Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50

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We’ve been watching the events unfolding in the DC area this last week with the storms and the outages. We’re praying for the people who have been severely affected and have been watching to see the many lessons that come out of it. One of the issues that people have been dealing with is how to survive the heat without air conditioning. Fortunately, most of the world has lived without air conditioning for the majority of recorded history and I’ll point you to a resource for dealing with this very issue after we talk about medical supplies…

Survival Diva here to discuss prepping for a day when ambulances aren’t running and you’re left on your own to handle an emergency. Medical supplies are a must-have for any prepper, but if you’re already juggling putting food storage aside and ticking off other preparedness items on your list, adding another task can be overwhelming. There’s good news: You can put aside a very basic stash of medical supplies for around $50 which is listed in this post.

You will also need a thorough First Aid manual. Even those on a budget can afford this when purchasing one gently used at places like Amazon or a local used book store. Next, I highly recommend “Where There Is No Doctor” and “Where There Is No Dentist”. These books were written for situations in 3rd world countries when a doctor’s care may be unavailable and supplies are limited, which is the exact situation we’re likely to be confronted with when a crisis strikes.

A book will NOT save a loved one, however! Taking first aid classes and reading the reference books you purchase, learning the rudiments, can.

One of the most concerning issues, already mentioned in your comments on Secrets Of Urban Survival is how to stockpile medications for those dependent upon them, including heart meds, insulin, and anti-psychotic meds to name a few. Many preppers turn to naturopathic remedies which may work well for certain medication needs. However, for others it will take in-depth research and asking those in the medical profession for recommendations. I have known of folks who have ordered their meds online, but when doing so, be aware that the meds sold are not always what they are purported to be. So, beware!

Many human remedies are the same or similar to those used for animals and the animal versions of many medications can be had by taking a trip to a feed and seed store.  Just know that medications made for and labeled for animal use may not legally be used by humans.  I don’t know what the penalty is for doing so, and I’m not going to suggest that you go and do this without researching laws in your area.

You’ll find suggested dosages online, but always use due diligence and Study, Study, Study! NOTE: Certain medications must be kept refrigerated, so pre-plan for a grid-down situation. (David’s note: Animal medications with “USP, or United States Pharmacopiea” on the label are required by the FDA to have the same primary drug content as their human counterpart.  Even so, they are still not legal for human consumption.)

Before we get started, I must give credit to The Patriot Nurse and her YouTube videos, which are thorough, well thought out, and gutsy. This is where I learned what to put aside for medical emergencies. Therefore, the lists supplied here stems directly from her recommendations. NOTE: In her videos, she mentions due to their affordable prices on certian medical supplies, many times one-fourth the cost if purchased elsewhere. It’s a vet supply wholesaler, so you won’t find everything you are looking for. For the record, I have no affiliation to either; neither personal or economic.

The list of medical supplies intentionally does not include prescription medicines. It is up to each of us to access need and research methods to set aside necessary medications.

Disclaimer: Otherwise known as a CYA. I am sharing this information for research purposes only and cannot recommend nor take responsibility for the purchase of, or the use of, any item listed below.

There, now that’s been said, lets have a look at the lists.

Just The Basics: Just as with food storage, many times people freeze in their tracks when they first attempt to put aside medical supplies. It can be overwhelming! And doubt can equate to “I Give Up!” Don’t let that be you. The items in this first section can be purchased over the counter for around $50, provided you penny-pinch! Look to dollar stores and sales, or big-box stores who sell for less. The basic list helps combat the top killers, globally, which are as follows:

  • Upper Respiratory Infection–leading to pneumonia
  • Diarrhea—leading to dehydration
  • Wounds—Leading to Blood Loss & Infection

Build Your Medical Supplies: Just The Basics

  • 4inch X 4inch Sterile Gauze Pads
  • Band Aids—Get plenty in assorted sizes!
  • Non-Adherent Sterile Pads (Both Sterile to protect wounds and larger to wrap wounds)
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (For cleaning wounds and can be used as a gargle for tooth abscess)
  • Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (Yeast infection, stomach upset and more)
  • Ibuprofen (Fever reducer & helps to control inflammation)
  • Aspirin
  • Children’s Fever Reducer
  • Tylenol (Fever reducer)
  • Benadryl (Treatment for nausea, insomnia, allergy)
  • Penlight Flashlight (To check for sore throat & pupil dilation with head trauma)
  • Surgical Tape
  • Feminine Pads (Can also be used as economical bandaging for larger wounds)
  • Mucinex (Helps reduce upper respiratory infection & the chance of pneumonia)
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Helps to control infection of wounds)
  • Hydrocortisone Cream (For treatment of rashes, poison oak and poison ivy, etc.)
  • Butt Paste (Treatment for chafing)
  • Non-latex Examination Gloves (Helps to avoid cross-contamination)
  • Instant Cold Packs (Used for relief of sprains)
  • Thermometer–Both Adult and Children
  • Ace Wraps

Some may choose to stop at Just The Basics list, but if you can afford it on down the road and have the necessary medical training, the following, more in-depth list, is a step up from Just The Basics. As you will see, the list is extensive and listed in no particular order. Note: Items already listed in The Just The Basics list were not included in this, more advanced list. This is by no means a complete list. Do your research.

