As you put together a bug out bag, it’s vitally important that you include plenty of first aid gear in case of a medical emergency. While a lot of newbie preppers add a basic first aid kit to their bug out supplies, this really isn’t enough if you are going to be truly prepared for an emergency situation. Think about it for a minute… if you have to get out of town quickly and possibly even go on foot, how many medical emergencies could you encounter? You could fall and sprain an ankle. Your child could fall into a campfire and suffer burns. Someone could have a life threatening allergic reaction or require stitches. In these situations, a $10 first aid kit just won’t cut it. That’s why you need to add these other essential first aid supplies to your bug out bag now.
Adding a suture kit won’t be expensive, but it could make a huge difference if someone gets cut and requires stitches while bugging out. You can order a basic suture kit online that includes your instruments, gauze dressings, and sterile sutures with needles attached. Look for a kit that includes iris forceps, iris scissors, mosquito forceps, surgical scissors, utility bandage scissors, and a needle holder. Just keep in mind that having this kit is only helpful if you know how to use it. Watch videos online to learn the proper way to apply sutures to a cut. It’s a skill that you need to know!
Next, you need to invest in supplies to treat any kind of trauma that you could possibly encounter while bugging out. Start out with basics like disposable latex gloves, Kerlix (gauze), ace wraps, medical tape, pressure dressings, sam splints, asherman chest seals, and tourniquets. You should also add some Quickclot and Hemcon bandages to your bag in case of severe bleeding. Don’t forget burn dressings too!
Your bug out bag should be well stocked with both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Start with basics like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Benadryl, Imodium, and Dramamine. If you take prescription medications on a regular basis, you should always have a two week supply (minimum!) prepared in your bug-out bag. If you can get other prescription medications from your doctor like antibiotics or anti-nausea medications, those are really smart additions as well.
Miscellaneous Medical Supplies
Think about the objects you grab when you have a medical situation at home. You will probably need antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, cotton swaps, alcohol wipes, a thermometer, and cotton balls. Next time you are at the doctor’s office, take note of the supplies they have sitting around that they keep handy in every exam room. These are the kind of objects you should be adding to your medical gear.
Life or Death Items
Lastly, don’t forget the major life or death medical gear. You should get an epipen for your bug out bag if at all possible. This is crucial if you or someone in your family suffers from known allergies. However, sometimes an allergy remains unknown until that first exposure. If your child would have a sudden anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting when you are in the middle of the woods, what would you do? Having an epipen on hand would be life saving!
The same is true for an asthma inhaler. I have a child with severe asthma and keeping a portable battery-powered nebulizer and extra inhalers on hand is just non-negotiable. Asthma is unpredictable and if you or your child has an attack far from home, you need the right medications and equipment to deal with it.
A portable defibrillator is the final life or death item I recommend. Even if no one in your family has a history of heart problems, it is better to be safe than sorry. Cardiac arrest can be sudden and an unexpected heart attack could be an instant killer. Invest in a defibrillator that you can keep in your bug out bag and learn how to use it properly.
By adding these items to your bug out equipment, you can be sure that your family is prepared for a medical emergency. Whether you are at home or bugging out in a survival scenario, medical gear is never a waste of money. Invest in some good supplies and you won’t ever be sorry.