Friday, February 8, 2013

Tackle Box First Aid Kit

Lately I have been on a medical emergency preparedness kick. I'm not sure why, but it's been on my mind a lot. I've been wanting some sort of a medical kit that I can take with me wherever I go, whether it's a weekend camping trip, a cross country drive, or something happens and we have to bug out. How would I be able to take the medical supplies and things I might need with me on the go? Well, I came up with a solution that I am pretty stoked about. I would like to introduce you to my new baby!!!

It took me WEEKS to put this together. And she's a beauty. I am thrilled and madly in love. :)

Would you believe that that is really just a tackle box that I found at Walmart? It was PERFECT.  How would you like a grand tour? Let's start at the top.


The first thing you'll see is antiseptic quick clean hand wipes so I can wash my hands first. Then there is some saline...I'll explain that later. Then, on the right you will see a bunch of latex-free gloves. Who knows what I'll be touching. Two words...universal precautions. (I would stock up on a ton of these....)

The top has a nice big storage compartment. I have some medical masks, more gloves, alcohol swabs, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, antiseptic wash, more saline, paramedic/utility shears, Tegaderm, and some Steristrips and other things for wounds that would require stitches.

Now...I would hope that it would never come down to this. Things like this should never be done unless by a doctor or someone trained to do it. However...there is the but.  And it's a big but. But, what if you are in the middle of nowhere or a doctor is not an option? You can find lots of information out there on how to use these. It's not medical school, but you can learn how to get the job done when there is no other option. Better safe than sorry. First, I have some super glue. It's great for minor flesh wounds. They used it on Aaron's forehead when he split it open a few years ago. Then, I bought some steri-strips. These are perfect for closing the edges of small wounds to help the skin to heal. If steri-strips won't cut it, there is a skin stapler. I had thought about getting the supplies to do sutures, and even learned how to do them right. But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought a skin stapler would be better. It would be MUCH faster than trying to have someone sit still with no pain management medication, and staples would be much more uniform and would help to prevent uneven healing. Also, you can practice on a whole chicken before you cook it for dinner. Give it a nice slice, and fix it back up. Once again...I hope that I never have to use these in real life, but can sleep peacefully knowing that I have them with me and that I know how to use them.

The tackle box has 3 big removable drawers and two big side compartments for big things like medicines.

 The first drawer has band-aids, bandages, gauze, first aid ointment, Quikclot, etc. I loved that the drawers came with little dividers. That way you can fit it to whatever you put in it! I have different kinds and sizes of band-aids (yes, I have fun kid ones, too. Just because they get a scratch doesn't mean it can't be cute!) I also bought some of those latex finger protectors...just in case. They are great if I'm out in the woods and I have a wound with a band-aid on it I don't want to get it all muddy or something where it can get infected. OH! And MAXI PADS. Yes...maxi pads. They are fabulous for heavy bleeding. Nuff said. Also, you will notice that I have some saline in there. 

How about a little quick thing on that. Saline is AWESOME for rinsing debris out of wounds. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide will actually HARM the tissue and delay healing. While dirt and grit will irritate the wound, they also carry a much greater risk of infection from the bacteria that they contain. For any newly formed wound, it is important to clean it out to remove the dirt and bacteria. It is also important to keep the wound clean while it is healing. Bacteria that gets into the wounds will cause inflammation and swelling. This will slow the healing process and will also lead to scar tissue, and the wound won't heal very well. The other thing that saline solution does is help moisturize the wound. If a cut or other type of wound is too dry, it won't heal properly. So, you can also spray the saline on gauze to keep a wound from drying out and keep the bandages from sticking to the wound. It doesn't sting, it doesn't kill the skin cells that are trying to heal, and it is just enough pressure to get a good squirt going to rinse out the junk. Plus it is easy to find and inexpensive. Good stuff.

Drawer 2 has your everyday ailment kind of things.

