Disclaimer: The following is for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should always consult your physician for any questions regarding your health or that of a family member. The authors are merely discussing items you may wish to have on hand to care for a family or group, for when a licensed healthcare provider is available but supplies are hard or impossible to come by. We write from the perspective of patients (a Type 1 diabetic with hypothyroidism and his wife who has had her spleen, gall bladder, most of her pancreas, and half a pinkie removed) and parents of …
Today’s world climate seems to reinforce more and more the need to be prepared for various situations that might arise. Everything from terrorism to tensions with whatever country it is this week. We all need to do our part to be prepared. This includes the medical side of things. Knowledge and Practice Nothing beats knowledge and practice of a particular skill set. Even without the proper tools, if you understand the principle inside and out, you can think of ways to adapt and use what supplies you have on hand. This is the true meaning of survival– making due with …
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According to the CDC, about 11,000 babies are born in the U.S. every day. If anyone in your family or group is of childbearing age, you might want to think about preparing for an out-of-hospital birth. Most people have never witnessed a “natural” or med-free birth. Therefore, they have no idea what natural birth looks like or how to prepare for it. In Part 1, I spoke about the importance of the mother’s psyche in childbirth and also about the sphincter law that applies to childbirth. We began the topic of Preparing for Birth with suggestion for books, such as …
For a little background, I teach ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) and BCON (Bleeding Control) training courses frequently. I’m an anesthesiologist in a rural community hospital. I also completed a year of residency training in General and Trauma Surgery during my journey to becoming a physician. Additionally, my family and I are advocates for personal and community preparedness. SHTF Life-Threatening Scenarios Many topics on this forum deal with “WTSHTF” scenarios. Of course, these emergencies, whether short-term or long-term are certainly not outside the realm of possibility. However, I’d also like to challenge all who read this to become better prepared …
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If you’re like most preppers, you don’t have a prescription bottle of Morphine on hand to deal with pain. And you don’t think dosing your friend or child with a big swig of whiskey (or two) is all that good of an idea. Over-the-Counter “Pain Pack™” Well, one option is the non-narcotic, over-the-counter “Pain Pack™” concept described at and promoted by Next Generation Combat Medic as “just as good for moderate pain as oxycodone, hydrocodone and even codeine.” Please read all their original information. What follows is but a small tweak of the “Pain Pack™” plan that I’d like to …
The post Prepper’s Pain Protocol- Part 2, by ShepherdFarmerGeek appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.
We are talking about a pain protocol for preppers. However, the editor’s have an important message before we get started. Editor’s Introductory Proviso: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. Mentions of any medicine or medical treatment is for informational purposes only and are in no way endorsed or accredited by SurvivalBlog.com, or its principals. SurvivalBlog.com is not responsible for the use or misuse of any product advertised or mentioned on the SurvivalBlog site. – JWR What Do We Do? What do we do when someone has been shot, survived a grizzly mauling, has been significantly burned, …
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Everyone should have a basic knowledge of first-aid. It could mean the difference between life and death for you or someone else, and its usefulness isn’t restricted to a survival situation. Here are our recommendations for starting your basic first-aid education. We’d recommend readers do more than just read the books or online courses recommended on this list.
CPR is short for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; it is a life-saving procedure used when a pulse and breathing rate cannot be felt. The easiest ways to check for breathing is the rise and fall of the chest, or by holding a mirror up to the mouth and nose. Often, CPR is performed when waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Your first step is to make sure the airway is clear and that there is nothing obstructing the throat.
Hands are placed over each-other in the middle of the chest, and chest compressions are performed. The Red Cross recommends compressions of “at least two inches deep”. Interestingly, the perfect beat for CPR is 100 beats per minute – which matches songs like Another One Bites the Dust by Queen and Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees. Rescue breaths are performed in-between, while keeping an eye on the rise and fall of the chest and continuously feeling for breathing and a pulse.
Arterial blood is bright red due to its high oxygen content, while venous blood is darker. In many first-aid situations you might need to put a stop to severe bleeding. Close the wound, if possible, and apply pressure until medical help can be found. Elevate the area above the heart if necessary and possible. It’s vital that wounds are always kept clear of infection: Washing wounds with salt is painful, but often the most effective thing you’ve got when there’s nothing else around.
Some severe cuts and wounds might require stitches. (Some, it’s worth noting, don’t – don’t attempt to close up an open bone fracture yourself as you’ll do far more harm than good.) Always have several types of needles (including curved), sterile thread and cotton balls as part of your kit at the very least. Always sterilize your equipment, hands and the wound before you start: You don’t want to stitch any infections up inside the wound.
Remember that you’ll have to create a knot to hold the stitching together.
Fighting Infection & Cleaning Wounds
Infection is often the greatest battle when it comes to first-aid, and a lot of it is down to after-care. As part of your first-aid kit, include gloves, alcohol, sterilized water, cotton balls, needles and thread and bandages at the very least; many over-the-counter antibiotics can be purchased and stored – keep in mind that many are penicillin-based and watch out for those who are potentially allergic.
Wounds can be cleaned with a saline solution: Salt is one of the cleanest substances known to man and does far more than just add flavour to your food: It could, in dire circumstances, save your life.
It’s fairly easy to sprain a wrist or ankle. Symptoms of sprains include immediate swelling and pain, bruising and impaired movement in the affected joint. (Yes, if you can still move it, it’s sprained and not broken.) Immediately stop and rest the affected area; if you can, place a hot or cold compress on it and then compress the joint – though not enough to cut off circulation and do any tissue damage. The key-word is avoiding further strain as much as possible and waiting for the swelling to subside. In some cases, you might be dealing with a dislocation; basic guides to anatomy will teach you which bones should (and shouldn’t) be where.
Concussions occur as an (often minor) brain injury; symptoms can include a headache, dizziness, disorientation, vomiting and nausea and migraine-like response to light or sound. In severe cases, memory loss or unconsciousness could accompany concussions. Pupils might respond differently to light, or one might be different in size to the other.
