There are a few items that I consistently have with me no matter where I'm going, and a pocket first aid is one of them.
In terms of heading outdoors, it's a key piece of kit. Certainly if i'm taking a knife then my pocket cuts kit is the very next thing I pick up. The tiniest cuts can become a real issue if left open to the dirt and detritus of the outdoors.
So what to include? Everyone will have their own preferences and methods of dealing with minor injuries, below I share my current options for dealing with cuts and scrapes, but first I'd suggests to couple of principles to have in mind when creating your own:
Firstly...Create your own. The shop bought first aid packs are rarely solely equipped to deal with varying degrees of cuts, and never come with a sensible ratio of items included. Typically the products inside are second rate quality anyway. So assemble your own prefered items, that way you'll know with greater confidence what you have in your kit, and you'll also cherry pick the quality standard your after.
Secondly, consider its function. It's very easy when building your own pocket first aid kit to start doubling up on items, and including an ever broadening array of items therein. The system I employ is one of simplicity: the cuts kit is my means of dealing with just that, cuts. I carry in my rucksack a full first aid kit to deal with a larger range of issues. My pocket kit should be small enough that I won't mind or notice it's presence in my pocket: If I'm hesitant to carry it, it's too big. So strip it down to bare bones, try not to duplicate too much within the kit (carry spares in your full first aid kit).
- A Waterproof dry-bag to contain the kit, this is an exped XXS.
- A small selection of plasters, with a preference of a range of sizes over several in the same size. Also a gauze swab and steristrips, knife cuts in particular I find are dealt with more easily with steristrips than with plasters alone.
- A 5ml syringe and 14 gauge blunt needle are useful when irrigating cuts.
- Tick removers and nitrile gloves: moving slightly away of cuts I agree, but as this kit is always in my pocket I chose to keep my tick removers here for readiness. The gloves (one pair) are for those rare occasions where I need to patch somebody else up and only have this kit with me. They are also useful if your hands are dirty and you need to deal with an injury before you can wash your hands.
- A small bottle of Povidone Iodine and a bottle of Friar's Balsam. The Balsam is a great antiseptic and being sticky it helps keep sutures and plasters stuck down. The iodine is for sterilising water if needed for wound irrigation, I include a note on suggested dosage as a memory aid.
- Tampons: These are the absolute best thing I've found for absorbing a large amount of blood for the pack size, a quick way to stop bleeding while you ready yourself to deal with the injury.
- Wasi-wipes for cleanup, micropore tape to help attached dressings. And vaseline lipbalm is another thing that is always in my pocket, so finds it's way in the kit. (In a pitch it can be combined with a tampon to create a very good fire lighter!)
- Painkillers, I don't typically use these unless I really need to. I also have condoms in this packet which can be used as a water collection bag if necessary.
I include this kit with the items I usually carry on my person.
I hope this may serve as a useful guide for you to build your own pocket kit. I always open to suggestions and different ways of doing things, if you have any ideas please leave a comment below.
All the Best