Medical survival kits are among the most neglected items when it comes to preparing for survival, although they are probably the most useful.
The truth is that preppers are usually too concentrated on gathering their best survival gear, on creating routes and plans for collapse situations and rarely think that good health is a fundamental thing for survival.
Even worse, despite the energy invested in all preparedness gear, when it comes to the medical needs most preppers settle for a generic commercial first aid kit that can barely address minimal needs.
In all this, there is to say that if you didn’t take the time to build up and organize your own, customized, survival first aid kit, you should rethink your priorities. To make sure that life-threatening situations will not find you unprepared, find out what to include in your medical kit.
Why Is DIY Better?
On the market, there are loads of first aid kits, many of them advertised as ultimate survival medical kits. But do they rise to the expectations?
The answer is no! Survival medical gear should be able to address your own personal needs, and it is unlikely to find a commercial solution tailored for you. For this reason, you should build the survival medical kit on your own, by choosing only those items that are useful to you and your expeditions or adventures.
To understand why DIY is better, just think about your general preparedness techniques. You invested time and energy in putting together the best gear. Maybe you spent days or even weeks in choosing the best firearm, or the best rifle scope that is suitable for you.
Your first aid kit should deserve the same attention. To build your ultimate medical survival kit, follow our checklist then add to it any particular medication you might use as a treatment on a regular basis.
Survival Medical Kit Checklist
Bleeding & Wound Management
The most important items to include in a survival medical kit are those that allow you to stop bleeding and treat wounds. In most cases, this gear will help you prevent infections and protect the cuts. If you are badly injured, this medical equipment could save your life. Your survival medical kit should have:
- Gauze: the most common way of stopping bleeding and treating wounds is by tying a bandage or gauze around the injury. You should include at least a few feet of bandages into your survival first aid kit; if possible antiseptic ones.
- Butterfly sutures: a quick and easy way to close small wounds is with butterfly sutures. These adhesive strips act in a way similar to the stitches, pulling together the edges of the wound.
- Duct tape: an essential item in any survival kit, duct tape is also essential in a survival first aid kit. You can use it to keep a bandage together or even to pull an open wound together if you don’t have any other type of sutures or bandages with you. Even if it’s not a long-term solution, duct tape can still help you survive until you reach medical help.
Pain and Allergy Management
Painkillers and antihistamines are other important items to include in a survival first aid kit. And no, you don’t have to suffer from any condition to have them on your list.
To begin with, painkillers can get you out alive from many tricky situations, such as to treat a sudden tooth ache or to reduce the discomfort caused by wounds or injuries. Some painkillers also fight against inflammation, which is a further advantage.
Here is a list of the most common painkillers and/or anti-inflammatories to include in your kit:
Besides medicines, you should also include a few chemical ice bags.
Antihistamines, on the other hand, are useful even if you apparently don’t suffer from any allergies. Pollen, insects, chemical substances or new foods are all potential allergy triggers and many allergens can cause anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening and needs to be treated immediately. Some medicines to include in your survival medical kit are:
- Antihistamine ointments to apply on skin
- Antihistamine drugs, such as Benadryl
- Epinephrine if you are already suffering from allergies
An open wound in the wilderness can easily get infected, for this reason, it is essential to keep your wounds clean. However, in some cases, this might not be sufficient and infections can occur. You have to be prepared to deal with an infection even if you are miles away from a medical center or drug store and this means that you have to include in your survival medical kit the following items:
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antiseptic solution (such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine)
- Broad spectrum oral antibiotics
- Antibiotic cream
Many drug stores will refuse to give you antibiotics without a prescription. To be prepared, ask your physician to preventively prescribe you antibiotics by telling them you will be adventuring in the wilderness.
In addition to the mentioned medical supplies, your survival medical kit should also contain the following essential instruments:
- Sterile needles
- Surgical blades
- Sterile eyewash
- Burn cream or ointment
- Disposable gloves
- Basic first aid instruction manual
- Scissors (useful if you have to cut the gauze or, in some cases, your garments)
- Tweezers (useful especially if you have to remove a thorn from a wound but also in the removal of insects, such as ticks)
A good survival medical kit must also include a few personal items that can help you in emergency situations.
- Multivitamins are important dietary supplements to include in your first aid kit. They can help you boost your immune system and resist to the environmental factors with more ease.
- Infrared Monocular: you have to be prepared to heal your injuries and treat your wounds in any circumstances, even during nighttime. You could normally use a flashlight to see during the night but if you don’t want to draw the attention, a night vision is essential.
- Toiletries: in survival situations, it is essential to maintain a good hygiene. Include in your survival medical kit some soap, a deodorant, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.
- Lodine tablets for water purification: water is essential for survival, so you must be prepared to make any water drinkable.