Building an Advanced First Aid Kit
The specifics of a travel first aid kit will differ significantly depending on the activities planned during your travels. The advanced travel first aid kit might be used if you are travelling outside urban centres and readily available medical personnel are less available. We recommend that you either make your own advanced travel first aid kit or purchase a pre-made first aid kit and add (or remove/upgrade) to it as to your needs. Do not just purchase a travel first aid kit and never open it as it is good to familiarize yourself with the contents prior to actually needing it.
Advanced First Aid Kit Contents
What do you need to put in your advanced travel first aid kit? The contents of an advanced travel first aid kit are intended to assist in keeping you self sufficient when medical assistance is not readily available, such as travelling in underdeveloped countries, outside urban centres and while hiking or camping. We recommended enrolling in a basic first aid course prior to travel to familiarize yourself with the typical contents of a first aid kit and how to use them correctly.
Build on the Basic Travel First Aid Kit
(which includes items 1-6 in the photo below) by adding the following items and all of these items should be available at your local drug store or pharmacy:
- 7. Gauze (rolled and squares).
Available in different size squares or rolls serves to cover larger wounds, soak up drainage from a bleeding wound or when combined with a wound cleansing agent like saline or peroxide can be used as a sponge to cleanse wounds.
- 8. Triangular Bandages.
Simply a large triangular piece of fabric is a multi purpose tool. It can be shaped into a sling to support an injured arm, shaped into a doughnut to support stab wounds, tied as a tourniquet above severe bleeding wounds or together with a stick to create a splint.
- 9. Tensor Bandages.
Available in different widths, they can be wrapped around an injured joint to provide extra support. Remember when wrapping them to wrap tight enough to provide support but not so tight that circulation is compromised. Skin beyond the tensor should not change to white or blue and should not get colder -- if it does then it is too tight. Tensors can also be wrapped around a gauze covered wound to hold that gauze in place.
- 10. Cleansing solution (Saline or hydrogen peroxide).
Hydrogen Peroxide or Saline are popular choices to discourage the growth of micro organisms in wounds. Soak a piece of gauze and apply over the wound, allow to air dry and apply a bandage over the wound. Whenever possible clean your hands as best as you can before and after wound care.
- 11. Skin Closure tape, butterfly stitches, or paper stitches
Used to hold together open lacerations.
- 12. Medical Gloves
In case you first aid kit is needed to help a stranger -- it is important to protect yourself.
- 13. Other items
Assess where you are going and what you are likely going to be doing and your potential needs. This could include moleskin for blisters for hiking trips, tweezers and a small knife for pulling out thorns, slivers, or cutting items, and so on.
Written by Kim Romaine