I have aloe gel for sunburns
sunscreen stick
 A&D cream
 hydrocortisone cream
hemorrhoid cream (did you know you can treat cold sores with it, too?)
 Vagisil (Ladies, if you are out in the woods for a while with no way to bathe, this is nice to have around if your ph balance gets thrown off)
 Dentek kit (to repair broken fillings and crowns)
 Orajel numbing cream
 eye drops
Chapstick (I would be MISERABLE without it)
 tongue depressors
 numbing throat lozenges
 heavy duty hand cream
 pregnancy tests ( never know....)
earplugs (sometimes you just need some peace and quiet.)
nail clippers
ibuprofen and acetaminophen
allergy medicine
burn cream
Calamine cream

 The third drawer has things for sprains, strains, bumps & bruises. ;) There is a wrist support, an ankle support, and a knee support. Some ace bandages, instant cold pack, medical tape, self-adherent bandage, and finger braces. 

In the large side compartments I have different medicines. One side for kids medicine, and one side for adult medicine. 

Just your basic stuff...
Pepto-Bismol chewable tabs (they take up a lot less space than a big bottle of the liquid)
children's acetaminophen
children's allergy medicine
children's cough/cold medicine
cough drops
sinus medicine
anti-diarrhea medicine
nausea chewable pills

It is also important to always have some extras of your prescription medications on hand. My daughter has asthma. If she doesn't have her inhaler she will die.  Most of the time, if you talk to your family doctor about it and tell them you are trying to put together an emergency 72 hour kit, they will be more than happy to give you prescriptions for extra. They will even do this for things like antibiotics. They will often do this for people who are traveling out of the country. So, talk to your doctor. You don't want to be in an emergency and not have them.

 Another great thing to have in your kit is a CPR breathing mask, also called a pocket mask or barrier device. If you are giving rescue breathing to a family member or something, you will probably be fine. But, if you are giving it to a stranger, you never know what kind of infectious disease they might be carrying. Or...they could vomit and get throw up in your mouth. Not cool. 

I got mine for free from a paramedic in the grocery store line! I asked him if he knew where to get them and he said he had some in his truck. So...make friends with a paramedic. On that note...please check with your local Red Cross and get CPR training! The procedure has changed to where you don't do rescue breathing anymore with CPR. It's better to save a life when you actually know how to do it.

 And that, my friends, is the end of our tour today. I hope you found some of this information helpful! I'm sure I will continue to add to this as I go along...there are so many great first aid stuff things out there.

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know! I will be happy to answer! Also, if you have any suggestions or anything that I'm missing, please throw them my way! I am always looking for improvement!

Thank you for stopping by Prepping With NatSprat! :)


  1. Natalie- Your post on this was the final push in actually following through and getting it going for our home. You can check out my review of the whole process here: Thought you might be interested in how other people's boxes are coming along. : ) Keep up the inspiring posts and tutorials.

  2. So cool! I'm really impressed on how you organized your first aid kit. A huge thanks for sharing your blog to us.

    First aid products

  3. First aid kits should include items like how to treat certain conditions and also explain what each item in the first aid kit treats and how it is used to treat that ailment.

    First Aid Kits

  4. Can I make a suggestions for additions to your kit? You may have to treat someone at night. If you have no power and no one is around to hold a flashlight for you then you may find a headlamp useful. Also add a pen light to check pupil dilation. A note pad and pen and pencil with a way to sharpen the pencil. I hope you find these suggestions useful.

  5. This is a great article and very informative. This looks like a real heavy duty first aid kit with a lot of important items. I think an oxygen mask is a great idea since you never know when someone would need that. I have a pretty good size first aid kit with a lot of important items but I always make sure I have a Duoderm because they are great for wounds and apply pressure to sore areas. They are very heavy duty products and but really get the job done.

  6. I am a local scoutmaster and I am trying too find someone who is certified to teach these young teen boys about first aid. We have a High Adventure Scout Camp later this summer. I would rather these boys be prepared for anything that might come their way in regards to emergencies.


  7. That is a great way to turn a tackle box into a first aid kit. You have basically everything that you could need in there. At least you know that when you go for your first aid kit, that you are going to get the things that you need.
    Jak Manson |

  8. Really nice idea but I am bit lazy to do all these things so I bought a first aid kit which follows health and safety regulations.

  9. hmmm .. that is HUGE! Great ideas but not necessarily practical for anywhere other than home or a vehicle in myho .... will have to mull on it. (Our current kit is not that large)