DIY SAFETY KITS

The Whole Kit-Ten Kaboodle

Because when you DIY it, there is nothing in your kit you don’t know how to use.
And carrying things around that you can’t use is a waste of energy and a false sense of security.
Also, we are all snowflakes :-) and one kit can’t possibly do everything for everybody.

Kit-Ten

KIT-TEN (or Ten-Kit)

These are the ten (or so) things you should have with you every day, just in case.

A Kit-Ten shouldn’t take up much space in your bag unless you need extra stuff for extenuating conditions. Carry it anyway. It counts when you need it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used mine for splinters and cuts that could have ruined potentially fun trips! A squirrel once bit my son! I’ve also used it during blackouts and car trouble. It helps to have one of these with you.

The best kinds of things to carry with you are the kinds that have more than one use. This is the key to a small kit!

(Picture: see what mine looks like. You can tell it gets use because it’s a bit grungy at this point. I should empty it and wash it and take new pictures…. Ah, I’ll get around to it….)

Expect to spend a minimum of $40 up to $75 or even more, depending on the quality of products, especially the MultiTool and Headlamp if you include them. And you should. Price will also go up, of course, if you choose a leather or designer bag in stead of a pencil case or simple make-up bag.

START HERE

You’ll need a makeup or pencil-sized bag you can fit in your purse or everyday carry bag. A pencil case will often do the job. (Try to find small packs and mini size ointment and cream containers or buy small containers, clean them well and fill them.)

  1. Tweezers are good for many things besides splinters. Bee stings are one example. Use your tweezers to remove the stinger – though a credit card can work as well. Scrape the stinger away from the sting if it’s still there. It can sting again if not removed.
  2. Miscellaneous-sized Bandaids – Water-proof ones are good to have around as well. Especially if you’re at the pool!
  3. Small role of adhesive tape can be used for many things, including fixing shoes! But seriously, it’s indispensable for making make-shift splints for small body parts like fingers. You can use almost any type of material to splint a leg and it will stay put… not so much for fingers. Especially little ones!
  4. Gauze pads, Feminine pads, Tampons or one of each.  As it turns out these things work for heavily bleeding wounds as well as tinder
    for making a fire! But that’s another post. Naturally the second two work for their intended use as well!)
  5. Safety-pinare great for making a sling for a broken arm out of just about any kind of material. They are also great for keeping important things attached to you in case you need your hands free, making tiny holes in just about anything and for fixing clothes among many other things.
  6. Alcohol pads and/or alcohol gel sanitizer (avoid Triclosan which is an Endocrine disruptor. There is also some evidence that effects children’s learning and enhances allergies)Disinfect almost anything, wherever you are. Very important. Also doesn’t stain like some other disinfectants.
  7. Mini Multitool with scissors and pliers and both a flat head and phillips screwdriver. (Victronox or Leatherman-type tools are available everywhere, including Amazon.)
  8. Medications (figure one or 2 of each pill or individual packet, more of what your family uses most): Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers (never give aspirin to children), Antibiotic ointment1% Hydrocortizone Cream, Over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl which is still the gold-standard for allergy emergencies), Anti-diarrhea medication; Activated charcoal (use only if instructed by your poison control center 1-800-222-1222); any Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration, including drugs to treat known allergic susceptibilities, such as an Albuterol inhaler or epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen, Twinject and others – If prescribed by your doctor) or glucose gel for low blood sugar; you might also want to have a Syringe, medicine cup or spoon.
    I use one of these… (insert picture)
  9. Petroleum Jelly (Vasaline) or A&D – Protects skin from sun and cold weather chapping, lubricates just about anything, flammable – so it will help you start a fire if you’re cold and you need to. Can even act as a makeshift bandaid to slow bleeding. You can buy really tiny jars or tiny tins (Burt’s Bees has them, you can use what’s in them and then refill), and fill them.
  10. LED Flashlight or even a small headlamp which I prefer. Or both! Flashlights are indispensable. Until you need one, you have no idea how important they are! If you have room, bring a few extra batteries for whatever flashlight you have. If it’s a small disposable one, check it often or carry an extra. Extras don’t have to go in your Kit, they can attach to your keys and the zipper on your bag. You almost can’t have too many.

