Refilling my medical kits

What do you have for medical kits?

Where do you have medical kits?

Hopefully I don’t need to ask why one should have a medical kit.

I’m working on revisiting my med kits. Some need to be rethought. Some need to be replenished. Some need to just exist. Realize that med kits are purpose-built, and there really is no one-size-fits-all.

Around the House

At the house, we have what most people probably wouldn’t even consider to be medical kits. This would be stuff like:

  • adhesive bandages (Band-Aid brand strips, etc.)
  • ibuprofen
  • sunburn creams/gels
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • etc.

But do you perhaps need more or other things? And what about amounts?

  • Does anyone have allergies? Do you need an EpiPen? How about Benedryl?
  • How many people are in the house? Having enough to ensure everyone is covered.
  • Do you live in particular regions where “speciality” equipment may be needed? For example, if ticks are common, do you have tools for addressing them?

We’ve got a lot of such things around the house, and even some “extras” like burn gels (because cooking happens).

The one thing I actually need a little more in the house? Trauma equipment. For example, some house-specific tourniquets and hemostatic agents. What if something happens from yard and garden tools? Or falling off a ladder? I have this equipment, but I want some dedicated to the household (not part of another kit that just happens to presently be at the house).


My briefcase carries typical trauma gear: tourniquet, QuickClot-infused gauze, pressure dressing, sheers, etc.. But it also carries some mundane stuff, like adhesive bandages. This is another context matter, because it’s not uncommon to just have a simple paper-cut while on the road working or at the office.

Speaking of, go check the first-aid kit in your office – hopefully your office has one, or maybe multiple depending how large the office is. If it’s not properly stocked, if it’s not up to date, talk to whomever would be in charge (someone in HR?). And if they won’t get on the ball and keep it stocked, then do yourself – and perhaps your office mates a favor – and carry some essentials in your bag.

My Truck

I carry more stuff in my truck, because I can. I have a few Olaes bandages – which I think are the best bandages, but they are VERY bulky – so they work well in the truck. I carry multiple pressure dressings. I also carry some of the larger Adventure Medical Kits because I’ve got my truck at the range, or just when I’m out and about with the family; it rounds out the bill. I have the ability to carry a little more gear for whatever may happen, so I do.

This is a point of comparison. I love Olaes bandages, but they are very bulky. It works in the truck because I have the space. In my briefcase? I don’t have the space, so a smaller 4″ pressure dressing goes in there.

One thing I realized I was missing? Space blanket. I have one in my IFAK, but not in the car kits. I really should. A possible situation for the car kit? Happening upon a wreck. That asphalt is going to be hot, and anything to provide some insulation between a body and pavement is good. In fact, space blankets are small – I’ll probably add a few.

My Gym Bag

This is one place where I’ve lacked any med gear, and that I’m going to remedy.

But my bag is small, and the situation is limited. This probably won’t have much: maybe just a TQ and some QuickClot. Or as I think about it, it may be gloves, a C-A-T, a SWAT-T, and some QuickClot infused gauze.

My Person

I can only carry so much, and this I’m working to reevaluate what I can do.

But one thing that I took as a cue from my Dad – forever the Eagle Scout?

Carrying a band-aid in your wallet.

Over the years I’ve seen him pull that band-aid out of his wallet a few times. It takes up no measurable space or inconvenience. But boy, it’s handy.

Don’t tell me you don’t have the ability to at least add that to your life.

It depends

So what I have and where I have it, it all depends.

What I carry in my gym bag vs. what I can put in my truck are two different things.

I look at why I stock my truck vs. why I stock my gym bag vs. why I stock my home. They have different contexts, different needs.

Different trade-offs.

I have some places to improve, and I’m working on that.

But all this gear? It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how and when to use it.

Get some training.

Check with your local Red Cross, or a group like Dark Angel Medical or Lone Star Medics (disclosure: I’m not affiliated with any of those 3 groups, but have taken training with all 3). Gear is cool, but it’s useless if you don’t have good training on how to properly use it.

4 thoughts on “Refilling my medical kits

  1. Great reminder Hsoi. One other point. Those of us who do carry medical gear should check for expired items. Especially if you keep that gear in your car/truck in Texas.

  2. Love the bandaid in your wallet part. Your dad is so awesome. I’m not surprised he was an Eagle Scout. I ran to put a (Disney princess) bandaid in my wallet before finishing reading your article! 😊

  3. Pingback: KR Training August 2017 newsletter – Notes from KR

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