15 Essential Items in a Good First Aid Kit

15 Essential Items in a Good First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit on hand is an essential part of being prepared for everyday emergencies. Life is full of opportunities for cuts, scrapes, burns, and other minor injuries.

It is crucial to have the right items in your first aid kit to have everything you need to treat injuries and ailments in and out of the house.

First aid kits don't always carry the same kind of supplies, so it's important to find one that offers the essential items you need to stay safe.

This blog post will look at 15 items that should be included in every first aid kit. With these items, you can be sure that you are prepared for any medical emergency.

When Should You Carry a First Aid Kit?

Keeping a first aid kit at home helps you quickly mend cuts, burns, and other common household accidents.

It's also important to carry a first aid kit on you, even when you don't suspect any accidents could occur. 


If you play sports or have children in sports, you know just how easy it is for accidents to happen on the court or field. Carrying a first aid kit can help resolve any issues immediately and help keep you safe. 


It's no secret that camping can be hard work. From putting together a tent, hauling around firewood, and walking through the forested areas, there are plenty of opportunities for a first aid kit to come in handy. I

f you're a musical family and enjoy singing or listening to music, such as Wild Horses, Talking Heads, or Tom Petty, around the campfire and making smores, keeping a first aid kid with burn cream is an excellent way to keep you and your company safe. 

image of a hand locking a first aid box


Whether you prefer country music, rock, or pop, music festivals and concerts are important places to carry a first aid kit.

It's helpful to carry a small bag on you where you can carry a few extra supplies, such as bandages, eye wash, or gauze.

There are plenty of opportunities to get scraped up, especially if you attend an outdoor festival. 

At Work

First aid kits are a must-have for the workplace, especially jobs that include physical activity and labor.

For example, someone who is in the welding industry will need a first aid kit in case any accidents or injuries occur from the equipment.

An artist may use a first aid kit if they accidentally cut, scrape, or injure themselves throughout their creative process. Keeping a safety kit around is essential regardless of your job or career. 

When Should You Carry a First Aid Kit?

What's in Your First Aid Kit?

Everyone may have a different perspective on what a safety kit should include. Here are the top items that every first aid kit should include. 

1) Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

Adhesive bandages come in handy for a variety of different injuries and ailments, which is why they are one of the most commonly used first aid items.

However, when it comes to adhesive bandages, people don't realize the importance of quality, quantity, and size variation.

Image of a stethoscope and first aid kit

Quality adhesive bandages are thick and durable, with a strong adhesive backing.

This is especially important for sensitive or open wounds that need to stay covered for an extended period of time.

Be sure to include bandages that are resistant to water, sweat, and movement. Bandages serve little to no purpose if they are constantly falling off. 

As I said before, bandages are one of the most grabbed items in a first aid kit and can be applied to many different types and sizes of wounds.

Having both small and large bandages is just as important because the size of the wound can determine which one to use.

For both small and large wounds, be sure to change bandages every day or more often if necessary, as this helps keep the wound clean and minimizes the chance of infection.

A good stock of quality adhesive bandages is essential to having a complete first aid kit. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 5 of each size in your first aid supplies, just in case.

Another type of adhesive bandage that deserves an honorable mention are blister pads. Blister pads are great for small cuts, scrapes, and blisters.

They have an adhesive backing that helps keep them secure, and the thin material is breathable and flexible.

They also have a cushioning effect to help protect the wound from further damage. Blister pads are also waterproof, so they're perfect for outdoor activities.

In the Roadie Collection, we did not cut corners when it came to bandages. Our Roadie and Roadie Pro include 10 of each bandage size (large, small, child, finger), as well as 6 blister pads and 4 wound closure strips. The Roadie Pro + includes 20 of each, making it perfect for families.

2) Antibiotic ointment

Antibiotic ointment is an essential item that should be included in every first aid kit. It helps to prevent and treat bacterial infections from minor cuts and scrapes.

This can be especially helpful when dealing with wounds that cannot be immediately tended to by a medical professional.

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In addition to antibiotic ointment, we also recommend including antibiotic spray in your first aid supplies.

It is usually better than ointment because it lasts longer on the skin and can reach more difficult areas, such as between fingers or toes.

3) Antiseptic wipes

When assembling a new first aid kit, antiseptic wipes are one of the most important first aid supplies you should include.

Antiseptic wipes can help cleanse minor cuts and scrapes and reduce the risk of infection.

To use them, simply open the package and wipe the affected area gently with one of the wipes. For deeper cuts, an antibacterial ointment may be necessary.

