How to get started on a first aid kit

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We talked about starting this thread, so here it is.

First of all, there is a difference between a trauma kit and a boo boo kit. Trauma kits (blow out kit, wound kit, gunshot wound kit, you get the drift) are for traumatic injuries. Boo boo kits (like the first aid kit in an office) are for headaches, scratches, and minor burns and band-aid type injuries. We all probably know how to deal with boo-boos and that can be another thread.

In reality the zombies and hostile Chiganirauis will probably not make it to the party, but there are everyday things like car wrecks, accidental gunshots (rare), cuttings, falls, etc. to be considered. Outdoor sports people like us need to have at least a working knowledge of first aid.

I am really hoping some of our firemen, first responders, EMTs, ER nurses and docs, etc. will chip in here, but let's see what log everyone can toss on this fire...


Senior Member
I had a good friend who teaches battle field types of med care...he got me up some stuff...I will get it out tommrow and post a list and pics. Its preatty basic stuff...U wont do open heart surgery with it, but u can plug a hole and take care of most wounds.


Senior Member
I'm really interested in this thread. I'll be on 10 day drop camp bow hunt in the Colorado wilderness in Sept. I've been looking around for this type of thread. Lets hear it from the Pros, because my Boo Boo pack under the seat aint goin to cut it.

I carry a full blown kit. I am a little reluctant to post it here and give someone ideas because using some of the stuff the wrong way or at the wrong time is worse than not using one.

Basic tools:

Straight and curved forceps for clamping and quill removal. If the forceps cost less than $10 you probably don't want them.

Straight and curved surgical scissors. You need both for trimming hair down to skin so you can clean a wound up decently.

Scalpel blades and blade holder. This is a judgement call tool of the first water. If you lose quills under the hide and know how to get to them, do it before they are lost into/under muscle. If you haven't been trained leave it alone.

Tweezers. Straight and curved electronic assembly tweezers. Again quality is critical.

Suture packs only if you know when to and when not to use them

Decent wire cutters for cutting fence/hooks

A good LED flashlight (you can't work on what you can't see)


2x2 and 4x4 gauze.
roll gauze
roll cotton
a good assortment of regular old bandaids
tape adhesive tape, duct tape, black electric tape and a roll of vetwrap
Ace bandage (consider this as a tourniquet only) it also makes a good muzzle if you know how to use it.

betadine scrub for cleaning up wounds
betadine solution for disinfection
4-6 ounces of each

a 5/10 cc syringe for flushing 4:1 water/betadine through wounds.
Sterile water (unopened bottled water will do)

Rubber gloves if you buy cheap ones they will tear/bust when you pull them on.

Amoxycillin or cephalexin if you know how and when to use it.

Ibuprophen, aspirin and acetaminophen

Those items will get you out of the woods and to a competent Vet/MD

More important than what you have is knowing how to use what you have and when to use/not use it. If you don't know what you're doing, stay with bandaids and roll gauze.

My kit fits into a one gallon drywall plaster bucket with a nice tight lid
I like and recommend buying pre-assembled kits , even though most have useless equipment for laymen..:bounce:

Here is one from Gall's that is adequate. Simply add the extra gear you need (or anticipate needing).

1 Dyna Med CPR Mask
1 Disposable Airway
1 Burn Pad (4" x 4")
16 Adhesive bandages (1" x 3")
2 Abdominal Pads (5" x 9")
1 Trauma Dressing (12" x 30")
20 Sterile Dressings (4" x 4")
10 Sterile Dressings (3" x 3")
2 Blood Stoppers
2 Gauze Rolls (3" NS)
2 Gauze Rolls (4" NS)
1 Waterproof Tape (1/2")
1 Waterproof Tape (1")
1 Elastic Bandage (3")
1 Elastic Bandage (4")
2 Triangular Bandages
4 Eye Pads
1 Petroleum Gauze (3" x 9")
2 Kerlix® 4-1/2"
1 Blood Pressure Kit
1 Stethoscope Kit
10 Alcohol Prep Pads
1 Antibiotic Ointment
1 Bee Sting Kit
2 Cold Packs (5" x 9")
1 Eye Wash
10 PVP Iodine
1 Instrument Pack
(shears, Kelly forceps,
bandage scissors, splinter forceps,
5 Pair Nitrile Gloves
10 Paws Antimicrobial Wipes
1 Rescue Blanket
1 First Aid Booklet
1 Modular Trauma III Bag

I like Miles58's kit and mine is set up in similar fashion..

To this I would add-

Adult and Pediatric C collars
Epi Pens (3- 4) since we are more likely here to face Anaphalactic shock than Porcupines.
More 4x4s (lots more)
Compression Bandage(s)- one handed tourniquets
Vaseline (tm) coated bandages
Silvadene Ointment (for severe burns)
Superglue tube
Suture kit(s)
Possibly a skin stapler
Celox (x3)
Betadine (as noted above)

Definitely include the basic pain control meds as Miles58 notes.....

Antibiotics and other RX drugs can be acquired as needed before your departure (time permitting).



Senior Member
If you have not had a First-aid class and a CPR class take them ,otherwise the kit wont be much of use to you.
after that check out ( or search for first-aid kits or Jump kits etc.. online and you can find some good kits already assembled that will suit your needs.


