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As I wrote last September, I have a fairly decent first aid kit. It includes everything from a large variety of bandages to pain killers, antibiotics, essential oils, trauma supplies, first aid books, and equipment such as braces, splints and a blood pressure monitor.
Since then, however, Ebola and now measles have become a threat and it is only a matter of time where my first aid kit will be called into play to protect my household from contamination from sickness, or worse, a pandemic.
As I try to cover all contingencies, I have come up with six additional items well suited to the prepper’s first aid kit. These are all items that are commonly available and low in price. Not only that, you may already have a number on hand.
Wouldn’t this be a good time to gather them together with the rest of your first aid items?
6 More Items You May Have Overlooked in Your First-Aid Kit
Hazardous Waste Garbage Bags: Following Ebola, this was the first new item I sought for my first aid kit. These red bags are clearly marked as “Biohazardous/Infectious Waste” and include a biohazard symbol. They come in many sizes and can be used to discard bandages, compresses, needles, tissues, clothing, and all manner of contaminants. They are perfect as a trash can liner for the sick room.
Since disposition of hazardous medical supplies may not be immediate, it will be important to keep contaminants separated from the rest of the garbage; my plan is to take the sealed hazardous waste bags and double then triple bag then in hefty bags.
Link: Medical Action Infectious Waste Bag
Razor Blades: You might be wondering why the heck razor blades are suggested for the first aid kit. The single most important reason is that in order to get a proper fit with your N95 or N100 mask , you are going to need to have a clear patch of skin. If you are ever in a situation where a protective mask is required, it will be handy to have razor blades right there in your kit, ready to go.
It also might be a good idea to have a hank of denim in your FAK so that you can strop the used blades and give them an indefinite life. See How to Sharpen Razor Blades for the Long Term.
Link: Bic Twin Disposable Shaver for Men, 3 – 10 packs
Whiskey, Bourbon or other Spirits: The higher the alcohol content, the better. Spirits can be used to sterilize instruments and clean wounds. Unlike isopropyl alcohol, spirits can be ingested internally to dull the patients pain prior to an invasive procedure when anesthetics are unavailable. Most definitely, whiskey, bourbon, or other spirits belong in the first aid trauma kit.
Oil of Oregano: Oregano essential oil is one of natures most powerful antibiotics. It is also considered to be antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. Perhaps most notably, oregano essential oil is an anti-microbial with a demonstrated ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Mixed in a lotion or with a bit of coconut oil, Oregano oil makes a perfect hand sanitizer that will not expire. See: 25 Ways to Use Oregano Essential Oil for Health and Wellness.
Link: Spark Naturals Oregano Essential Oil, NOW Foods Oregano Oil
Chicken Bouillon: There is a reason why chicken soup is considered a cure-all for colds and other illnesses. It works. According to Medline and the NIH:
The steam from chicken soup may open up congested noses and throats. Soup also provides fluid, which is important for fighting infection. Some researchers suggest that substances in chicken soup reduce the inflammation associated with the common cold, thus providing some relief of symptoms.
Although researchers have not been able to prove that chicken soup helps cure the common cold or other illnesses, you may want to take advantage of these apparent healing properties.
Since it is not convenient to store dozens of cans of chicken soup in your first aid kit, consider chicken bouillon which is cheap, portable, and has an infinite shelf life.
Link: Tone’s Bouillon Cubes, Chicken, 32 Ounce
Flexible Drinking Straws: The final uncommon item is the ubiquitous drinking straw. If you have ever been down for the count, you know how difficult it is to drink out of cup or bottle when you can barely hold your head up. In addition, drinking from a straw is more sanitary in that after doing so, the straw can be disposed of in a hazardous waste bags; no washing required.
Link: Crystalware Plastic Flexible Straws, Individually Wrapped
Other Uncommon First Aid Items
In addition to these six items, take a few moments to look over your first aid kit to ensure that you also have these additional uncommon items that were described in the article 8 Uncommon First Aid Items.
Liquid Bandage such as New-Skin
Tampons and Maxi-pads
Self-Adhering Cohesive Wrap Bandages or Vet Wrap
Hemostatic Agent such as Quikclot
The Final Word
No one wants to be sick but when you are, it is comforting to have a caregiver that is well prepared and that has taken steps to ensure your comfort as well as their own safety from contaminants.