Immediate treatments for a concussion include fluids, a healthy diet and rest; according to Marshfield Clinic, it’s fine to sleep after a concussion providing that the person is able to hold a coherent conversation and symptoms like disorientation and change in pupils have disappeared.
In today’s age, we’ve grown pretty accustomed to 21st century medicine and all of the convenient solutions that it offers. However, there could come a day when the medicines, technologies, and medical professionals that comprise modern medicine are no longer so easily accessible. When and if that time comes, you can rely on these first aid tricks that really work:
1. Run a Burn Under Warm Water
It may sound counterintuitive to run a burn under warm water, but it turns out that this is one of the best ways to stop the pain. Even minor burns can be agonizing, but warm water works to relieve the pain and increase circulation to damaged tissue by expanding your blood vessels – as opposed to cold water which restricts them.
2. Treat a Nosebleed
Severe nosebleeds can lead to a serious amount of blood loss. To treat a nosebleed, most people lean their heads back. But instead, you should start by leaning forward so that the blood doesn’t run down your throat. Next, use a tissue or cloth to gently squeeze your nostrils shut. Continue leaning forward and applying pressure until the bleeding has stopped.
3. Remove an Insect Stinger with a Credit Card
Some insects such as bees will leave their stinger inside your skin when they sting you. It needs to be removed, but you have to be careful doing so. Squeezing the stinger with tweezers can cause more of the insect’s venom to be injected into your skin. Instead, use the edge of a credit card or a dull knife to gently scrape out the stinger. Just be careful to ensure that you are pushing it in the right direction; you don’t want to be pushing it further into your skin.
4. Soothe a Sore Throat with Salt Water
Without any kind of medicinal treatment, sore throats can be a real annoyance. One easy, medicine-free method of soothing a sore throat, though, is to gargle salt water. I highly recommend you try this before taking medicine or sore throat lozenges. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.
5. Use Baking Soda to Stop the Itching from Insect Bites
Bites from mosquitos, chiggers, and other pesky insects often itch so bad it’s almost unbearable. This is especially a problem if the situation requires you to spend a lot more time in the woods than you might have before. In lieu of anti-itch cream, though, you can use a paste made from baking soda and water to stop the itching from insect bites. Just put one tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl and slowly add a little bit of water while stirring until a paste is formed.
6. Elevate a Sprain or Strain to Reduce Swelling
If you have suffered a sprained or strained ankle, it’s important to elevate it above your heart. Elevating a sprain above your heart reduces blood flow to the injury, which in turn prevents swelling. This is part of the RICE method. Which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
7. Splint a Snake Bite
There are a lot of first aid myths centered around treating snake bites. One of the most persistent ones is the idea that shocking a snake bite will neutralize the venom. Before you hook yourself up to a car battery, though, you should know that this has been proven false.
Even slicing open the fang marks and sucking out the venom – once standard procedure for treating snake bites – is now thought to do more harm than good. The unfortunate truth is that venomous snakes are efficient killers, and short of antivenom, there is no proven way to neutralize the venom they inject.
One thing you can do, though, is to splint the limb that was bitten to restrict movement. Moving can cause the venom to spread further into the body. From there, though, you should always seek medical treatment if it is available. In a world where medical treatment is not available, avoid venomous snakes like the plague.
8. Treat a Heart Attack with Aspirin
If you find yourself suffering from a heart attack, one of the best things you can do short of seeking immediate medical help is to chew up an aspirin tablet. Taking aspirin within thirty minutes of the initial symptoms of a heart attack has been shown to greatly reduce the damage to the heart, prevent future problems that often develop after a heart attack, and, in many cases, actually save the patient’s life. If you have a history of heart problems, it’s a good idea to carry some aspirin with you everywhere you go.
9. Roll a Seizure Victim onto their Side
One of the dangers of seizures is the risk that the victim will choke to death on their vomit. To prevent this, standard procedure is to always roll a seizure victim onto their side and hold them there for the duration of the seizure. Here is some more information on how to help someone having a seizure.
10. Avoid Removing a Foreign Object that has Punctured Your Body
If you’ve seen all of the action movies where the unphased hero nonchalantly jerks an arrow or a knife from their body, you may think that removing the object from the puncture wound is the best course of action. In reality, though, it only speeds up blood loss.
It’s important to wait to remove a knife (or another penetrating object) from the body until you are ready to immediately commence other procedures that will stop the bleeding. It’s equally important though, that they remain still while the object is still inside them. In the case of knives, arrows, and other objects with sharp edges, moving can cause the blade to rub against tissue and blood vessels, leading to further damage.
11. Ease Nausea With Peppermint Tea
Nausea can come from a wide variety of causes, but no matter the source it is rarely ever enjoyable. One great and easy way to treat nausea, though, is with peppermint tea. To make peppermint tea, simply take peppermint leaves and boil them in water. Drink the tea warm and it will help ease nausea, sometimes making it go away entirely.
12. Treat Frostbite with Warm Water
If you or someone you know is suffering from the symptoms of frostbite – tingling, numbness, swelling, and blisters – it’s important to treat it right away by running the affected area under warm water.
It’s a natural reaction for people to try and rub their hands together to warm them up from the friction, but this should be avoided in the case of frostbite, where rubbing can damage sensitive skin and tissue.
Summer Classes for 2017 – SHTFandGO
There are two classes that charge a small fee, but the rest are all free and provide great information for you!
Take advantage of this these free educational survival classes. Each of these instructors put a lot of work into these classes to provide for all of you! You never know what could happen, so don’t be the last person to be prepared!
You can get more information on each class by visiting our website and going to our events page or click on the link below.
June 3rd – Conceal Carry Class with Chief Joseph Balog, Genoa City Police Department. Lunch is provided and a fee charge of $50.00. 9AM – 2PM.
June 10th – Be Prepared with Essential Oils – Know the basics with Laura Zielinski. FREE EVENT! 10AM-12PM
June 17th – Learn about Raising Rabbits with Mike France. FREE EVENT! 10AM-12PM.
July 1st – Wilderness First Aid with Nick of the Woods. FREE EVENT! 10AM
July 15th – Fire Starting Techniques with SHTFandGO. FREE EVENT! 10AM-12PM.