Senior Member
What are the adult and pediatric C collars? Are those the things that go round thier neck for stabilization due to trauma?
yep,anytime you suspect neck and or back injury you should use this to stabilize a paitent to keep them from moving their head when they are being moved and transported.


Gone but not forgotten
i usually get a small premade kit and add a few things like a snake bite kit. anything more is over my head anyway. but always remember to save one bullet for
I did some heavy research on this last year for backcountry trips. Go to and check out "Wilderness Medicine, Beyond First Aid" by Dr. W. Forgey. Also look at "Wilderness First Aid" from the NOLS collection, also avaliable on Amazon. They give lists for building great kits that include antibiotics, sutures, etc. (Yes, you have to have a physician write the Rx)


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Mine is just a basic blow out kit to plug holes...there are lil things such as asprin etc...Its enough to stop keep someone together till others can get on the scene

Thread starter #15


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kit bag exterior: medium sized bag with strap, the pouch is for M4/AR15 mags. I primarily use it to hold a water bottle and it serves as a holster in a pinch(see pics). Fits a mid sized Glock great! There is also a small LED light fixed to break away with a hard tug (using a twist tie). Light is to check the scene or interior of the bag. I keep other lights in the truck so this is secondary. The grey thing on the webbing is a tourniquet, not the best, but it fits well on the outside and is immediately in reach.

Interior: Bandages, gauze, Kerlix, lockable hemostats, shears, splint (rolled up), vinyl gloves, QuikClot (new formula), Spyderco knife (clips to inside of bag), light sticks (for lighting the area and for warning on coming traffic, etc) marker panel (cut down Army VS-17). The edges of the tape are dog-eared and marked so I can unroll with one hand and find the edges easily. Tape is hard to get to under good conditions, hard with wet, cold fingers at night! The perm. marker is for writing what you did and the time and any meds administered and quantity as well as any other writing requirements. Also, I like my Coflex to be in bright colors so it is highly visible but it is not in the pictures.

In the small pouch is misc. "you gonna have to spend the night" stuff. Fire kit, lighters, waterproof matches, saw, hacksaw blade, cord, water purification tabs, candles, chapstick and a granola bar.

I keep small tools and a little bit of other stuff in the truck. If I am going in a boat or on a hunt I can toss in multi-tool, light and spare batteries, cell phone, etc.

This bag is no where near ideal for every emergency but it is compact and very portable and is always in my truck. I also keep some extra Kerlix and Coflex which can be had at farm supply or co-ops (horse people must use Coflex too). Not pictured is the extra tourniquet, airway and a few other things that are currently in another pouch. I also need to put some betadyne back in to augments the prep pads I keep in the bag. I don't have an IV, etc. but I would probably carry that and more meds on a true back country trip. I keep more supplies at home obviously , but this kit will handle most emergencies that I am qualified to handle.

This isn't a tactical kit


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Senior Member
all the above and don't forget to put a tampax in the kit push into bullet hole and it will absorb the bleeding greatly
Thread starter #17


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FYI, the good compass, pepper spray, multi-tool, pistol and spare mags are in my truck. I also live in a fairly rural area but in town and I am usually within 20 minutes of an ambulance response. The whole point for me at my level is to try and stabilize as best I can and aid in signalling the pros who can evacuate.

If you model your kit with mine add more gloves and an airway cover for CPR. I also need to put I am glad I posted, I took mine out to experiment with another pouch and it needs to go back in along with some benadryl and aspirin.
I left out the epi pen, the silvadene, eyewash and superglue that are in my kit.

I though better of it. If you carry superglue to close a wound it must be clean and disinfected before you close because it will make things much worse if it is not. If you know how to clean up a wound to suture it letting the wound bag open a little at the ends is a good thing, not a bad thing, It might make for a more prominent scar but it's better than closing the wound completely if it isn't absolutely clean. The ability to drain will prevent having to open and debride later so unless you have it open in a sterile field ASSUME it is not clean enough.

Silvadene (silver sulfadiazine) is an outstanding burn ointment for bad burns. If you need it, you usually need a doctor SOON. Betadine from a pump sprayer is a better choice for an untrained user until you get to a doctor.

Likewise an epi pen can be very dangerous. Eyewash can be done with the bottled water just fine and the water won't be a problem if it's unopened. Lots of eye washes get funky with temp cycling.

One thing I would like to really stress is after carrying a full kit for 30 years I have found that not having it at hand is all too easy. The gallon bucket that I use is sturdy, water and dirt proof. I bungee it to canoe thwarts, and it lives in my trunk winter (down to -40 and up to 140) and summer. That means it has to be maintained (replace a lot of stuff) every other year.


Senior Member
I am assuming that this kit thread is not intended to be carried with you all the time afield? If it is, I am just carrying a pistola and a copy of Oprah's Autobiography. I will surely die a quick death either way. If it is for the vehicle, I would also include an ET kit with an assortment of tubes, blades, tape, extra batteries, full assortment of nasal and oral airways, adult and child bvm, magil forceps (adult and pedi), assortment of catheters, IV sets, and 2 bags of NS 1000ml. I also carry an O.B. kit in my bag-I have delivered 14 babies in the field, so if there is a pregnant woman in the later stages of the third trimester around me, she is gonna download! addition to the majority of everything else that everyone else mentioned. I don't care what the laws say about practicing invasive procedures when it involves my family and friends. If I can do it, I will do it!:bounce::stir:
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