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If you ever find yourself stranded or wandering for long periods of time in the wild, you’re going to need all the help you can get in order to make it out alive. In most cases, a fully equipped medical kit saves more lives than the weapons or knives people carry on them. You might not get to use your weapons for self defense at all, but injuries happen in almost all cases. And even the smaller injuries, if left untreated, can cause severe health complications, even death.
So while you’re preparing yourself for the worst, don’t neglect your medical supplies. Because out there, they’re the best friend you got! Let’s have a look at what your survival medical kit should consist of.
Basic items and tools in your medical kit
Medication aside, no medical kit should go without its very own arsenal of tools that will make performing hygiene and small surgical tasks a lot easier. Make sure not to leave anywhere without these: sterile syringes /needles / surgical blades (imperative for the administration of intravenous medicine, releasing pus from infection formations or small incisions), scissors (it makes the opening of packages and gutting bandages a lot easier), thermometer (monitor your overall situation based on your body temperature), sterile eyewash (clean and disinfect your eyes), sunblock lotions (apply if you’re constantly exposed to the burning sun), burn creams (help treat burn wounds) and soap. Most of these come as a standard in most medical kits, and those who don’t are easily procured.
Open wound treatments
The most common injuries that happen outdoors are those caused by slashing, scratching or cutting. A moment of neglect will put you in a bad spot, as you can get cut even with your own knife or blade, in an attempt to open a can of food. Open wounds are a very serious cause of concern. Big wounds can result in a high amount of blood loss, which could cost you your life in minutes, and small wounds can result in infections that may prove just as fatal if left untreated. So the best way of dealing with an open wound is to close it up a.s.a.p. The first thing you’ll need to do is clean the cut with cold water and treat it with any sort of antiseptic solution or ointment you happen to have around. Once the area is clean, the butterfly sutures can be applied. These sutures are small adhesive strips that work in a similar way to regular sutures, pulling the edges of the cut together. Apply first to the middle of the wound then start building upwards towards the edges. For deeper and more serious wounds you can use (and if proper medical equipment is not available), duct tape works just as well in shutting the cut until proper medical aid is available.
Once a wound is caused for some reason or another, the damage is done. Personal hygiene is very important is such a scenario, as your life is constantly threatened by severe infection, that can set in very quickly and can cause permanent damage and even death. Ignoring an open wound is not an option. Your medical kit should always have: antiseptics / disinfectants (antiseptic wipes, Isopropyl alcohol, Iodine, Peroxide), ointments or oral antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Erythromycin etc.), adhesive bandages (adhesive medical dressings used for superficial plagues) and gauze (a lose translucent fabric, usually made of cotton which you can use for cleaning and bandaging the wound). Some antibiotics can be hard to procure from the pharmacy, but some doctors may prescribe it as a preventive measure to people who are planning potentially dangerous trips. Never bandage a wound before properly cleaning and disinfecting it first, unless no antibiotics are treatments are available.
Pain Relief Medicine
Extreme pain can be debilitating. The human psychic can be affected if subjected to constant pain for long periods of time, and in a survival scenario, it can cause the loss of all hope and the will to carry on. Luckily there are plenty of pain suppressors available on the market. Here are some of the ones that are a must for your personal survival kit: codeine (opioid medication that can be used to treat severe pains, but use it with care as it can cause addiction if used in large dosages or over large periods of time), instant cold pack (a bag with chemical agents, that turn cold instantly when used, good for applying to sores and wounds) and anti-inflammatory medication (Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin, perfect for reducing swelling and soreness). Use the medicine with care and never exceed the recommended dosage. Read carefully the medicine prospectus to make sure it won’t cause complications to a pre-existing medical condition you might have or interfere with other drugs.
Even if you don’t have any allergies, best play it safe. You might be allergic to different things and not know it. And the worst time and place to find out what they are is when you are in a survival scenario. Still, there is things that can counter the possible allergic reactions and save your life. To counter anaphylactic reactions you’ll need: EpiPen / Epinephrine (the base substance is life-saving if you succumb to an allergic reaction and stops the anaphylactic shock in its tracks), antihistamine tablets / ointments / syrups (they do not cure but treat a large number of allergic reactions, and Benadryl is one of the best antihistamines on the market, very useful against all sorts of allergies).
Medicine to accommodate your personal needs
If you’re known to suffer from a certain medical condition, make sure to have a dosage of the required medicine at all times your personal survival medical kit. If you’re an asthma sufferer, you should always have an inhaler put aside in the kit or even OTC medication for conditions like arthritis, nausea, cramps, irritable colon etc.
Be prepared, be safe! Leave nothing to chance and make sure you’re locked and loaded. You never know when a fully equipped medical kit will save your life. To really go in depth with medical supply, read this: Survival MD.
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