If you’re planning on a long trip where you will be exposed to many elements, along with various situations, you’ll want all the essential items in your first aid checklist. It may be hard to determine what will be necessary, along with being sure not to pack an entire hospital.
So, what will you need to pack to avoid packing the hospital? Keep in mind this checklist will include items for most anyone, but can be subject to change depending on who you are and your specific needs.
Why We Chose What We Choose
Things to remember to account for will be common ailments, special needs of each person,the number of people along with how long you’re planning to be on your trip.
Common ailments will mostly include things such as a common cold, cuts and abrasions, nausea, or sprains. The medicine or treatment for these things will not need any type of prescription, therefore these items will be simple, yet important to obtain.
The number of people that you’ll be with will have an impact on how many items you should bring. This part may be difficult because it can be hard to determine how many items each person will use. Remember that the length of your trip will also determine how many items to bring. Be sure that there will be enough items for each person for the length of the trip.
Another important factor is that each person will have specific needs. Things to keep in mind will be allergies, any illnesses or sickness, or any type of OTC drugs a person may need.
With all these conditions in mind, it may seem difficult to know what to bring, but we’re here to help you narrow it down for your perfect first aid checklist.
1. First Aid Manual
This will be a must because it is important to know what each item is and what each item can do. This will allow you the confidence of knowing what to do in an emergency and prevent incorrect uses of the items.
I’m aware this is obvious, but this can truly be the difference between life and death. Bandages can help prevent from bleeding out along with preventing dirt getting in the wound. Some of the best bandages would be Nexcare bandages. They’re very adhesive and also have an excellent line of waterproof bandages.
Although not much different from bandages, gauze can be used for more sensitive skin or for those who are allergic to the adhesive on your typical bandage. Gauze is also able to cover larger areas and is very absorbent.
4. Antibiotic Cream
A popular antibiotic cream is Neosporin. It’s well known for its healing abilities along with not being too expensive. A personal favorite is A+D ointment. This works well for sensitive skin and has more uses than a typical antibiotic.
5. Medical Tape
This is a very versatile item. Not only can this tape be used when applying gauze, but it can also be used for sprains, fractures, or torn ligaments. Medical tape can get you through your trip before needing to go to the hospital.
Although the medical tape can do the same thing, having someone use a splint rather than the tape will allow the tape to be used for other purposes.
Remember that splints come in different sizes and are used for various reasons, so be sure to have the right size along with the type of splint you desire.
Wipes and Soap: Antiseptic wipes and soap can both be used to clean wounds, but an antiseptic wipe should only be used no more than once because it can harm tissue and delay healing. Soap will be the preferred method. The antiseptic wipes can also be used to disinfect any type of medical tools.
8. Non-Latex Gloves
Simple, yet very important. This will not only help protect you from any type of infection but this will also help protect the other person. It is also important to note that they should be non-latex. This will reduce the chance of anyone having an allergic reaction.
Good for cutting gauze or any type of bandages to size, or to cut away clothing to have better access to an injured area. For this type of use, you will need bandage scissors. They have blunt tips and angled blades to avoid cutting skin.
10. Disposable Instant Cold Packs
Ice packs will help reduce swelling and inflammation along with being able to alleviate pain. Uses will be for any sprains, reducing fevers, and can also be used for arthritis.
11. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen
Both do the same job, but acetaminophen is for those who cannot take ibuprofen. These will be good for reducing fevers and alleviating pain along with being user friendly and easily available.
12. Skin Glue
This may sound weird, but it can be a great addition to your first aid kit. Skin glue is used like stitches or staples but without all the medical training.
Small but powerful. Tweezers have many simple uses such as removing splinters, glass, and stingers left from bees. Without tweezers, you will have more of a difficult time removing these items which can cause an infection.
This doesn’t seem as important, but we don’t all have the skills of moms. It can be difficult to determine if a person’s fever is too high and needs to seek medical help immediately. Don’t use one that is inserted in the mouth, rather, one that is used externally around the face.
