Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit





Introduction: Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit

In this instructable I will be showing you how to assemble a first aid kit for your bug out bag. For those of you who are new to the concept of a bug out bag  please check out this link to the Wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bug-out_bag

When you are in a survival situation you are almost guaranteed to have some kind of first aid need that will arise. Not having a well assembled first aid kit in an already chaotic situation can make everything much worse.  

we will start with the pack itself:

The pack is made by Voodoo tactical  (http://www.voodootactical.net/p-1075-voodoo-tactical-molle-utility-pouch-new-resue-red.aspx)
It is a MOLLE compatible first aid pouch with heavy duty zipper. This bag cost around $15 dollars, I bought mine at a local store but they can be purchased from the link.

You want your first aid kit to be the last thing loaded into your Bug Out Bag as it needs to be easily accessible. Your first aid kit should be easy to find in your bag based off of site and feel.

Step 1: CPR Pocket Resuscitator

This is a crucial item to have in your first aid kit.  a pocket resuscitator for doing CPR allows you to perform CPR on an individual and potentially save their life.

I purchased this model on eBay for around $10.  The one feature that you want to make sure that your CPR mask has is a one way valve.  Often times a person receiving CPR will vomit, this valve will keep that vomit out of your mouth. also look for a mask that comes in a nice hard case and includes gloves.

Step 2: Wound Suturing/Closure

There is a good chance that during your survival period you or a loved one will become lacerated in some fashion that is beyond the capabilities of a bandage, for that reason I like to keep a couple of suturing options in my first aid kit.

option #1:

sterile packed suture with attached needle.  these can be found on eBay for quite cheap around $2 a piece, it is also a good idea to have a couple of sterile packed scalpels to go along with this part of the kit.

option #2:

Sterile packed skin stapler and separately packed staple remover. this can be an invaluable tool if someone is injured as it requires very little technical know how.  these can be picked up on eBay for around $15 for the set typically.

Step 3: Bandages and Gauze

This is pretty straight forward you should have a multitude of bandaging options and mine personally includes:

1 ACE elastic bandage with metal clips

1 roll of gauze

2 non stick gauze pads 3x4 inches

1 roll of medical tape

2 large bandages

5 regular bandage strips

4 butterfly closures

Step 4: Miscellaneous Items

Some of the other items that your first aid kit should contain are as follows:

Hand sanitizing wipes
Antibiotic ointment
Alcohol wipes
cotton swabs

Latex gloves
cotton balls

Ibuprofen pills in a small watertight bottle
antihistamine pills in a small watertight bottle
and bismuth pills also in a small watertight bottle.

Step 5: In Conclusion

Remember that your first aid kit should be tailored to your personal needs.  You should include backups up any prescription medicines that you take and be sure to pack extra contact lens solutions if you need to.

Also keep in mind that the point of a bug out bag is to keep you safe for 72 hours during a disaster, it can be easy to overpack and get carried away. You should just try to be thorough but not overexcessive, but of course this is at your own discrection of what you feel comfortable carrying.

Thanks for reading. and let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.



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    One thing most people don't think of or know is to include a few tubes of Superglue. If you don't have a suture kit or don't know how to suture, you can use Superglue! It will close most wounds as it bonds skin to skin INSTANTLY! This was a tip I picked up in the Army from a Combat Medic buddy.

    I would add mini tampons and maxipads. duel purpose item great for asboring large amounts of blood. You can insert them into penetrating wounds

    1 reply

    Remember, tampons and maxi pads are designed to absorb blood. I would recommend using a sterile gauze on the wound and then add the maxi pad to absorb any blood that would leak through.

    I am training to be an EMS and I agree with question agreement about having a syringe for irrigating wounds, if u include mild painkiller shots u would be even more prepared remember to know the proper dosage!

    Just to clarify, if you're trained in cpr, the victim shouldn't vomit, seeing as that only happens when you give them too much air and the excess air goes to their stomach, so if the victim vomits, dont breath so hard next time

    2 replies

    Not true. The victims will not always vomit but usually they do. I was a first aid/CPR instructor and I never saw anything that supports your claim.

    Not necessarily. If the victim was drunk/nauseous before requiring CPR, the first aider's live can be made very unpleasant due to vomiting

    A friend who's a retired army medic (saw service in the first Gulf War) also includes sanitary napkins and tampons with her wound-kit. The sanitary pads are made to absorb LOTS of blood, and tampons can "plug" a bullet wound temporarily, and both are available pre-wrapped in sterile packaging... Also, if you're female or there are females in your group, it never hurts to have a good supply of feminine-hygiene products on hand... :-)

    1 reply

    Also a pack of smokes, when I was in they trained us that the celephane wrapper on a pack of smokes, placed over a sucking chest wound, then secured with a pressure bandage would seal the wound.

    Then you could trade the smokes for more zombie bustin' .226 rounds. Or take up smoking after 20 years, seeing as the end is near.

    Looks like a well packed bag!

    I'd also add first aid training. You need to be able to use those things properly, and be so well versed in techniques you can do them whilst panicking / in pain / shocked etc.

    Not bad...but I would absolutely amend this ASAP to include a syringe for irrigating wounds. Never seal a wound that has not been completely cleaned out. There's no point. The point of sealing the wound is to prevent infection, yet if you seal it without irrigating...you understand.

    Also space blankets can be used to treat hypothermia, which is probably the most likely problem out-of-doors.

