Today I want to look at the topic of first aid. Preparedness is a big theme within the EDC community and really who doesn't want to be as prepared as possible for what life might throw at you.
Here's the thing being prepared for any situation isn't just dependent on the gear you have, its also about the skills and training that you have acquired. First aid is no different. Sure you could carry around a backpack sized trauma kit but if you don't know how to utilize the items you are carrying it won't do nearly as much good. By no means does everyone need to be able to perform open heart surgery but maybe learn how to perform CPR, or apply a tourniquet, or a similarly basic level medical practice. In addition, the items in your first aid kit are going to be somewhat different depending on the needs you are looking to meet. For some people, they may want to carry a ton of different bandages and a tourniquet so that if something major goes down they are prepared. Other people might be perfectly fine with just some band-aids and pain killers. Whatever the case I think that everyone should have at least some level of preparedness when it comes to these types of items. There are also plenty of ways to carry your first aid kit. I personally carry mine in my work bag. I have seen other people carry their IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) in a wrap on their ankle. Then again there are those minimal people I mentioned earlier who could stick a couple band-aids in their wallet, attach a pill fob to their keys, and call it a day. Like everything this this is highly dependent on the individual. My goal here is to go over what I carry and the reasons behind this kit and then go over some options as to where this could be expanded.
My First Aid Kit:
First I would like to start off by saying that I used to carry my kit in a Ziploc bag in a side pocket of my work bag, but have since reorganized into a small pocket organizer style bag in order to have greater room and better durability.
First up we have medication. I carry a variety of pain killers because people have different preferences. I also carry a couple allergy pills and antacids. The antacids are mostly for me because I occasionally get heart burn. I know it isn't great to carry all of these in this manner but I honestly picked it up after using this format for backpacking where weight is very important.
For most situations my assortment of Band-Aids will do the trick, I like to keep a couple different sizes and have also included some butterfly closures.
When those items aren't quite enough I can brake out the gauze pads I also carry.
To go along with the gauze I keep a roll of self adhering wrap so that everything can be kept in place..
I like to keep a few small packets of antibiotic cream instead of carrying a small tube. I like the small nature and it just fits nicely.
Here we have a small bag of Q-tips. These have the capability of applying something like antiseptic cream and can also be used as a hygiene product if needed.
I also carry Chap-stick in this kit. It is mostly used for chapped lips, but I have also used it for small paper cuts to help seal and heal it.
I keep two sets of gloves in the case. Side note, I hate how they feel but I like having them if they are needed.
I keep a couple wet wipes just for clean up purposes.
I also keep a few sterile wipes so that I can clean any areas around a wound.
In addition to the thermal blanket I keep in my bag I keep an extra one in my first-aid kit dedicated for first-aid situations.
The largest item I keep in this kit is a Swat-T tourniquet. For some people this may be a bit overkill but I like the security. I didn't always carry a tourniquet but I started carrying one this past year. The reason I added this item is that the University I work at has experienced an active shooter situation as well as additional threats since I have been here and as a staff member I have a responsibility to not just my employees but also the students who use my our facility.
Another big example of this mindset is this Bleed Stop. I keep a couple packets of it as well.
In my kit I also a small package of tissues. These are more for hygiene but because I consider them used for possible illness symptoms I included them in my first-aid kit.
Here we have a set of shears for getting through bandages or clothing.
A much smaller version that I also keep are these small folding scissors that are handy for small tasks.
This is just a set of tweezers for tasks along the line of removing splinters.
Lastly I keep a Mini Sharpie for writing purposes.
Well that is my EDC first aid kit. I have a plan to continually add items into this kit until it feels complete starting with the items below. Like I said I carry this in my work bag because I have access to it most of the time. The times when I am not at work I typically have access to similar supplies. I would encourage everyone to get familiar with first-aid training and the equipment you need for different situations. You may not need a large kit but it might be beneficial to carry at least a couple of items.
Larger Variety of Bandages
Vaseline (In my backpacking first-aid kit I keep a small tin of Vaseline and plan on making another for this kit)
Super Glue (I had a small single use tube for small wound closure but it leaked out)