Prepper’s Guide to Building a Medical Bag

A well-stocked medical bag is the best way to ensure that you have all the supplies you need in the event of a medical emergency. Whether you’re a doctor, nurse or medical worker, a prepper looking out for your family, or a travel or camping enthusiast who wants to build a medical supply kit before embarking on your next long journey or camping trip – a medical bag is essential if you want to make sure that you and those around you are safe and healthy.


You never know when a medical emergency can appear. From small scrapes to major accidents, people can easily get hurt, and if they don’t receive treatment at the right time, then the physical damage could become worse. That is why more and more people are turning to medical bags in an effort to prepare in case an emergency arises.

There are several kinds of medical bags you can build. The amount of information available on the internet is exhaustive, but at the end of the day, the medical bag you build should be balanced between essential supplies and those items that you and the people around you specifically need.

types of medical bags

What are the different kinds of medical bags you can create for yourself?

You can always buy a ready-made medical bag online. While these are convenient and useful, they may not contain everything you need. This is why it’s always a good idea to build your own medical bag. You can also keep adding to the contents of your bag over time, so don’t worry about buying everything at once. Quality medical supplies can he expensive. Depending on your budget, invest in the most important medical equipment first, and then slowly keep adding to your medical bag as the months go by.


However, before you build your medical kit, you need to decide on the purpose behind the medical kit. This will help you choose how much equipment you want to pack and what kind of a bag would be useful for you.

Here are some of the medical bags people prepare for different occasions:

  • First aid kit: This is the most common kind of medical bag, and many families like to keep one at home for personal use. The contents of a first aid kit include supplies for dressing small wounds, antibiotics, antiseptics, antihistamines, epi-pen, gauze rolls, bandages, etc., as well as any prescription medicine. This equipment is primarily meant to address small wounds and scrapes, with the expectation that in case of a major crisis, an ambulance can be called. A first aid kit can be anything from a small store box, to a cabinet in the bathroom.
  • Camping/Travelling medical bag: The equipment in these medical bags contain medical supplies that address external wounds, scrapes, bruises, burns and more accidents that occur in nature. A camping medical bag will be built by taking into consideration the needs of everyone within the camping or traveling party. Antibiotics, anti-fungal medicine, antihistamines, vitamins, re-hydration salts, and all other equipment that could be necessary to survive in a situation where medical help may not be quickly available go into these bags. Since these medical bags are meant for travel purposes, backpacks, satchels and even small duffel bags can be used to store medical equipment in order to keep the hands free.
  • Professional medical bag: If you’re a doctor, nurse, or emergency health care worker, then you may want to carry a medical bag with you in case you come across a person in need of treatment. These medical bags are specialized and contain essential supplies designed to treat wounds and keep patients steady in case an ambulance is required.

While these three are common examples of medical bags people prepare for, there are many more kinds of medical bags. What you’re essentially looking for here is the kind of storage space you want your medical kit to be – should it be a backpack full of medical equipment that keeps your hands free, a storage box that keeps the internal contents more secure, or a smaller bag containing essential supplies only for a few days. Once you have ascertained what kind of medical bag you want, you can move on to the next step – finding the right equipment to place into your medical bag.

medical bag supplies

What should you place into your medical bag?

Irrespective of why you want to build your medical bag, there are some equipment that should go into all of them. Some of this equipment are for emergency purposes, while others have multiple uses. Let’s look at the equipment that you must have in your medical bag at all times:

  • Antibacterial Soap: You must always wash your hands before you try to help or treat anyone. This is an important step both for you and the person being treated.
  • Hand sanitizer, as well as a refill bottle.
  • Nail clipper and file: Essential is you’re going camping. You don’t want the dirt and debris under your fingers to come into contact with someone’s open wound, as this could potentially lead to an infection.
  • A headlight so your hands can stay free, and remember to pack extra batteries!
  • LED penlight.
  • Surgical mask set. (50)
  • Latex-free glove set: Latex is a common allergen, so always opt for latex-free gloves. (50)
  • Surface disinfecting wipes.
  • Alcohol wipes. (50)
  • Burn gel.
  • Sting wipes. (10)
  • Cotton wipes.
  • Cold packs. (Reusable)
  • Thermometer.
  • Iris Scissors.
  • Safety Pins: Can hold dressings together during an emergency.
  • Bandaids.
  • Warm blankets.
  • Bottled water.
  • A container where you can boil water. This is necessary as you may need to sterilize some equipment before using them.