Juy 22nd – Building an Emergency Shelter with SHTFandGO. FREE EVENT! 10AM-12PM.
August 5th – DIY Survival Gear with Jim Cobb. A fee of $10.00. 10AM-12PM.
August 26th – How to Build Trap/Snare Class with SHTFandGO. FREE EVENT! 10AM-12PM.
The first thing to know about first aid kits is don’t buy one at the local department store or pharmacy. Those first aid kits are mostly for minor injuries: band-aids, ointments, and not much else. If you want a real SHTF first aid kit, buy one from a specialty company that sells prepping and survival supplies, or build one yourself. I’d like to focus on items that are not commonly found in most first aid kits, and which might be useful if the S really hits the F.
1. Celox Gauze (Z-Fold)
This gauze is used by the U.S. military for treating severe wounds. The gauze is folded like an accordion, so it can be divided into a few thick sections, to pack a large open wound. Or you can cut off smaller segments for smaller/shallower wounds. The gauze is impregnated with kaolin (a type of clay) to aid in clotting. The gauze also has an x-ray detectible strip so that doctors at the ER will not overlook a section of this gauze in a deep wound.
If your wound only needs a band-aid, that’s nice for you. But if you have a serious injury and can’t get to medical care right away, this is the stuff you want. It’s vacuum packed, for compact storage. And unlike most gauze you might buy, it’s sterile.
2. HALO Chest Seal
This device seals a chest wound in cases of severe trauma. The dressing sticks despite blood or water around the wound, and works in a wide range of temperatures. It provides a completely water-proof seal, preventing contamination of the wound by dirt or bacteria.
Another option in this category of wound care is the SAM Vented Chest Seal. It seals the wound like the HALO, but it also has a one-way valve. Remove the cap and air can exit the wound, but it cannot enter. This type of device is used for chest wounds which have penetrated the lungs. Again, it takes some first aid training to know when to use it.
3. CPR Mask
Speaking of one-way valves, if you ever have to perform CPR someone, a “pocket resuscitator” is invaluable. It allows you to give breaths to the patient who is no longer breathing with some protection from bacterial/viral contamination. The valve allows your breath into the patient, but prevents flow in the reverse direction.
More importantly, if you have to do CPR with chest compressions on someone, and they have eaten recently, they may vomit. I’ve been told by more than one EMT that vomiting is not at all unusual when giving CPR. You will be happy you chose to use the one-way valve mask, if that happens. Inexpensive and worth every penny.
4. Suture Kit
This is one of those first aid kit items that preppers and survivalists favor, despite the fact that these kits are only intended for use by medical professionals. So, I can’t tell you to go out and buy a suture kit, and then learn how to use it. Non-medical personnel shouldn’t be suturing wounds. But in extraordinary circumstances, sometimes extraordinary measures are called for.
No wound should be sutured, unless it has first been debrided (remove dirt and debris) and washed with copious amounts of clean (preferably sterile) water. You don’t want to seal bacteria and debris inside a wound. And if you really don’t know how to use a suture kit, you really shouldn’t guess. Bandaging the wound without closing it is better than harming someone by playing doctor. Learn what to do, before the SHTF.
5. Butterfly Bandages
The best example of which is the 3M Steri-Strip “reinforced skin closures”. This type of bandage is for closing a wound, without sutures. It is not for covering the wound. They look like thin plastic strips. Sometimes the middle part is even thinner than both ends, giving rise to the term “butterfly” bandage. In some cases, butterfly bandages can be used instead of sutures if the wound is not particularly deep or wide. After closing the wound, you can place gauze and then medical tape over it all, to protect the wound further.
6. An N95 mask
Surgical masks are soft with a loop to go around each ear. They protect the patient from germs on your breath. They do little or nothing to protect you from a patient who might have an infectious airborne disease. The N95 surgical mask is a hard cup that fits over the nose and mouth. It protect you from the patient and the patient from you. In other words, it intercepts viruses and bacteria going in either direction. They are less comfortable and more difficult to wear for long periods. But the protection is invaluable.
Finallyand I can’t stress this enough take an advanced first aid course, so that you have the knowledge needed to use whatever first aid supplies you have on-hand. Knowledge is the number one resource that you can store up so as to be well-prepared.
Disasters and emergency situations are an inevitable part of our life. It is how we respond to such situations that plays a major factor on our survival. You may have all the knowledge about prepping but as we all know a disaster can change everything in an instant and you may be forced to survive without your emergency survival kits. Without the right skills for survival your chances of surviving a disaster or emergency situation will be greatly affected. It is important to understand that because of modern commodities our knowledge for basic survival has greatly diminished. This will basically have a negative effect to us in an extended disaster survival situation and can mean the difference between life and death. Here are the basic survival skills that you need to know or learn in order to ensure you and your family’s chances of survival:
Learn how to grow food and or find it.
Disasters can change everything in an instant. You may be well prepared to survive indoors but what if you are forced to survive outdoors without any supplies? This is where self sufficiency with acquiring food becomes a necessity. Growing food for your family as well as the hunting and gathering approach are the best skills to learn to keep you and your family from starving when surviving outdoors.
- Grow your own survival food.
- Know what wild plants and insects are edible.
- Ways to fish without the tradition equipment.
- Hunting with trap and snares.
How to find water and purify it.
This is the most important skill everyone should learn in order to survive. As we all know it is impossible for us to survive without water so it is important to understand the importance of knowing how to get and purify water. You need to realize that unless your water source is a spring chances are your water supply will run out and you need to find an alternative source. Knowing how to purify your drinking water is also very important to ensure that it is clean and potable.
Learn about clothing repair.
You need to master this skill as clothing is one of the most important elements when surviving. From basic sewing to making clothes from bolts of cloths or leather it is important to master this skill to help ensure your chances of survival.
Learn basic grooming skills.
Basic grooming skills are very important to learn to keep your family clean and healthy in a survival situation. Keep in mind that being healthy is one of the most important factors in ensuring you and your family’s survival.
Learn first aid.
