Must Have Medical SHTF Survival Tools - by ER Doctors on Reddit

"Here’s our full 37-item IFAK first aid kit checklist for preppers. - >

Many hours were spent debating not only what should be included, but why, what, how much, in what order, and what shouldn’t be included.

Prioritizing was important so that you can make your own choices about how much gear to carry — is it an EDC IFAK or a full pouch in your bug out bag? — and how to customize it for your needs.

For example, this is a Level 1 kit (out of 3). You can carry the whole thing, or just take the top few items for a minimalist trauma kit:


Pressure dressing

Z-fold gauze, standard 4.5” x 4 yards

Coban roll, standard 2” x 5 yards

Trauma shears

Acetaminophen / Tylenol

Ibuprofen / Advil

Diphenhydramine / Benadryl

Loperamide / Imodium

Band-aids (10x, various sizes)

Chest seals (1 pair)

Examples of items commonly seen in other prepper lists that you should skip:

Decompression needle or “chest dart.” These are standard in military IFAKs, which is why they’ve shifted into civilian prepper kits. But almost none of you have the training or equipment to properly use this dangerous device.

Eye shields. Same story as the chest dart — they’re standard in modern military kits because of the types of wound patterns we see in combat (like spall off the body armor), but they aren’t relevant enough for a civilian kit.

Iodine and hydrogen peroxide. These can actually do more harm than good in an austere setting (when you don’t have quick access to follow-on care) and don’t provide much benefit over lots of clean, plain water.

Examples of where experts had differing opinions about whether to carry:

NPAs, the tubes inserted through the nose to keep the upper airway open.


Whether acetaminophen or ibuprofen is better to carry if you’re only going to carry one OTC med.

A second tourniquet and pressure dressing in a Level 2-3 kit.

Alcohol pads / wet wipes / saline, or just rely on clean water.

Antibiotic ointment packets and burn gels."

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