Last week we discussed Summer Car Emergency Kits but today I wanted to delve deeper into the First Aid kit included in last week’s post. Below are two lists–the first is for what to include in your DIY First Aid Kit (and why I always start out with a basic premade kit) and the second is a list of life-saving first aid videos that are free on YouTube.

While it’s a lot of work to put together a decent first aid kit, if you ever end up in a true emergency–including a life or death situation–you’ll be so happy that you put in the time and money to build a your kit. The lists below are just a beginning so feel free to add anything else you may need for your personal situation. And next week we’ll discuss how to travel safely with pets–so I didn’t include any pet information in this post. Wherever you go this summer, I hope you have fun and get home safely!

DIY Summer Emergency First Aid Kit

  • Pre-made first aid kit ~ I always start out with a premade kit because it comes with smaller packages of gauzes and tapes that I can’t find on my own. They usually also come with a varied collection of band-aids and other bandages. Below is what the American Red Cross suggests you find in a premade kit–or add the missing items yourself. Everything after these first 20 items are extra–but I consider them necessary to my own First Aid kit.
    1. 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
    2. 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
    3. 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
    4. 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
    5. 5 antiseptic wipe packets
    6. 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
    7. 1 blanket (space blanket)
    8. 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
    9. 1 instant cold compress
    10. 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
    11. 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
    12. Scissors
    13. 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
    14. 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
    15. 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
    16. 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
    17. Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
    18. 2 triangular bandages
    19. Tweezers
    20. First aid instruction booklet
  • Liquid stitches ~ just in case you need to stop bleeding until you get to an ER.
  • Water bottle for cleaning out wounds & for hydration
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) ~ this over-the-counter medication is great for insects bites, hives, and other allergic reactions. I purchase the tablets since they are easier to pack, but if you have children make sure you have the proper form (chewable or liquid) for their age.
  • EpiPen ~ if you have members who have severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. You’ll need a prescription and always keep one for my son in the first aid kit in case we need it on the road.
  • Numbing spray like Bactine
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Calendula cream or Aloe to help ease sunburns
  • Prescription medication ~ Always keep extra RX meds with you as well as an extra prescription if your doctor allows it.
  • Ibuprofen and Tylenol ~ if you have kids, make sure you have the correct formulation for their age and weight.
  • Dramamine or other nausea medication
  • Sunscreen (at least 30+ SPF)~ this includes SPF lip balm and ChapStick
  • Bug spray that contains at least 30% DEET.
  • Afrin nasal spray for nosebleeds
  • Hydrocortisone ointment ~ for any kind of itchies like insect bites or poison ivy, etc.
  • Flashlight/headlamp ~ you never know when you need administer first aid and it may be dark out.
  • Baby wipes ~ perfect for cleaning scrapes and hands and wiping things down when you don’t have water.
  • ChapStick ~ a great way to ease chapped/sunburned lips.
  • Clean towels ~ carry a few clean towels to help keep your first aid tools clean. Can also be used to help add pressure to a bleeding wound. I like the microfiber towels because they absorb a lot and can be squeezed into a small bag.
  • Feminine hygiene supplies ~ can also be used for feeding wounds. They are small but can absorb a lot of blood.
  • Premade finger splint ~ because you never know when you might hurt your finger when changing a tire.
  • Alcohol wipes ~ to sterilize all of your tools and even skin.
  • ACE bandage ~ for sprains, strains, for for holding bandages in place on bigger wounds or holding splints on fractures.
  • Small scissors – for all your cutting needs.
  • Fingernail clippers – for smaller cutting needs.
  • A bottle of Gatorade ~ essential for dehydration and hypoglycemia.
  • Ziploc bags of various sizes ~ to carry knocked-out teeth, pulled-out ticks, or used bandages.
  • Tweezers & small magnifying glass ~ for splinters, ticks, and other small needs.
  • A small First Aid book or chart to help you remember how to do things like wrap a sprained ankle or make a tourniquet.
  • A nice canvas bag to hold all of your equipment

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