The People's Perspective on Medicine

What Is in Your First Aid Kit?

Here's a list of items you'll want to include in your first aid kit and take with you on your adventures.

This summer we have been urging people to assemble a first aid kit that is ready to go at the drop of a hat. Some of the things we put in our first aid kit are a little unorthodox, but they’re not too hard to find. You could easily include them in your first aid kit.

Recently, we discussed this topic on a live radio show. A dedicated listener, Wendy W-S, took notes and was kind enough to share them with us. Now we are sharing them with you so you can follow her advice and put a printout in your first aid kit.

What to Include in Your First Aid Kit:

I compiled the first aid info into a handy guide to place in first aid kit after hearing your July 7th radio show and looking at the article.

Red bag (small fishing box or tackle box)

Include:

  • Antibiotic ointment (brands: Polysporin, Neosporin (has neomycin which some people are allergic to)
  • Antiseptic wipe (to clean cut or abrasion) (example: benzalkonium chloride)
  • Baking soda (to soothe stings)
  • Bandages
  • Black pepper (to stop bleeding from minor cut)
  • Candied ginger (heartburn, motion sickness)
  • Castor oil (soothe stings, prevent bruising)
  • Elastic Wrap (sprained ankle/wrist)
  • Liquid bandage (blisters and burns) (brands: New Skin -paint on, Skin Shield -paint on, Nexcare spray)
  • Meat tenderizer (soothe stings)
  • Mustard (swallow for cramps, apply for burns)
  • Pain reliever (aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, your choice)
  • Wash cloth (cover blood, wipe wound)
  • Roasted almonds (heartburn)
  • Sawyer Picaridin (insect repellent – ticks and mosquitoes)
  • Soy sauce (burns)
  • Sugarless gum (heartburn and constipation)
  • Sunscreen, at least SPF 15 (prevention of sunburn)
  • Tea tree oil (soothe stings, treat nail fungus)
  • Tweezers (remove tick, sliver, etc)
  • Vicks VapoRub (to soothe stings)
  • WoundSeal powder (to stop bleeding)

If you have these items handy they can also be used:

  • Aloe vera (burns, wounds)
  • Vinegar (swallow for muscle cramps, heartburn)
  • Onion (cut and apply to insect stings)
  • Potato (cut and apply to insect stings; may also be used to treat wart)
  • Pickle juice (swallow for muscle cramps)

How to Use Your First Aid Kit:

  • BITES/ STINGS
  • Sawyer Picaridin (prevention of insect repellent – ticks and mosquitoes)
  • Credit card to scrape out bee stinger, then apply fresh cut onion or potato
  • Baking soda (mix with water to soothe stings)
  • Vicks VapoRub (to soothe stings)
  • Castor oil (to soothe stings, prevent bruising)
  • Meat tenderizer (to soothe stings)
  • Tea tree oil (to soothe stings, treat nail fungus)
  • BLISTERS
    2nd Skin (blisters and burns)
  • BRUISES
    Castor oil (soothe stings, prevent bruising)
  • BURNS
    Cold water
  • Aloe vera
  • Liquid bandage (blisters and burns) (brands: New Skin -paint on, Skin Shield -paint on, Nexcare spray)
  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Sunscreen, at least SPF 15 (prevention of sunburn)
  • Vinegar
  • CRAMPS in Muscles
  • Mustard
  • Pickle juice
  • CONSTIPATION
  • sugarless gum
  • CUTS/ BLEEDING
  • Black pepper (bleeding minor cuts)
  • Antiseptic wipe (clean cut or abrasion) (example: benzalkonium chloride)
  • Antibiotic ointment (brands: Polysporin, Neosporin (has neomycin which some people are allergic to)
    Bandages
  • Wash cloth (wipe wound)
  • WoundSeal powder (bleeding)
  • HEARTBURN
  • Candied ginger
  • Roasted almonds
  • Sugarless gum (heartburn and constipation)
  • SPRAINS
  •  Elastic wrap (sprained ankle/wrist)

We’d like to remind you to pack any prescription drugs you will need during your trip, whether they are regular medications like blood pressure pills or as-needed medicines such as an inhaler.

Take Your First Aid Kit with You:

Don’t leave the first aid kit in the trunk or glove compartment, but take it with you. That’s important for two reasons: 1) you will have it handy when you need it; 2) any medications you have packed will not get overheated.

Enjoy your outdoor adventures!

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I have been carrying a small cosmetic bag as a first aid kit in my purse for years. I even wrote an online article about it until the company that hosted it got sold. My bag contained a few of the items listed above but also other items not listed that I wouldn’t do without.

This is a great list! Thanks so much for pulling all the information together and presenting it in a concise form for us!

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^