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Restocking first aid kit


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I used up the Ibuprophen from my first aid kit, and would like to resodck it with ~6 200 mg pills, but am unsure how to package them. I don't want to cary a whole bottle. The originals were in a small waterproof pouch. Is there a way to buy just a half dozen pills in a pouch or can anyone think of a home-made way to securly have just a few pills in the first aid kit?

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You may find small amounts prepackaged at REI as they tend to have a good selection of stuff for making up or restocking a first aid kit. I suggest getting a few of the small snap lid containers REI (and I suppose others) sell and use those for various pills in the first aid kit. Just a personal preference, but I keep a supply of pain relievers, etc. in a personal bag (it contains stuff I find useful once ashore and at night) for routine use and leave the first aid kit supplies for dealing with unexpected problems which require its use.

Ed Lawson

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I would imagine your first aid kit is kept in some sort of waterproof container, so I'm not sure why the pills would also need to be in a waterproof container.

But -

  • If you or someone you know is a clothes fiend - you'll know that many items of clothing come with buttons or extra thread, sequins, etc in small ziploc bags that are quite small, but the perfect size to hold pills. You could nest a couple of those for watertight packaging.
  • I've not used one, but there are inexpensive mini-heat sealers that you can use to make small plastic pouches - smaller than the food saver type that usually only do quart as the smallest size
  • If you look at places that make keys - you'll often find keychains with small watertight cylindrical containers (usually stainless) that would hold a few pills.
  • Gas stations and convenience stores also carry the pouches of pills in individual doses - at a premium, but it's exactly what you're looking for.
  • At drugstores in the sample size section or at the register, you'll often see small plastic cases of a particular brand of pain reliever (usually tylenol) that is a nice size for carrying a small variety of medicine. You can buy that and swap out what you want to carry in it and it should last for many years.

I carry a screw top plastic pill container with a variety of pills in it that is probably not waterproof, but is water resistant and is always inside a waterproof vessel.

And I second what Ed said in that the personal supply is separate from first aid supply.

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I've used a small hard plastic pill bottle--semi-transparent orange with white plastic snap on cap--that I got from a camping supply store, maybe REI, or EMS. Got them maybe 10 years ago, maybe 20, so no sure they are sill available.

REI shows some options (not the ones I have): http://www.rei.com/search?search=pill+bottle&scv_page_size=109&seq=1&hist=query%2Cpill+bottle. The small Nalgene ones look watertight and study, but take up more room in a First Aid kit.

For other kits, I just put them in a regular sandwich size ziplock bag and roll it up.

I tend to mix pills in the same bottle so I have a selection: aspirin, Ibuprophen and Tylenol. Easy to tell apart (white, brown and red/yellow), but maybe you should get pills with printed names on them in case someone else has to use them.

Why three you ask? Partly so people can have their NSAID of choice, partly for specific purposes, such as emergency tech blood thinner (aspirin) for suspected heart attack until they reach the ER; general pain/inflamation management (Ibuprophen) , and a low stomach impact alternative (Tylonol).

By the way, on a week camping trip, a couple dozen pills are not over-kill, especially if you may need to share.



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I really love these little bottles:


I use the Go Tubb's for personal first aid stuff, also use them in my purse/car for personal meds.

Personally, I like to use the smallest bottle of aspirin and ibuprofen that I can find for my regular first aid kit. I like them in their original packaging so that I don't mistakenly offer the wrong one to somebody. But I take groups out... If you don't, perhaps it doesn't matter as much.

And the Go Toobs, I like them for loads of things. They are food safe and so can contain lots of foods to bring with you - you can put 8 ounces of Pesto Sauce in one - same for Hummus. I tend to bring lots of homemade foods so it allows me to package things up. You can then freeze the whole container and bring that with you and it stays nice for days. It also makes dispensing small amounts of food easy at the campsite so things don't get contaminated nor do you cross contaminate foods as you are not putting a knife or spoon into the container.

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35 mm. film canisters are great for this sort of thing. I'm glad I stockpiled them from when one could actually buy film (!)


Yes, of course; however, not recommended by Kodak :unsure:


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<35 mm. film canisters are great for this sort of thing>

Exactly what I was going to add; but then I wondered if everyone even remembers what that (film) was...! ;^)

Suzanne always has splendid answers to these sort of problems because she really does good research; but I bet those little suckers are costly? (Eh, Suz?) ;^) I also bet the new Container Store in Danvers has some "good stuff", too?

Edited by Pintail
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Just re-certed my wfr through WMA, and the instructor, a physicians assistant who works at a clinic near a big ski resort out west, is an offshore sailor, and a member of a search and rescue team, had a pretty sweet assortment of stuff for his "small" first aid kit. If anyone is interested in geeking out here it goes:

Kelly clamp: http://www.amazon.com/Prestige-Kelly-Curved-Forceps-Hemostat/dp/B00062N42S/ref=pd_sim_hi_1

Face Shield: http://www.amazon.com/NuMask-CPR-Mask/dp/B0062Q4R6E/ref=sr_1_52?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370460988&sr=1-52&keywords=cpr+face+shield

Scissors: http://www.amazon.com/Amercian-Diagnostic-Corporation-300-Stainless/dp/B000FBT3V6/ref=sr_1_11?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370461035&sr=1-11&keywords=first+aid+scissors

Lidocaine gel: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Jel-Technologies-Squeeze-Bottle-Topical/dp/B005H1OQZ2/ref=sr_1_13?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370461132&sr=1-13&keywords=water+gel+burn+dressing

Vet Wrap: http://www.amazon.com/Vetrap-3M-Bandaging-Tape-Green/dp/B00CL2S63S/ref=sr_1_7?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370461304&sr=1-7&keywords=3m+vet+wrap

Lots of sterile gauze.


Provoiodine solution

Large CC Syringe: http://www.amazon.com/Dynarex-Piston-Irrigation-Syringe-60/dp/B001B5NE38/ref=sr_1_4?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370461466&sr=1-4&keywords=large+cc+syringe

Soft tooth brush

Clean t-shirt in a ziploc bag

Tegaderm dressings in assorted sizes: http://www.amazon.com/3M-Tegaderm-Transparent-Dressing-1624W/dp/B0009Q2OMW/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370461713&sr=1-1&keywords=tegaderm+transparent+dressing

Zeroform dressings: http://www.amazon.com/Xeroform-Petrolatum-Dressings-Sterile-Packages/dp/B005KMPFW6/ref=sr_1_3?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1370461793&sr=1-3&keywords=zeroform

Triangular bandage: http://www.amazon.com/TRIANGULAR-BANDAGE-DYN-Size-12/dp/B0006GE73Y/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_2

Sam splint: http://www.amazon.com/TRIANGULAR-BANDAGE-DYN-Size-12/dp/B0006GE73Y/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_2

All in addition to the typical ibuprofen, tylenol, aspirin, band aids, triple anti-biotic ointment, and whatever other things are important and I might have left out.

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I use contact lens containers for small quantities of pills, creams, ointments. You would be amazed at how much they can hold. They are small and completely water tight.


Edited by glad
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Drop them into a straw as many or a few as you want and seal the ends with a heated butter knife edge or needle nose pliers. Can be sealed in between each tablet if you choose. Take your trauma scissors and snip off however many you need when and if the need arises. Compact cheap and easy storage problem solved.

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I use those for spices in my camp kitchen... well not those specifically but some my husband supplied for lab testing. Great screw on lid and water tight. Never thought to use in my first aid kit!

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