I am always on the lookout for things I may have overlooked when putting together my own first aid kit. Most especially, I keep an eye peeled for items that have multiples uses. With the exception, perhaps, of the hazardous waste bags, the six items today meet that criteria. No comment on the spirits, if the shoe fits, put it on!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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For your convenience, here are the items referenced in today’s article.
Medical Action Infectious Waste Bag: Of everything listed, this is the one that may not be readily available at your local drugstore. These come in a variety of sizes so keep in mind that if you plan to use a hazardous waste bag to line a wastepaper basket, measure first.
Bic Twin Disposable Shaver for Men, 3 – 10 packs: These are certainly cheap enough. As I mentioned in the article, it might also be handy to store a hank of denim fabric that can used to sharpen your razor blades again and again.
Spark Naturals Oregano Essential Oil or NOW Foods Oregano Oil: Here two options for you. I have personally stashed away a goodly supply of Oregano essential oil for SHTF purposes. It is one of my go to oils, and luckily, it is inexpensive.
Crystalware Plastic Flexible Straws, Individually Wrapped: I won’t say anything if you decide to snag a few extras every time you dine out. Otherwise, as with almost everything else on this list, they are dirt cheap. You may also fond them at the Dollar Store.
New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic: I have been using New Skin for years. It is an antiseptic, invisible, flexible, and waterproof. It works.
Super Glue – The Original: This is the original Super Glue brand. Also check out Krazy Glue or Gorilla Brand Super Glue.
Pac-Kit Self-Adhering Cohesive Wrap, 2″ Wide: I first learned about self-adhesive bandages when my dog came home from the vet such a bandage wrapped around his leg. A light went off telling me I needed to add some to my first-aid kit. And so I did.
Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.
3M N95 Particulate & Respirator Mask: This is an inexpensive mask that can be used in a variety of emergency situations. They come in a box of 20 and are NIOSH-certified. The molded cone design is fluid and splash resistant and will greatly reduces your exposure to airborne particles.
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Essential Oils for the First Aid Kit
Consider adding an assortment of health and wellness related essential oils to your first aid kit. At a minimum, include melaleuca (tea tree), lavender, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, and clove oils. At a cost of less than $45, these six essential oils will serve you well in a wide variety of first aid and emergency situations.
You can read about these and other healing essential oils in 20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils or other articles on this archive page: Interested in Learning About Essential Oils.
For an even broader selection of oils consider this Spark Naturals Health and Wellness Kit which includes a total of 10 oils and blends, nicely packaged on a tin that is perfect for your first aid kit. And note that with any purchase from Spark Naturals you will enjoy a 10% discount by using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
31 Responses to “6 More Uncommon First Aid Items”
I have been a Paramedic and I am a herbalist, Denise. What you state has merit, but we’re talking extreme situations in which the best help is going to be what you have on hand and what you know. My recommendation is to invest in the EMT manual for emergency situations and prepare as best you can.
I wasn’t impuning your knowledge. The comments were an encouragement for those you write to learn.
Thank you. And I do find it ironic that all this information is available on the web, but the first thing that will go down with the grid is the net. So investing in how-to manuals should be on everyone’s list.
I wholeheartedly agree. I have a library of books, manuals, and internet printouts. Even if I never have to use them, my kids might, and the information will be there. I wish I had the option to do some Paramedic training. It is emergent medicine that most nurses are not taught. I am a nurse btw. Selene, I disagree with burning infectious trash if it is anthrax, that spreads it as it becomes airborne. Most other things, yes though.
Pulse oximeters need to be protected from emps – easy enough to do, and it is scary to be an asthmatic and not have the equipment needed to do nebulizer treatments. I know!
Thanks for the info and keep up the good work.
While all your suggestions have some merit, there are other things to consider. If you were up against ebola, all the trashbags in the world wouldn’t protect you if you weren’t properly suited up, then suited down when you left the patient. Waterless alcohol cleaners are a very good addition to a kit. There is a really good video at WHO – and whether you like them or not, it really is good at showing very complete and careful care for infectious disease. Kwik Clot is effective, but can burn if used in large amounts or improperly. Essential oils can burn as well, especially esters, if used improperly. It would be a very wise move to take an EMT or Paramedic course – they deal more in emergencies in the field, but it is hard to find the time if you work full time. Maybe someone could do it for a MAG.
