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How To Build Your Wilderness First-Aid Kit | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #70

How To Build Your Wilderness First-Aid Kit | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #70

Welcome back to The S.K. Blog for edition #70. If you're new here, welcome! In the great outdoors, where adventure and uncertainty often go hand in hand, being prepared is expected. Whether you're an avid bushcrafter, camper, or outdoor enthusiast, having a well-equipped wilderness first-aid kit can make a significant difference in emergency situations. In this edition of The Shed Knives Blog, I will guide you through the essential components and considerations to help you build an effective wilderness first-aid kit.

Understanding the Basics

How To Build Your Wilderness First-Aid Kit | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #70

Before diving into the specifics of assembling your first-aid kit, it's a good idea to understand the basic principles of wilderness first aid. Recognizing common injuries and ailments encountered in the wilderness, such as cuts, burns, sprains, and insect bites, will help you tailor your kit to address potential emergencies. A well-rounded knowledge of basic first-aid procedures is equally important, ensuring you can provide immediate assistance until professional help arrives.

Wilderness First-Aid Principles:

  • Assessment and Prioritization: Evaluate the situation and prioritize care based on the severity of injuries. Address life-threatening conditions first.

  • Airway, Breathing, and Circulation (ABCs): Assess and maintain the airway, ensure proper breathing, and monitor circulation to address critical issues promptly.

  • Stop the Bleeding: Learn techniques to control and stop bleeding from wounds. Utilize pressure, elevation, and dressing to manage bleeding effectively.

  • Treatment of Shock: Understand and recognize the signs of shock. Provide proper care, such as keeping the person warm and elevating their legs, to prevent or manage shock.

  • Fracture and Sprain Management: Learn how to stabilize and support fractures or sprains using improvised splints or materials available in the wilderness.

  • Wound Care: Practice proper wound cleaning, disinfection, and dressing to prevent infection. Be familiar with the use of antiseptics and bandaging techniques.

  • Burn Care: Know how to assess and treat burns based on their severity. Understand the importance of cooling the burn with water and protecting it with clean dressings.

  • Hypothermia and Hyperthermia Awareness: Recognize the signs of hypothermia (cold) and hyperthermia (heat) and apply appropriate measures to address these temperature-related conditions.

  • Wilderness-Specific Considerations: Understand the unique challenges of providing first aid in the wilderness, including prolonged response times and limited resources. Adapt your approach accordingly.

  • Communication: Develop effective communication skills to convey critical information to emergency services or other members of your group. Carry communication devices such as a satellite phone or emergency locator.

  • Preventive Measures: Educate yourself on preventive measures, including proper gear, hydration, and nutrition, to minimize the risk of injuries and illnesses in the wilderness.

  • Evacuation Planning: Have a plan for evacuation if needed. Know how to signal for help and be prepared for the possibility of a prolonged stay in the wilderness.

  • First-Aid Training: Regularly update and enhance your first-aid skills through training courses. Stay informed about the latest practices and techniques in wilderness first aid.

Choosing the Right Container

The foundation of a reliable wilderness first-aid kit starts with the right container. Opt for a durable, waterproof, and easily accessible bag or box. Consider compartmentalized designs to organize supplies effectively. This ensures that you can locate items quickly in stressful situations. Shed Knives recommends a compact and lightweight design, allowing you to carry and mount it however you want in the field.

Essential Medical Supplies

How To Build Your Wilderness First-Aid Kit | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #70

Your wilderness first-aid kit should include a variety of medical supplies to address different emergencies. Check out the list of 30 recommended First-Aid items below:

  1. Sterile Gauze Pads: Essential for wound dressing and preventing infection.

  2. Adhesive Bandages (Various Sizes): Covering minor cuts and abrasions for quick healing.

  3. Antiseptic Wipes: Cleaning wounds to reduce the risk of infection.

  4. Medical Tape: Securing bandages and dressings in place.

  5. Scissors: Cutting bandages, tape, or clothing in emergency situations.

  6. Tweezers: Removing splinters, ticks, or other foreign objects.

  7. Disposable Gloves: Ensuring a hygienic environment during first-aid procedures.

  8. Pain Relievers (e.g., Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen): Alleviating pain and reducing inflammation.

