Anyone that spends anytime at all outside trekking around whether they are hunters, campers or hikers needs a quality well stocked wilderness first aid kit.
You have to plan for long-term survival whenever you venture out and your medical kit must be up to the job. The off-the shelf kits are excellent for smaller hiking trips, and may be a great for home or office but for the most part they will not be adequate for longer term survival.
Survival experts will want to put their own kit together but you can start with an off the shelf kit and add to it.
- Have at least (4) sterile compressions bandages that are used to stop bleeding wounds (wounds spurting blood means an artery has been severed and direct pressure using a compression bandage is needed to stop the bleeding)
- Pressure dressings sterile for non-arterial/spurting wounds (12)
- BETADINE ANTISEPTIC, which is the name brand for Povidone-iodine You should have it in liquid form, and Swab Pads (1 bottle)
It is a topical antiseptic and is used to destroy bacteria around a wound to prevent it from entering wounds and abrasions. Most first aid kits will have a few wipes but you should have an adequate supply so makes sure you pick up a bottle and extra wipes.
The Wilderness First Aid Kit below is a comprehensive list of all the essential emergency medical items you should have for longer term wilderness survival –
It is recommended that your survival medical kit is contained in its own pack and is readily accessible by all persons in your group or family.
Inventory often to check expiration dates and for missing items do not wait to replenish always have your kit fully stocked at all times.
- Antibiotic ointment used on skin abrasions and small cuts to prevent infections usually in a cream or salve form, the ointment will adhere to the skin and provide residual protection for several hours or longer, this is a must have and most kits only provide a small package for one time use, pick up several tubes to have in your kit (2 tubes)
- Emergency/Trauma book for reference
- Multiple sizes of adhesive bandages and include knuckle bandages, fingertip bandages, blister bandages (moleskin) and bandage in sizes 1×3 and 2 x 4″, you simply cannot have to many bandages and most kits only provide a token amount
- Duct tape can be used to tape splints in place and compression bandages however do not apply over exposed skin, around any wound or cut, always use a non-stick gauge together with the duct tape when securing bandages (1-2 rolls)
- Scalpels and a suture kit for stitching wounds it is recommended you pick up a pre-threaded suture kit with various sized needles unless you have extensive experience with suturing methods ( 4 scalpels 1 suture kit)
- Over the counter medications for pain, allergies and stomach upset pick up the normal sized bottles, the little packets that come with most kits simply will not be enough for an extended period ( 1 bottle of each)
- Finger splints and larger splints for fractured legs and arms (enough for 2 people)
- Burn cream in a large tube (1)
- Ace bandages in various sizes (2 of each size)
- Trauma scissors and recommended you use ones that are all stainless steel the plastic handled ones are easily broken if you are attempting to cut heavy material away from a wound
- CPR Pocket Rescusitator (2)
- Surgical masks for sick individuals to prevent the spread of viruses ( 1 box)
- Surgical masks ( recommend N-95’s) for well people to keep from catching diseases ( 1 package)
- Lip balm and sun block ( enough for every member to have their own)
- Sting relief pads or sticks (12 pads and/or several sticks)
- Surgical gloves/medical gloves for handling medical waste and administering first aid (1 box)
- Syringes for wound irrigation (4)
- Insect repellent and/or netting (enough for all individuals)
- Hand sanitizer that is alcohol based for sanitizing hands, skin and instruments used in first aid ( several bottles)
- Alcohol wipes and you cannot have to many because they can be used as a fire starting aid, to sterilize instruments and to clean skin to kill bacteria (1 box)
- Cervical Collar (1)
- Tweezes/clamps for removing objects from the skin/wounds (1)
- Light source, penlight, glow sticks and so on (Multiple types)
- Magnifying glass (1)
- Thermal (Mylar) blankets (4)
- Cold and hot packs (4)
- Plenty of gauze and gauze bandages both sterile and non-sterile (12)
- Thermometer (1)
- Tourniquet (2)
- Water purification tablets ( 2 bottles/containers)
- Fire starting materials so water can be boiled for purification and to sterilize instruments
- One Small stainless steel container for boiling water
- Eye wash and eye wash cups (2 each)
- Epi-pens (epinephrine auto injector) for anyone that is or may be allergic to certain plants, foods or insects (Amount based on known need and one and one for backup needs)
Remember, this is a comprehensive wilderness first aid kit for long term survival – you can always start of small with an off the shelf medical kit and add to it – anything is better than nothing.