A suggested medical kit


A decent but comprehensive medical kit is likely to be an essential part of your preps, don’t forget to obtain by any means necessary extra prescription medicines needed by anyone in your family.

Sterile Packs, containing coated sterile field, 2 comp procedure tray, non-woven swabs, dressing towels, latex gloves, yellow disposable bag.

Gauze swabs

Sterile dressings assorted sizes

Field dressings

Band-aids / Blister dressings


Alcohol wipes

Burn gel squares


Sterile gloves

Stitch cutters



Spencer Wells Forceps/ Haemostats

Syringes for irrigation

Aspirin (liquid and tabs)

Paracetamol (liquid and tabs)

Ibuprofen (liquid and tabs)

Calpol (for kids)

Antihistamine cream and tabs

Anti-inflammatory cream and spray

Anti-fungal cream and spray

Antiseptic cream

Anti-biotics, tabs, powder and liquid

Bonjela mouth ulcer & teething treatment

IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) Tabs (Colofac)

Eczema spray and cream

Insect repellent lotion and spray

Hydrocortisone cream

Acne & spot treatment (Nicotinamide 4%)

Vaseline / petrolium jelly

Eye ointment / allergy drops

Nasal decongestant (Otravine spray)

Diarrhoea treatment

Eye drops

Ear drops

Worming treatment

Re-hydration sachets (Dioralyte)


Broad spectrum antibiotics

Local anaesthetic spray and cream

Malaria treatment

Multiple bottles and sprays of Detol / Detox

Important do obtain

All prescribed medications for everyone in group

Spare sets of all prescribed spectacles, dentures, hearing aids etc

This kit is in no way complete or comprehensive, but it does provide a good basic kit to build from, watch out for expiry dates and rotate / replace as necessary.


  • Comments (24)

    • 6

      Could I also suggest a decent first aid manual.

      Red Cross First Aid Manual

      Also, any amount of cotton sheets or sheeting to make your own bandages and dressings. From personal experience, its amazing how many dressings you can go through when treating a serious injury. Leaky injuries can sometimes require re-dressing several times a day and a good supply of clean material is gold. Boil before use to sterilise and use any sterile commercial dressings you may have closest to the wound.

      • 4

        Yup and attend regular F A courses cos most can be accessed for free.  Also with the FA guide a BNF is a handy reference ( British national formulary) it lists all potions, lotions and pills usage and treatment.

      • 5

        I have my First Aid Manual from St Johns Ambulance packed in the tub with the first aid supplies. Thank you for the cotton sheeting idea. How long would I have to boil the cotton to sterilise it? 

        My husband had a seeping wound from a serious infection and the dressings had to be kept dry. I remember we went through a lot of dressings.

      • 6

        I boil for 10 minutes which I think is the general consensus.

      • 9

        You’re safe Linnet,

        The only tangent to consensus is high altitudes require three times longer of full boil.

        Believe CDC says a 1 minute heavy boil but 10 minutes after setup wouldn’t be overkill.


        Now the number of bleach drops for disinfectant can get funny !

      • 4

        Thanks Bob for boil info.

        From what I understand, bleach degrades in strength each year. If I buy 5% bleach and store it, it will only be at 4% one year later and that is depending on when it was manufacturered. I’m not sure, but I think it is 1% per year?

        Is that why the number of bleach drops for disinfectant can get funny?

      • 6

        Appreciate tbis reminder; had forgotten bleach quality reduces over time.

        The bleach drops humor is from CDC and other orgs.  The “official” recommendation for water is one eighth of a teaspoon of bleach. For cloudy water: one fourth of a teaspoon.

        Who the Hades can be out on the trail evacuating to safety and be able to calibrate teaspoon measurements ?! 

        I was once teaching this per the pamphlet and then asked “How many drops of bleach can a plastic spoon from local Chinese take-out restaurant hold ? Had checked the 3 basic pharma stores of this area plus Walmart looking for what was once called an “eye dropper”.  Could not find this item.  Will not check medic / EMT supply stores due costs.

        Needing minute bleach quantities in the field translates to pre-loading a couple of small containers. Avon cosmetics company had ideal small sample containers that served this purpose.

      • 6

        Eye Dropper = Pipette


      • 7

        Thanks Bill, it was missing from my supplies. We always had one or two at home growing up.

      • 5

        Bob, I just ran a quick check for eye droppers. Walmart is supposed to sell them. Michael’s crafts stores refer to them as Bill did below “pipettes” and a company called Uline in Canada as well. Uline sells the dropper and container from what I could learn on a quick check.

        From years ago, someone said to use sodium hypocholorite (not pool shock). I am concerned about the storage issues with it. I think pre made bleach is safer.

        Thank you.

      • 3

        Am guessing specific Walmarts not carrying items that don’t sell.  It’s not here.

        Will be checking Mitchels  crafts store in big town.

        Bill, unless pictured pipette is calibrated or reservoir at max fill holds published amount of cc or drops, item probably OK for shelter but in evac mode would hesitate to use glass w/o calibrations.