    Also, coming from an EMS perspective, you're a little heavy ended here - a lot of redundancy but not a lot of variety. I would forget the bandaids and skin-stapler and opt for bigger, more universal supplies - think stuff to clean wounds out with, stuff to close wounds up with, stuff to help people move to where you can get definitive care. Along those lines 2x2 inch guaze pads, 4x4 gauze pads, small bottles of H2O2 (or saline if have it), large fabric splints, maybe a SAM splint, maybe even a quick clot. Try not to include stuff that will tempt you to undergo open-heart surgery, just keep it realistic - think through what might happen (lacerations, falls, broken bones/sprained joints, hypothermia, etc) and prepare for as many as possible.

    And above all else, learn how to recognize and treat stuff before you need it. And brush up regularly.

    Stay safe! Good work, keep refining!

    1 reply

    I hate to disagree, but closing wounds has nothing to do with keeping out infection. Wound closure is performed primarily for cosmetics. It also leads to more rapid healing. There is actually a higher risk of infection with closure (whether you irrigate it or not). With that said, you are right in suggesting irrigation. It is the most important aspect of wound care after homeostasis (stopping any bleeding). Hydrogen peroxide is typically not recommended. Clean tap water is sufficient. If clean water is not available hydrogen peroxide would be ok, but betadine diluted in water would be better. With contaminated wounds, the best bet is to pack it with clean dressings and forgo closure. Delayed closure is sometimes appropriate (ie days later) but no closure is always acceptable.

    Twistedsense is good sense! (post below)

    As for the other suggestions... I agree. The kit as described has sufficient (maybe overkill) supplies for dressing wounds. The wound closure pieces are redundant. The suture is essentially useless without proper instruments. If you are going to carry a stapler, don't bother with the suture. It is easier to use and requires less gear. The only place not to use it is the face, though if you are in a true survival situation i guess it would be ok. Steri strips or butterfly bandages will work as well as anything unless your wound is under tension. I would suggest adding mastasol or a similar product to help the steri strips stick.

    A space blanket or heavy plastic sheet (or large heavy duty trash bag) can do wonders for heat loss (very common with traumatic injuries!). A SAM splint is great for splinting fractures. Knowledge and training will go farther than any item in the kit.

    Last thought... think of things that will kill you that you can actually use with minimal training... a penetrating injury to the chest can create a sucking chest wound... add a chest seal or make sure you have the materials in your kit to make one. A tourniquet will be more beneficial in life threatening limb bleeding than any of the dressings you include (though they are important too). If you are serious about your kit, consider asking your medical provider for prescriptions for antibiotics and any other medication you think you might need.

    I like the red bag and the general idea. I think current CPR guidelines eliminate breathing into victim. Instead, many chest compressions until you get tired and then some one else takes over. Please, someone recently certified, confirm?

    2 replies

    Chest compressions are definitely the main priority. It takes a while to use up the residual volume of the lungs (what's left after you breathe out) in addition to oxygen reserves tied up in blood and organs. Therefore keeping the blood moving is of paramount importance. Compressions should begin as soon as possible, with survival unlikely if more than 6 minutes pass without compressions.

    The new ratios are 30 compressions to 2 breaths.

    It depends on which organization you get your CPR certification through. I have heard that ARC went to chest compression only CPR but don't know for sure. Certification where I work at still recommends chest compressions and rescue breathing.

    Chest compressions are definitely the main priority. It takes a while to use up the residual volume of the lungs (what's left after you breathe out) in addition to oxygen reserves tied up in blood and organs. Therefore keeping the blood moving is of paramount importance. Compressions should begin as soon as possible, with survival unlikely if more than 6 minutes pass without compressions.

    The new ratios are 30 compressions to 2 breaths.

    Great bag. Everyone looking at this check your local Adult ed and Parks and Rec department for AHA CPR First aid training. Its generally a half day (saturdays) and you will be ready for most things. CPR saves lives, you need the training to know how to use that rescue mask. As a certified instructor for the AHA our goal is to train everyone. We try to have a little fun during the class and keep it light while drilling in the procedures so you wont have to think when something happens you will just know.

    as stated else where this is very "serious" kit which realy needs good sound knowledge to use properly. Being ex-military and working in small groups or alone I learned to pack 2-3 "feminine sanitary towels" which are very useful as wound dressings & pressure pads for heavy bleeds (knife, gunshot or shrappnel ) also easy to obtain just about any where in the world without raising a set of questions.

    Great instructable. Everyone needs to have a FAK. Remember though its important that they have trained with and know how to use all the components ahead of time.

    As I don't know what your medical training experience is please take what I say with a grain of salt.

    If your using the sutures and stapler as a temporary fix until you get to a ER with a few hours than okay but from my experience sutures should not be used except by a trained professional, unless you are trying it on yourself and don't mind the potential for complications.
    If you injure yourself in a bugout situation steri-strips, butterfly closures or even gauze pads secured with duct tape, ace wrap or coflex are a better solution. By closing a wound with sutures you take a big chance of locking in bacteria and causing an infection. Plus you could do more damage than good to the surrounding skin if you are not fully trained in suturing.
    If it is a large wound and you have the bleeding under control you can pack it with sterile gauze and wrap it with coflex or ace wrap. Then change out the bandage at least once daily until you get to your bugout location where you can get better care. Bigger wounds heal from the inside out so as time goes by the wound will get shallower and shallower.

    tldr; for most people steri-strips or butterfly closures would be a much better idea than sutures if you are not a trained medical professional. Youtube is not always a good idea

    cool instructable one thing I would change instead of an ace bandage I use what vet's use on animals it is called coflex ans it is now being brought over to human use you can find it in most drug stores now , works much like an ace however it sticks to itself without the clips . it will also hold a large compress in place.