Bug Out First Aid Kit: What Do You Need?

To determine what you want in your bug out first aid kit, you have to think about what could happen. By anticipating what kinds of injuries you could be facing, you can make sure that you’ve got the supplies you need. Once you’ve got what you need, you can avoid bringing unnecessary weight or tools you don’t know how to use. I’ll break down the reasons for the supplies I recommend here.

Well worn bug out first aid kit.

Small Cuts and Wounds – Bug Out First Aid Kit Bread and Butter

This is going to be the most common injury, it likely is in your everyday life. Because of this, you may take them for granted and not think that they’re that big a deal. They usually aren’t, but if a cut gets infected, things can get serious quickly. In the case of a small cut or wound it’s good to have some tweezers for cleaning and some medical tape. Band-aids aren’t strictly necessary and can be considered more of a luxury item. Medical tape will do the same job, just without the extra padding. In fact, if you’re using bandaids it may make it easier for dirt and debris to get into your cut.


You will likely be working with fire and hot things when you’re cooking so there’s assured to be at least a little risk. Depending on the reason you’re bugging out, though, there could be other compounding risks. In times of social unrest, people light fires. The reason isn’t always clear but this is a fact that we know from history and modern times. If you live out west or down under you’re likely well aware of the risk of forest fires as well. A tube of burn cream will be a good addition to your first aid kit.

Traumatic Injury – Specialty Bug Out First Aid Kit Items

A traumatic injury is any injury severe enough to be life threatening. To prepare your bug out first aid kit, the most serious thing you need to worry about is massive bleeding. If there’s unrest in the streets, there’s going to be broken glass. It only takes one misstep to do some serious damage to your foot. That’s not even to mention the possibility of bullets flying. They sell gauze pads with coagulant formula on them. These are about the best you can do for a major injury yourself. If someone loses an extremity, a tourniquet can also be useful, but be absolutely certain you know how to use it. Tourniquets can do more damage than good if not used properly. You’ll likely want normal gauze and plenty of medical tape, too.

Infection and Disease

You should have iodine tablets and/or other methods of purifying your water. Even with them, you may still face some sort of water-based illness. Diarrhea killed a shocking number of people before we really understood it. Having antidiarrhetics may very well be the difference between life and death. 

There’s an item you may want in your first aid kit for emergencies, that you probably wouldn’t think to look for. That’s fish antibiotics. Antibiotics for people are illegal over-the-counter. Fish antibiotics however, are perfectly legal, for fish only of course. Many sellers put out fish antibiotics that come in pill and tablet form. While this may be difficult for your fish to swallow, it can come in handy if your fish really needs them in a survival situation. Be sure you don’t buy fish antibiotics that come in powder form as they may not be absorbed well by your… fish. You swimming through what I’m putting down?

Mobility-Impairing Injuries

Last but certainly not least you need to plan for injuries that could affect your ability to move. This is crucial in a survival situation. Give me a bad burn on my arm over a sprained ankle when the SHTF any day! Make sure you’ve got a plan to be able to splint or otherwise handle an injury like this. Another mobility issue that can be a sleeper problem is blisters.

Any hiker can tell you that blisters aren’t fun. But, if you need to keep moving they’re going to be a major pain, and if you push them they can get worse. Moleskin can help with that. Moleskin is a thick adhesive piece of material that you can use to protect your blister. You can cut it into the shape of a donut and the thickness of the material will distribute pressure and keep it off the blister itself.

Other Bug Out First Aid Kit Considerations

If you have a medication that you rely on, you should talk to your doctor about getting a “just incase” stash. This obviously isn’t going to be an option if you have to take anything that has a street value. For other medications you might be able to get enough to keep you going for a while. You can at least wean yourself off easier if you can’t get any more after you bug out. You’ll want some basic gear for all medical situations too, rubber gloves, tweezers, gauze, a multitool. Consider a snake bite kit if you know you’ll be at risk of venomous snakes. You’ll want some major butterfly bandages and a suture kit (you’ll want to read up on how to use these too). Keeping these items in a waterproof bag will also be useful for keeping them safe. It’ll also give you a waterproof container for other purposes too.

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