During a disaster situation you cannot expect to get medical professional help so it is important to know how to treat yourself and others as it will be your only chance in a emergency situation. Every household or group should have a good first aid manual and kit before and during a disaster situation.
How to start and maintain a fire.
This is one of the most essential skills you need to learn in order to ensure your survival either indoors or outdoors. Learning how to start a fire and have it going when you need it can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Fire can be used to cook food and purify water not to mention keep you and your family warm ensuring your chances of survival.
Learn how to defend yourself and be willing to do it.
Owning a firearm and knowing how to use it is one of the most basic things to learn to ensure that you are able to protect yourself and your family in a emergency situation. It is important to understand that during a disaster or emergency situation there will be a lot of desperate people who will not think twice in harming you and your family just to get to your supplies. Defending yourselves with clubs, knives, and basic hand to hand combat are also necessary skills to learn.
Learn and train your mind to expect the totally unexpected.
Disaster situations can change everything in an instant, but no matter how much we know this actual disaster and survival events will surely freak us out. Training ourselves to prepare and practice all sorts of drills for various horrors is great way to prepare us for such situations. You also have to keep in mind that there will always be a big possibility of something strange, weird, and frightening things to happen when in a survival situation. By doing this you will eventually condition your mind to accept such scenarios.
Understand the world and potential disasters that await.
Keep in mind that timing is everything and knowing how to react and respond properly to disaster or pending disasters can mean the difference between life and death. This can be done by monitoring world and local news and be informed and aware to see a situation developing and act on it before it actually occurs. It is important to understand that knowledge plays a vital part in ensuring your survival.
Learn and condition yourself into a survival mentality.
Everyone has to learn the skill of scrounging around and finding what they need. You must learn to see in your mind that certain items can be very useful for your survival. Having a survival mentality will greatly increase your chances in finding solutions to problems that will surely occur in a survival situation.
Do you have an alternative medicine cabinet ready for your kids? Would you be able to fix up their wounds and heal their common sicknesses if you couldn’t make it to the doctor?
If you have kids, this is an essential area for emergency preparedness. The day may come when you can’t just head to the store and pick up another bottle of acetaminophen.
You’ll have to have a plan in place, because kids get hurt frequently. They’re also prone to sickness. To help them feel better, there are plenty of natural remedies to use.
But first, let’s take care of some precautionary information:
A Child’s Dosage
Unlike those bottles at the pharmacy, natural remedies don’t always feature a dosage chart for children. Overdosing on any medication, even a natural one, can be dangerous. Don’t give your child an adult-sized dose.
Instead, you’ll need to calculate the percentage of the adult dose to give to your child. It’s based on age. Here’s a simple way to do the calculations using long division and multiplication:
- How old will your child be at his next birthday?
- Divide that number by 24.
- Round to the first decimal place
- Multiply that number by the adult dose.
Here’s an example:
- .291 rounded to the first decimal place is .3
- That means a 7 year old would get 30% of an adult dose. If the adult dose was 5ml (1 tsp) this child would need 1.5ml.
The older your child is, the closer to an adult dose he’ll need. If you’re treating a baby and you’re breastfeeding, you can take the remedy yourself and pass it through your milk.
Storage of Natural Remedies
Light and heat should be kept away from your remedy supply. A dark glass bottle, stored in a cool part of the home is a great storage solution.
You’ll also want to make sure your remedies are inaccessible to children. If you don’t have a high shelf ready, consider using a lock-box. That way curious little hands can’t accidentally overdose.
Honey & Babies
Some of these remedies use honey. Honey isn’t appropriate to give to a child younger than a year old, so avoid these treatments with babies.
Natural First Aid for Children: Wound Care
Since they’re bodies are constantly growing and changing, children tend to be a bit clumsy. They bang into things and fall frequently. Bruises, cuts, and scrapes are common wounds you’ll have to tend.
With open wounds, infection is a primary concern. Keep the wound clean and dry. Bandages or strips of cloth help. Rather than using store-bought antibiotic ointment, try these natural alternatives before you cover the wound.
Take time to stock up on witch hazel. It’s typically found by the hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol at the store. Store-bought witch hazel contains isoproply alcohol, helping it to clean wounds completely.
It also forms a protective barrier, which promotes healing. It will sting though, so you might want to warn your little one before you squirt it on.
Raw honey has antibacterial properties. It’s beneficial all on its own, but when combined with sage and left to age, you’ll have an even stronger antibacterial ointment. This treatment is also simple to prepare, especially if you grow your own sage. It’ll also last in your cupboard for a long time.
To prepare the sage honey:
- Take a small glass canning jar, and loosely add chopped sage leaves. You want to fill the jar, but not pack the leaves down.
- Next, pour raw honey over the top. It’ll cover the leaves and fill up the jar completely.
- Then, put a lid on the jar and leave it to rest. You’ll want it to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before you use it. Over time, it’ll become even stronger.
If desired, you can remove the leaves in 4 weeks. It’ll make it a bit easier to rub onto wounds, and a bit more child friendly.
Sage honey is easy to use, and safe for children. You just apply a small amount to the top of the wound.
Lavender Oil Rub
Lavender oil helps reduce pain and prevent infection, making it the perfect go-to flower for small cuts. If you already have essential oil, you’ll want to dilute it with a carrier oil. Olive oil and coconut oil both work well.
A ratio of 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil is appropriate. For children, it’s important to ensure essential oils are properly diluted before use. Never apply them full-strength.
To prepare the lavender oil rub:
- Measure your carrier oil into a dark container.
- Add your essential oil.
- Mix thoroughly.
You can either rub a small amount of the lavender oil rub directly onto the wound, or you can soak a cloth in the prepared oil. You can then use the soaked cloth as a compress, wrapping it around the sore.
Plantain is common in many parts of the world. It’s also an astringent, which helps slow and stop bleeding. If you’re out in the woods and need an immediate remedy, chew on a few plantain leaves. Then, use those chewed leaves to cover the wound.
It’ll help the bleeding stop while you get back to the rest of your medical supplies. Teach your children to recognize this important plant, and how to chew it. If they’re on their own and injured, it’s a safe first-aid remedy they can use on their own.
