How to Assemble Survival and First Aid Kits for Beginners


As an explorer, venturing into the wilderness or embarking upon the wide-open roads of Denali Park to experience the unknown is natural for you. However, the “unknowns” you typically leave up to chance and circumstance should never be “where-is” or “what is in” your survival and first aid kits! Therefore, Stampede Excursions promotes preparedness for any situation you may face. All explorers know safety should be taken seriously. Any moment can drastically change, and leave you exposed to the circumstances at hand – especially when you are out exploring all Alaska has to offer!

Planning a road or camping trip can be thrilling and equally dangerous. Although rescues are performed often, and sometimes quickly, there are many cases where it will take longer for professionals to find you and your fellow explorers. In that case, being prepared and having a ready-to-go survival kit available to accommodate you and your travel companions for 48 to 72 hours can be the difference between life and death in extreme situations. Preparing for 48 to 72 hours of unexpected experiences is the best practice as leading excursions means that the health and safety of both you and your companions are your responsibility.

Basic first aid guidelines suggest you should know how to: stop heavy bleeding, dress a wound, treat a fever, shock or dehydration; and properly perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. These skills, paired with the supplies you need, will significantly improve your chances of survival in even the worst of circumstances.

After reviewing resources and guidelines from both the National Safety Council and Homeland Security’s Ready.gov, we put together a comprehensive list of items for you to consider when building your survival and first aid kits. We recommend that you put these kits in durable, waterproof, easy to carry containers such as a backpack or a bucket with a lid. Storing your kits in an easily accessible, dry location will make them easy to grab and remember on the way out the door. Here are some categories, situations, and items to consider when creating your survival and first aid kits.

Survival Kit

Documents and Identity

You may need to assist your travel companions with communicating information or proving their identity to medics, police/authorities, or medical care facilities in the event they are unable to do so themselves. Having all the information in one central location will be easily available and minimize the time it will take to aid them.

  • Drivers License, Passport, Birth Certificate, Medical ID Card, or other documentation that can be used to verify identity.
  • Emergency Contact List. Be sure to include contact information for all healthcare providers.
  • Copies of essential medical records. Health insurance cards or documents are also useful to have on hand.
  • A list of all medications you or others in your care are taking.
  • A list of all medical conditions you or others in your care have. This could include allergies, ailments, chronic conditions, and more.

Food and Water

There should be enough food and water to last 48-72 hours. Be sure the products you choose to have a shelf life of 5 years or more, to avoid repetitive modifications to your survival kits.

  • High-calorie food bars, dehydrated “camping meals,” or MRE’s
  • Canned Food
  • Can Opener
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Water Filtration Bottles or Straws

Hygiene and Sanitation

Staying clean is imperative to protect against infection and disease during disasters or unexpected circumstances.

  • Pocket Tissues, Toilet Paper, or Sanitation Wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Dental Floss/Picks
  • Unscented 3-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash
  • Unscented Lotion
  • Razors
  • Unscented Deodorant
  • Comb or Hairbrush
  • Wash Cloths

Light and Communication

In the event of a power outage, car trouble, or other unknown emergencies, there are some items that you may want to include in your kit, such as:

  • Emergency Candles and/or Light Sticks. You will want to include those that will last 12 hours or more.
  • Multi-Function Flashlight (And batteries if your light is not solar powered/rechargeable )
  • Survival Whistle
  • Portable Radio
  • Box of Waterproof Matches or Cigarette Lighter

Vehicle, Tools, Shelter, and Warmth

Whether you are on the road, embarking into the Alaskan wilderness, or experiencing a natural disaster at home, some supplies are prudent to have on hand to provide shelter from harsh conditions such as wind, sun, rain, snow, hail, sleet, etc.

  • Compass
  • Waterproof Ponchos with Hoods
  • Survival Blankets
  • 50 feet or more of Paracord
  • 10 feet or more of Tow Rope
  • Bungee Cords of Various Resistance
  • Body Warmers
  • Multi-Function Tools
  • Safety Goggles
  • Sewing Kit
  • Leather Palm Gloves or Work Gloves
  • Reflective Triangles
  • Reflective Safety Vest
  • Oil Funnel
  • Car Battery Jumper Cables
  • Compact Multifunction Shovel (We recommend those that can be used as both an axe and a shovel.)
  • Portable Cooking Stove and Fuel
  • Large Steel Cup
  • 5’x7’ or larger Blue Tarp or a tent
  • Duct Tape
  • Tire Puncture Seal
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Notepad and Carpenter Pencil

Pets

No survival kit could ever be complete without including your furry, feathered, or scaled companions as well! While although there are many resources that can help you prepare with your pet in mind, you may want to consider including the following:

  • 72 Hour supply of your pet’s food in a dry container
  • 72 Hour supply of water for your pet -It would be good to store gallons of water specially for them to ensure that they are not having to drink water that could be toxic.
  • Any Medicines, copies of medical records, and proof of ownership/identification for your pup or cat. (A good form of ownership would be a photo of you and your pet together.)
  • Reusable food/water bowl
  • Collar or harness and leash
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Toys and treats to keep them calm and occupied
  • Pet waste bags

First Aid Kit

Once you have finished creating your survival kit, it’s time to create your first aid kit. Your first aid kit should be kept with or near your survival kit. First aid kits should be well-stocked and include most of the following items to prepare you for any situation that might occur.

  • Adhesive bandages of all sizes
  • Sterile heavy gauze and non-adhesive pads/eye pads
  • Gauze roll and ace bandages
  • Butterfly closure strips and Safety Pins
  • Medical tape
  • Tourniquet
  • Sterile Saline Solution, Hydrogen Peroxide and Alcohol
  • Irrigation Syringe
  • Sterile Cotton Swabs, Tongue Depressors, Tweezers and Scissors
  • Antiseptic cream and wipes
  • Triangular bandages
  • Hot/cold packs
  • Aluminum Finger Splint and Bendable Splint
  • CPR breathing barrier or disposable resuscitator
  • Disposable medical gloves, Surgical mask (n95), and Goggles
  • Aspirin, NSAIDs, Anti-Diarrheal medicine, emetics, electrolytes
  • Burn Gel, Petroleum Jelly, Insect Sting Relief
  • Anti-itch and Anti-Fungal Creams
  • Antacid, Iodine, Anti-Fever, and cough/cold medicines
  • Thermometer
  • Mylar Emergency Blanket

Congratulations! You finally have most (if not all) of the items you might need in order to survive waiting for professional assistance.

Now that your survival and first aid kits are well prepared, you may want to consider taking classes that will teach you basic first aid applications and proper administration of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. You never know when these essential skills might come in handy, both in the wilderness or closer to home! That being said, we hope you now feel more prepared and ready for your next adventure.

Need tips for where to camp or experience Denali in all its glory? Give us a call and we will be happy to help you plan your next stay here in the beautiful state of Alaska.

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