Level 2 Medical List:

  • N-95 Respirator (Helps protect against disease borne illness)
  • CPR Mask (Avoids cross-contamination when administering CPR: available at the Red Cross)
  • Saline Solution (Used to irrigate wounds—SHORT shelf life)
  • Extra Contacts Lenses
  • Contact Solution
  • Extra Glasses
  • Carmex/Lip Balm
  • Ear Plugs
  • Eye Solution (For treatment of Pink Eye)
  • Eye Wash (To rid the eye of foreign debris)
  • Quikclot (Helps control bleeding)
  • Ankle Brace—Lace-up is recommended
  • Knee Brace
  • Air Cast
  • Crutches (Look to 2nd Hand Stores & Thrift Stores to save $)
  • Finger Splints
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Sunscreen
  • Dermoplast (Topical pain reliever )
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Aloe Gel (Treats minor burn pain)
  • Anti fungal Ointment
  • Goldbond
  • Vagicare (For feminine itch & skin irritation)
  • Epsom Salts (Helps in the treatment of sprains)
  • Duct Tape (Can be used to remove warts & to adhere large bandages in a pinch)
  • Condoms
  • or Pregnancy Tests
  • Rolled Gauze
  • Tongue Depressors
  • Splinter Removal Kit
  • Baby Powder (Can be used to alleviate chafing as well)
  • Diaper Rash Ointment
  • Petroleum Jelly (Also used to seal wounds & used as a moisturizer)
  • Lotion (To treat dry skin)
  • Tea Tree Oil (Natural method to treat bug bites)
  • Calamine Lotion (Treats itching, bug bites, poison oak, poison Ivy, etc. )
  • Potassium Iodide (For pre-treatment of exposure to radiated iodine particles: Beware of allergies to Iodine before treatment & use with pregnant women and small children! It coats the thyroid to avoid cancer long after radiation exposure)
  • Kerlix Gauze Bandage Rolls (Absorbent and will hold sterile bandages in place)
  • Sutures (For deeper, larger cuts and wounds, administered by those medically trained)
  • Mole Foam (Helps to avoid blisters when hiking long distances)
  • Cohesive Bandages
  • Sterile Swabs
  • Basic Face Mask
  • Dental Probe
  • Dental Mirror
  • Sterile Swabs
  • Steri Strips (Used for deep, smaller cuts that do not require stitches)
  • Elastic Gauze Bandages 6-inch X 4-inch
  • Clove Oil (Home remedy: Helps relieve toothache)
  • Dental Wax
  • Dental Floss
  • Floss Threader
  • Cool Downz (Neck cooler)
  • Pepto Bismol Chewable Tablets (Used for stomach upset and diarrhea)
  • Zantac (Antacid for stomach ache)
  • Ginger (Home remedy for stomach ache)
  • Dramamine (Used for the treatment of nausea)
  • New Skin (Used for cuts)
  • Halls Menthol Cough Drops
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Nasal Spray
  • Saline Nasal Spray
  • AZO Yeast (For treatment of yeast infections)
  • AZO Standard (For treatment of urinary tract infection)
  • Castor Oil (Used as a laxative BUT adverse effects are reported for pregnant and breastfeeding women and small children)
  • Acidophilus (For help with digestion)
  • Imodium (For the treatment of diarrhea)
  • Anti-Diarrhea Meds, Misc.


  • Vitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Melatonin (For sleep)
  • Vitamin D-3

For those with extensive medical training, some move on to advanced prepping for wounds, surgery, and setting broken bones–which may or may not include the following:

  • Surgery Gloves (These are individually pkgd and one step up from surgical gloves)
  • Surgical Kit
  • Stethoscope
  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Bandage Scissors
  • Explorers/Outfitters Dental kit (much more extensive, but can be costly)
  • Explorers/Outfitters Medical Kit (Can be expensive $250 – $500. Buy only when contents are listed and supplier is recommended)
  • Lap Sponges (Used for surgery)
  • Kelly Forceps
  • LMA Mask (Used for blocked airway)
  • Ambu Bag (Resuscitator/used to assist breathing: Comes in Infant, Child & Adult sizes)
  • Olsen Hegar Needle Holder/scissor combination forceps
  • Pulse Oximeter (Measures oxygen saturation in the blood)
  • Fetal Doppler Monitor (To listen to fetal heart-tones during birth)
  • Central Venous Catheter Kit (Used to administer IV fluids)
  • Ringers Lactate
  • Arm & Leg Splints
  • Orthopedic Casting Tape (Used to set broken bones)

As with nearly everything involved with prepping, the wisest approach with regards to what you will add to your personal medical supply stash is by considering your specific needs and your expertise.

