Carrying a first aid kit is a must, but aside from a roll of gauze, plenty of tape, a pack of band-aids, and some over the counter medicine, it can be hard to choose the right gear to take with you. In addition to some sun protection, a bug repellent stick, and antibacterial cream, consider adding these 4 items to your first aid kit.
Often sold under the brand name “Quick-Clot,” styptic powder is one of the best ways to stop serious bleeding in a hurry. It works on a huge array of different wounds, from deep muscular cuts and tears to gunshots and even arterial bleeding. Styptic powder can be sprinkled heavily on a cut, or sponges treated with the styptic can be packed into deeper wounds to limit blood loss.
Anyone who has ever hiked long distances with a heavy pack understands just how serious blisters can be. There are a huge amount of different products available to treat them, but moleskin is one of the most popular and cheap ways to prevent blisters entirely. Moleskin has a soft side which rests against the hot spots on your foot and an adhesive backing that holds it in place against the inside of your shoe or boot. It provides enough padding to prevent blisters from forming in the first place, and can save you a huge amount of pain on long hikes.
Like styptic powder, you may never need to have a tourniquet with you in an emergency, but if you ever do it can make a life or death difference. There are a lot of different designs, but one of the most popular is the tactical tourniquet from SOF. Unlike a belt, which is a common alternative, a proper tourniquet can be secured and left alone, freeing your hands up to continue treatment on other wounds or call for help.
While these aren’t recommended for use in humans, and may not even be safe, if you’re in a survival situation and find yourself with an infected wound then they might be worth the risk. Broad-spectrum antibiotics like ampicillin and amoxicillin can be used to treat a wide range of infections, from pneumonia to UTIs, but care needs to be taken when administering them. Be sure that you’re familiar with the proper dosing and understand how long a typical course of antibiotics is supposed to last, or else you could do more harm than good.