Emergency Medical Kits – Best First Aid Kit Under $150

Emergency medical kits are must-haves for outdoorsmen, homesteaders, travelers and survivalists alike. Without access to proper medical care, minor injuries can quickly turn into life-threatening emergencies.

Disclaimer: The author has no formal medical training or qualifications. (To learn more about emergency field medicine and hands-on training, see the resources below.) 

Let’s be frank here. Most commercially-produced emergency medical kits are junk.

They usually contain a few useful items, but are mostly filler. Who wants to spend $50 for bandaids, individually-wrapped ibuprofen packets and a few moisty naps? Me neither.

GI Issue Medic Bag by Elite First Aid

Emergency medical kits - GI Issue Medic Bag by Elite First Aid
Emergency medical kits - GI Issue Medic Bag by Elite First Aid

To purchase a truly useful and comprehensive first aid kit, you’ll need to shell out $150-$300. Actually, one of the best I’ve seen for the money is the GI Issue Medic Bag by Elite First Aid. At the time of this writing it costs less than $150 with shipping from Amazon, and comes with a remarkably useful assortment of medical gear. The only aspect it appears to lack is a dental repair kit.

There are other more robust kits available, like the STOMP kit, which approaches a professional-quality medic kit, but it's double the cost of the GI Medic Bag.

So if you’re interested in quickly outfitting yourself with a decent kit without putting a lot of thought (or money) into it, take a look at the kit from Elite (see the resources below for more info).

Item List for Building Your Own Emergency Medical Kits

For those with more time than money, try building your own kit with individually-purchased components. Personally, I’m a huge proponent of building your own emergency medical kits (or any other survival kit for that matter) because you’ve taken time to think about why you’re including each item. This allows you to pack only what’s needed for your particular situation and be creative with the types of supplies included. This way you’re not paying for items you’re sure you’ll never use.

Emergency medical kits - GI Issue Medic Bag by Elite First Aid

Types of Medical Emergencies

The following list is organized by injury type. All items listed below are available over the counter. Of course, if you have any prescription drugs or equipment, include those too.

Again, tailor your kit to your and your family’s needs.

Cuts, Wounds

  • Baidaids – multipack
  • Butterfly & fingertip bandages
  • Gauze (pads and rolls)
  • Surgical tape
  • Compression bandage
  • Nylon suture kit (or dental floss with a sewing needle)
  • Tourniquet
  • Clotting sponge

Broken Bones

  • Finger splints
  • Flexible aluminum splint roll (for leg or arm)
  • Compression sleeves

Sterilization

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Alcohol, Iodine prep pads, swab sticks
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hand sanitizing gel
  • Sterile saline solution (for flushing wounds or eyes)

Pain Relievers

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Numbing spray

Surgery

  • Scalpel
  • Hemostats
  • Probe
  • Paramedic scissors
  • Airway kit
  • Bulb syringe

Burns

  • 4x4 water gel dressings
  • Water gel
  • Burn relief spray

Allergic Reactions

  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Calamine lotion
  • Benadryl, Loratadine
  • Alcohol, Lidocaine swabs (for stings and local anesthetic)

Dental

  • Dental wax
  • Dental mirror, pick
  • Temporary fillings
  • Temporary cement
  • Orajel (local oral anesthetic, safe for kids)

Miscellaneous

  • First aid guide (see resources below)
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Medical waste bags
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Stethoscope
  • Thermometer – non electric
  • Instant cold packs
  • Solar blanket
  • Tweezers
  • Pen light

Resources

US Army Field Manual – Survival Medicine
SOLO Wilderness Medicine School

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