Arnica helps reduce swelling. It’s a helpful herb for bruises and bumps. If you’re able to stock up on homeopathic arnica pellets, you’ll help get your natural first-aid kit ready. You can also create your own cream to use topically.
This is how to make an arnica cream:
- After harvesting arnica, you’ll want to dry the plant completely. Then, it’s time to turn it into an infused oil.
- You’ll need a carrier oil to use for your base. Coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil are common base oils.
- Fill a clean jar loosely with chopped, dried arnica. Then, cover the arnica with carrier oil, and put a lid on the jar.
- You’ll want this oil to sit in a warm, sunny spot for two weeks. After the time passes, strain out the arnica using cheese cloth. Throw out the used herbs.
- Your oil isn’t yet ready to turn into cream. It needs another batch of dried arnica added. Just add it directly to the oil in the jar. Leave this covered for another two weeks, and then strain out the herbs for a second time.
- Once you’ve finished the oil, you can measure it into a sauce pan. For every cup of oil, you’ll want to add ¼ cup of grated beeswax.
- Heat this mixture over low heat until the beeswax completely melts. Take it off the heat, and transfer it to a small jar for storage.
Rub a small amount on bumps and bruises to promote healing.
Natural Remedies for Coughs & Colds & Earaches
In addition to bumps and bruises, children are prone to colds and upper respiratory infections. Ear infections are also common. There are natural remedies for all of these ailments.
A cup of hot tea helps loosen congestion. The peppermint also contains menthol, which helps decongest the sinuses. If your child is too young for tea, simply smelling the steam from a cup of your tea will provide some relief.
Warm Honey Lemonade
Honey and lemon both help soothe the throat. This is an excellent treatment for a child with a cough.
This is how to prepare the honey lemonade:
- Place ½ cup of honey and ½ cup of lemon juice in a saucepan, and gently stir as you warm over low heat.
- Once the honey and lemon have completely combined, add ½ gallon of warm water.
- Continue stirring until the lemonade is as warm as you’d like it to be. Then, remove from heat.
Encourage your child to drink a mug of the hot lemonade every few hours. Not only will this help with a cough, it’ll also keep your little one hydrated.
Garlic is a powerful medicinal herb with many health benefits. If your child is getting a cough or a cold, chop up a clove of garlic finely. Your child can either eat this plain, add it to a glass of water, or you can mix it with butter and spread it on toast. My kids prefer that method, as the butter and bread help cut some of the garlicy taste.
You can also make garlic oil that helps with earaches. Garlic oil doesn’t last long without refrigeration, which means you might not want to mix up large quantities all at once. The good news is it’s simple to prepare, so you can make a fresh batch each day you need it.
Here is how to make garlic oil.
- Crush a clove of fresh garlic and add it to a saucepan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
- Slowly heat the oil over low heat for twenty minutes.
- Strain out the garlic.
Add 2-3 drops of oil to the hurting ear. You can repeat this treatment every few hours to provide maximum pain relief.
However, if your child has a perforated ear drum, this is not an appropriate treatment. If you aren’t sure if the ear drum has ruptured, use a garlic compress instead.
To make a garlic compress, soak a small piece of cloth in your garlic oil. Squeeze out the excess liquid before use. Have your child hold the garlic compress to her ear. This will provide relief, though not as quickly as the garlic oil.
In addition to earaches, you can also use a garlic compress on top of a wound to help prevent infection.
Do you heal your child naturally?
There are many other natural treatments for common ailments. Share your favorite natural remedies for kids with the rest of our readers in the comments below, and click on the banner for more knowledge about surviving where is no doctor around!
So you want to go hiking…what do you do?
Just pack up a bag with some water and food, then you’re good to go?
Survival gear is necessary to go on a safe and fun backpacking adventure.
Can you imagine going out on a trail or even off trail, something terrible happening, and you don’t have any survival gear with you?
More than likely you will not have cell phone service, so there won’t be a way to contact anyone for help!
This is where that essential gear comes into play. You want to be prepared in all situations.
The typical hiker pretty much has the same list of items that are important to have on you first and foremost.
Stay with me and I’ll guide you through the most important items to pack up in that backpack!
Always bring along plenty of food with you.
Most experienced hikers recommend bringing at least an extra day’s worth of food.
This can be in the form of dehydrated foods, freeze dried foods, protein bars, canned foods, etc.
Keep in mind that you do have to carry everything that you bring, so be mindful of how heavy the food is.
This is why most backpackers bring the freeze dried and dehydrated foods; it is very light weight.
Bring your water bottles full of water, but not too much!
Water is heavy but essential.
More than likely, you’ll start out with a couple bottles of water and then you’ll have some way to filter water along the way.
This can be in the form of boiling water to drink, using specific tablets to make the water safe, or even purchasing a small pump water filter that way you can filter any water along the way and bring it along with you!
There are a number of ways to create your own shelter while hiking.
The most popular is a small tent.
(Remember, you’ll be carrying this, so don’t go out and get a huge tent. There are small hiking specific tents that are light weight)
Another option is a tarp that you will be able to hang over some cording and just do a makeshift shelter to protect you from any rain.
Lastly, a newly popular option are the camping hammocks that roll up to be small and fit right in your bag.
Most of these camping hammocks come with a rain guard or you can get one, that goes over the top of the hammock to protect you from rain and other elements.
You may not think is very important, but the type of clothing you bring or pack is extremely important.
It is important to wear/bring synthetic clothing. Not only does it breathe and wick away moisture, but it has a quick drying time.
If you’re sweating during the day and your clothes do not have enough time to dry, when nighttime comes and it gets cool outside, it is dangerous for your survival to be cold and wet.
The different types and pieces of clothing that are good for hiking could be a whole write up in itself.
If you’re really serious about hiking, you’ll want to research more on the weather you’ll be dealing with and what clothes should be worn.
There are no streetlights in the mountains, desert, or wherever you’ll be hiking.
Bring flashlights, headlamps or any light source you prefer!
