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First Aid Boxes: First Aid Kits You Need to Survive in Style

So many lists and recommendations. So many first aid boxes:

  • First aid kits for vehicles
  • Fist Aid Box for  sports
  • First Aid Boxes compliant with the Health and Safety Executive, and,
  • Compliant with the BS8599
  • Personal first aid boxes
  • First aid kits for catering
  • First Aid Boxes for travellers
  • And First Aid Boxes made especially for the home

There are many first aid kits ready-made available online or you can make up a kit and select the items that you consider essential.

Whatever way you go they all serve the same purpose to render first aid to an injured person

And with that in mind doesn’t really matter where the patient is, we still need basic items in our first aid box

First aid box

Let’s start with the first aid box.

It can be a shoe box or a specially designed suitcase

For long term emergency use a durable moulded case with hinged lid is the way to go.

The international standard for first aid boxes is that they should be identified with the ISO symbol, a white cross on a green background

What to Include in a First Aid Box

Sterile dressings and plaster

Plasters: for small cuts and grazes

Sterile Pads: for covering wounds, holding the pad in place with adhesive tape

Sterile Wound dressings: A sterile pad attached to a bandage. Quick and easy to apply. Used on larger wounds


Roller Bandages: long thin cotton to support joint injuries and hold dressings in place

Triangular Bandages: Strong cotton triangular shaped can be folded to use as a bandage or a sling, or as a dressing for large wounds and burns

Protective Items

Disposable Gloves: Reduces the risk of infection. Always wear them whenever dressing wounds or dealing with bodily fluids

Misc Items

Cleansing Wipes: Alcohol-free to clean the skin around a wound

Gauze pads: Use as padding or as swaps to clean around a wound

Adhesive Tape: to hold dressings in place or secure loose ends of bandages

Pins and Clips: To fasten the ends of bandages

Tweezers: To extract splinters and foreign matter from wounds

Scissors, Shears: for cutting tapes, bandages and clothing if necessary

Emergency Foil Blanket: to keep the injured warm and protect from the weather

Torch: To help see in the dark and to attract attention

Whistle: to attract attention

Scissors for First Aid Boxes

Scissors need to be sturdy, stainless steel and long enough to provide enough force to cut through layers of bandages.

The blades of nurses dressing scissors have one blunt tip and one sharp tip.

But maybe include trauma shears instead of the nurse’s scissors

Trauma Shears

Also known as “Tuff Kuts” are strong scissors used by paramedics to quickly and safely cut clothing from injured people.

The blades are bent and the rugged construction can cut through seat belts, denim even leather

The wide blunt tip slides across the skin minimising the risk of cutting the patient as well as the clothing.

And if you’re buying a first aid kit, then please inspect the scissors that’s included because they will probably be too small, too weak and easily broken. Avoid the frustration, replace with a decent strong pair

Video from St John Ambulance

In an emergency situation you may need to act quickly so it’s important that you know your way around your first aid box

Here’s a short video from Saint John Ambulance showing how to use your first aid boxes

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First Aid Box Contents List

Before a trip and at regular intervals first aid box contents need to be checked, missing items and damaged items replaced.

The first aid box contents list needs to be very legible fit very easy to fit into the first aid box and maybe laminated to make it durable

So, Here is my suggested list of contents for emergency first aid boxes

The Quantities are typical for a family of four

ALICEAll purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying EquipmentOr, in military jargon, Advanced Light Infantry Combat Equipment
ATLAttempt To LocateOr, Above The Law. Or, All Time Low
BIBBug In Bag
BOBBug Out BagA kit of essential equipment that needs to last atleast 72 hours
BOLBug Out Location
BOVBug Out Vehicle
CMCompressed MealsUS alternative to MRE's ???
C-RationCombat RationUS army field rations that were replaced by MREs
CYACover Your Ass
DLPDefence of Life and Property
EDCEvery Day Carry
FAKFirst Aid Kit
FEPFamily Emergency Plan
FIFOFirst In First OutWith respect to rotating food in storage
GHBGet Home BagThe contents of which will be different to that of your BOB...
GMOGenetically Modified OrganismWith respect to vegetables that have had there genes modified
HAMAmateur Radio OperatorWhy HAM, I just don't know
INCHI'm Never Coming Home
JICJust In Case
MOLLEModular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment
MREMeal Ready to EatLatest type of rations in US military
NINJANo Income No Job or Assets
PrepperA survivalist actively preparing for emergencies, disruptions to social, civil, political orderOften acquiring emergency medical and self-defence training, stockpiles of food and water, preparing to become self-sufficient
SHTFShit Hits The Fan
SOTFSurvival Of The Fittest
TEOTWAWKIThe End Of The World As We Know ItScary...
WSHTFWhen Shit Hits The Fan
YoYoYou're On Your Own

Including medication in your first aid boxes maybe a little controversial but as long as the first aid box is made secure and out of reach of small children, it will not hurt to include:

Folding Pocket knife

Used for all sorts of tasks, from opening the mail to self-defence.

Price: Out of stock
LED Flashlight Torch

Not just for the night time but to light up any dark space during the day

Scissors, screwdriver, pliers and many other tools. But for sure only the light work. EDC multitools are not made for the heavy lifting

Even non smokers will need to carry some tool to light a fire. In emergency survival situations. Fire is needed for warmth, cooking and signalling

Be sure to replenish whatever you use and check the expiration dates.

First Aid Guidance Booklet

The first aid guidance booklet offers advice on basic first aid principles. It should not be considered comprehensive.

First aid training needs to be attended by at least one member of the party

The booklet needs to be up to date with the latest first aid procedures and include the use of the items in the first aid boxes. Including unconsciousness, bleeding, broken bones eye injuries and burns the most common injuries.

You can download a free first aid guide from Saint John Ambulance

The pocket-sized guide covers the following first aid techniques

  • Choking
  • Severe bleeding
  • What to do when someone is unresponsive
  • The recovery position
  • Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Heart attack

Saint John Ambulance also provide a free downloadable mobile app that provides easy to follow advice on first aid procedures including CPR, choking and allergic reactions. Very handy.

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