Additions If You Have Space:

  • Medical consent forms for each family member
  • Medical history cards for each family member, with blood type (you can print these very small and laminate them)
  • Emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers and the regional poison control center
  • Simple First-aid instruction manual (also have a first aid app on your phone)
  • Quick Clot is an emergency clotting agent for major bleeding (including arterial) that needs attention sooner than traffic may allow
  • Mini Sewing Kit with 2 needle and even a small amount of fishing line, for fixing clothing, suturing emergencies, fishing and making traps – although you’d have to learn how to do these things. But I love every day tools that cover more than just the one most likely scenario.
  • Water-proof Matches, a torch-lighter (works in wind) or a flint and steel. Seems silly but fire is such a crucial thing to have access to. If you’re trapped in a snow drift over night in your car, the ability to make a fire could save your life.
  • 2 Non-lubricated Condoms – Not what you’re thinking! For carrying water in an emergency because they take up no space. Even just to flush a wound. I’ve heard you can even boil water in them if you have to. I haven’t tried this, but apparently the water keeps the rubber from melting. I have to get confirmation on this.
  • Rain Poncho packet. Sooo great. Takes up no space and covers you, or kids!
  • Heat Blanket packet. You never know when you or your kids might get really cold. I’m told these work. They are the ones that come in a tight, flat pack that they give out after Marathons.
  • Snack/Water: Whether in your purse or your kit, you should always have some sort of snack with you. A bar, some nuts and raisins. Especially if you have kids. Never get caught without food or water. Plan ahead. Especially if you or one of yours has low blood sugar and has to eat every few hours. Waiting on line for a movie can become a crisis without this stuff. You can’t leave kids on line while you run for something….

(Picture: See the mini pill case. This works for me because I get to choose what I put in it and it’s less expensive than buying regular sized Ibuprofen bottles. You may prefer the tiny one-use packets you can buy in bulk.)

Give Your Kit a Regular Checkup

This is your everyday kit. Take care of it. Replace items, check expirations on prescriptions at least.

(I’m not so worried about expirations on OTC stuff. They tend to work fine decades after they expire, or so says my Father-In-Law, the biogeneticist, and a few articles I’ve read, but make sure crucial drugs like nitroglycerine or epi-pens are up to date. Don’t take my word for it. Always do your own research, but you probably don’t need to throw away your five year old aspirin. Donate the extra five bucks to charity or put it in a jar.)

Consider taking a first-aid course through the American Red Cross. Contact your local chapter for information on classes.
Prepare children for medical emergencies in age-appropriate ways. The American Red Cross offers a number of helpful resources, including classes designed to help children understand and use first-aid techniques

I’LL NEVER GET AROUND TO IT:

If you want us to put one together for you Contact Us. We can collaborate on it. It will cost around $150 to $250 (We’ll send you a PayPal invoice). If you DIY it, expect to spend around $40 to $75 or more, depending on the quality of products, especially the MultiTool and Headlamp if you include them. And you should. If you like, we can send all the ingredients and you can use your own bag. This is an inexact science since we’re building it specifically for you. We agree on the price before any work gets done.

Kit-Ten Ingredients

Home First Aid Kit

FIRST-AID KIT – For Home, Long Distance Car Trips, etc.

This is the kit that travels with you if you need it to. In your car, in addition to the CAR-TEN or BUG OUT KIT (Kaboodle), below

This is something some people like to have. You can use it as your medicine cabinet, which works if you don’t mind rummaging in a bag for supplies. Or it can be separate. It’s up to you. But having medical supplies in one place is something I enjoy knowing is available.

START HERE

You’ll need a backpack, gate mouth or other largish bag of your liking.