  9. Allergy Medication: Managing allergic reactions to bites, stings, or environmental factors.

  10. Prescription Medications: Including any necessary personal medications.

  11. Compact Multi-Tool: Serving various purposes, from cutting to repair.

  12. CPR Face Shield: Providing a barrier during CPR to reduce the risk of infection.

  13. Emergency Whistle: Attracting attention in case of an emergency.

  14. Flashlight with Extra Batteries: Illuminating the surroundings in low-light situations.

  15. Compact Space Blanket: Offering warmth in unexpected cold conditions.

  16. Burn Gel or Dressing: Treating burns effectively to alleviate pain.

  17. Instant Cold Packs: Providing quick relief for sprains and swelling.

  18. Triangle Bandage: Useful for creating slings or immobilizing injured limbs.

  19. Ace Bandage: Supporting and stabilizing sprains and strains.

  20. Moleskin: Preventing and treating blisters during hikes.

  21. Irrigation Syringe: Cleaning wounds thoroughly to prevent infection.

  22. Emergency Locator/Communication Device: Facilitating communication in remote areas.

  23. Water Purification Tablets: Ensuring access to safe drinking water.

  24. Eye Wash Solution: For flushing out foreign particles from the eyes.

  25. First-Aid Manual: Providing guidance on basic first-aid procedures.

  26. Anti-Diarrheal Medication: Addressing stomach issues during outdoor activities.

  27. Insect Repellent: Preventing insect bites and potential diseases.

  28. Fire Starter: Essential for warmth and cooking in emergency situations.

  29. Duct Tape: Versatile for gear repairs or improvising bandages.

  30. Compact First-Aid Manual or Guide: A quick reference for essential first-aid procedures in the field.

Note: This list is a general recommendation, and individuals should customize their first-aid kits based on their specific needs, activities, and medical conditions.


Specialized Tools and Equipment

How To Build Your Wilderness First-Aid Kit | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #70

Knife Featured: 2023 Shed Knives Sheepsfoot

Tailoring your first-aid kit to the demands of the wilderness involves adding specialized tools and equipment. Check out the list of my recommended equipment and tools below:

  1. Fixed Blade Knife: A versatile tool for cutting, opening packages, or even starting a fire in an emergency. Shed Knives

  2. Comprehensive First-Aid Manual: A more detailed guide providing in-depth information on various medical emergencies.

  3. Compact Tourniquet: Useful for stopping severe bleeding in emergencies.

  4. Instant Glucose Gel: Essential for individuals with diabetes to manage low blood sugar.

  5. SAM Splint: A versatile and moldable splint for stabilizing fractures and injuries.

  6. Thermal Emergency Blanket: Provides insulation in extreme cold conditions.

  7. Tick Removal Tool: Specifically designed for safe and effective tick removal.

  8. Quick-Clot or Hemostatic Dressing: A specialized dressing to control severe bleeding rapidly.

  9. Space-Saving CPR Mask: A compact and portable mask for performing CPR safely.

  10. Snake Bite Kit: Includes tools and instructions for providing initial treatment for snake bites.


Personalizing Your Kit

No two outdoor enthusiasts are the same, and neither should their first-aid kits. Personalize your kit by considering your unique needs and potential risks associated with your outdoor activities. If you're an avid camper, include a fire starter and waterproof matches. For hikers, blister pads and moleskin can be crucial. Tailoring your kit makes sure you're well-prepared for the specific challenges you may encounter.

Regular Maintenance and Training

Building your wilderness first-aid kit is just the first step; regular maintenance is equally important. Check expiration dates on medications and replace any items that have been used or damaged. Additionally, keep your first-aid skills sharp by participating in wilderness first-aid courses and through continuing the growth of your knowledge with resources like The Shed Knives Blog. I encourage outdoor enthusiasts to stay informed and continuously update their knowledge to be well-prepared for any situation.


A well-equipped wilderness first-aid kit is a vital companion for outdoor adventures, providing peace of mind and the ability to respond effectively to emergencies. By investing time and effort into this aspect of outdoor preparedness, you can guarantee a safer and more enjoyable experience in the great outdoors.

To explore a wide range of high-quality knives, like the entire 2023 Shed Knives Collection, visit the Shed Knives website HERE. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for the next edition of The Shed Knives Blog.



About The Author:

W. Jack Billings - CEO & Founder, Shed Knives

Jack Billings is the 19 year old CEO and Founder of Shed Knives, a rising manufacturer of high-quality fixed blade bushcraft knives. With over 5 years of experience as a knife maker, he has developed a reputation for crafting durable, reliable knives that are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and bushcrafters alike. Jack started making knives at the age of 13 and has been refining his craft ever since.

In addition to his expertise in knife making, Jack has a High School Degree from POLYTECH High School, where he studied Automotive Technology and obtained his ASE Certification. He is also a content creator for Shed Knives and has reached the eyes of over 1,000,000 people on Shed Knives platforms across the world through his work.

When he's not working on knives, Jack enjoys exploring the outdoors and has a passion for bushcraft. He also has a passion for the automotive world and enjoys learning about new technologies and advancements. Additionally, he has a great interest in language and is studying Spanish, German, and Arabic.

Jack's personal mission is to constantly improve himself, his products, and his processes in order to stay ahead of the rapidly changing interests of the knife industry and to surpass the competition. He takes great pride in American manufacturing and is committed to contributing to the growth of the world knife industry through his work.

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