I’d love to spend more time on this but I have to go study. I think my main point is make sure if you have items in a kit, you know how to use them appropriately so you don’t poison, burn, or kill someone. Take time to learn. There are excellent, well-written guides to field medicine, identifying and using plants for medicine, and mixing your own essential oil remedies. Don’t just think the knowledge will be there. You have to look for it. And then practice. And keep learning. Good luck.
I would add culinary alum (or veterinary styptic powder) to the list. It is a great bloodstop.
One of the click ads to the right (Prepared Planet) offers a first aid kit that includes a “Bio-Hazard and sanitizing cleanup kit.” Any idea what is included in this? My guess is the bags you mentioned, but was wondering what else. They don’t seem to offer the kit alone.
Definitely drop them an email and ask. The folks at Prepared Planet are very friendly.
What kind of antibiotic do you recommend and how do you administer it? Doses etc. A link would be great!
Chicken bouillon? Please re-cinsider this… First of all, it will have MSG or hidden MSG in it. The only source (even “better than bouillon” has MSG) that I have found that does not have MSG in it is homemade bouillon.
Second of all, the healing benefits of chicken broth comes from simmering your chicken carcass for hours — getting all the goodness out of the bones (minerals gelatin, etc). You are not going to find these things in canned chicken soup or bouillon.
However, the thought is a good one! For all your survival needs, just remember if you raise chickens or have frozen chickens, or cook chickens however, to definitely keep the carcass and make your own homemade broth!!
Re: chicken boullion. There is one place that sells dried chicken and beef stock powder with NO additives. Of course, they’re very bland, but also very convenient. I have used it to make up a “cream o’ soup” mix to replace Campbells in a variety of recipes. Check it out at //www.spicesetc.com/product/Meat-Stock-Powders-Chicken/soup-stock-seasonings. The soup base products have additives, but the stock powder does not.
Sorry I don’t know how to put in a live link so you’ll need to copy/paste instead. They also sell other flavoring powders like Vinegar, Wine, & Worcestershire Powders that you can use in your home-made meals in a jar or MRE’s.
The link came through just fine, Barbara. I went to the website and they have some interesting stuff. I just requested a catalog. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for the link Barbara. I’ve sent for the catalog too. I handmake my own seasoning blends and know how to make dehydrated boullion, but having an alternative method is another great alternative. 🙂 This will help immensely in the varieties I make now.
Manuka honey is a great anti bacterial and was used in WWI to cover wounds so infection wouldn’t set in, it’s properties are similar to Neosporin.
Duct tape is also a good item to have for sprains, splinters, warts and many other uses.
I really look forward to everyone’s comments and suggestions.
I, too, was going to suggest Manuka Honey. We used this,post-surgery, on my husband’s surgical site, and it worked wonders.
another great article. I am printing this to keep in my book. I am compiling several books (3 ring binders) for cooking, storage,first aid,dehydrating,etc
Gaye, I liked your list, but you don’t want to give alcohol to a bleeding patient as it thins the blood. Find a stick to bite and suck it up. I like your other ideas very much though.
Also add sugar, honey, coconut oil.
Also, alcohol to sterilize a wound should be the very last option. Alcohol can kill the tissue in an open wound. Dead cells are a good food source for bacteria which could cause infection. Using sterile water or saline to irrigate the wound 2-3 times a day will dilute the bacteria by removing some of it each time you irrigate. “The solution to pollution is dilution.”
Have you ever heard about using a veterinary product call “Kwik-clot” (the same idea as fish antibiotics)?
I also had a question on seeds? How do you store your heirloom seeds? Vacuum sealed jars, freezer or????
That is a new one and something I will need to research (Kwik-clot).
I was keeping my heirloom seeds in a sealed jar in the freezer but I did not like seeing them scrunched (square packet in a round jar) so now I put them in a sealed Rubbermaid type container; again in the freezer. I believe that freezing puts the seed embryo in a state of suspended animation, thus preserving their integrity.
Freezing seeds doubles their shelf life. Seeds stored at room temperature “breath”moisture in and out which expends energy. When the stored energy of the seed is used up, the seed dies. So storing in a glass jar with a water proof, tight fitting lid is very important. The container needs to be water proof, not necessarily air tight, vacuum packed, nor oxygen absorbers. When you take the seeds out of the freezer, do not open the jar until it comes to room temperature to prevent condensation on the inside of the jar. Moisture, light, and heat are the 3 quickest killers of seeds.