  • First-aid manual (in addition to the app on your phone like the SAS Guide or Red Cross app or other.)
  • Tweezers
  • Instant cold packs
  • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic solution and/or towelettes or alcohol wipes
  • Bandages, including a roll of elastic wrap (Ace, Coban, others) and bandage strips (Band-Aid, Curad, others) in assorted sizes
  • Menstrual pads and tampons (which as it turns out work for heavily bleeding wounds as well as tinder for making a fire!)
  • Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs (Cotten is also good as tinder for making a fire, fluff it up a bit, though not too much and it will take a spark. Add a bit of petroleum jelly for extra flammability. Sorry if I digress!)
  • Petroleum jelly, A&D or other lubricant
  • Gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes
  • Disposable latex or synthetic gloves, at least two pair
  • Duct tape (you can roll this up really small if you remove the large cardboard wheel in the middle.)
  • Plastic bags and ziplock type sandwich bags for the disposal of contaminated materials and also for keeping small things in or waterproofing (you’ll probably have to roll and tape them up if you need them to be supremely waterproof.)
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes
  • Scissors
  • Soap or instant hand sanitizer (no Triclosan)
  • Sterile Eyewash, such as a saline solution and an eye cup or two and an eye patch
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular Bandage for splinting and slings
  • Turkey Baster or other bulb suction device for flushing out wounds
  • Medications: Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers (never give aspirin to children), Antibiotic ointment1% Hydrocortizone Cream, Over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl which is still the gold-standard for allergy emergencies), Anti-diarrhea medication; Activated charcoal (use only if instructed by your poison control center 1-800-222-1222); any Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration, including drugs to treat known allergic susceptibilities, such as an Albuterol inhaler or epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen, Twinject and others – If prescribed by your doctor) or glucose gel for low blood sugar; you might also want to have a Syringe, medicine cup or spoon. You could also include things like Aloe vera gel, Calamine lotion and anything else you use regularly or think your family might need.
  • Emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers and the regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222
  • Medical consent forms for each family member
  • Medical history forms for each family member with blood type (you can print these very small and laminate them (Larger even than the one you make for your Kit-Ten since you have more room.)

Give Your Kits Regular Check Ups!

Check your first-aid kits regularly, at least every three months, to be sure the flashlight batteries work and to replace supplies that have expired. Most medications last long after their expirations, but make sure crucial drugs like nitroglycerine or epi-pens are up to date.

Consider taking a first-aid course through the American Red Cross. Contact your local chapter for information on classes.
Prepare children for medical emergencies in age-appropriate ways. The American Red Cross offers a number of helpful resources, including classes designed to help children understand and use first-aid techniques.

Car-Ten

Car-TenCAR-TEN

Following is a list of things you should consider always having in your car. As always, you may add or subtract to suit your lifestyle. If you have no kids, or more than one kid, your Car-Ten will be different, it might become a Car-Fourteen. If you have a senior in your group, you might need other specifics. But PREPARATION is the key word here.

Cars break down and run out of gas, we get lost, tired and hungry. Accidents and traffic strand us, sometimes for hours. This is when problems compound. We invite danger when we are unprepared.

START HERE:

You’ll need a back pack, small suitcase or duffel bag to start. I like backpacks for anything I might have to carry on a long walk. Hands free. A small tool bag or two (one for extra clothing and food, one for safety items) can work, duffel bags with smaller draw string bags inside to separate. You can also break the bulk up into smaller kits, bags or baggies, but group things logically into one or two bags in case you have to carry some of it with you, say, on a long walk to the gas station.

