Be Prepared! / Camping / Safety / Sports & Recreation

First Aid for the New Year

You know the motto: Be Prepared. A good scout is nothing if not ready for any quick emergency. And the start of a new year is, indeed, an excellent time to take stock of one’s readiness.

Last January, I demonstrated how to pull together an emergency “go box” — you know, in case there’s ever need to evacuate the house.

This year, I’ve pulled together an array of First Aid kits for home, travel, and hiking. Do this once, and you’ll be significantly more prepared to handle that boo boo.

BADGE TASK UPDATE: HIKER, CAR CARE, SAFETY FIRST, WALKING FOR FITNESS, and OUTDOOR FUN

Every one of these badges includes a task for pulling together some kind of First Aid kit. I already had a pretty comprehensive bin of supplies for the house, but I didn’t have a darned thing for outdoor excursions, so this really was a pretty smart idea.

Let’s start with the simple and move to the complex, shall we?

Here’s your down-and-dirty purse kit. It includes Neosporin to go, alcohol pads, regular band-aids, eye drops, and Advil. Two more items of note: special band-aids for blisters (essential when I’m walking a city in regular shoes!), and children’s aspirin (cause you never know when you might run into someone having a heart attack, I guess).

It’s all thrown into a tiny zippered bag. It’s regular home is now my purse, but it fits quite well into a back pocket, too.

Perfect for the purse or a pocket. Good for small cuts, blisters, headaches and more.

Perfect for the purse or a pocket. Good for small cuts, blisters, headaches and more.

I definitely needed a first aid kit for camping and hiking, and it was good to give some though to this one. I think I’m pretty well covered now.

I could find myself all scraped up, bitten by mosquitoes, in the cold, with a sprained ankle and a hurt arm, blisters on my heels, splinters in my hands, dirt in my eyes, suffering a mild heart attack, and walking with a dog who’s cut her paw. It would all be good, cause the hiking kit now includes:

  • Band-aids of assorted sizes
  • Blister Band-aids
  • Gauze pads of assorted sizes
  • First aid tape
  • Gauze wrap
  • Arm sling
  • Instant cold pack
  • Hand warmers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Neosporin to Go
  • Alcohol rubs
  • Eye drops
  • Scissors
  • Benadryl itch stick
  • Tweezers
  • Advil
  • Baby aspirin
  • Matches
  • And… a baby sock to cover a dog’s bandaged paw.
You're pretty much covered here, from cuts to blisters, to sprains, to burns and more.

You’re pretty much covered here, from cuts to blisters, to sprains, to burns and more.

And all of that is organized in a $5 zippered pouch I picked up at the supermarket. Boom!

Zip it all up, throw it in the backpack, or stash it in the tent.

Zip it all up, throw it in the backpack, or stash it in the tent.

Then there’s the car care/car safety kit, and shame on me for not having put this together before. This one includes:

  • Jumper cables (I actually had these in the car already, I’m happy to say)
  • Rain poncho
  • LED flashlight that also includes a red warning/help light
  • Band-aids of assorted sizes
  • Gauze pads of assorted sizes
  • First aid tape
  • Gauze wrap
  • Instant cold pack
  • Hand warmers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Neosporin to Go
  • Alcohol rubs
  • Burn ointment
  • Eye drops
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Advil
  • Baby aspirin
  • Matches
Beyond basic first aid and jumper cables, this kit can keep you warm and dry. You can even signal for help.

Beyond basic first aid and jumper cables, this kit can keep you warm and dry. You can even signal for help.


That’s a lot of stuff, so the smaller items are in a smaller bin for easy organization…

This bin holds the smaller items for easy organization.

This bin holds the smaller items for easy organization.

And this goes into a larger bin, along with the rest of the items.

A medium-sized plastic bin holds it all together neatly.

A medium-sized plastic bin holds it all together neatly.

I’d say it would always help to have a little water in case of emergency as well, so here’s a BPA-free 64 oz. container, filled to the brim. It’s not much, but it could really help if the car were to break down on a hot Texas highway.

This bin, and the water jug, are now safely tucked into the trunk of my car.

Adding water to the car care safety kit is a no-brainer.

Adding water to the car care safety kit is a no-brainer.

This little exercise actually made me feel pretty good. I’d rather *not* need these kits, but I actually DO feel more prepared for an emergency.

So here’s the question: what am I missing in these kits? How could I make them better? Input is welcome!

Jean Synodinos

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