This equipment will help you set up for any emergency medical treatment you may need to perform. Aside from these, there are essential medical supplies that must go into every medical bag. These include:

  • Ace bandages: To manage minor sprains.
  • Triangular bandages.
  • SAM splint: To deal with common bone or joint wounds.
  • Gauze pads and rolled gauze.
  • 2-Fold gauze.
  • Medical tape, such as duct tape, adhesive tape or paper tape.
  • Silk medical tape roll.
  • Butterfly bandages.
  • Abdominal pads.
  • Chest seals.
  • Pressure dressing: Necessary for dealing with wounds on the limbs.
  • Moleskin.
  • Coban roll: Will help you to effectively wrap wounds on the limbs.
  • Needle and thread: Ideally, these should be stored in Isopropyl alcohol).
  • Antibiotics: Pills as well as cream.
  • Antiseptics.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Antifungal ointment.
  • Tick remover.
  • Epi-pen and Benadryl, especially if there are children who have allergies, asthma or other breathing issues.
  • 28 FR Nasopharyngeal airway.
  • Vaseline.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: Great for external wounds.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Needed to clean wounds and can also double as an effective mouthwash).
  • Iodine (30 ml).
  • 60cc Irrigation Syringe.
  • Perinatal bottle.
  • Tourniquet
  • Saline eye drops.
  • Saline nasal spray.
  • Paracord.
  • Kelly Clamps (Both curved and straight).
  • Antacids and anti-diarrhea medication.
  • Neosporin or Polysporin for minor exposed external wounds.
  • ABD packs (5×9)
  • Firestarter kit.
  • Prescribed medication.

These essential medical supplies are the first things you should place in your medical bag. But there are more medicines that can make your life easier when it comes to dealing with accidents and other health problems. Adding additional medical supply to your medical bag is a great idea, especially when what you’re adding has multiple uses, or deals with a common problem you have faced before. These additional medical supplies include:

  • Vitamins: These can be vitamins that address certain deficiencies like Vitamin C, B12, K etc., or multivitamins.
  • Oral rehydration solution and tablets.
  • Electrolyte tablets.
  • N-95 masks.
  • CPR masks.
  • Eye pads: This will protect any eye wound from getting infected.
  • Sutures.
  • Steri strips: A popular alternative to stitches.
  • OPA’s : These are meant for the airways and stops them from closing completely in case of an emergency.
  • Superglue.
  • Dental filling material.
  • Floss.
  • Dental mirror.
  • Snake bite protection kit.
  • Ammonia inhalants/Caffeine pills: These help you to stay awake.
  • Quickclot: Will help wounds clot quickly.
  • Garbage bags: To throw away any medical equipment you have already used, such as syringes or cotton wipes.
  • Stethoscope.
  • Soap bars designed to act against poison ivy.

Some additional medical equipment you should consider, especially if you have space left in your medical bag include:

  • Hand creams: Very useful if you find yourself using your hand sanitizer a lot, as hand sanitizer can make your hands feel dry.
  • Aloe vera: Helps treat against burns.
  • Warm gloves and a jacket: Will help you stave off against the cold, and is important when dealing with hypothermia.
  • Emergency raincoats.
  • A notepad, and pen, pencil or marker.
  • Gel packs (Reusable).

A medical bag that contains all these medical supplies will help you deal with any emergency situation you face. If you still need to add necessary equipment, then you can always add them on. However, remember to not add too many supplies as this could prevent you from finding what you need at the right time.


A good tip for any medical bag is to place your antibacterial soap, some water and a hand sanitizer in an easily reachable area. This is as you should always wash your hands before treating any wounds. Just remember to always replenish your supplies before they run out, and you’ll always have a fully prepared medical bag handy for whenever you need it!

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