Just because living in a small space is prohibitive to things like 60″ LCD screens, walk-in closets, and side-by-side washer and dryer units, does not mean it is implausible nor irresponsible to have a proper first aid kit. From small pre-packed first aid bags to full-blown field medic kits there is a way for you to take care of all the scrapes, boo-boos, and medical emergencies in your tiny house (or even car, camper, or on the trail!)
To get started you should probably follow a series of steps to make your job easier and more effective.
1. DECIDE WHAT YOUR NEEDS ARE.
Is there one of you in your tiny house? Do you have a family as well? Are there any known allergies in your house? Is there a doctor near by or a medical center that is easy to get to? Is your lot or land accessible by EMS first responders? Do you know basic first aid or are you trained in first aid?
2. CHOOSE A BOX TO FIT YOUR NEEDS.
There are a number of boxes you can choose for a first aid kit. You can get one that hangs on the wall, one that rolls up, or you can even get a box that is made for another purpose that you retrofit for your first aid kit. I chose a Plano 728 tackle box that I purchased through Amazon. It is a great plastic box with a lid, several snap-lok compartments, and interior boxes as well. The cost was just under $40 and fits perfectly in the space we have in our house, behind the passengers seat in our truck, and it is easy to carry.
3. STOCK YOUR KIT.
Allow me a full disclosure. I am not an RN, an EMS Paramedic, or even a certified first aid responder. I am just a normal guy who took CPR courses just after college, has read way too much WebMD.com, and has printed out a basic First Aid PDF. No matter though. I have an inherent knowledge of the importance of being prepared for medical emergencies around the house and on the road. You never know when a situation may arise and if you have children you just plain never know. Each waking day is perfect for bee stings, splinters, fractures, blisters, and a host of other things, so it’s best to be adequately prepared ahead of time. In fact, in the case of a natural disaster or a weather emergency or any similar situation you might become stranded in your tiny house, RV, modular, yurt, or teepee, without the ability to call 911 or even get to a drugstore. having a well stocked first aid kit will become your first line of defense in keep you and your family safe and sound!
In preparing my first aid kit I consulted a number of content lists including the Red Cross list and the REI checklist. What I ended up with though is a list of items based on my medical experience, my past needs, and my thoughts about first aid for a 3-year old. You, of course, can add or take away as needed for your particular situation.
- First aid book
- Bandaids (assorted sizes and including waterproof), medical tape, skin glue, 4×4 pads, splints, cotton swabs, Q-tips, gauze, ace wrap, dental floss, fabric triangle sling
- Non Latex Gloves, Hand Sanitizer, N 95 Respirator, paper face mask
- Neosporin, Wound Spray, Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine Swabs, Alcohol Swabs, Scissors, Knife, Tweezers, Steri Strips, Paracord
- Acetamenophen, Ibuprofen (adults & children), Aspirin
- Cough syrup, Cough Drops, Menthol Inhaler Stick, Sinus Medications, VapoRub
- Bee sting kit, Benadryl (adult & childrens), Anti-itch cream, Insect repellent wipes
- Anti-diarheal, Anti-Gas, Stool Softener, Laxatives, Vaseline
- Glucose Tablets (For low blood sugar)
- Contact Solution, Red Eye Drops
- 1 month supply of prescribed medications
- Feminine Hygiene Products (pads and tampons)
- (optional)Digital BP cuff, Stethoscope, Thermometer
The box for Fever & Pain issues.
The box for Bowel & Belly issues.
The box for Allergy & Bites.
The side areas of the Plano do not come with boxes but they are easily found at stores like Bass Pro and Cabela’s. Each one holds two small plastic containers which is where I have chosen to keep Band-aids and misc. items.
Gloves are kept at the top of kit for easy access. I also keep tape there and some odds and ends like tweezers and a few safety pins.
4. CREATE A LIST OF MEDS AND EXPIRATION DATES.
This is pretty self-explanatory. You can make a list in Excel or Google Sheets. The list should be kept either in the top of your kit or in your overall Emergency Notebook (if you have one for emergency situations).
5. LABEL YOUR KIT COMPARTMENTS.
You can certainly label however you see fit. I found it easiest to make each compartment have at least two purposes and combine items that made the most sense together (i.e. Bowels & Belly).
Putting together a first aid kit can be a costly endeavor if you have to purchase everything and build a box from scratch. However there are a number of ways to save a few dollars. You can find a lot of items at the Dollar Tree or Family Dollar or stores like it. Don’t be scared of generic labels. Just check the ingredients and make smart choices. You can also carry a kit list with you so that each payday you can purchase a few more items until your kit is complete. If you have a medical professional in your family you may want to ask them where you could order wholesale or in bulk or if they could bring home sample items or items no longer needed at their place of employment. This might be a good way to get creams, liquids, and bandages. And lastly you can repurpose an older tackle box or even one you find at a yard sale. Use a Clorox wipe or some other sterilizing agent to really clean out the box before filling it.