When it comes to putting together your SHTF First Aid Kit, you're going to want to customize it for your needs and location. Most First Aid Kits out of the box, won't have the exact items you need, or they'll have additional fluff that can be stripped out to save space. Serious Survivor tells us the 20 "must haves" in your kit.
Remember, if you're building this from scratch, get your items before you buy the bag to put them in.
20 First Aid Supplies You Should Have in Your Kit
1. Bandages and Band-Aids
Every first aid kit needs bandages and band-aids. Since the majority of scrapes and bruises can be handled with a quick patch, make sure you have plenty of each type.
2. Adhesive Strips and Liquid Bandages
Liquid stitches are great for sealing smaller yet deeper cuts. They are easy to use, and you won't have to remove unnecessary stitches when the wound heals.
3. Suture Kit
A suture kit is needed for cuts and gashes that are too long and deep for your liquid bandages to cover. I suggest you educate yourself before poking a needle and thread into someone though.
4. Compression Bandage
A compression bandage or combat gauze is important because it can keep pressure on a wound, or keep the swelling down on a broken ankle.
5. Splints and Braces
For broken fingers and twisted knees you're going to need splints and braces. It's a good idea to pack a few of each type because you never know when someone will sprain something.
If you do not know how to use a tourniquet, learn. Keeping one on too long can lead to loss of limb. That being said, losing a limb beats bleeding out.
7. Antibiotic Cream - Neosporin
Antibiotic creams are great for preventing infection in cuts and burns. Even a small cut can lead to an infection. If you can get your hand on oral antibiotics (consult a doctor) these help with internal infections.
8. Stomach Medication
In a survival situation, your diet will be different. If your gut isn't used to eating bugs, you're bound to hurl from both ends eventually. Keep stomach meds on your to keep your guts in check. If you start puking, you will dehydrate yourself.
9. Allergy Meds
Allergy medicine like Benadryl is good for bites, stings, and to keep you breathing if something in the air is congesting you.
10. Pain Relievers
Pain meds and anti-inflammatories (Advil Ibuprofen) are good for headaches and keeping swelling at bay. Make sure you don't have allergies to any pain killers you put in your kit.
If someone is coming down with a fever you'll want to know how bad it is so you can adjust how you continue.
12. Potassium Iodide
Potassium Iodide is the number one prescribed medication for radiation sickness. Should you be in a SHTF situation, it's possible there will be radiation.
13. Dental Repair and Pain Relief
Chipping or breaking a tooth can lead to excruciating pain, especially if you've got root exposed. Get yourself a filling repair kit and some dental gel.
14. Anti-Fungal Cream
You might not be able to keep your skin clean and dry the entire time, so anti-fungal cream is a huge help. Athletes foot and other rashes can easily turn into full-blown infections.
15. Sterile Gloves
Medical gloves are important if you're going to be working on an open wound, for yourself or someone else you're treating. Put a couple pairs in your kit since they don't take much space, and you can only get one use out of them.
16. Alcohol Prep Pads
Alcohol and antiseptic packets will kill any unwanted bacteria on the wound you're treating.
17. Personal Medication
If you're someone who takes medication daily, bring an additional supply with you. If something does happen, you'll want to be able to continue taking it, even if you can't leave. Consider a waterproof pill holder keychain to store your meds in.
18. Snake Bite Kit
A snake and sting kit is valuable because it can remove or stop venom from spreading into your bloodstream. Certain spider and snake bites can kill you without the aid of modern medicine.
19. Hot / Cold Compress
A compress is needed for swelling. Broken or fractured limbs, certain bites, and blunt force trauma can be eased with a compress.
20. First Aid Manual / Medical Plants Book
This manual should contain the basic information you'd need to dress a wound, give CPR, and set a splint. You should also know which plants can be eaten or used as treatments in your area.
There is always room for improvement in any medical prepping kit you make, and you should always be thinking of items that could save your life, which wouldn't normaly be in a first aid kit.