I put out an example of a BOB Bag First Aid Kit Checklist in The Simple Survival Smart Book. Since then I have continued to tweak my gear and the mix of stuff I pack in my bag. There are several considerations for what to pack, especially in a First Aid Kit. The first I think is the size of the pouch or bag you are going to carry the kit in and the second is what conditions or injuries do you expect to have to treat. The second consideration does much to determine the first. With those two considerations in mind I developed my list.
I don’t expect to have to treat any major traumas in a bugout situation but I do include minimal gear to treat at least myself should one occur.. In fact, most major trauma’s I can think of will probably be fatal shortly after you experience them in a SHTF situation. I do have some major trauma stuff in my kit but most of my material is oriented towards treating minor injuries to avoid those becoming major issues. Remember, an untreated scratch can become infected and turn life-threatening in the inherently unsanitary conditions of a true bugout situation.
Remember that A BOB kit is not the all-encompassing kit that will have everything you need. Actually the everything kit is called a hospital and you can’t fit one of these in your back pocket. A BOB kit is the minimum you think necessary to survive 72 hours so a first aid kit should in your BOB should do the same. Keeping that in mind I have thus far come up with the following list of First Aid supplies I want to have in my BOB.
□ Medium Pouch – I have a CONDOR EMT Pouch, which is awesome for the organizing loops and pockets inside that keep everything from spilling out when I open it.
□ Utility Pouch with Speed Clips – This pouch is not exactly the same as my ten-year old Blackhawk pouch but it is substantially similar with the exception that it uses Blackhawk Speed Clips instead of MOLLE straps for attachment
□ 1X3 in fabric Band-Aids, 30 ea.
□ Medium Butterfly Wound Closures, 10 ea.
□ Large Butterfly Wound Closures, 10 ea.
□ 4×4 Gauze Pads, 5 ea.
□ Nitrile gloves, 3 pair – These are not sterile, they are just to keep me from getting someone else’s blood all over my hands
□ Cortizone Cream, 1oz. tube
□ Benadryl Itch Relief Stick, 1ea.
□ Polysporin Ointment, 1 Ounce
□ Neosporin Cream, 0.5-Ounce Tube
□ Neosporin Antiseptic Spray, 0.26 Ounce
□ Alcohol Prep pads, 30 ea. – These also make handy Fire starters
□ Waterproof bandage tape, 1 ea. 30 foot roll
□ Regular 1 in wide fabric bandage tape, 2 ea. 30 foots rolls
□ 4 1/2 inch Kerlex roll, 1 ea.
□ 200mg Ibuprofen tablets, 1 ea. 250 count bottle – This is soldier candy and I always have a bottle on me. I take some of the cotton out and add more tables with just enough cotton to keep it from rattling too much
□ Medical Shears Combination Pack, 1 ea
□ 4″ Israeli Battle Dressing Bandage, 1 ea.
□ C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet All black version, 1 ea.
□ Military Cravat, 1 ea.
I pack just about everything in Ziploc bags to further waterproof them. I use 8 mil heavy duty bags because I found that they are much more durable than even freezer bags and thus worth the extra cost. They also come in multiple different sizes. The two sizes I use in my First Aid Kit are 5X8 inch and 3X5 inch bags.
This kit is subject to adjustment and is constantly adjusted based on things I think of and experience actually using the kit because I have two of them, one on my BOB that I tote around daily and one on my GOTH kit. The basics remain the same but I am constantly tweaking it in the search for the elusive perfect kit for me. In fact, the more I think about it, there probably is no standard First Aid Kit that suits everybody, at least not one that is light and portable. My kit is optimized for the needs of my wife and I and neither of us have any chronic diseases that require medication to manage or any of the common allergies so I have none of that stuff in the kit.
I sat down and did the math and the complete kit counting that for some items I had to buy way more than I needed, i.e., a 100 pack of butterfly closures or an entire box of Band-Aids, the cost for my kit, pouches and all is just north of $200. The most expensive items other than the pouches is the CAT tourniquet at $30 and the Shear set at $20 so just those two items are roughly 25% of the cost with the pouches being another 25%. Then again, I made a conscious decision to not be a cheapskate on medical supplies, I don’t want to regret not getting something because I was not willing to spend an extra $5-$10.
I think the best advice for a First Aid Kit I can give is to take a basic setup and then evaluate the contents removing those you do not think you will need or don’t know how to use and adding things you do or might need based on your individual circumstances.