  1. Enough water, nuts and dried fruit for everyone in the family. You can include protein bars as well if you like, I find most of them to be full of transfats and nuts are often cheaper, but bars usually have a decent shelf-life as well and in an emergency they can be great. Remember, you want some fat, protein and carbohydrate in your emergency food. Fat is important since it is long-lasting energy and brain power, so don’t pack diet food for an emergency! As for water, pack some small bottles or a one gallon jug. Change it out every now and then, especially if it’s been in a got car. No one likes water that tastes like plastic. You could also get a water filter of some sort which will make potable water out of almost anything. The Lifesaver 4000 or 6000 Water Bottles are expensive, but amazing. The Lifesaver Straw is inexpensive and great in a pinch. Pretty cool stuff. The Katadyn filters larger amounts of water. Some people like to have few water sanitation tablets. Even so, I recommend having a gallon bottle of water or a few smaller bottles at all times.
  2. An unbreakable, waterproof flashlight or two! Extra batteries. It’s hard to do anything in the dark. Invest in a couple of good flashlights of different sizes. You don’t have to spend a fortune,Maglites come in all shapes and sizes. There are lots of options out there. (Tactical flashlights of at least a few hundred lumens work as weapons as well. You can strike with the hard metal and the high capacity light will temporarily blind an assailant.)
  3. An extra cellphone battery or solar charger of some sort. (The technology is always changing. Find one that works well for you. Let us know if you know something we don’t!. One suggestion is the line of Eton radios with chargers: Charger and Flashlight comboRadio/Charger/Flashlight combo
  4. Blanket – Reflective heat blankets come in small pouches and take up no space. A wool blanket will also do nicely, but they take up more space. The thing about wool is that it dries quickly and stays warm even when wet. A small quick dry towel can also be a big help. Dryness is warmth.
  5. Rain Poncho – These also come in small pouches. You can find inexpensive or more durable, more expensive versions. You want one for each person in the family. They take up very little space.
  6. Multi-tool with pliers, screwdriver, metal and/or wood saw, a good serrated knife.
  7. Change of warm and cool weather clothes for everyone in the family if you can fit them.
  8. All crucial Tire Changing Tools and a good Spare Tire should already be in your car at all times. I highly recommend a Tire Inflator. It saves so much time and frustration, Look for a good powerful one. They run $40 and up, but it shouldn’t be too much more than that. Get one from a reputable company.
  9. Candles and Matches (preferably water proof) Throw in a lighter for good measure, make sure it’s decent and won’t leak. Or a flint and steel if you know how to use it. Some things, like light and heat, require redundancy.
  10. Medium First Aid Kit – Make this kit at the same time you are making your home first aid kit, above. Just take one or two pieces from the larger kit and put into a bag that fits in your Car-Ten. You can start with a store bought first aid kit if you like, but I find them more expensive and lacking in important items.

If you’re going camping or on a long trip you will need to add more to this list:

  • A durable, reliable hand-held compass can be of great importance
  • Tent, Shelter or the knowledge of how to create one. I like hammocks. No need for a tent. Takes up less space. You’ll also need a tarp to keep the rain out and mosquito netting, but all this still takes up less space than most one-person tents.
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hats for the family

There’s always more you can add, but don’t go nuts. Too much can be a bad thing. I find if I have too many things I forget what I have. If you don’t know you have it, you may as well not have it! Again, I love things that do double time.

Make an afternoon of gathering things with the kids. Put on some music and start packing!

And one last thing! Don’t forget to fill ‘er up!

THE GAS RULE:

EMT’s are strictly held to a 3/4 tank gas rule. That means they fill up as soon as they get to 3/4 of a tank. They do this because once you are in transit with a patient, you can’t afford to run out of gas! And the patient gets to decide which hospital they want to go to.

You don’t have to hold to this high standard. But I use the half tank rule.

Try and fill up the tank when you get down to a half tank. If your car is electric, do the same.

Trouble happens when several things come together. So if you are below a half tank, there’s sudden road work on a long trip and you have to take a major detour on small roads to circumvent the highway or you get lost, being low on gas makes everything more difficult and potentially problematic.

Bug Out (Kaboodle)

BUGOUT KIT

(Kaboodle)

There are lots of variations on this theme, but the idea is that you have to leave in a hurry. It could be due to a hurricane, flood, fire, or the apocalypse du jour, but this is a bag to have on hand if you might be leaving for a few days or even more.

Get a good sturdy camping pack. This is crucial. You need a bag you can carry that frees your hands and sits on your hips. Get one that fits you properly. It should also be strong and well-made. If the thing starts to fall apart you could be stranded.

Several Years ago Hurricane Sandy hit our area. There was no electric and no gas. In some areas the water was tainted by sewage. Shit happens! We through our pack in the car and used our remaining gas to get out of Dodge. We were lucky. If we had run out of gas on the highway, we would have been hiking with our pack. We camped in the woods for 7 days until things calmed down. The pack came in handy. Big time.

Less is more, but some things require redundancy. If this seems to be a contradiction it is… and isn’t…. When it comes to water and fire, pack more than one way to get these things.

You don’t have to pack everything in the Misc part of the list. You know your lifestyle, and your family. Necessity is the mother of invention. Don’t over pack, an unwieldy pack will be a detriment.

Break the bulk of the stuff into smaller, organized kits, bags or baggies to make them easy to find.

