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#103077 - 08/20/07 04:20 PM My small first aid kit, and matters arising
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
I've been updating my first aid kits, to junk expired items and to reflect my current thinking. Since I've been printing up contents lists I thought I might as well copy and paste one here. I should say that I've no medical training and don't want to carry anything I don't know how to use. This kit fits into a classic tobacco tin that measures roughly 4.5x3x1". The total weight is 146g or just over 5oz. Here's the contents:
  • Wound cleaning:
  • Tweezers (Uncle Ben's silver gripper) x1
  • Cotton wool x7
  • Water (atomiser) 4ml
  • TCP antiseptic (dropper) 10ml (Mar 09)
  • Wound dressing:
  • Plasters x5
  • Sterile Dressing pad 5x5cm x2 (Aug 08)
  • Surgical tape roll 1.25cm
  • Safety pins large x3, small x3
  • Pain killers
  • Paracetamol x4 (Oct 09)
  • Asprin x3 (Nov 09)
  • General medication:
  • SPF 30 Sunscreen wipe x1 (Mar 08)
  • Burn Gel x1 (Dec 10)
  • Triple Antibiotic x2 (Apr 09)
  • Hydrocortisone x1 (Aug 10)
  • Loperamide Anti-diarrhoea x3 (Jun 09)
  • Medi-Lyte Electrolyte Replenisher x2 (Nov 09)
  • Alcalak indigestion x1 (May 09)

I've included expiry dates, and the first thing which strikes me is how short some of them are. The medications were bought this summer (mostly from Red Flare). The sunscreen wipe lasts less than 12 months.

I've not included any antiseptic wipes or cream. This is partly because I've been persuaded elsewhere that antiseptics are not a very good idea; they're too indiscriminate. Despite that I have included a small amount of TCP, which is an antiseptic in liquid form. This can be used as a mild disinfectant, for cleaning around wounds (with the cotton wool) and if you dilute it you can use it on wounds and even gargle with it for throat infections. I think it is more flexible than wipes or cream. Similarly cotton wool is more versatile than a swab of stinging stuff; you can use them with water or TCP.

My current belief is that burn gel is good stuff to put on wounds generally, being kinder than antiseptic, and sterile. I wish I had room for more.

I have included 4ml of water in a small atomiser - a pump spray device intended for perfume. I am wondering what other people think of this. It is intended for cleaning or irrigating wounds. I feel that even a tiny amount of water is better than nothing.

Some people say the water will not stay clean. My theory is that it is tap water, and therefore has chlorine or similar added to it already, and that the atomiser is pretty much air-tight so it won't escape, and so there is no need to treat it further. The container is opaque so bugs which need light to grow, won't.

I am not a big believer in plasters and only included a few because everyone else seems to think they are a good idea. My main plan is to improvise plasters to suit, using the dressing pads and surgical tape. There isn't room for proper bandages but hopefully they can be improvised. Nowadays I always carry at least one bandanna elsewhere. I also carry torches, multitools etc (but often not water).

I feel the sunscreen wipe is important as it is something I am quite likely to need unexpectedly. I rarely need painkillers myself but put some in anyway. The rest of the medication is stuff I had available, small enough to fit, and which might be useful. I was very tempted to leave out things like the diarrhoea treatments, since it is not really an urgent condition and I'd normally be able to get to a chemist, but I am mindful that in a disaster this could be the only kit I have on me. These are single-use sachets packed into a small ziptop bag to keep them together.
Quality is addictive.

#103082 - 08/20/07 05:39 PM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: NightHiker]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
Some of the things you mentioned like the sunscreen wipes which only last a short while, I've included notes on my overall checklist that those need restocked at certain intervals.
For example my checklist I have a monthly row where I might top off all my rechargeable batteries, then have one for each spring when I check or buy new sunscreen.

#103087 - 08/20/07 07:21 PM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: Brangdon]
samhain Offline

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Hey Brangdon,

Looks good.

A small vial of saline solution (for contacts) would come in rather handy for an eyewash and doesn't take up much room.

samhain autumnwood

#103097 - 08/20/07 08:29 PM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: Brangdon]
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
Nice kit, maybe ad some moleskin and if you don't EDC it: a pair of scissors?
''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

#103107 - 08/20/07 08:47 PM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: JIM]
teacher Offline

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 691

Nice -- good to see you included expiry dates. I took a similar kit and added my survival stuff so its now a FAK/SAK:

My FAK/Survival kit ( with photos)

The nice thing is that I have first aid stuff, plus some survival basics (knife, light, matches, etc.) all in one place not too much bigger than your kit.


PS I include a tube of SPF 30 chapstick for its sunscreen; serves two functions.

#103128 - 08/20/07 11:38 PM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: NightHiker]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...one dosage of antihistamine..."

If nothing else, a few Benedryl can be worth their weight in gold in certain situations...

#103157 - 08/21/07 02:13 AM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: OldBaldGuy]
duckear Offline

Registered: 03/01/04
Posts: 477
Saline 'bullets ( used for nebulizers) are a small source of sterile saline for wound irrigation if you feel you must have it in your kit, but the practical benefit of 4cc of water in a atomizer is pretty much nil. Much better stuff to put in that space.

I sure wouldn't worry about my sunscreen "expiring".

#103213 - 08/21/07 07:25 PM Re: My small first aid kit, and matters arising [Re: duckear]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Thanks for the comments. I've ordered some Steripods and I'll see about replacing the atomiser with one of those, depending on how big they are. It'll still be only 20ml, though. There just isn't room for a lot of water in a small kit.

I have some antihistamine tablets available, but I've never used them as I don't have any allergies myself. I might replace the indigestion tablets with them, though, as I don't get indigestion often either.

Moleskin comes in such a variety of sizes I don't know which to include. It's not something I've ever used myself.
Quality is addictive.


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