Best Medical Survival Kits: Forget These 10 Items At Your Own Peril

Why is the best medical survival kit important in a disaster?
There are many reasons. Here are just a few.

  • If you get injured while bugging out or making an exit, what do you do?
  • What if there is severe bleeding?
  • What do you do if there is a broken bone?
  • What happens if someones tooth gets chipped or broken, and they are in deep pain?
  • Imagine walking through some high grass when a copperhead strikes your ankle and bites you. Miles from any hospital

So when it really comes down to it, the only doctor you’ll have… is yourself. And with that in mind, what we’re going to do here is look at a typical medical kit. If you do end up as your own doctor, and you’ve got a medical kit on hand, you’d better know what’s there. Right?

Let’s go through it and learn what a medical kit is about. And the one we’ll look at is the “global vision international medical kit” by Nomad.

By understanding each piece, you might be able to build your own kit at a lower cost. Now here’s what you’ll find in the “global vision” medical survival kit:
* Paracetamol * Ibuprofen * Rehydration Sachets * Rehydration Spoon * Loperamide * Antispetic wipes * Cetirazine * Hydrocortisone cream * Daktarin cream * Savlon spray * Assorted Plasters * Wound Closure Strip * Lancets * Non Adherent dressing 10cm x 4 * Micropore tape 2.5cm x 1 * Wound Dressing No.14 x 1 * Crepe bandage * Compeed Blister Plasters x 2 * Gloves Non Sterile x 2pr * Scissors x 1 * Tweezers x 1 * Safety Pins x 6 * Sterile Equipment Pack x 1

1. Pain Relief / Swelling / Fever

If there is nothing else in your medical kit, pain relief is a must. And here are two items that are relatively inexpensive to add to your kit. Paracetamol which is a pain reliever and fever reducer. It is often used for headaches and other minor aches and pains. In the US it’s known as Tylenol. Ibuprofen is another item to include. This is used for pain, fevers and swelling. The unique thing about Ibuprofen is that the World Health Organization uses it as a “core” medicine. Now pain relief is huge, but what happens if the person can’t breathe?

2. Breathing

There is a remote chance that someone in your party will need some respiration assistance. That’s where this category of medical gear comes in. Not all medical kits have it, but the best ones do. One model is the Resuscitator with a one way valve. These pocket sized units run around $20 online. You can pick them up at Walgreens too. But what if the person can breathe properly but has a broken bone? Then what?

3. Splints / Broken Bones

Broken bones need to be immobilized. This gives the limb a chance to heal. To help this process, there are splints on the market that are lightweight and malleable. One example is the Anaconda Splint. This splint is used to immobilize and support broken or sprained limbs. Another is the SAM Splint. These sturdy portable splints are on Amazon for your fingers and toes. Of course, having a broken bone can in cases bring high risks, but freezing can be even more dangerous.

 4. Thermal / Heat

For the injured, the resources in their body focus on the injured area. That’s why its important to keep the injured person warm and comfortable. There are different levels of heat assistance. For instance, one type is local. The local type includes hand warmers and blankets. Here are a few examples.

Heat Sheets from Adventure Medical can be found on the web for under $10. Now check this out. If you go to the Heat Sheets website, you can buy a box of 100 sheets at 72″x48″ for around $80-$90. That’s less than $1 per sheet. Have some friends chip in, and you can put a couple in each persons bug out bag. Another similar product is the hand or foot warmer.

Hand & foot warmers are so simple. You just break open the packet and the pouch inside heats up for 6 hours.

5. Wound Treatment / Skin

Its important to stop bleeding fast. Also important are bites, cuts, abrasions, poison plant exposure and other invasive wounds. Here are a few items to include in your medical kit.

Savlon Dry Antiseptic Skin Healing Spray. This is an antiseptic powder spray for no-touch first aid treatment. Here’s what it does. It makes a protective layer that prevents infection. Savlon also helps the healing process in minor cuts, burns, blistered hands, feet and abrasions.
QuickClot wound treatment for bleeding and deep wounds is essential. And if you don’t have this then at least include some tampons.
Daktarin cream has an ingredient called miconazole. That is an antifungal medicine used in treating fungi and yeast infections.
Hydrocortisone used for minor skin irritations, itching, and rashes. It can also be used for eczema, insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, itching and irritation of the scalp.

6. Hydration / Diarrhea

You would be surprised at how close most of us are to dehydration each and every day. We just don’t feel it coming on. And we think because we’re drinking anything, that we’re hydrated. But its not true.

The essential thing to know is this. Once a person is injured, dehydration can come quickly. So here are some hydration items to include in your medical kit.
Loperamide. This is used for diarrhea which might be from gastroenteritis or some kind of inflammatory bowel disease
Oral IV Hydration solution. Oral IV is used for hydration. The difference from sports drinks is that it has no sugars, caffeine or stimulants.
Drip Drop. Drip Drop is an advanced form of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). It has fewer calories, less sugar and twice the electrolytes of conventional sports drinks. Here’s whats interesting about ORS. There have been some clinical settings where OR therapy has outperformed intravenous drip therapy. That’s pretty amazing.

 7. Allergies

Although I’ve never had them, I’ve had friends who have had allergies. And it’s no fun to deal with.

Cetirazine also goes by the name of Zyrtec, prevents and treats hay fever symptoms. It can be used for allergies like stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, itching of the nose and throat, and itchy, watery eyes.

 8. Antiseptic / Bandages

Whether in cream, spray, liquid or wipe form, it is essential to have antiseptics to clean cuts or grazes that may occur. And with exposure to dirt and a typical camping environment, bandages are even more important.

Also, its a good idea to include elastic and triangular types of bandages.

9. Tape / Strips / Sutures

Hank Ensing over at has a great idea. It’s called The Survival Rip Kit. His kit is vital for situations where someone needs to be sewn up. And you’re the one to do it.

 10. Equipment / Cutters

There’s not much to explain about this category. But its important. That’s because in any medical emergency you’ll be cutting bandages, dressing, clothing or skin. Although its at the end of the list, its not a low priority item.

1) Sterile Equipment Pack
2) Scissors
3) Tweezers
4) Lancets
5) Razor blades

When All Is Said And Done…

In thinking about your bug out bag or survival kit, don’t go cheap on the medical part. If it’s the only option you have, then try making your own. Take this list of 10 items and start putting your own together this week.