Expensive Bag

Followed this link from Insty for a survival first-aid kit, but on scrutinizing the contents thereof, my conclusion is that I’d be paying $70 just for a bag — because I already have all the other stuff, and more so withal.

That said:  none of it is in one place, but scattered around the house;  so Job #1 is to round it all up and put it into a bag, and I’m sure I have a spare one of those lying around somewhere, too.


  1. But it FSA / HSA Eligible! Meaning instead of paying $85 you get it for effectively $63.75 in pre tax money! What a deal!

    Okay, maybe not..

  2. 150 Pieces!!!!!! Probably a few cheap Chinese made tools and 125 Band-aid knockoffs. I agree that the limited contents of that bag has nothing to do with survival. But I have a first – Aide kit in a similar bag in each car that has actual useful stuff in it ( if you are in a car accident or come across one, small band-aides are useless ) that I assembled from multiple sources. …. and they get refreshed every year.

  3. That 70 dollar bag would not be my first choice

    I am NOT a medical professional so take my advice with a grain of salt … here are some
    Things in my bag (buy them piecemeal and build your own is my advice)

    1 – canvas bag with a zipper. Durable. Doesn’t have to be name brand. Medium or small. Remember you don’t need the contents of an ambulance or ER. Just enough to stop the bleeding and start the breathing. Anything else is going to be done at the hospital – bag should
    Be maybe 30 to 40 bucks.

    2 – Israeli bandage – 10 bucks to 15 bucks.

    3 – sealed bag of quick clot bandages – keep them sealed until needed. Hope you never ever need them. This is better than a tournakit. Tournakit cuts off blood supply to stop bleeding and this leads to damage or sometimes need for amputation. Quick clot is a better choice. To see how it works use the ewww chube to see videos of this stuff being used on a cut open pig. – around 25 bucks for a sealed kit that comes with gloves.

    4 – regular bandages. Wally World or dollar stores sell small boxes of variety of sizes. No more than a couple of bucks – 5 bucks

    5 – Red Cross cpr mask. 10 to 15 bucks.

    6 – extra latex gloves. Also some non latex for those with allergies – 10 bucks.

    7 – good scissors – 10 bucks.

    8 – a knife that will cut. Maybe 30 bucks. I know your all saying too cheap. It just needs to cut.

    9 – flashlight. Cheapies are fine. But again. 10 to 20 bucks. Stream light mini is good for cheap. Or just Wally World specials even. You just need to see in the dark.

    10 – masks. NOT for Covid. You just want to keep others bodily fluids ouch ya mouf – 5

    11 – safety glasses. Same as above. 5 bucks.

    – about 150 to 175 – but it’s useful and will
    Be better than any 70 bag full of bandages.

    Remember. You just need to stop the bleeding and start the breathing.

    1. Forgot to add above – liquid sugar for diabetics. Wally World has little sugar pills , cake frosting type little tubes and full on liquid. Cake frosting type is the best. Even if frozen you can warm it in your hands quickly. But liquid and pills work too. Takes up very little space in the bag but can save the life of a diabetic on a sugar low in a pinch. Under 10 bucks.

    2. Cheap headlamp instead of a flashlight. Far easier to use.

      Good call on the cake frosting (below).

      A couple of Bic lighters, sealed in bags (replace yearly).

      Some paracord (ideally survivor cord), and space blankets.

      A bottle of water. Can be refilled

      Water purification tablets

      A cheap compass.

      1. An airtight plastic box to keep the batteries in is also a good idea. When I remember to, I check my flashlights and am always surprised by how many have corrosion from the batteries in the battery case.

  4. The pre made kits are nice if you want ease of buying and assembling a kit.

    I built my own kit.

    Trauma Shears about $10
    Roll of guaze or two
    ACE compression bandage
    non adherant gauze
    tourniquet -get trained on its use runs around $20-30
    Qwik Clot or some sort of hemostatic bandage for packing wounds $25 or so
    Chest seals $15 or o
    Silk tape looks clear plastic
    Boo boo or bump kit with various size bandaids.
    Triple antibiotics ointment
    Gloves -box of 100 is about $10 or less
    CPR shield
    Butterfly bandages
    If you want to go further, ibuprofen, aspirin, tylenol, anti acid, benedryl, certizidine, etc
    Sharpie marker
    penlight -get the medical kind with batteries
    antiseptic and alcohol wipes

    knowledge -take the EMT course. it’s well worth the cost. Take a trauma class to learn how to use a tourniquet for limps, pack wounds at the junctions and seal the box (torso).

