Ross Esmond

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portrait of myself, Ross Esmond
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First Aid Supplies

This note should not be used as a primary or guiding source.

This note is my own personalized, condensed list so that I can refer back to it as needed. For a more reliable list of items, you can check the Red Cross’s guide on making a first aid kit. In addition, you either need to memorize basic first aid care or carry a guide. The American Safety and Health Institute provides a free online guide, though it is more comprehensive than would be used in an emergency. Of course, the Red Cross sells a portable guide as well.

Of note, this list doesn’t include tools like tweezers and scissors, emergency supplies like a heat blanket, discomfort relief like instant cold packs, or safety precautions like latex gloves, though all of these should be considered. This list was written based on the assumption that I will be applying the first aid to myself, that I will have a multitool available, that I know how I will react to common pain relief medication, and that I will simply deal with the discomfort of allergic reactions and swelling.

Basic items to include

There are three main categories of items to include in a first aid kit. The first is infection prevention, made up of antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, and antiseptic liquids. In a pinch, isopropyl alcohol will do, but BZK antiseptic will sting less. The second category is dressing, which may be split into absorbent material, to stop bleeding, and adhesive material, to both attach the bandage and protect it from outside elements. A good adhesive bandage, otherwise known as a bandaid, is often the best option. There are also antibacterial bandages that serve as both infection prevention and dressing. Finally, there is pain relief, which is optional but appreciated. Your standard, over the counter drugs will do just fine, but lidocaine gel makes a good local anesthetic.

infection prevention

Soap and clean water is better than anything for preventing infection.

  • Antibiotic ointment-Neosporin
  • Antiseptic
    • BZK Antiseptic Towelettes
    • Alcohol Wipes
    • Isopropyl Alcohol


Dressing is there to keep the wound clean from two things: your own blood and outside contaminants. If there is lots of bleeding (but less than what would kill you) absorbent gauze with tape is best. Otherwise a bandaid will do. You must also consider if the bandage will get wet, in which case everything must be water resistant.

  • Bandages
    • Adhesive bandages of various sizes and materials.
      • Types
        • Spot (small)
        • Strip (medium)
        • Patch (large)
        • Knuckle
        • Fingertip
        • Wrap-Around (finger)
      • Materials
        • Fabric bandage for comfort.
        • Waterproof plastic bandage for protection.
    • Gauze: rolls, absorbent compress, and pads of various sizes.
    • Butterfly wound closures
  • Adhesive
    • Cloth, paper, or waterproof tape, made to rip.
    • Cohesive bandage rolls.

Pain relief

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen cannot be taken at the same time, but I have been able to alternate between the two without issue. To do so, take one pill once half the time has passed before you are able to take the other, but only for extreme cases. To replace pain relief pills in a first aid kit, add the pills to separate, small, labeled bags, and ensure that the dosage instructions are included. Individual packs are better for a general first aid kit, as they come with more thorough instructions. If you do label the pills yourself, use a bag made for labeling, otherwise the writing will rub away.

  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Lidocaine Gel