What have you done to prepare for medical needs during a crisis? Have any good tips? Any in the medical profession who can impart information to the group? Comments already posted are encouraged to re-post—there are thousands of newcomers who visit Secrets of Urban Survival each and every day looking for answers. Please share, so the rest of us can take life-saving notes!

(David’s note: As a former ski patroller / backpacking guide who worked as an OEC [Wilderness EMT], I’ve got a few inexpensive, high leverage items to add in:


Snakebite kit

Duct tape

Dental floss

Epi pen [for severe allergic reactions]

Tampons [can cause toxic shock if you stick them in impalement wounds and S U C K to remove and clean in a hospital setting, but they are good for packing wounds in the mouth, placing focused pressure on a wound that you’re wrapping, for buying a few extra seconds to pick your location with severe diarrhea, and for their intended purpose.]

Pen and paper

Keep in mind that, in areas with Good Samaritan laws, you are generally only covered up to the level of care that you’ve been formally trained.  If you perform medical/trauma care above your level of certification, you are opening yourself up to civil and/or criminal action.  It is your responsibility to research the laws where you live and/or travel and decide your own course of action based on your comfort level.

In any case, I suggest that you initially only buy items that you know how to use and focus on training to learn how to treat more and more medical and trauma issues. You’ll find that as you learn more about your body and how it works, you appreciate your body more and become more in-tune with it. This is another case where time that you spend learning medical and trauma skills will benefit you regardless of whether you ever have to use them in a life or death situation.

Initially, I said that I’d point you to a resource for how to deal with power outages during the hottest parts of the summer. 49 weeks ago, I wrote an article on that exact topic, and I encourage you to read it again to brush up on the information. You can read it by going here:

What are your thoughts/experiences with the DC area outages? How about medical supplies and training…where does it sit on your priority list and how advanced of training do you intend to get? If you have advanced training, what are you doing to use the training, stay sharp, and not forget what you learned? Please share your thoughts by commenting below:



  1. Great info. I would add something, but between you and your readers’ comments, I can’t think of anything… right now. LOL

  2. Great info on here and thanks.
    Amazon has an Elite Large Fully Stocked GI Issue Medic First Aid Kit w/Bag for a great deal, it has it all.
    Just to note the mention about, yes you can buy some items but most require a copy of your state Medical license on file with them prior to shipment of items like PHARMACEUTICALS.

  3. I have a great home remedy for diarrhea

    in a small cup or bowl mix
    1 tbs flour 1/2 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp vanila a few drops of water (just enough to mix it to the consistancy of a cake mix.)
    drink 1 or 2 tbs of this mix.
    if needed a second dose wait at least 1 hour.
    This works fast and will not give upset tummies.

  4. Love the site and really enjoying Survival Diva, already signed for her emails 🙂 Looking through the list, I was excited to see I have a great first aid kit. I have almost EVERYTHING already. I can say for sure that Clove oil works for toothaches. I also heard lately that Listerine in a small spray bottle keeps mosquitoes away, haven’t tried it yet, though. I keep animals so I LOVE Tractor Supply for medical supplies;sutures, scalpels, etc. Great article, keep up the good work!

  5. Kerry Keel says:

    As revolting as it may sound, gnats may very well be a plus to getting a wound to heal up. I had a small cut on my arm that was not healing very well. I was outside and noticed that gnats were all around it, apparently eating the dried blood. Almost over night, the wound closed up, and was soon healed. That “soon healed” was about 3 or 4 days before there was no sign of the wound at all. No complications from the incident either.
    To keep gnats away from the face, pure Peppermint oil does a fine job.

