What to Put in Your Bug Out First Aid Kit

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Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

First aid prepping can be seriously intimidating. Of the many skills and resources you are driven to gather on your preparedness path, it gets really nerve-wracking when you realize that you also have to become an SHTF doctor, at least to some degree. This is probably why so many people are trying to get a medic or doctor onboard as part of their survival group.

If your survival strategy requires you to take to the road, what first aid resources are you bringing with you? Do you need to drag along a massive medicine chest? I think it all starts with a simple question: What makes up the bugout?

The bugout is a serious undertaking. It requires planning, practice, and good timing in execution. Your bugout first aid kit is not likely to exist in one place. In order to have a successful bugout, you are going to need a few kits. While it would be great to strap a one-size-fits-all IFAK onto your bugout bag and get moving, that’s just not enough.

If you really want to be prepared, then you need to establish what makes up your entire bugout plan. Things like cars, locations, caches, and so on are all going to need some sort of backup first air resource.


Your vehicle is going to carry a variety of things in a bugout situation. The core of your vehicle’s bugout preps should be something like the grab-and-go kit from Alton First Aid. Joe Alton has been known as Dr. Bones in the prepping community for a very long time, and his kits are fantastic.

The grab and go car kit has that sort of bugout concept in the name. This thing is designed to address bleeding, cuts, lacerations, burns, and a whole host of other firsts aid concerns. There are several add-ons or swaps you can make when purchasing.

A kit like this or something comparable should be able to handle the majority of your first aid needs while you are on the road to your bug out location.

If you have a capable vehicle, having something like a jerry can of clean water attached or stored in the vehicle can go a long way in flushing wounds and keeping things clean.

You might even consider a takedown or lightweight stretcher. These can be irreplaceable when it comes to moving someone who is injured.


The bugout bag is largely the focus when it comes to first aid bugout items. You probably want to cram that bag with all the things you can. Don’t forget, the biggest limiting factor when it comes to the bugout is your endurance.

You don’t want to kill yourself by trying to carry your entire home on your back. Never underestimate the potential for things to go wrong. All it takes is a slip or a rolled ankle in your group and you could potentially have to carry two backpacks.

While you could be carrying an IFAK on your person, you might also consider one person in your group as the medic, and they can carry a kit that is a bit more robust. The Survival First Aid Kits are great for this. Their design makes them perfect for slipping down into a pack.

The purpose of bugout caches is so you can carry less but have access to more supplies if you need them. We’re going to look at first aid essentials for your bugout, but remember that you should also consider the car, the cache, and the location you are traveling to as places where bugout first items could be located.

First Aid Manual

I like the medic’s bugout bag to also be the place for the most thorough first aid manual. The bugout bag is the thing that will follow you everywhere. If your vehicle fails, if your caches are stolen, and if your bugout location is compromised, you will have the manual on your person.

There is one book that is appropriately sized for a bug out bag and built out with incredible information. That book is called The Preppers Medical Handbook by Dr William Forgey, and it is a necessity for all preppers.


There are few things that give you as much security and benefit as prepositioned survival caches. These are particularly helpful in the bugout because they can lighten the load and that is a HUGE deal when you are traveling to a bug out location.

Even if your journey is by vehicle, there are space limitations. You can never bring your entire home with you in a bugout situation, and you’ll probably have to leave some preps behind. So, it’s worth taking things like medical supplies and creating hidden, buried, or strategically placed caches along the route to your bugout location.

To create a simple medical cache, start with a 3-foot length of PVC pipe that can be stuffed with the following:

Each end of the cache can then be capped and sealed to keep water out then buried somewhere enroute to the bugout location. Of course, you can design and fill the caches with the first aid supplies that you see fit. I am looking for a cache that can solve the most problems in a small package.

At the Bugout Location

One of the most overlooked concepts when it comes to bugging out is the stocking of your bugout location. The reason this is such an overlooked idea is because most people build a bugout bag long before they secure a bugout location. They have an idea that bugging out is something that could save their lives, but they have not hammered down where they are going.

At your bug out location, you should have some serious medical preps. You are going to be living in this location, so it is not outlandish to have something like an infirmary, even if it’s just a cot set up in a room that is designated for the unwell. You can keep all your first aid supplies in that room, and it would probably be a good idea to keep that room close to the bathroom or create options for dealing with human waste in that room.

The STOMP Supreme from DoomandBloom.net is a massive first aid kit that solves almost everything. It would be a great kit to store at your bugout location. It would even be an ideal kit for inside your own home.

This kit is packed with everything to address serious bleeding, trauma, dental issues, wound closure, orthopedic concerns, and more. It also has a variety of medical instruments, and it even has educational materials built into the kit to help you address medical concerns properly.

On Your Person

The IFAK is a compact first aid kit designed to provide immediate medical care either for yourself or a person who is close by. There is no exact makeup for the IFAK, but the contents of an IFAK most often focus on things like stopping the bleed and addressing trauma to various parts of the body.

Outfit your bugout bag with the Bear Minimum by Refuge Medical. This is an IFAK of the highest quality that is made in America at every step of the process. Even the bag itself is stitched here in America. It is filled with the highest quality first aid preps featuring things like hemostatic gauze, chest seals, a Gen 7 CAT tourniquet, and a variety of bandages.

The IFAK is the perfect compact kit for even a small bugout bag. Many people keep the IFAK on their belt or chest rig for quick access.

Final Thoughts on First Aid for the Bugout

You don’t have to be a surgeon to provide quality first aid in a bugout situation. Something as simple as an ACE bandage can be a lifesaver if you are bugging out on foot. Packing the right first aid gear for your mission is important and you should also build in some redundancy.

It is probably worth studying some bushcraft first aid, too. There are a ton of problems you can take care of by simply using wild medicine or crafted splints, and austere methods, if you know them. I really love the book Bushcraft First Aid by Dave Canterbury for this purpose.

Spread out your bugout first aid preps. Instead of trying to carry everything on your back, you should place first aid supplies in various places. This is the ultimate process for addressing first aid needs during the entirety of the bugout.

Backyard Liberty

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