15. Sunblock and Bug Repellant
Sun can be very hazardous to the body and in worse situations, sun poisoning. Bug repellant should also be a must because the bites cause irritation and possibly a sickness.
16. Burn Cream
Let’s hope this won’t be used, but if you do experience a burn, this item will be useful in alleviating pain, and preventing infection. Burn cream doesn’t necessarily need to have an antibiotic factor, just be sure to keep the burn clean and covered up.
17. Blanket and Flashlight
Both items are very useful and necessary. Use a blanket that is light but warm and won’t take up too much space. The type of flash light will be a personal choice, but be sure to pack extra batteries.
18. Emergency Phone Numbers
This item is just as important as any other item that you will carry with you. This will be useful if you’re alone or with other people in an emergency if family members need to be contacted.
19. Allergy Medications
There is a broad list of different types of allergies, so for each person be sure to bring what is needed. More importantly, those who will have a severe allergic reaction and would need epinephrine. Be sure to pack enough for the trip and a little extra in case of an emergency.
20. OTC Drugs
Any OTC needs to be properly labeled and be sure that no one else is taking them mistakenly. Be sure that before the trip that all prescriptions are filled and that no severe side effects will occur.
21. Common Cold Medication
You will have a preference of what types of medicine to bring, but be sure that it doesn’t get worse. Watch for symptoms that tell you to go to a doctor.
22. Breathing Barrier
This item will be important because it will be used to administer CPR without the risk of obtaining an infection or any type of disease someone may be carrying.
23. Safety Pins
This one may seem odd, but there’s more uses than you may think. For one, they can be used for a makeshift arm sling by pinning through the cuff of a long sleeve shirt and to the chest of the shirt.
24. Medical Waste Bag/Box
This item will be used for those who need to dispose of items that cannot just be thrown into a regular garbage. This will include any type of bodily fluid, and or, needles. Also, be sure you are aware of the proper way to dispose of the bag/box.
25. Duct Tape
We all know there’s many uses for duct tape in everyday life, but it can also be very useful in your first aid kit. Firstly, it can be used to repair items. It can also be used to stop bleeding, close wounds, and if you’re really skilled and in dire need, prevent a collapsed lung.
26. Water Treatment Chemicals
This will be an important item for your survival because having clean water is necessary. There are other forms of purifying water, such as tablets, which are cheaper than chemicals.
27. Small Mirror
This item can be used to see wounds in a blind spot or assist in checking for ticks. Along with this, it can be useful if you’re trying to signal someone.
28. Waterproof Container
For this item, medicine and other perishable items can be placed in. This will help prevent a loss of important items and protect the valuable OTC drugs or batteries.
29. Sewing Needle
Let’s hope thing’s won’t get this bad, but if a wound needs to be closed and you’re far from medical attention, you’ll need a needle and heavy-duty thread. Be sure to read instructions on this before going into it blindly.
30. Magnifying Glass
This can be used for as a fire starter instead of wasting matches during the day. This item can also be used to look closely at a wound and see where the problem may be.
31. Cotton Tipped Swabs
This item will prevent you from using fingers to apply any type of ointment or powder to a wound. This will protect the wound from further infection along with the spread of bodily fluids.
32. Paper Pad and Pencil
This item will be useful to document possible injuries or bites. The information you collect will be necessary when medical help arrives. This item will also be useful in the case that someone is not able to speak.
All these items may seem overwhelming, but be sure to fit them all to your personal needs. This first aid checklist will help you survive in even the worst of situations, but hopefully, the best too. Remember to always read up on how to do certain things done, especially if you’re unsure.
Something else to keep in mind is when to seek medical help. Do not try to be a doctor yourself if you do not have the skill. If needed, do what you can before medical help arrives, but be sure to not wait too long. Safety is a must, so let these items help keep you safe.