  1. Knowledge. Start learning about survival and camping and carry a book or at least mini guide or phone app. Remember, you want something that will work with no internet or phone signal in case you’re off the beaten path. Knowledge is power. Whatever you don’t have, you can find or make, and whatever you know how to source, you don’t have to carry! Also, learning camp craft and adventuring is like chess. It hones the mind and teaches you to troubleshoot and problem solve (aren’t those the same thing?) The SAS guides are a good simple place to start. There is a full guide, and a pocket reference guide as well as an app for every phone.
  2. Water Options. You need to have at least 2 different drinking water options. I prefer 3.
    • Filtration: You will need 1 liter to 1 gallon of water per person, per day, depending on how much exercise you will be getting and how hot it is. Water is heavy. If you have a lot of people with you, you might be able to carry it…. What you really want is a water filter of some sort which will make potable water out of almost anything. The Lifesaver 4000 or 6000 Water Bottles are expensive, but amazing. The Lifesaver Straw is inexpensive and great in a pinch. Pretty cool stuff. The Katadyn filters larger amounts of water.
    • Water Sanitation Tablets can work as well.
    • At least one metal canteen of water is great to have because you can boil water in it, another good way of sanitizing water if you have access to fire (get a good rolling boil going for about 3 to 4 minutes and you should be good to go. Need I say, let it cool…) Everyone else can carry 1 liter of their own water.
    • BPA and Thalate-free plastic bottles are good since they don’t weigh anything and collapse to take up no space when not in use (i.e.: before you bug out or once you are safe.)
  3. Food Options. You can survive for quite a while without food (unless you have low blood sugar or some other issue), but I don’t recommend it.
    • What I do recommend is nuts, dried fruit, protein bars, packets of oatmeal, dried soup, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). Light weight, easy-to-prepare meals. And enough for everyone in the family for a few days. Remember, you want some fat, protein and carbohydrate in your emergency food. Fat is important since it is long-lasting energy and brain power, so don’t pack diet food for an emergency! Canned food works too, but it’s heavy. There are lots of bagged options as well. You know, those metallic bags of rice and beans and Indian curry’s you find in specialty stores. It’s very important to chose stuff with the longest possible shelf life. Don’t forget to check the dates on food and rotate them into the pantry when they get too close for comfort. Set an alarm on your phone for three months before the first expiration date. Done.
    • Cooking: If you know how to build a fire with very little, or with the stuff in your bag, good. But you’ll still need a simple, light weight cooking kit. That means 1 small metal pot, a spark of some sort, a can opener (only if you have cans, though you should have a can and bottle opener on your multi-tool), a metal cup and maybe a metal pan or plate.  If you don’t know how to build a fire… learn! But it’s not always practical. You may be somewhere where you can’t just start fires.  An option is a lightweight backpack stove with a few fuel canisters. Or cold food and blankets.
  4. Tools:
    • Knife – this is a personal choice but a good knife is a must for any camping or bug out kit. It should be big enough for chopping, carving and hunting if necessary, but fine enough for de-boning in a pinch. You can of course carry more than one, but weight of your entire pack is at risk with everything you add. K-bar is a great choice but there are many options. I like a part of my knife to be serrated. If you’re blade is very sharp, you won’t need it, but if it dulls while your out in the hinterlands and you can’t sharpen it right away, a serrated area makes cutting rope or cordage much, much easier.
    • Multi-tool with pliers, screwdriver, metal and/or wood saw, wire-cutters and a good serrated knife.
    • A durable, reliable hand-held compass can be of great importance
    • Camp Axe
    • Camp Shovel
    • Rope
    • An extra cellphone battery or solar charger of some sort. (The technology is always changing. Find one that works well for you. Let us know if you know something we don’t!. One suggestion is the line of Eton radios with chargers: Charger and Flashlight comboRadio/Charger/Flashlight combo
    • Camp Radio
  5. Shelter – Warmth and dryness are the difference between sleeping and going insane or dying of hypothermia. There are lots of options from tents to hammocks, to tarps to caves. Here are some of the simpler solutions. Remember, this is a bug out kit, not a vacation kit! Not only do you not need to pack nonessential items, you don’t want to! Anything you pack, you will have to carry, possibly for miles. So these are the lightest weight options, not the most comfortable!
    • Bivy – These have been used by the military and by adventurers for centuries. Not this exact one, of course! If there are 2 of you, try this 2 person bivy. Body heat is a great thing to harness in the cold.
    • Tarp – Tarps can be bought anywhere and can be used in a pinch on the ground for insulation against rain and/or overhead. You can make a tent with a tarp very simply, just look at the SAS Guide or other camping and survival site or book. The cheap ones are heavier and fold thicker, so you have to option of spending a little more and getting a lightweight nylon one.