  6. Two more items to be added:
    1. Wide brimmed hat – 4″ is best
    2. Sun blocking long sleeved shirt

  7. Great Grey says:
  8. Wild Bill says:

    Outstanding article… I copied the entire list and plan on fleshing out my 1st aid kit. Problem is, if I get everything on the list, I’m going to need a bigger 1st aid kit…

  9. Dave where can you buy a Central Venous Catheter Kit ?

  10. Just a quick tip that worked great for me and a few friends as well. I had a bridge that fell off unexpectedly. The worst side of that is that one of my teeth under the bridge was decayed and the pain was excruciating. I brushed and cleaned the teeth and gums with colloidal silver, not toothpaste. I was worried about infection. All I could think of was putting the bridge back on until i could get to the dentist, but had no idea what to do. Then I thought of Polygrip. I bought the zinc free Super Polygrip, and not knowing what I was doing, put it on my existing teeth first. To my utter shock, the decayed tooth stopped hurting. Then I put some on the bridge and it stayed on great. I wouldn’t recommend this for long term, because if you don’t want that decayed tooth to get infected, you need to clean it the tooth and soak the bridge with colloidal silver every day and brush all the Polygrip out, then reapply it. But in a pinch, wow…I was a happy camper! And BTW…put the Polygrip on your bridge, ariound the edge that fits over your teeth or contacts your gum, not on your regular teeth unless you’re covering a cavity. It works even if you don’t have a bridge to cover the tooth with. It blocks cold and hot from contacting the surface. It will dissolve naturally, is safe and it works. You can even eat with it on the tooth, clean the tooth and reapply it after eating. My dentist said that there are a lot of things I could have done short term that would not have been anywhere near as effective. And I needed no pain medicine either.

  11. Christina says:

    Ps- I found this great video onyoutube that shows how to make fresh peppermint tea:

  12. Christina says:

    Start right now and grow a massive peppermint plant in your backyard or in a big pot. Peppermint tea gets rid of upset stomachs and sore stomachs. If you have to live off canned fod or food that you don’t usually eat every day, you might get an upset stomach. you can make peppermint tea using the leaves off the plant and boiling water. Check with your local nursery about which plants are edible etc


  14. John Thomas says:

    Consider befriending a good Chiropractor. This “alternative” health care approach is powerful for many conditions beyond sore back or neck. Find one who was schooled in the old fashioned techinques of spinal adjustment. Get in alignment with emotional balancing methods and good daily nutritional habits, and you will be better off under “normal” or emergency conditions. Basic first aid and hygiene will cover many “ordinary” injuries and keep them from becoming a disaster.
    This was a great article, and many comments also provided valuable data. Thank you all for sharing. God bless.

  15. Charlie Brown says:

    Several years ago, after spending four hours in the ER for shock from stepping on a ground wasp/yellowjacket nest, my pharmacist suggested keeping Benadryl cough syurup on hand in the glove box of my car and at home. Drink the whole small bottle to counter the effects of the stings. I have an Epipen in my golf bag, but the cough syurupstays in the car and the medicine cabinet. When I last tried to buy it at my local RiteAid, the Pharm Assistant told me to go to the dollar store — much cheaper!.

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  17. Rehydration: Thousands of 3rd world babies die of dehydration every year. The World Health Organization came up with the following formula which I have seen work miracles. One liter of water, all the sugar (usually unrefined) you can scoop up in the palm of your hand, all the salt (again probably sea salt or other unrefined salt) you can scoop up with two fingers and the thumb. This mixture is absorbed by the child when the formula , breast milk or what ever is flushing the body dry through diarhea. So simple, everything is avbailable in the village, no needles or fluids required.

  18. Old Soldier says:

    After my first tour in VN, I discussed with a Surgeon neighbor the amount of Vetinarian Penicillin and other anti biotics made in the US and captured from the Viet Cong by the airborne unit I fought with. He stated unequivocably that he would not hesitate to use these products if that was all he had. He questioned the accuracy of labeling as to units per cc. I discussed this with a trusted Vetinarian. He stated this was hog wash and that if the bottle in the US said 1,000 units per, that is what you would get. Incidentially, I led a Civil Affairs Team and we used dehydrated penicillin. Before injecting, we drew the appropiate amount of sterile water into a needle, injected into bottle, shook vigorously for a couple of minutes and then drew the injection. You have to see the results of antibiotics on people who have never been exposed to them to believe the miracles. Cellulitus (blood poisioning) so bad the hand was as big as a baseball mitt on a 75# person. Drained a cup of pus from the palm, shot a big dose of the waterbase penicillin in the buttock and two days later on follow up visit, hand was healing, no real signs of infection.. One more shot and good to go. The only drawback to the water base is you have to space the doses as it is absorbed much faster than the oil base. But does not spoil in jungle heat and requires no refrigeration which obviously was unavailable. Have never tried to find on the civilian market. Allergies? Some situations are deadly without intervention. They would die without treatment so why worry about allergic reactions? In our litigatious society I would not take this approach with any aid, to anyone, at any time. If you have a bit of training, Good Samaratin Laws will not protect you in our Jack Pot Justice system.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Old Soldier,
      I was told the same thing about veterinarian Penicillin and did online research on it, but it’s always good to have it confirmed. Also very good info on injecting Penicillan with water vs oil dosages. Thank you for sharing this.

