This blog is Part 3 of 3 in a series about picking out the perfect first aid kit for your needs. If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2 yet, feel free to click those links first. Then come back to this blog post.
In the previous two posts, we first identified what your needs are, and then picked out the best first aid kit that met those needs. In this post, we will cover any gaps your first aid kit might have. You can view our entire collection of first aid kit add-ons. But, below is our list of recommended items to add. Based on the kit you picked, you may or may not need all of these items. Check your notes to see what you need!
Burn Dressing: Burns can be quite common--whether heat, chemical, or electrical. While some of our kits include burn gel, this gel can be difficult to apply. We highly recommend BurnTec Dressings. It's somewhat like a giant Band-Aid with a cooling hydrogel, so it's easy and fast to apply. Simply pick out the size and quantity you believe your kit needs.
Flashlight: You may find yourself in your home, office, or car in the dark. In these situations, light no longer gets taken for granted. We recommend one of two options.
Our AAA Handcrank Flashlight doesn't require any batteries to operate, so batteries are never an issue. Or you may prefer the good old-fashioned battery flashlight--Rescue Trekker offers Lifeline Aluminum Flashlights.
Poison Control: Few first aid kits include poison control items. Why? Because there are no good rules-of-thumb for treating poison. A remedy might help with one poison, but be harmful with a different poison. The best way to include poison remedies in your first aid kit is to include a small card for the Poison Control Center Hotline. Download a free card here. Simply print, cut it out, and place in your kit. Note there is a phone number for pets. However, as of this writing the fee for pets is $69 per incident. (The human line is free.)
Trauma Shears: For more serious accidents, you may need to remove clothing or other outer layers in order to properly rend first aid. Trauma shears are excellent tools to cut through clothing. For non-professionals, consider adding NAR Trauma Shears to your kit. The 6.25 inch model fits in small places, but the 7.25 inch model is generally considered to be more comfortable to use.
Combat Gauze: Most non-professionals never need to use combat gauze, but if you are in a serious accident (and bleeding a lot), combat gauze is a must-have item. Used by the US Army, the QuikClot Combat Gauze is a cotton gauze imbued with kaolin, a non-allergenic, inert mineral which causes blood to clot exceptionally well. It's costly for sure, so don't pick it up for a scraped knee. But in life-threatening circumstances, it's well worth the price.
**Tourniquet, for trained persons only: A tourniquet, in trained hands, can save the life of someone who is bleeding a lot (hemorrhaging) by stopping the bleeding. In untrained hands, it may cause someone's limb to need to be amputated. Rescue Trekker is proud to offer North American Rescue's Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T), and we recommend this small, light item for first aid kits--for trained professionals. However, you may consider having the item in your first aid kit, just in case someone who is trained is close by to assist.
Completing Your Kit
By carefully considering your needs, you should now have the perfect first aid kit for your needs! We hope you never need to use it. But you should rest a little easier knowing that, if you do need it, you'll be prepared.
Here are our parting recommendations--take some time to look around your first aid kit. Read your guide card, if it's in your kit. An emergency is NOT the best time to learn how to treat an injury.