Just be sure to bring extra batteries to power up your source of light!
Bring a thorough first aid kit and don’t skimp on this!
You never know when this may come in handy.
A Way to Navigate:
The best forms of navigation to have and to learn are a compass and a map.
This could also be in the form of a handheld GPS (Don’t rely on your phone)
Have a way to build a fire!
Bring along matches and/or a lighter. (I’d recommend bringing both, just in case)
For those who are really into survival, you can get a fire starter for those emergency moments.
Not only is fire essential for nighttime, but it can also deter animals, be used to cook your food, boil water, and provide warmth for cooler nights.
The type of tools you bring are really your preference, but I’d recommend a multi tool and definitely a knife of some sort.
Having a repair kit for your gear could be handy too in case something breaks, you get a tear in your tent, etc.
Protection From The Sun:
Can’t stress this one enough! Bring your sunscreen!
Getting completely burnt on the first day of a hike can ruin the whole trip!
You’ll also want to bring your sunglasses or a hat for extra protection.
As you can see, packing up for a big or small hiking trip is not as simple as bringing some food and water.
It is my hope that this list of survival gear sheds some light on what all you should be packing up in that bag.
Maybe you thought of some of these or maybe some of these were a complete shock to you, but we urge you to get all of these before you set foot on the trails.
Keep in mind, there are SO many other different items that are very important to bring along with you on a hike, but we wanted to cover the items that you definitely can’t go without!
Survival gear is not just for crazy natural disaster emergencies…even a fun activity such as hiking requires gear to ensure your safety!
Pack up and hit the trails now that you’ve got your top essentials!
Safe is fun!
Coconut oil is one of the most popular multipurpose foods in the world. It goes great in countless recipes, it’s good for your health, good for your body, good for your skin, good for cleaning, and so much more. But what most people don’t know is that coconut oil also has many uses in a survival scenario where supplies are hard to come by.
If you’re prepper, I highly recommend storing at least a few containers of coconut oil. When searching for coconut oil, it’s best to stick with virgin or unrefined oil. It has more nutritional qualities and will last longer. My personal favorite is Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Now let’s get to the list. Here are 25 survival uses for coconut oil.
1. Apply a thin coating of coconut oil to a cut or wound to speed healing and prevent infection. The layer of coconut oil also acts as a bandage of sorts and will keep the wound fairly clean.
2. In dry heat, warm a bit of coconut oil and gently apply it to the inside of your nose to prevent nose bleeds.
3. Apply a thin coat of oil to your lips to keep them from getting chapped when you’re battling dehydration and working outside in the elements.
4. Rub coconut oil on burns, including sunburns, for soothing and healing. You can even add a little lavender to make it more effective.
5. Rub the coconut oil on any bug bites or bee stings for immediate relief of pain and itching.
6. Prevent athlete’s foot by giving your feet a good rubdown with coconut oil everyday. It will help protect and soothe your skin after a long day of hiking as well as kill any fungus and bacteria on your feet.
7. Use a little coconut oil to help condition leather gloves, shoes or knife sheaths. It can also be used to make leather working a little easier.
8. Protect the wooden handles on your knives, axes and saws by rubbing a little coconut oil on them. The oil will help prevent the wood from cracking and splitting.
9. Remove rust from knife blades and ax heads by applying a coat of coconut oil. Let the oil sit for about an hour and then wipe away.
10. Deep bruises will heal quicker with regular massaging in of coconut oil. The coconut oil helps heal the damaged tissue.
11. A little coconut oil can be used to season cast iron skillets that you’ll be using to cook over open fires.
12. Coconut oil can be applied to aching joints that hurt because of overuse or arthritis. If you have some peppermint, add that in for even more relief.
13. Coconut oil is an excellent carrier oil for essential oils that will be applied to the skin. Homemade salves and balms made from essential oils that have been stockpiled will be the best medicine after a collapse.
14. Coconut oil can be stored long term, which means you can use it as a cooking oil substitute. Unlike vegetable oil that goes rancid in a short time, coconut oil will last for years when stored properly.
15. Post-collapse baking from scratch will be the norm. Using coconut oil in place of butter will be a viable option. It will also be much healthier!
16. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a cup of warm water each morning for a boost of energy. When coffee and soda are not available, this is going to come in handy.
17. Shaving in a post-collapse world may not be absolutely necessary, but if you want to do so, you can use a little coconut oil instead of shaving cream. It will leave the skin smooth and reduce the risk of irritation and burning from a dry shave.
18. Make candles with coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil until it is liquid. Place a wick in a clean jar and pour the melted coconut oil into the jar, making sure the wick stays up. Allow the oil to cool and harden.
19. Use a coconut oil salve on skin rashes and eczema. It will soothe the itching and redness and promote healing.
20. A tablespoon of coconut oil taken internally for several days can help you get rid of a nasty tapeworm.
21. If you feel a cold coming on or the flu virus is present, take several tablespoons of coconut oil throughout the day in a hot cup of water or tea. The coconut oil helps kill the virus while boosting your immune system.
22. Relieve constipation with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil.
23. If you or someone in your group has diabetes, coconut oil everyday can help regulate the blood sugar. It is also a safe cooking and flavoring substitute in meals for diabetics.
24. Warm coconut oil and apply it to the scalp and hair to kill head lice. With poor sanitation and hygiene, head lice after a disaster will be very common. Add a little tea tree oil to the coconut oil for even more killing power without hurting the scalp.
25. Use a little coconut oil to cure pink eye. Adding a little coconut oil to a cotton ball and rubbing across closed eyes will help clear up the pink eye. Making a warm compress with the coconut oil will help decrease the swelling and speed healing.
Linked from: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/25-survival-uses-coconut-oil/
I think every prepper with a bug out bag should have at least 1 bottle of Activated Charcoal capsules, or powder for making tonic drinks. For those who already have their homestead or Bug Out location, I advise MAKING charcoal and having as much as possible on hand (ground up) ready to use.
