As one travels through the land of survival gear eventually they will end up at the medical supplies and equipment section. Bandages, creams, pills etc. come in many shapes and sizes. This can be a bit daunting since not everyone will have a medical degree to understand proper wound care or what an antipyretic is used for. Fortunately companies have figured this out and have made kits. Usually you can find lovely packaged first aid kits in all sorts of sizes. If you dig a bit deeper you might find a trauma kit. Those with a military, LE, or first responder job or background will be familiar with these. These kits deal with the life threatening injuries. Both kits, first aid and trauma, do amazing jobs at their intended use, but for a survivalist one kit is not going to be enough.
By Grimm, contributing author to SHTFblog and Survival Cache
When I peruse through Instagram, Youtube, Facebook and other media sites I happen to notice that people typically buy a good first aid kit. Drought, one of my old bug out buddies, had this fancy unfolding zipper bag that had all sorts of first aid goodies. He was not wrong in his purchase nor were the other people out there that did the same thing. He and many others just didn’t take the next step and augment their kit. First aid kits are just that, they are for your first level of injuries. Minor cuts, abrasions, burns, sprains, stings, and the list goes on. Though the kit might say “minor” we know that out in a survival situation there is nothing minor about a minor injury. With no access to medical facilities or a cleaner environment a small infection could grow to bigger problems quickly. Use the first aid and stop the “minor” problem before it becomes major. Unfortunately some wounds or injuries don’t start off minor and this is where the first aid kit lacks. I jest but its true that a bandaid is not going to help with a bullet wound. This is where the trauma kit comes in.
Trauma kits are amazing life saving kits usually designed to quickly stop massive blood loss, retain a patent airway, and assist in breathing complications like a tension pneumothorax. I know that all sounds very complicated and yes one should know how to use the equipment in the trauma kit before using them, but this kit will save your life from the bad injuries. How one gets these types of injuries could be as simple as falling down a steep hill or tripping over a root. If a life threatening injury happens you will want a kit that can handle it. That being said, you don’t want to crack open your Quick Clot gauze to wrap a minor cut on your leg; it would just be overkill and a waste of resources. So what does one do? Neither kit can do it all. Worry not, the answer is simple.
Also read: The Individual Trauma Kit
You augment your kit. It doesn’t matter which kit you start off with, just remember to go through it and see what its lacking. If you start off with a trauma kit like I did, you will want to start adding some bandaids, gauze, Tylenol etc. Begin fleshing it out so you have the supplies for minor injuries. If you start off with a first aid kit then you will want to research the components that are in a trauma kit and add them in. You will also want to get some formal training on how to use what you buy. I encourage you to go through either or your purchased kits to learn what is inside them and the quality of the items. You may want more than just the two Advil that your store bought first aid kit provides. Whichever direction you choose, in the end you should have what I like to call, a Medical Kit. One kit that can handle the small stuff and the large stuff.