  19. John Creamer says:

    Info concerning prescription meds. The way i’ve done it is refiling as soon as possible, which will normally be several days before you are out. The new script will start on the date issued leaving you with several doses unused. i save these.

  20. Hi Thanks for all this good info,i live in Nova Scotia, Canada, we do have severe winters,so i have ditch bag in my vehicle, keep it there,have extra change of clothes, warm mittens, blanket ,shovel, broom ,, plastic pail ,ice scraper,hammer, knife, scoop, plastic cups, flashlight, candles , tin can , matches in plastic container,red bandana,dry cereal,crackers, nuts and more , if i get caught out in a snowstorm and i had to stay in motel overnight, when i could not get through.,All this is good idea to have in your trunk, plus i have my cell phone.
    At home i keep supply of bandages and first aid items,and my cupboard is always stocked with food that you don ‘t need to cook in power outage.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Your comment brings back memories of traveling the ALCAN in winter from Alaska to the “lower 48” as Alaskans call it. The distance was 2,800 rugged miles to Idaho, but even when driving short distances, having a disaster kit and warm clothing is a must-have (I kept sub-zero sleeping bags stashed in the car). Most Alaskans and Canadians know not to flirt with disaster when it’s blowing and -20 degrees out. Same goes for extreme heat in southern climates.

      Was once visiting friends in Saint George, Utah with my daughter and came upon a man and his wife who were cresting a hill. The man frantically flagged us down. Turns out, they had strayed from the trail seeking a shortcut and got hopelessly lost. They soon ran out of water in 112 degree weather. They hadn’t packed enough water as their hike was to have been a short one–until they got lost. We handed them our water bottles, calmed the man down (he felt he had nearly killed his wife with his decision to take the short cut and was emotional) and we eventually drove them to their car when we were sure they were okay. It was a good lesson for my daughter, to experience what can happen when taking risks when not prepared.

      Good to see you on the forum!

  21. Great article. I just wast to reiterate what was said about colloidal/ionic silver. It is a must have in your emergent kit. Since I discovered it, it has replaced a large percentage of my well stocked medicine cabinet. Beyond the obvious infection prevention uses, I have used it to treat food poisoning, ear infections, pink eye, sun poisoning, athlete’s foot, insect bites, yeast infections, heat rash, sinus infections and severe acne. It helps speed up the healing of wounds. Also, it can make drinking water more safe. If properly stored, it will have an indefinite shelf life. Best of all, no worries about side effects or adverse reactions. Keep up the good work.

  22. EcoSteve says:

    I highly recommend Chamois Butt’r. Not only prevents friction, but also cleans up little infections down there.

  23. Joseph morehouse says:

    Well ,I love the list and to my surprize I have about 1/3 of the items mention.
    The rest will have to go on my prepper wish list.Thank you for the info it make me feel alittle safer . I would mention that a unexpect place to find medical supplies is at habitat rehab stores , please look into it just this week I bought 2 cases of pro jel hand sanitizer in 4 0z bottles – 12 bottle for $3.00 a case and they had other first aid supplies very reasonable.
    thank you again.

  24. Caribou says:

    Look for alternative medication to what you are prescribed. I was able to take myself off a schedule two pain med by taking Noni and Curcumin X4000. I get my noni from Noni Biotech International for less than a third of what I paid at the local health food store and I am pleased with the quality and service. With my insurance it would be cheaper to take the drugs but there is no risk of addiction and no “fuzzy head” side effect with these. Curcumin is the active ingredient in tumeric and noni is a fruit. I take one oz of noni and two or three capsules of curcumin each day. I am sure there are other quality brands out there but these are as good as I have found. I have no financial interest in these products.

  25. Rebecca says:

    Suggestion: oral rehydration packets for reconstitution, or recipe and ingredients (which are in Where There Is No Doctor) should be on the basic medical list. Pedialyte works for this. Certain non-life-threatening illnesses quickly become life-threatening with dehydration, particularly in kids. Electrolytes (potassium, sodium, and magnesium) as well as water will need to be replaced with rapid GI losses (eg-nausea/vomiting/diarrhea). Dave and Diva, I enjoy your posts, as well as all of the great responses.

  26. Dr. Prepper says:

    David, another important thought provoking article…THANKS!