    • Tent
    • Hammock and mosquito netting
  6. Light – You will need more than one source of light. I suggest having at least 3 options.
    1. Mini LED lights
    2. Glow sticks
    3. Candles
    4. Headlamps
    5. An unbreakable, waterproof flashlight or two! Extra batteries. It’s hard to do anything in the dark. Invest in a couple of good flashlights of different sizes. You don’t have to spend a fortune, Maglites come in all shapes and sizes. There are lots of options out there. (Tactical flashlights of at least a few hundred lumens work as weapons as well. You can strike with the hard metal and the high capacity light will temporarily blind an assailant.)
  7. Warmth:
    • Change of warm and/or cool weather clothes for everyone in the family if you can fit them. Warmth is crucial in emergencies. Especially if you are eating less. You body will have trouble warming itself on fewer calories, so pack non-cotton warm layers. Wools, silks and breathable synthetics are best. Low profile ways to stay warm include things like silk long underwear and fleeces that can also be worn around the waist. Reflective blankets of the sort they give to marathoners post race are good to have. They can be used as tarps against rain in a pinch as well and when you are carrying a lot of stuff double duty items are very helpful. Include a Rain Poncho. At least the dollar kind that come folded up into nothing. One for each of you. Wet equals cold, equals dead in some cases. Sorry to be a downer. If you can swing it, get a heavier duty kind. (Military surplus stores have good options for durable, heavy duty, inexpensive, flat packing ponchos. I’ve heard they have grommets and can be used as makeshift shelter as well, but I haven’t personally tried it.) Military surplus stores can also be good for some of the other things on this list, like metal canteens.) When you are bugging out, make sure you have the right shoes on your feet. Shoes are of the utmost importance. They should be warm, comfy and good for walking or hiking rough terrain. Waterproof is preferable. Blisters and foot pain can cause major problems. This goes for kids as well. Can you carry your pack and your kids?
    • FireMaking. You should have at least a few options for making a fire. Definitely more than one. Fire serves many purposes. It is a deterrent to animals if you are camping in the woods, it can be used to boil water so that it’s safe to drink, it makes light and warmth and you can cook with it. There’s a reason we started to come up in the world once we learned how to make fire around one million years ago. (Don’t forget a few cooking supplies as listed in Food Options.)
      • Waterproof Matches
      • Flint and Steel - works even when wet. Make sure to get one that works for you and practice making a good spark. There’s a technique to it!
      • Tinder and Fire starter for ease and speed: Cotton balls or tampons are spectacular as tinder, fluff them up just a bit and dip them in petroleum jelly. You can also buy or make charcloth.
      • Torch Lighter – Works even in the wind. But they run out of fuel…. Used sparingly and maintenance they can work. But even the good ones have failed me at times so have back up.
      • 9 hr camp candles or at least a few tea light candles to save your matches. (If you light a candle with one match and make your fire with that, you may not need more than one match and you’ll have light while your working.)
    • Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Etc. This stuff can get heavy so you want to spend your money here. Get the lightest weight warm bags you can find. You can use a Bivy (see below) in a pinch, but you may be cold, depending on the weather. A warm comfy bag goes a long way towards sleep, morale, and warmth. If you opt for the bivy and a blanket, go with wool. It keeps in warmth even when soaking wet and is generally accepted to be the best camping blanket and warm clothing material. Add a good  Towel to this category. Dryness is warmth and some point you might need to dry off. A towel can also be used as another layer of warmth. Quick dry camp towels are probably the best option.
  8. First Aid Kit (Make this kit at the same time you are making your home first aid kit, above. Just take one or two pieces from the larger kit and put into a bag that fits in your Car-Ten.) I’m putting this with first aid… because if you don’t have these you might need first aid…. So pack bug repellant and sunscreen no matter what. When you need it, you need it!If you decide to buy, make sure the kit includes at the very least:
    1. 10 or so alcohol prep pads
    2. 6 or so 1″ x 3″ adhesive bandages
    3. 2 to 4 – 2″ x 4.5″ adhesive bandages
    4. 4 to 6 adhesive knuckle bandages
    5. 2 to 4 butterfly closure bandages
    6. gauze dressing
    7. First aid tape
    8. pain killers (aspirin and ibuprofen or others – remember no aspirin for kids and tylenol only in very small amounts – look it up!)
    9. Hydro-cortizone cream
    10. Antibiotic cream
    11. Dyphenhydramine (also known as Benadryl, for allergies)
    12. Any prescriptions needed
  9. Documents – It’s never a bad idea to make copies of driver liscences and passports and tuck them into your pack.
  10. Self Defense – You’re knife serves this purpose as well, but if you believe in or own other options. By all means, include them.
Kid-Tens

