for gardening (although they are better than nothing if that's all you have access to.)
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.