    As I was perusing the article I came across “Butt Paste”. I had to smile, not many would broach this important but “Yukky” subject. I personaly have researched this very topic for personal relief from this very affliction….ugh…it’s uncomfortable. There are many products available. My sister-in-law uses a product called “Monkey Butt”…a powder. I don’t like powder because it is HARD to apply and messy. Another item is “Body Glide” available at places like REI or other similiar outlets. Runners, cyclists, etc use this stuff and yes it works but it is relatively expensive…about $ 6 to $10 depending on where you get it…and yes it does an excellent job.
    However, I have found a better and cheaper product…and I’m “sure” you have heard of it. You can order it online or go to your local walmart and stock up….there was a “hint” in the line above…..Yep, it’s that deoderant stuff called ..SURE Deoderant. It costs anywhere from $ 1.68 [online, but you have to buy 12] to $1.89 [Walmart] . I use the unscented kind to avoid any possible reaction in a sensitive area. The neat thing is that it has a built in handle to hold onto to apply…unlike powder that is really messy. Also it is extremely light weight. You can virtually use it anywhere there is friction…between toes, side of foot[shoes too tight], arms, thighs etc. This stuff REALLY works and is in ALL my GO bags…and it’s cheap! This may not be your choice in the “civilized” world as a deoderant, but in a disaster scenario it will work wonders…and you only need ONE kind to take care of all those type of needs.
    Try it…you’ll like it!!

    • Survival Diva says:

      Dr. Prepper,
      Who would’ve guessed…Sure deodorant it is! Whenever we can save money AND get our medical Stash set aside, all the better! I’m putting aside for 23 people–not cheap. Even saving a dollar here and there adds up for each one here on the forum, and makes it easier to move on the next thing on our list. Thank you for sharing your find with us.

  27. In all postings I have not yet seen a post for the needed tool kit. Hammer, wire cutters, screwdrivers both Phillips head and standard in small, medium, and large. Hatchet, 3-in-1 oil, an assortment of nails, small hand saw, plastic drop cloths, putty or plastic sealer, work gloves, goggles, hard hat or bicycle helmet, medium waterproof tarp, and a small length of chain, Also an LED flashlight in the kit.
    I am sure there are other things that can and will be added. I have.

    • Survival Diva says:

      That list is already in the works ( : It will also be extensive, and just as with the medical list supplies, I’m looking forward to the comments that will help us all.

      The comments coming in on medical supplies are amazing, and I’m taking notes! Thanks everyone for sharing what you know and what worked for you. So much can be learned by experiencing a medical emergency and learning from it. Training can’t be overrated–there’s no such thing as too much information/training when it comes to treating loved ones during a crisis!

  28. Bruce Boldenow says:

    Excellent article, thank you. A couple of things to add, the best treatment for poison oak/ivy (and I speak as one has had terrible poison oak problems all my life), bar none, is “Nitrotan”, (antiseptic, germicide). This is a brand name by Cramer company. I’m sure other companys make similar things. Ingredients are, picric acid, 0.2%, tannic acid, 1.5%, benzyl alcohol, 6.1% (by wt), isopropyl alcohol 62%( by wt). This stuff coats the rash, stops the itching and drys it up! How can you beat that? Also, according to a pharmicist I know, using the original “Neosporin”, not ‘tripple…or whatever, can be used directly in the eyes for eye infections, pink eye, et al (I have done this for eyes infections a couple of time a few years ago, with no ill after effects to my eyes). I too am not affiliated with either company, also I am not a Dr. and can only say that these things worked for me.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Wished I’d known this last summer ( : It’s going into the medical supply stash. Neosporin has always been a mainstay at the cabin, but had no idea it could cure pink eye until now. Good tip!

  29. How about an essentials list? Not an everything under the sun to fill a sea chest list?

    • Survival Diva says:

      The items in the first list, “Just The Basics”, can be purchased for around $50. It’s meant as a starting point, but is by no means a complete list. From there, it can be built upon. Medical supplies must take into consideration existing health, location (for instance a snake bite kit for someone living in North Idaho would not be necessary as it would for someone who lives in Texas), and it must take in consideration experience. However, as emsmommy5 commented, it’s possible you’ll come into contact with someone with training who can use more advanced medical supplies. Cash flow is also a consideration, ie: Just The Basics list.

  30. emsmommy5 says:

    Whenever possible I would suggest everyone store to the highest level possible. In your comments, you referred to those with “extensive training may consider… ” – if things go sideways, and if you have the needed supplies, you can likely find someone with the training to use them to help you if the medical field is not your thing. People need to remember that your local EMS system has very limited supplies. One large multi-patient trauma scene is going tax an EMS system’s supplies immediately.

    At a bare minimum everyone should be trained to the CPR/First Aid level. Then work up from there. Oftentimes, if you are capable of volunteering for your local fire department, you can get EMT or even advanced EMT training for free in exchange for helping your community.