Kids benefit tremendously from tasks that require self reliance and responsibility. This may sound overly obvious, but in general the recent trend has been to overprotect our kids and though they may be safer in some ways, they are less so by way of needing us more than ever as shields.

Safety is a balancing act. Keep them safe, but let them explore….
Protect them, but don’t get in their way….

Teach your kids some skills that make them feel like they have some control in this big, new world. We’re starting with only a few small things, and adding on. Older kids can handle more stuff and more knowledge, but even four and five year olds can be taught to use a few items kept in their school bags every day.

A great extra is to use a small carry-case that allows the option of being looped onto a belt, in case the backpack or schoolbag that normally houses it will be left behind. This is a harder problem to solve for girls who often lack pockets. I have an ankle case that looks cool and can store a few of the most important things.

The Kid-Ten

4 and 5 Year Olds Can and Even Should Carry These 5 Things:
  1. A Mini LED Flashlight or two (look under “Let There Be Light” on the Gear Page). These are inexpensive. Get a few of them. Don’t yell if they get lost. They’re  small and if there’s ever a blackout at school (like there was at my son’s school recently) you’ll be really glad she had it with her. Attach one to her schoolbag, put the other in a pencil case or snack box along with…
  2. A Small Laminated (if possible) Paper or Card with the poison control number (1 -800-222-1222 in the US), your child’s blood type, insurance information, primary care physician and both parents names and numbers.
  3. A Healthy Snack or two that they are not to eat unless it’s urgent. If it’s something they don’t really like – a kind of health food bar or something – they really won’t touch it unless they’re starving!
  4. A $1 Bill and A Few Quarters. You can even get your toddler a little wallet or purse so she can feel like a big girl. But it’s important for a kid to start understanding money and as we all know, even a little money can come in handy in a pinch.
  5. Small, Foldable plastic BPA-free Water Bottle. My son was at a baseball game with his camp one summer and the ball park ran out of water. With a folding bottle that doesn’t take up space or weigh anything when empty, you’re child can always fill up from a sink if need be. Note on these types of bottles. The plastic will eventually mold and is hard to keep clean and nearly impossible to dry. You might have more luck. If so, let us know! I tend to send a different everyday bottle for my son to use that I can clean and put back in the bag. The foldable bottle should just be for emergencies. Another option is to use the foldable as an everyday bottle. I keep one or two in the fridge  or freezer filled up so it never get’s moldy. I just change the water out so we’re not drinking water that’s been sitting in it for a long time…. But that’s me!
School-Aged Kids 4 to 9 Can Add:

6. Mini-Multitool without a knife. Knives aren’t allowed in schools, so even if you’re kid is a camping expert, she will not be allowed to bring her multi-tool to school if a knife is part of the mix. The good news is there are lots of options. If you live in the country and or your kids are home schooled, this may not be an issue. I recently saw a Nat Geo show of tribal living and any kid above one year old pretty much had a large knife and knew how to use it. There were tiny kids hacking away at large, hard-shelled indigenous fruits with names I can’t remember. Very cool. No one seemed to be full of scars!

7. A few extra dollar bills

8. Sunscreen Chapstick for face and lips. I prefer non-chemical sunscreens.

9. A House Key which can go in their wallet or be clipped on to the zipper of the kit.

Older Kids Can Add:

10. A Mini First Aid Kit of their own, with a few bandaids of different sizes and shapes, some alcohol prep pads and hand wipes (no Triclosan)

Depending on your lifestyle and comfort level, you can, of course, add any of the things from any of the other kits on this page.