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I carry a medical kit. You should, too.

For several years I carried, stuffed in a small pouch in my messenger bag, a handful of medically-useful implements. A couple band-aids, a small baggie with ibuprofin, maybe an almost-finished tube of Neosporin.

The contents of my medical kit


As time passed, and I found that I could require some things more and more often (say, Claratin), I’d add these things to the kit.

Several weeks ago, I found myself in a (non-emergency) situation where having a broader set of medical supplies would have been useful. A switch clicked in my brain about this and I asked myself:

“Self, what would you do if, say, you were waiting for the train and someone stepped to close to it and got hit?”

And the answer, sadly, was “watch them bleed out and die.” I did’t like that answer.

So I started building a portable medical kit.

I am not an emergency medical technician nor do I pretend to be. Applying a tourniquet to the stump of someone’s train-amputated arm is pretty much the epitome of an extreme scenario here but who knows? I wasn’t a Boy Scout but I kind of dig the motto: “Be prepared.”

In addition to bandages (which I increased the stock of), I added several symptom-addressing medications (like theraflu packets, pepto-bismol tablets, benadryl, etc). I got some ace bandages. Flashlight. Multitool. Disposable gloves. 100 feet of wound paracord that JD made for me.

Did you know that Superglue is great for closing deep cuts? It’s like instant stitching.

I’m not finished building the kit. I need some haemostatic powder, for instance, and some scissors and tweezers, and a strip of rubber. But it’s a start.

My medical kit (mostly) fits into a small pouch that weighs about a pound (the flashlight, multitool, and paracord bring the entire thing to about three pounds).

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2 Responses

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  1. Kragen Javier Sitaker says

    My own everyday-carry medical supplies are limited to multitool, flashlight, band-aids, aspirin, activated carbon, and duct tape, but it sounds like you’re working with a much bigger weight budget. I probably ought to add Benadryl, gloves, paracord, superglue, and hemostatic powder to my backpack, because I have it with me pretty often.

    Hemostatic powder is amazing (I hear; I’ve never had the chance to use it). There are less toxic and more resilient forms of Superglue (octyl rather than ethyl cyanoacrylate) that you might look into. And I think activated charcoal tablets are useful in a wider range of cases than Pepto-Bismol, but I could be wrong about that.

    What’s the rubber for? Would an unlubricated condom work?

  2. Dutch says

    For a good Hemostatic agent, try either Quik-Clot or Celox. Current medical recommendations for large bleeds is to use a Quik-Clot sponge and Celox granules as needed.

    I keep pocket knife, flashlight, band-aids, 4x4s, scissors, tape, Liquid Bandage, antibiotic cream, light pain relief (aspirin, etc.), gloves, cord, and BFI powder in my daily kit. BFI will work as a light coagulant.



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