    What I didn’t see on your medical lists were some basic herbs which are very helpful and can grow in your own backyard for free. While both my husband and I are EMTs and have a pretty good handle on first aid supplies, I have gone much farther into the natural healing side of study. As an example, simple things to grow with huge benefits would be comfrey, plantain, calendula, dandelion, and mint. Plus, there are many healing herbs you probably have in your kitchen – garlic, onion, sugar, cayenne, fennel, and ginger. A great little starter herbal first aid book is “Herbs to the Rescue” by Kurt King.

    You can find plenty of home remedy, herbal and basic first aid books at the thrift store and yard sales. You just have to start looking for them.

  31. Robert Woehrle says:

    FYI! CPR no longer teaches to inject air into the lungs. The compressions do that too.

  32. K. Chopee says:

    Thanks for the excellent information however I am surprised that I do not see charcoal on your list. Charcoal is an amazingly powerful and effective natural remedy and has a multitude of uses. I personally have used it in a variety of ways including orally to stop intestinal illness – especially critters picked up in the tropics. It works by absorbing the toxins they excrete which are the cause of the associated diarrhea and cramping. And when my husband had a nasty dog bite deep into his arm muscle I simply opened 2 capsules of charcoal, moistened with olive oil to make a paste, slathered the area (which was getting angrier looking by the second) covered with gauze and then a layer of plastic wrap taped to seal it and left it overnight. The next morning the area was healthy looking but for good measure we repeated one more day and now he barely has a scar. The same type of poultice works on rashes, cellulitis from bug bites, snake bites, skin infections and wounds of all kinds etc etc.
    You can buy the charcoal in bulk or in capsules- look for activated charcoal. In a pinch you can also make your own out of the chunks of wood charcoal (not BBQ) left over after a fire!
    For more information check out Charcoal– The complete Handbook of Medicinal Charcoal and Its Applications (for First Aid, Parents & Doctors, Homes & Gardens, Pets & Livestock, The Environment)
    God Bless
    K. Chopee

  33. Where there is no Doctor/Dentist and other books are available as a free download from but if you are planning to download them and then print them I advise purchasing the book since you will use a ton of paper and ink on just those two books. I did download the others that are available just to have on my hard drive for reference (just in case).

  34. It is better to prepare than to sit and worry. This information is incredibly important. Thanks for doing this!

  35. Scott Gray says:

    I enjoy the comments here as much as the articles. People can forgo the CPR masks FYI; studies have shown that during chest compressions(which circulate the oxygenated blood)that pulse ox levels are around 50%. When the compressions were stopped for “rescue breaths”, the pulse ox levels would drop to 0%. So in a 911 setting, let the person not panicking(another excuse for training to be prepared)evaluate what’s needed if professional help is on the way. BVM equipment is much better in this situation if available and more sanitary for the squeamish if used properly. If help isn’t on the way, be mentally prepared for a hard reality. Resuscitation rates are low(my record is 0 and 15 so far)even with trained professionals and emergency medical gear. Be safe, be ready.

  36. All great info Dave, I am now a retired,but still NREMT-P and state credentialed CCEMT-P,as well as AHA instructor. The information you have submitted is great…However the need to stress the the point about some type of training for field preparation is necessary. I would of course advise many to have at the very least an advanced first aid course under their belt,next as a min. a AHA BLS course to compliment their existing training…though a nice touch in addition would be a BTLS,PALS,NALS certs. as well, it is not mandatory…and as you stated….work within the limits of your scope of training…..that includes equipment and supplies. Again Dave you are providing a valuable info site for the days to come. Thanks!!

  37. Instead of zantac or other Ant-acids, One level teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water is much cheaper, and since baking soda is a Base chemical, it instantly neutralizes the acid in your stomach. Take before going to bed, and acid reflux during the night is a thing of the past. I have heard in the past not to take more than three doses in 24 hours, but I have never needed to take even two.- one does the trick, INSTANTLY

    • captain mike says:

      Right on. Anybody can get a little upset now and then, but those prescriptions are for people who are routinely messed up. That is usually through bad eating habits or food sensitivities but they’ve been whitewashed to increase drug sales. Don’t take that poison. In most cases, water alone will relieve or prevent symptoms INCLUDING reflux. Experience talking here. Ditching dairy and white flour will help alot – but in survival, who knows what you will have to eat to get by.