    I put that in a waterproof box from Walmart and tossed one in each car. If I need it at home then my car is in the driveway.


  5. I hear you keep in touch with Doc Russia, so it’d be fun if he remembers this.

    YEARS ago, I observed that most store bought first aid kits were glorified boxes of band-aids, and asked him what a real kit should have. Fresh out of med school, he sent me a three page list of stuff that included the kitchen sink.

    A few years later, after he’d done his turn in the ER, I asked him if that list still held. It did not. He reduced the list down to like three items. IIRC, it was an Israeli battle bandage, a universal aluminum splint, and an ace bandage. To that, I added a knife, a screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench, and stowed it under the seat of my motorcycle.

    The splint actually came in handy when one of my ER frequent flyer stunt kids broke her ankle. The ER doc was like “Huh. Prepared. Boyscout?” to which I said “yup”.

    1. I remember that list from years ago. I didn’t know he redacted it. I took a wilderness first aid course about six years ago, and basically all you need is a knife and your shirt.
      From my days as a Boy Scout, I recall the three “Hurry cases”, which we remembered as “Bleeding, Breathing, and Poisoning. ”
      It really depends on how quickly you’ll get to someplace for secondary care. If you’re a day or two from professional help, your job is different than it will be if you are less than an hour from somebody with an M. D. after his or her name.

  6. Literally a boo-boo kit. The only serious gear in there is the handful of butterfly bandages. I wouldn’t even carry this hiking without a splint.

    If you are looking at dealing with serious home trauma, you need (with today’s available tech) hemostat powders or gauze, splints, izzy bandages, and some diagnostic tools (stethoscope, BP cuff, SO2 sensor.) That’s basic shit, not E LIGHT OPERATOR stuff like decompression needles and NPAs.

    The only diagnostic in it is a flashlight whose batteries will be flat and corroded in a year. It’s got chem lights. That’s a damned good backup, except these are RED. Have you ever tried to figure out what is and isn’t bleeding under RED lights? A 30 min WHITE chemlight costs the same as a 12 hour red one, and is actually USEFUL for treating wounds.

    “I can make a splint out of an old chair and some bedsheets!” Sure. And a SAM splint costs $15, does a better job, does a faster job, and doesn’t require someone to be able to smash a chair up.

    You’re never going to get it all in a kit, folks. Either plan to supplement or start from scratch. If it’s EDC first aid/booboos, it should fit into a little coin purse wallet. If it’s trauma, (meaning gunshots, MVA, or explosions) it should fit in a little pouch and ONLY deal with trauma.

    If it’s your main home first aid, it should be in a big backpack or a largish toolbox. If you don’t need that much space, you really aren’t ready.

    Here’s the bit of usefulness to this rant — if you want to know where to get the little stuff (both bandages and meds) without having to buy giant boxes that you won’t use, go to Rescue Essentials. Better prices than Amazon, and I’ve bought from them many times with no problems. (Not getting paid for the link, they are just great.)


    1. I would only add, don’t buy a triangular bandage from someplace where the box is sealed. I carried a triangular bandage for decades until I finally opened it up and realized it was a big piece of muslin. I now have triangular bandages made from bed sheets, and I know they’ll hold up to real use.

  7. Do make sure you check and replace most everything (except the knife, scissors, and multitool basically) every other year if not more frequently, as those things have a limited shelf life.
    Vacuum sealing everything separately increases that a bit but is a major hassle, both to do and to get it out of the packaging in a hurry (which you’ll be if you need the stuff in an emergency)…

    1. Cheap headlamp instead of a flashlight. Far easier to use.

      Good call on the cake frosting (below).

      A couple of Bic lighters, sealed in bags (replace yearly).

      Some paracord (ideally survivor cord), and space blankets.

      A bottle of water. Can be refilled

      Water purification tablets

      A cheap compass.

  8. cake frosting is a great add. it’s probably cheaper than the insta glucose in the pharmacy.

    Has anyone tried the trick birthday candles? when you blow them out they relight themselves. If they get blown out in the wind it might be easier to get them relit by giving them some shelter from the wind.

    crayons can also work. The outer wrapper works like a wick and the crayon is made out of wax like a candle. A crayon can also be used to write if needed.


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