If you cut out all of the bells, whistles and tongue depressors from the average first aid kit, it begs the question, "What should be in there?"
What do you really need when the chips are down? What kind of medical gear do you need for the most common outdoor injuries? In the first part of this two-part post, we are going to look at the basic hardware of a good medical kit. Then, in the follow up, we'll dip into the necessary medicines to keep you going until you can get to the doctor.
1. Non-stick dressings
These versatile bandages are critical for bleeding control, and for applying pressure to open wounds and snake bites. You can even use them as emergency fire starting tinder.
This is another item for heavy bleeding, specifically on limbs. The tourniquet is for occasions when a person would bleed out without the constriction. You might do permanent damage to the limb with a tourniquet, but the limb is still no good without the life to go with it.
This could be Betadine or a similar product to disinfect a wound or equipment. Betadine can even be used to disinfect drinking water.
7. Butterfly Strips
Since real suture kits for doing your own stitches aren't exactly common at the drug store (for good reason); you'll have to make do with the idiot proof version, Butterfly Strips. Use these band aid cousins on lacerations of all kinds to keep them closed so that the healing can begin.
8. Tape and Gauze
I lump these together as bandaging material. You'll usually need one or the other (or both) to keep dressings in place and to keep dirt out.