  38. Any ideas on where to get moleskin? all I can find is some tiny, soft gel, site specific thingy from bandaid.

  39. As always Diva and David, great article.

    the book ditch medicine is also good…i’ll take a look at the books you recommend…it’s amazing how many videos are available on youtube from castrating pigs to butchering chickens…i’ll take a look at the PNVideos too.

    i’ve always bought up things at our local feed coop, from scalpels to penecillin, to 7-way annibiotics (probably wouldn’t use this on humans without more research)…they’re a gold mine for cheap medical supplies…

    also, the dollar stores have cheap off brand gauze, bandages, etc…probably won’t see snoopy on the band-aids, but you can splurge for those elsewhere…

    lastly, i don’t know how many animals i’ve had to sew up…wouldn’t be afraid to do it on my peeps either with the appropriate painkiller (vodka, etc.), so i’d recommend getting and practicing with sutures, needles, and stock up on painkillers…don’t throw away your prescriptions…they probably lose effectiveness as they age, but hopefully they can help…

    • Survival Diva says:

      You can go online for a free download and scan it first to make sure it will add to the books you already have.

  40. Bob Reynolds, PhD says:


    As usual, a great list. One can also get very creative in stockpiling medical supplies. I had a total knee replacement about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and had the staples removed 10 days later. When she was finished, the home health-care nurse asked where she could dispose of the staple remover. I asked her if it was disposable, and she said they are instructed to dispose of them rather than use them again. My wife and I looked at each other and smiled, saying that we would be glad to take it off her hands. We sterilized it, placed it in a zip-lock bag, and put it with our stash of emergency medical supplies. I like FREE!

  41. oh yeah I almost forgot, get a few u.s.g.i. first aid bandages. these saved my mothers life on christmas day 2010. she was on coumadin a blood thinner and her dialysis graft in her arm burst. the bandage could not stop the bleeding but it did slow it down enough until the ambulance arrived. I bought 2 quick clot bandages after that and blood stop powder just in case.

  42. I highly recomend blood stop powder available at tsc(tractor supply co.) and bag balm. you can make your own quick clot bandages with blood stop powder and a few 4″x4″ guaze pads. bag balm treats dry skin and works great. I also highly recomend tecnu extreme for poison ivy and oak. this stuff is almost a miracle and it stops the itching in less than 5 minutes.

    thanks for the tips, keep up the good work

    • Survival Diva says:

      Another great tip. It shows that with prepping comes looking outside the box and makes us resourceful for a time when we’ll really need to be.

  43. Gordon Shumway says:

    When the crunch comes, anyone with a Colloidal Silver generator and a water distiller will be able to cure virtually every life-threatening infection there is, whether viral, bacterial, yeast, mycotoxin, or what-have-you, PLUS be able to barter with it for anything they want. We have been using the CONSTANT CURRENT.CS generators from since 1999. These consistently produce uniformly colloid-sized particles, which the 9-volt battery constant VOLTAGE jobs do NOT. It is the NON-colloid-sized particles of silver which cause “argyria”, the blue skin (“Smurfman”) cosmetic effect which has been used to scare people away from colloidal silver altogether. This cannot happen with the CONSTANT CURRENT units fro, as I proved to myself by drinking 750ml of 15ppm CS of my own manufacture every day for a month! Am I blue? Nope. We have no financial stake in, nor are we affiliates, etc. Just convinced. Get yours now before the FDA puts them out of business. We use the SG7-Pro model, which makes CS 5 gallons at a time. Shalom!

  44. Great article! My wife will appreciate the medical side of things since she is an EMT and will be entering paramedic school in the Fall…I am Cpr/First aid trained and will prob get EMT in near future. TY for excellent info.

  45. Thanks for another great article and food for thought!

    While in Afghanistan we always carried Israeli battle dressing for stopping bleeding almost instantaneously. Those can be found on Amazon.
    Best of luck to all and God bless!


  1. […] Medical Supplies are a must-have. Start with the basics and work up from there. To get a feel for what you may want to put aside, read a previous July, 2012 article, Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50.00. […]

  2. […] during a grid-down practice drill, but you might as well take an inventory to be sure you have the basics covered, which should include a thorough emergency medical reference book.  Down time may be a […]

  3. Annemie says:


    Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50 |

  4. […] First Aid Kit Living in the wilderness automatically means you must be prepared for a medical emergency!  Here where there are no ambulances,  it could take volunteer first responders hours before they made it to the cabin during a heavy snowfall, and possibly not at all if the hill is glaciered, which happens all too often.  For that reason, medical equipment is covered, but if you have loved one who may never prepare for themselves, a first aid kit is a thoughtful gift that could help them in an emergency.  The Complete First Aid kit sells on Amazon for $38.20.  It’s not extensive enough for long-term preparedness, but it’s an affordable start! If you’re curious what else might be needed, go to an earlier post, Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50. […]

  5. […] Below are lists of basic, intermediate and advanced medical supplies that was originally posted on July 5, 2012 titled Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50. […]

  6. […] Medical Supplies: a basic list of medical supplies is posted below. Click Here for an advanced medical supply […]

  7. […] Medical Supplies: a basic list of medical supplies is posted below. Click Here for an advanced medical supply […]

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