        I am currently using some sample bottles from Avon. Forgot capacity but they are lightweight and unbreakable. Capacity written down in field notebook I carry. 


        Bleach disinfecting water is just 1 method used for drinking water/wound care.  My philo is to have more than 1 method. Much is governed by the situation’s variables.

      • 4

        Thank you Linnet. Much appreciated.

    • 6

      The first aid kit / medical kit is in a transition now.  We’re dealing with major improvements to stuff that allows for non-medic professionals to serve as temporary “bare foot doctors”.

      My theme is modified to the basic 1. airway management, 2. prevent shock, 3. stop bleeding. Aforesaid still primary matters but the kit(s) loaded differently. Environment is “away from home” and need to evac to safe haven such as a medical clinic.

      Loadout for this field kit(s) is (availability of water involved) has a few Roman Numerals such as:

      I.   Warm blanket(s) that can also be stretcher, litter, drag blanket2

      II.  Pain management via RX analgesics eg Tylenol 3 and 4 (4-6 hours and 9-12 hours respectively) to walkto place for more care. If with us, DDS would have custody of (can’t spell) zenocane via injection. Gastro-Intestinal via Paragoric USP, it’s RX and contains opium for pain management.

      III.  Currently researching the somewhat new dressings pre-loaded with the antibiotics and other pharma.  There’s a new dressing that is above pre-loaded type and also dissolves/disapates on patient as per some criteria.  Had asked TP.com (USN Medic w/ USMC [Pls excuse forgetfulness of name] to review this new product.

      Instruments include a magnifying glass and a 12X one side of mirror and regular otherside of mirror.

      Here at shelter, health care prep gets no less attention and budgeting than food, water and repair supplies.

      Again; My multitool is a Leatherman Crunch in case assigned to a dental extraction.


      Not sure about malaria treatment without ability to access a med lab.  We do worry about snake bites.  We seek all to have pre rabies vaccinations.

      • 7

        Bob, see my new post from the BBC about sugar.

      • 6

        Just read the Clara Wiggings BBC article.

        I believe in this type of pharma.  The significance of the article is, however, less about health care and predominently about cartels.  This is an off-limits topic for here.

        Will mention that at a field emergency dental course I took, was learning about dental adhesives to glue on some covering for tooth until getting to big town care.  The DDS instructor said this dental adhesive was Portland cement.

      • 5

        Thanks for the info, Bob.

    • 6

      Thank you for the list Bill. Rotations currently for my kit and will add to it.

    • 7

      I’m currently tracking down some Mancuna Honey from New Zealand, apparent its the best by far for its healing properties.  My wife used to suffer badly from recurring bletheritus  a nasty eye infection. She used to use Pharma treatments every month but it always came back.   Then a GP suggested using Mancuna so we got a small sample and tried it  by putting it on her eyes just as she went to bed. it cured it in 24 hours and has never come back. That was a few years ago.  Now my son has an eye infection so round two commences.

      Oh and of course HONEY NEVER GOES OFF, if it starts to crystalise simply microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds to restore it.

      • 9

        Bill, There is a Manuka honey available online. Maybe that is the same type you are searching for? Webmd has a good article on it explaining why it works.

        Good point about the honey not going off. Unpasteurized honey is the one that carries the antibacterial properties.

      • 4

        Honey is pretty neat, never goes bad and a great source of sugars and calories.

        Do you think that microwaving damages the nutrients in honey? Would slow double boiling in warm water keep more of the nutrients?

        I always microwave, but been curious if there is a better way.

      • 7

        I’m guessing gently heating in water would preserve more nutrients, All we are trying to do is liquify the bees wax molecules that start clumping together ?? 

      • 5

        Hi Alisa, Hope the following info can help

        From lincolnlandbeekeepers.com 

        “The microwave will essentially destroy all of the beneficial enzymes and properties of the honey”.

        From bee-health.extension.org the following quote:

        Honey should not be heated rapidly, over direct heat. Basically, the hotter you heat it, the more potential for reducing nutritional value. Excessive heat can have detrimental effects on the nutritional value of honey. Heating up to 37°C (98.6 F) causes loss of nearly 200 components, part of which are antibacterial. Heating up to 40°C (104 F) destroys invertase, an important enzyme. Heating up to 50°C (122 F) for more than 48 hrs. turns the honey into caramel (the most valuable honey sugars become analogous to sugar). Heating honey higher than 140 degrees F for more than 2 hours will cause rapid degradation. Heating honey higher than 160 for any time period will cause rapid degradation and caramelization. Generally any larger temperature fluctuation (10°C is ideal for preservation of ripe honey) causes decay.

        -John Skinner, University of Tennessee”

      • 6

        Thank you Ubique! I am not going to be microwaving my honey any longer. 

        I’ve been transferring my honey from a plastic bottle to a glass bottle when I buy them so that I can more safely heat it up in a double boiler if it crystalizes. I’ll be sure to heat it slowly and only keep it on there for only as long as necessary. 

        Thanks for sharing that info!