In the times ahead, I see lots of people eating lots of things that under “normal” circumstances they would not, or indulging in food a little too old. You may even have to trade for food you are not 100% certain of quality or origin. After the first sign of food poisoning or any poisoning/bowel distress, get the charcoal in you as fast as you can! It draws toxins like flies to honey saving you from hours or DAYS of serious distress, maybe even possibly save your life.
Uses for charcoal
Uses and benefits: upset stomach, colic, nausea, vomiting, acid indigestion, gas, and more. Another great use for your quality homemade charcoal is as BIO CHAR. You would want to smash it into a chunky powder leaving no piece bigger than a golf ball. Mix your charcoal with your compost and manure and let if sit. Just as it absorbs poisons, it also provides the perfect home for beneficial bacteria for your garden. Once the charcoal is infused with all the good stuff, TILL it into your soil with the compost and manure normally. The cool thing about your little bio-char / bacteria houses that you’ve mix up, is that they can release the beneficial nutrients for 100 years. Thus turning poor soil into prime farm land and makes prime farmland even better. Try it! You’ll thank me.
There are a lot of other uses for your charcoal such as homemade water filters that you can use to purify rainwater or whatever water source you want. Some of you may also recall that episode of ‘preppers’ where that guy was using charcoal between two filter masks. He covered the inner layer with charcoal and then duct taped the two face masks together. The charcoal will act as the filter in this method. I have not tried it myself but the idea seems sound to me.
I also just learned that high-end speakers use activated charcoal to filter sound. I know it does something as far as frequency in the soil, beneficially, but I just learned of this myself and don’t know enough to speak on it. I’m including it here in hopes that someone out there smarter than me might comment as to what it’s all about or for those that want to research this on your own.
Here’s a step-by-step video showing you just how you can make the equivalent of aspirin in the middle of the woods.
All you’ll need is to be able to locate a willow tree and you’ll be all set to having your own aspirin equivalent in no time. Natural remedies to the rescue.
Remaining whole and healthy in a survival situation is something we all strive for. But what happens if an accident, or worse, an attack, results in wounds that need tending? This is a question that every prepper asks themselves.
It is fairly easy to accumulate supplies for first aid and wound control but what about the tools you will use to tend to thehurt or wounded member of your group? Given an austere setting where traditional medical facilities are not available, how do you ensure that your instruments are clean, sterile, and fit for use?
These are important questions and to provide you with answers, Dr. Joe Alton is back with some advice not only relative to six ways you can sterilize your medical supplies, but also a general discussion of clean versus sterile and the difference between disinfectants, antiseptics, and antibiotics.
Sterilizing Instruments In Austere Settings
A significant factor in the quality of medical care given in a survival situation is the level of cleanliness of the equipment used. You may have heard of the terms “sterile” and “clean”. Certainly, ideal conditions warrant both, but they are actually two different things.
Do you know the difference?
Sterile Vs. Clean
When it comes to medical protection, “sterility” means the complete absence of microbes. Sterilization destroys all microbes on a medical item to prevent disease transmission associated with its use.
To achieve this, we want to practice “sterile technique”, which involves special procedures using special solutions and the use of sterile instruments, towels, and dressings. Sterile technique is especially important when dealing with wounds in which the skin has been broken and soft tissue exposed.
Of course, it may be very difficult to achieve a sterile environment if you are in the field or in an extremely austere setting. In this case, we may only be able to keep things “clean”. Clean techniques concentrate on prevention of infection by reducing the number of microorganisms that could be transferred from one person to another by medical instruments or other supplies. Meticulous hand washing with soap and hot water is the cornerstone of a clean field.
If you are going to be medically responsible for the health of your people in a survival setting, you will have to strike a balance between what is optimal (sterility) and what is, sometimes, achievable (clean).
The “Sterile” Field
When you’re dealing with a wound or a surgical procedure, you must closely guard the work area (the “sterile field”) to prevent contact with anything that could allow micro-organisms to invade it. This area is lined with sterile “drapes” arranged to allow a small window where the medical treatment will occur.
Although there are commercially-prepared drapes with openings already in them (“fenestrated drapes”), using a number of towels will achieve the same purpose, as long as they are sterile.
The first step is to thoroughly wash any item you plan to reuse before you sterilize it. Using a soft plastic brush removes blood, tissue particles, and other contaminants that can make sterilization more difficult. Consider using gloves, aprons, and eye protection to guard against “splatter”.
6 Ways to Disinfect and Sterilize Instruments
Now, the question of how to sterilize your medical supplies: There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this goal. I list them below in approximate order of effectiveness.
1. Simply placing them in gently boiling water for 30 minutes would be a reasonable strategy, but may not eliminate some bacterial “spores” and could cause issues with rusting over time, especially on sharp instruments like scissors or knives.
Note: always sterilize scissors and clamps in the “open” position.
2. Soaking in bleach (Sodium or Calcium Hypochlorite). 15-30 minutes in a 0.1% solution of bleach will disinfect instruments but no longer or rusting will occur. Instruments must be rinsed in sterilized water afterward.
3. Soaking in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes is another option. Some will even put instruments in a metal tray with alcohol and ignite them. The flame and alcohol, or even just fire itself (if evenly distributed) will do the job, but eventually causes damage to the instruments.
4. Chemical solutions exist that are specifically made for the purpose of high-level disinfection (not necessarily sterility) in the absence of heat, something very important if you have items that are made of plastic. A popular brand is Cidex OPA, a trade name for a solution with phthalaldehyde or glutaraldehyde as the active ingredient.
Insert the instruments in a tray with the solution for 20 minutes for basic disinfection. Soaking overnight (10-12 hours) gives an acceptable level of “sterility” for survival purposes. There are test strips which identify when the solution is contaminated. If negative, you can reuse it for up to 14 days. As an alternative, some have recommended using 6-7.5% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes (household hydrogen peroxide is only 3%, however).
5. Ovens are an option if you have power. For a typical oven, metal instruments are wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in metal trays before putting them in the oven. The oven is then heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or, alternatively, 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours.
6. Although ovens and microwaves have been used to sterilize instruments, probably the best way to guarantee sterility in an austere setting is a pressure cooker. Hospitals use a type of pressure cooker called an autoclave that uses steam to clean instruments, surgical towels, bandages, and other items. All modern medical facilities clean their equipment with this device (I hope).