Antiseptic wipes are not just for minor cuts and scrapes. They can also be used to clean up messes and remove germs from surfaces or objects.

Having a handful of disposable antiseptic wipes on hand will help keep your first aid kit clean and organized, as well as make sure that any potential germs or bacteria are removed before giving first aid.

Adding antiseptic wipes and antibacterial ointment to your first aid supplies will help ensure that you can give proper care in any situation and environment.

4) Sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes

Sterile gauze pads ensure that no additional germs or bacteria enter a wound and help promote healing and prevent further injury.

They can be used for wound dressing, covering cuts and burns, and absorbing any blood or other liquids.

Sterile gauze pads come in various sizes, making them extremely versatile and necessary for any emergency.

Having different sizes of gauze pads on hand ensures you're prepared for whatever type of wound or injury you may encounter. 

5) Sterile non-stick gauze pads

Every first aid kit should also include sterile non-stick gauze pads. Non-stick gauze pads are specially designed to provide an adhesive surface that will stick to the wound yet not stick to the skin or hair.

They differ from regular sterile gauze pads due to their adhesive coating, which keeps the bandage from slipping or sliding off and provides greater security to the wound while it is healing.

Non-stick gauze pads are also ideal for covering lacerations, wounds, burns, and abrasions, as they provide a better seal than standard gauze pads.

The pads also help keep dirt and germs out of the wound, reducing the risk of infection.

Non-stick pads are also much easier to remove and replace when necessary. For this reason, they are considered one of the most important first aid supplies and should be included in any first aid kit.

6) Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

No first aid kit is complete without a roll of hypoallergenic adhesive tape.

Hypoallergenic tape is specifically designed to not cause skin irritation, even with prolonged contact, making it necessary for those with sensitive skin who may have allergies to standard medical tape.

It can be used for securing bandages, dressing wounds, securing a splint, and other medical needs.

If that is not the case for you or your family, another alternative is waterproof, silk adhesive tape.

This type of tape is incredibly strong and durable and provides a barrier against water, so it's great for protecting bandages and other dressings from getting wet.

7) Cohesive bandage wrap

A cohesive bandage wrap is ideal for providing support and compression to injured areas, such as a sprained or strained ankle.

It can also be used to secure dressings in place or to splint broken bones.

Cohesive bandages are made from a non-woven material that sticks to itself but not to skin or other materials. Its ability to hold in place without the need for adhesive tape makes them easy and quick to apply as well as remove.

8) Tweezers

Tweezers are an important part of any first aid kit and can be used for a variety of purposes.

When shopping for tweezers, look for stainless steel tweezers that are high quality, as they are stronger and more durable than plastic ones. Plastic tweezers may work in a pinch, but they can easily break or become misshapen.

Having a good pair of tweezers in your first aid kit supplies can make all the difference in a medical emergency. Tweezers can be used to remove splinters and thorns, help with wound cleaning, or even hold small items like bandages or ointments.

In addition to being used in a medical emergency, tweezers can also be used in everyday scenarios.

Having a pair of tweezers on hand can make it much easier to perform small medical tasks that would otherwise be burdensome.

9) Scissors

Scissors are essential for cutting through the adhesive tape, gauze, and other supplies that are necessary for medical emergencies.

Like tweezers, scissors are one of the must-have items in a first aid kit as they can be used for a variety of tasks.

For instance, they can be used to cut gauze into strips to use as bandages and to cut open packaging. They can also be used to remove clothing or excess bandages in the event of an injury.

10) Instant Cold Pack

An Instant Cold Pack is a great item in your first aid kit and a must-have for any car.

This simple yet effective item can be used to help reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation when a person has an injury. They work by rapidly cooling the injury area, reducing swelling and discomfort.

When you apply the cold pack to the injured area, it should be done immediately after the injury occurs in order to reduce swelling and pain.

Being able to respond quickly and efficiently will help reduce the chance of further injury and hopefully speed up the recovery process.

11) Digital thermometer

Having a digital thermometer in your first aid kit can help provide quick and reliable information about a person's temperature and enable you to take necessary action quickly.

Digital thermometers are preferred over their traditional counterparts due to their accuracy and ease of use.

A digital thermometer can measure a person's body temperature quickly and accurately, whereas an old-fashioned thermometer requires more time and is not as reliable.

Image of a thermometer

The Roadie Collection of car first aid kits includes a digital thermometer (with batteries) and five thermometer covers to help you manage medical emergencies in any situation.

