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We here at First Aid Kit Products receive many requests from our customers during their first aid kit selection process. Wee included this buyer guide in an effort to help you make a more informed buying decision.
The first decision to make is to either build your own kit or purchase a commercial first aid kit. The advantage of building your own kit is that you know exactly what you have. The hard part is buying everything you need in small enough sizes to keep your first-aid kit light and compact and not spend a fortune on it.
Buying a commercially available kit will generally cost less, will require little shopping time and usually comes in a storage bag with handy pockets and compartments that you may not be able to find.
The secret is, if you buy the pre-made kit you must make sure you take everything out of it and then put it back in until youe familiar with all of the components of your kit. Understanding what each item is used for and where it is in your kit will help you be prepared for using it.
Now, if the decision is to purchase a kit, what do you look for? Think variety of components.
The idea here is to include components for real life emergencies. A kit with a couple of Band-Aids and a roll of gauze will not be of great value in a real accident. Your kit should contain at least something from the following basic groups. This is the Basic First Aid Supplies required; you may wish to take along a larger, more comprehensive Kit. Bandages: A variety of different size bandages to dress and cover a variety of different wounds. There should be knuckle, fingertip and a larger pressure bandage along with gauze pads and an elastic bandage. A roll or two of adhesive tape.
Antiseptics: Your kit needs something to kill germs to prevent infection. Antiseptic wipes and a first aid / burn cream along with alcohol pads to clean a wound. Insect sting relief wipes may be a handy item also.
Injury treatment: Items in this group are to deal with injuries such as butterfly closures for a larger cut. Examination gloves, tweezers, instant cold packs, scissors and finger splint.
Medicines: Generally you will not find pain relievers in smaller commercial kits. Be sure to add your preference. Ibuprofen is also good for reliving joint inflammation.
Look for quality of components: Good quality items are more important than quantity. You want your first aid kit to last a long time. Choose one with a well made case and good quality components. A kit that falls apart after a few outings is no bargain.
And last, but not least is a comprehensive first aid guide book. All the best First Aid Gear will not be of any value if you do not know how to use it.
Remember to that the size of your kit will depend on the number of persons that it will be supporting. It is fine to have a personal first aid kit with you, but it was not designed to support a group of 4 or 5 backpackers. For this scenario, a larger kit would be the choice.