You know what SHTF means, but do you have a proper SHTF first aid kit? It can treat many different injuries, including more severe ones, and it also has enough supplies for several of those serious injuries. It’s essential to have a complete first aid kit ready for the SHTF moment. The following list will help you ensure yours is complete.
Starting Your Kit
The last thing anyone wants in an emergency is to be digging for the necessary item. Also, a kit needs to be portable to bring the essential items to the injured person instead of bringing them to the kit. A very large fishing tackle box is a great way to be portable with a well-organized kit. Large items fit in the bottom of the box, with smaller items organized in the trays.
Another option would be an Emergency Response Trauma Bag. They are easy to tote around but don’t have nearly the options to separate out and view supplies like the fishing tackle box.
An important tip is not to skimp on supplies, and it is crucial to have high quality when dealing with a life or death situation.
Broken out by minor injuries, major injuries, medical tools, hygiene, and other extras, here is a list of essentials for you with Amazon links provided for some items:
Your kit will be primarily for flesh wounds, which are the majority of minor injuries. This means much of your kit will be different types and sizes of bandages, and minor wounds will require:
- Alcohol towelettes: Essential to have around, they clean the wound and the area around it.
- Antibacterial ointment: Infections can kill. Killing the bacteria that might cause an infection is essential.
- Syringe: A wound is unlikely to be clean. For cleaning out dirt and debris, a syringe and potable water will do the job.
- Butterfly closures: Used to close wounds where the skin is open or separated, they reduce bleeding and protect the wound.
- Clotting agent: A clotting agent will make the clotting process go faster and stop the bleeding.
- Regular adhesive bandages
- Cloth knuckle bandages
- Large bandages: Gauze pads in the 4” x 6” and 2”x 3” sizes will be for dealing with medium size wounds.
- Medical tape: The gauze won’t hold itself in place so make sure you have plenty of medical tape.
Broken bones and deep cuts are major wounds that can have serious consequences. Also, health related injuries like a heart attack or low blood sugar can be critical in some situations. Being ready for them includes:
- Elastic bandages: They can be used for things as simple as a sprain or torn ligament or used to hold a splint in place.
- Sam splint: A splint kit that can be cut with surgical scissors, it is easy to carry, and light. Made of light aluminum and ¼” foam, it can be formed to fit almost any break.
- Sling or combat cravat: Broken arms need to be stationary and a sling is the best way to make sure that happens.
- Tweezers: Used for all wound types, tweezers are essential for removing small contaminants from wounds.
- Medical scissors: If a pair of jeans need to be cut off or bandages removed, quality, sharp medical scissors are what is needed.
- tourniquet: A one handed tourniquet is quick and can be adjusted to the right tightness.
- Thermometer: A severe infection or illness can result in fever and knowing the temperature matters. If a fever gets over 102 degrees, emergency cooling measures need to be taken.
- Eye cup: Debris that causes scratches to the eye can be serious. Chemical exposure can cause blindness. Having ways to flush the eyes is crucial. A full eye flush kit is an even better option than an eye cup.
- Hemostats: If a limb is severed, closing veins is essential to prevent fatal amounts of blood loss. A hemostat can save a life.
Once humanity understood biology and micro-biology we figured out that more people were dying from unclean conditions than their injuries in many cases. Hygiene is essential.You should consider:
- Anti-bacterial hand cleaner: Don’t touch a wound without cleaning your hands first. You could end up transmitting all kinds of bateria.
- Face mask: An N95 facemask helps to prevent from breathing germs onto the wound and is very effective.
- Sterile rubber gloves: They need to be sterile, single use gloves.
Mostly self-explanatory, these are items not to forget:
- Over-the-counter medications: Like pain relievers, antihistamines, etc.
- Instant cold packs: Can reduce swelling but have a very limited use window of 15 minutes once snapped.
- Lidocaine: To reduce the pain of the wound before touching it if needed.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: Reducing the inflammation reduces pain and can facilitate getting movement back. Something like Diclotard (for medium inflammation) or even Advil, Motrin, or Midol is a great thing to have in your kit.
- A magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe: To find those small contaminants or splinters.
- Tegaderm: It’s an ideal dressing to put over wounds, rashes, and burns to hold in medical cream.
- Dental repair paste and toothache drops: Neither is a permanent remedy, but if a dentist isn’t an option, both can help alleviate pain.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Consider it a good start for addressing many injuries that could potentially happen in that SHTF moment. Never hesitate to ask your friends that are medical professionals what they have in their SHTF kit.
How did we do? If we missed some great products, please let us know in the comments. Everyone benefits when we share what to have ready for when SHTF.