12) Splint

Splints are used to immobilize and support an injured limb or joint, promote healing, and protect against further injury.

Splints come in many sizes and shapes and are most often used for the fingers, toes, wrist, elbow, or arm.

Although it is possible to immobilize a limb or joint with a makeshift splint, it could do more harm than good if not done properly.

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Includes the Roadie and our Stop The Bleed, quick release trauma pack. Contains the most important, life saving items, in a design that ensures quick and instant access.

Adhered to the Roadie with a secure, molle webbing attachment system.

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In an emergency situation, having a splint readily available in your first aid kit saves ample time and will ensure that the injured area remains stable and protected until professional care can be sought.

Using a splint is a great way to ensure that the person injured gets the medical attention they need quickly while also helping to alleviate pain.

A finger and arm splint are a must-have in all first aid kits due to their ability to immobilize an injured limb quickly and effectively. The finger and arm splint included in the Roadie is comfortable, adjustable, and easy to clean.

13) Emergency thermal blanket

A thermal blanket is an important addition to any first aid kit as they help to regulate a person's body temperature to avoid hypothermia.

They are especially important if you're in a car accident or stranded outdoors in a cold climate.

In these scenarios, you may have to wait a long time for help to arrive and the thermal blanket can make all the difference in keeping you warm and safe until help arrives.

In the case of shock, a thermal blanket is also incredibly helpful. This is because shock is often accompanied by a significant drop in body temperature, and the blanket helps keep you warm and helps your body to regulate its temperature until help arrives.

14) Purified Water, Eye Wash Solution

Eye wash solution can be used to rinse the eyes and face in case of chemical exposure or when objects or other foreign materials enter the eye.

Eye wash solution is usually made from purified water and sodium chloride, which helps cleanse the eye and face while providing a sterile environment to prevent infection.

Eye wash solution can also be used in conjunction with contact lenses without harming the integrity or effectiveness of the lens.

Contact lenses can trap dirt and debris, and an eye wash solution can help to flush out any debris that may have gotten trapped behind the lenses, preventing infection and ensuring better eye health.

15) Over-the-counter medications

Having a well-stocked first aid kit is essential for dealing with minor injuries, but it can also be beneficial to have a selection of over-the-counter medications to help provide instant relief or treat symptoms associated with common illnesses.

Medications included within Redi's first aid kit include: pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, antihistamines such as Benadryl or Claritin, antacids such as Tums, and topical ointments such as antibiotic ointment or hydrocortisone cream.

How to Use the Items

A readily available first aid kit is an essential part of preparedness in any home, vehicle, or workplace.

Even if you are never called upon to use it, having one can provide peace of mind that you will be prepared if an emergency arises.

Keeping your first aid kit sound and secure by regularly replenishing the supplies is vital.

However, knowing how to use these items correctly is equally as important as having them readily available.

Knowing what items are included in your first aid kit will allow you to act quickly and efficiently in an emergency.

Additionally, having a basic knowledge of the severity of various injuries will help you assess the situation and make informed decisions. 

Yet getting this information from a reliable source is hard to come by.

Being able to refer to simple step-by-step product demonstrations and informational videos, both before and during an emergency, is a resource that we wanted to make possible.

Each Roadie has a corresponding training course that walks you through how to use the items in our kit and the different scenarios in which they can be applied.
Regardless of what kit you have, here are a few of the topics that you should familiarize yourself with:

Wound Treatment: Overview of the main types of wounds and how to treat them.

Burn treatment: Overview of the different types of burns, how to identify them, and how to properly treat each.

Image of a paramedic taking care of a patient

Eye treatment: Common eye injuries and how to properly treat them in clear, easy-to-follow steps. Injuries include foreign objects in the eye and burn to the eye.

Injuries to Muscles, Bones, and Joints: Overview of the 4 main types of injuries to muscles, bones, and joints and how to treat them using RICE. Understanding of how to properly immobilize and splint an injury.

The Roadie Pro +

More than a first aid kit. When we were developing our Roadie collection, we wanted to make sure that there was an option for everyone, and that meant making one that could withstand pretty much anything.

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The Roadie Pro Plus

Medication: Overview of the different types of medication such as pain relief medications, antacids, and stomach medications, and allergy, cold, and flu medications. Learn about the active ingredients of each and when to take them.

Instant Aid: Overview of the symptoms and reasons for dehydration, low blood sugar, and dizziness/fainting, and understand what resources can be used to provide immediate aid.

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