Survivalism is all about being prepared for the unexpected. Survivalists are people who think about the future, and prepare themselves for any kind of emergency or calamity they can think of.
The kinds of emergencies that ‘preppers’ (as they are also known) plan for include anything from pandemic diseases to nuclear war, natural disasters, the collapse of society and maybe even zombie apocalypse! Hey – who knows?
A hugely important part of being prepared for these eventualities is knowledge of first aid and a comprehensive first aid kit. If you are going to live off-grid, away from doctors and hospitals it is vital to have a number of first aid essentials, to keep you healthy and to treat any injuries you or your companions might suffer.
Let’s take a look at a few first aid kit essentials that every survivalist should have, if they really are intent on surviving:
• Waterproof first aid case/bagIf you are living off-grid, perhaps even in a shelter of your own construction, waterproof items are a God-send. Keeping your first aid kit dry is very important to ensure that its contents remain sterile and effective. Thankfully there are waterproof first aid cases available, which are ideal for the great outdoors, whether you are on a camping trip or fleeing an apocalyptic event.
• Selection of bandagesAn outdoor or off-grid existence may involve more risk than living in a comfortable home – in fact it definitely will – and accidents probably will happen. If you are building a shack or hunting your dinner you will be at risk of injury, so it is essential to have a selection of bandages at hand. A comprehensive first aid kit will contain bandages of various sizes, sealed in plastic bags to keep them sanitary and ready to use on cuts and scrapes. You should have a suitable tape too to hold bandages firmly in place.
• Hand sanitizer gelIf you are required to treat yourself, or someone else, who has been injured, it important for your hands to be clean. Of course you can’t always find a sink and a bar of soap in the middle of a forest or at the top of a mountain, but hand sanitizer gel will make a decent substitute.
• Foil blanketFoil blankets are ultra light yet they retain over 90 per cent of your body heat. They will also protect you, your family or friends from the rain and wind. These facts make foil blankets absolutely essential in your survivalist’s first aid kit.
• Resuscitation aidsHopefully you will never need to use resuscitation aids, but if you do you will be very glad you invested in them as they can literally make the difference between life and death. Rebreath pocket masks and mouth to mouth valves are inexpensive but could save a life.
• Burns treatmentsLiving in the wild probably means relying on fire, man’s oldest method of staying warm, cooking and providing light. Of course with fire there is the danger of burns, so every prepper should have a burns treatment kit, containing suitable dressings for various types of burn.
If you are a true survivalist then you have to be prepared for anything. A well stocked first aid kit will help ready you for any eventuality, and in the meantime it is a valuable piece of kit to have in your home.
Sam Butterworth is a writer, a blogger and an extoller of the virtues of being prepared for anything. He increasingly enjoys the great outdoors and is subsequently teaching himself some essential survival skills.