First aid kits may not usually be the first thing you think of when packing, but if you're heading anywhere in the great outdoors, you'll want to have one. In the best of times, you can use them for minor scrapes and cuts. In the worst of times, a well-stocked first aid kit can stop a bad situation from doing downhill quickly. Here are a few tips that can help you find a first aid kit that is right for you.
The first thing you'll want to consider is where you will use the kit. Is it an everyday carry (EDC) kit, or are you hiking through the wilderness? Leaving it in your car? Or taking it to work? Determining when and where the kit will be used will help you focus on what kind of kit you will need.
You'll also want to consider whether you are building your own or buying a premade kit. Premade kits save you the time of having to build a kit, and they are usually less expensive than buying individual products to put in a homemade kit. On the other hand, building your own lets you take with you what you specifically need for your trip.
Buying a Premade Kit
Premade kits prevent you from forgetting something important in your kit. But before you run out and grab one off the shelf, consider the following:
- Group Size: The more people you have in your group or family, the bigger your kit will need to be.
- Trip Length: The kit will often have an estimated number of days on it. Find one that matches the length of your trip.
- Activity: What will you be doing? For example, if you will be in/near water, you may want a waterproof kit.
- Where you are: Being close to town means you can have a smaller, more compact first aid kit. If you are further away from medical treatment, you may need additional supplies, opting for a more robust kit.
- How much first aid you know: Having a syringe or clotting sponge in your kit does you no good if you do not know how to use them. Brush up on the items that will be in your kit so you can be prepared in an emergency.
Thinking through this information can help you find the right kit for you. If you're just driving to and from work, you can get by with a compact kit from FeverMate. If you are spending a week in the outback, you may buy one of St Johns First Aid Kits that are a bit more extensive. Either way, browse until you find one that you are comfortable with and know how to use.
Building Your Own First Aid Kit
If you are building your own kit, you will want to focus on basic items first. Using a checklist will help ensure you have the right items in your kit. Again, this will depend on where you are going, how long you'll be gone, and how far away you are from medical treatment. If the kit is for your car while going to and from work, you may have a different kit than if you are hiking in the woods for five days.
These items will help keep you and your loved ones safe and alive until you can get medical help. It may also be helpful to keep a first aid pamphlet available to remind you how to use the items in case your head clouds over in an emergency.
Keep in Mind
Check your kit before every trip to make sure it is stocked. An empty first aid kit will not be helpful when an emergency arises. By sticking with these simple basics, buying or creating your own first aid kit can be an easy task, and it may save someone's life one day.