Top Things You Need for your Life-saving First Aid Kit

image of a life saving first aid kit

If you are shopping for a life-saving first aid kit, you may realize there are a variety of them available. You may be wondering what are the top things you need whether you are shopping for a pre-made kit or trying to purchase supplies to build your own.

As someone who is a planner, you want the knowledge of what makes up a great first aid kit. Whether you desire a first-aid kit for surviving an emergency, for hiking and camping, or just one for your home, we can show you what you need. After reading our list, you can take action and prepare yourself for life and any emergency that comes your way. 

Why do you need a life-saving first aid kit?

A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment that is used to provide medical treatment. First aid kits are necessary so when an emergency happens, you are able to treat injuries and ailments and fulfill life needs. Sometimes, a first aid kit can truly be life-saving.  Here are some benefits of having a first aid kit:

  • you can avoid or reduce doctor and hospital visits
  • reduce pain
  • avoid infection
  • increases your awareness of potential hazards
  • empowers and prepares you

What are some types of first aid kits?

There are numerous first aid kits out there for purchase and you can build your own kit if you prefer. Here are some examples of first aid kit types:

  • Mini (used every day by an individual)
  • Survivalist/Tactical
  • Work/School
  • Camping/Hunting/Sports
  • and more!

How much are first aid kits?

Depending on if you purchase a kit already assembled or if you buy each item to make up your own kit, you should expect to spend between $30-$100 average. But really, you can create a kit in a variety of budgets. The most important thing when buying or making a kit is quantity and quality. Make sure you have enough of what you need and the quality of items is good. 

What goes into a Mini First Aid Kit?

Mini first aid kits are intended for an individual. They are basic and the number of each supply is minimal. The following list includes examples of some items in a personal first aid kit.

  • standard sized band-aids (6)
  • large bandages (2)
  • individually wrapped alcohol prep pads (6)
  • antibiotic cream (1 tube)
  • hydrocortisone cream (1 tube)
  • eye drops (small bottle)
  • antacid (6 tablets)
  • pain-reliever (Acetaminophen / Tylenol, Ibuprofen / Advil, Bayer/Aspirin) (small bottle)
  • antihistamine (Diphenhydramine / Benadryl) (6 doses)
  • tweezers
  • disposable gloves (2 pair)
  • hand sanitizer
  • reference guide

What goes inside a Survivalist First Aid Kit?

image of someone taking pulse for life saving

Survivalist first aid kits and tactical ones used by the military are robust and can include many items. The types of items included and the number of each supply varies. Remember that with any first aid kit, you’ll want to consider the number of people it’s intended to support. The following list includes items that could be life-saving in a survivalist/tactical situation or medical emergency.

  • assorted sizes and types of bandaids
  • pressure dressing
  • assorted sizes of gauze
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • medical tape
  • antibiotic cream
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • petroleum jelly
  • eye drops
  • antacid
  • pain-reliever (Acetaminophen / Tylenol, Ibuprofen / Advil, Bayer/Aspirin)
  • antihistamine (Diphenhydramine / Benadryl)
  • tourniquet
  • self-adherent wrap
  • trauma shears
  • tweezers
  • pulse oximeter 
  • chest seal
  • irrigation syringe
  • needle & thread stored in isopropyl alcohol
  • moleskin
  • plastic cling wrap
  • cravat / triangular bandage
  • safety pins (assorted sizes)
  • elastic wrap / ACE bandage
  • aluminum splint
  • emergency blankets
  • disposable gloves
  • reference guide
  • abdominal pad
  • nasopharyngeal airway
  • caffeine pills
  • anti-fungal ointment (Miconazole)
  • antibiotics (Doxycycline or Bactrim)
  • reference guide

What goes in a Work/School First Aid Kit?

A work/school first aid kit is designed specifically for the people in a school or at a workplace. There are specific guidelines that determine what and how much of each item to be included. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines to follow as to what should be included. Keep in mind if the kit is intended for young children, the supplies should accommodate this in its supplies. The following list are some items that could be included.

  • assorted sizes and types of bandaids
  • pressure dressing
  • assorted sizes of gauze
  • rubbing alcohol
  • medical tape
  • antibiotic cream
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • petroleum jelly
  • eye drops and wash
  • eye dressings
  • antacid
  • insect bite cream
  • cold and heat packs
  • thermometer
  • pain-reliever (Acetaminophen / Tylenol, Ibuprofen / Advil, Bayer/Aspirin)
  • antihistamine (Diphenhydramine / Benadryl)
  • tourniquet
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • safety pins (assorted sizes)
  • emergency blankets
  • disposable gloves
  • hand sanitizer
  • reference guide

What goes in a Camping/Hunting/Sports First Aid Kit?

A first aid kit can be designed specifically for an activity such as camping, hunting, sports and more. The following list includes some items that could be helpful in an activity emergency.

  • assorted sizes and types of bandaids
  • pressure dressing
  • assorted sizes of gauze
  • rubbing alcohol
  • medical tape
  • antibiotic cream
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • petroleum jelly
  • moleskin
  • eye drops and wash
  • eye dressings
  • antacid
  • insect/tick repellant
  • insect bite cream
  • clotting gauze
  • cold and heat packs
  • anti-friction balm
  • blister plasters
  • thermometer
  • pain-reliever (Acetaminophen / Tylenol, Ibuprofen / Advil, Bayer/Aspirin)
  • antihistamine (Diphenhydramine / Benadryl)
  • tourniquet
  • chest seal
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • multitool
  • safety pins (assorted sizes)
  • whistle
  • emergency blankets
  • disposable gloves
  • hand sanitizer
  • reference guide

How often should you update your first aid kit?

It is important to check your first aid kit regularly to make sure it is up to date. How often you check depends upon if you are regularly consuming the supplies within the kit but if it’s a kit you don’t use, checking every 6 months is advisable. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure you know how to use all the supplies and tools in your kit.
  2. Replace used items.
  3. Make sure the kit has all your current prescribed medications
  4. Check that all items are sterile and sealed, and they have not passed their expiration date.

Conclusion

Now that you know about the variety of life-saving first aid kits available, you can now determine what you need to purchase a ready-made kit or the items to buy to make your own. You’ll be prepared for whatever emergencies you encounter at home, on-the-go, and at work or school.