Having a pressure cooker as part of your supplies will allow you to approach the level of sterility required for minor surgical procedures. As you can imagine, this isn’t easy to lug from place to place, so it’s best for those who plan to stay in place in a disaster scenario.
In most survival settings, “clean” may be as good as it gets, but is that so bad? Modern medical facilities have the ability to provide sterility, so there is very little research that compares clean vs. sterile technique.
In one study, an experiment was conducted in which one group of patients had traumatic wounds that were cleaned with sterile saline solution, another group with tap water. Amazingly, the infection rate was 5.4% in the tap water group as opposed to 10.3% in the sterile saline group. Another study revealed no difference in infection rates in wounds treated in a sterile fashion as opposed to clean technique.
Therefore, clean, drinkable water is acceptable for general wound care in survival scenarios. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use antiseptic solutions if you have them, especially for the first cleaning.
Disinfectants, Antiseptics, Antibiotics
So what’s the difference between a disinfectant, an antiseptic, a decontaminant, and an antibiotic?
To maintain a clean area, certain chemicals are used called “disinfectants”. Disinfectants are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microbes. This would include surfaces where you would treat patients or prepare food. An example of a disinfectant would be bleach.
Disinfection removes bacteria, viruses, and other bugs and is sometimes considered the same as “decontamination”. Decontamination, however, may also include the removal of noxious toxins and could pertain to the elimination of chemicals or radiation. The removal of non-living toxins like radiation from a surface would, therefore, be decontamination but not necessarily disinfection.
While disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses on the surface of non-living tissue, “antiseptics” kill microbes on living tissue surfaces. Examples of antiseptics include Betadine, Chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), Iodine, and Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK).
“Antibiotics” are able to destroy certain microorganisms that live inside the human body. These include drugs such as Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, and many others.
Having disinfectants, antiseptics, antibiotics, and clean instruments will give the medic a head start on keeping it together, even if everything else falls apart.
The Final Word
Up until now, I have held off on adding anything but the most basic of medical instruments to my emergency kit. That has been foolhardy. Just last week, I spoke with someone whose son had a huge splinter embedded under his fingernail. In spite of his extreme pain, the 24 hour emergency clinic sent him away telling him to “see a doctor in the morning”.
If something like this happens in a survival situation, having a set of medical instruments along with a means to ensure they are sterilized will be important. Even without being in a survival situation, they are useful and can be put to good use..
Although many survival manuals and emergency first-aid guides detail the effects of a gunshot on the human body, stabbing wounds from knives and other sharp objects are often overlooked. However, during an emergency situation it is likely that knives and other implements will be common weapons for many as personal supplies of ammunition become limited. As such, it is important to know how to give first-aid to those in your party who may be stabbed while bugging-out or defending your retreat.
What kind of damage does a stabbing cause?
Before you go into the actual techniques of treating the wound, you should understand the of damage a stabbing wound can cause.
- Any stabbing causes lots of bleeding, but a sharp blade causes more. When dealing with stabbing wounds, expect a fair amount of blood. Dull blades cause veins and arteries to spasm, opening and closing, while sharp blades just leave the blood vessels open which causes extra bleeding.
- Stabbing is likely to cause infection. Knives and other stabbing weapons are rarely kept sterile, and the blade puts dirty metal in direct contact with the bloodstream. Larger stab wounds also open the skin, exposing open blood vessels to infection from the air.
- Stabbing is unlikely to kill instantly, and can even go unnoticed if the subject goes into shock. Even being stabbed in the heart or the throat is unlikely to kill someone immediately. The infamous case of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth demonstrated this clearly when she was stabbed in the heart by an assassin, only to survive a carriage ride and a 100 yard walk to a riverboat before collapsing. She never knew that she had been stabbed at all, and even her nearby courtier merely thought she had taken ill as shock caused her skin to pale. The wound itself was not found until much later, when a small bloody hole was discovered when medical staff pulled the Empress’s clothes aside to determine what was wrong with her.
- Wounds to the chest and abdomen can be extremely deadly from even a small wound if they go deep. Knives can puncture lungs, slice organs, and cause internal bleeding and swelling that harms organ function. Stab wounds near the intestines can pierce them, and can also cause them to be pushed out of the gut through the hole.
- Deaths from stabbing are primarily caused by blood loss, infection, shock, and organ failure.
When to offer first-aid
Before you go rushing in to help someone, even a friend or family member, you have to ensure that there isn’t something else you need to deal with first. In a defensive situation you will have to pry your attention away from a person screaming in pain to make sure that no other human threats are present. Only go to help someone once you’re sure that the area is safe and that you can reach the person without becoming injured yourself!
How to treat the wound
Stabbing wounds can be extremely tricky depending on where and how the person is stabbed. If the stab is shallow, a simple cleaning of the wound and a sterile bandage might be all they need. However, a wound that punctures a lung or slices through the liver is immediately life threatening, and is beyond the scope of general first-aid. Therefore, these instructions can help completely treat a minor stab wound, but are limited to merely keeping a seriously stabbed person alive awhile longer until trained medical help arrives, if it is available.
- Inspect the patient, and determine the extent of their injuries. Unless the person was caught unawares, they may have multiple stabs and slashes on their body, or clothing may obscure any wounds at all. Part clothing, and look for all wounds before starting your treatment unless there is an obviously serious wound that need immediate treatment (massive amounts of blood, particularly if it is spurting out like a geyser should be treated as quickly as possible!)
- Apply a facemask and sterile gloves if possible. At the very least, disinfect your hands. Before the modern world of antibiotics and advanced medicine, battlefields killed men by the thousands through infection. Your hands need to be clean and your mouth should be kept away from the wound to reduce the chances of infection in a world without easy access to antibiotic medicines.
- If the person is conscious, begin working but also talk with them. They probably won’t feel much pain to help you know where wounds are, but talking helps keep the person calm and slows heartrate. If any wounds are particularly nasty (say, a knife sticking out of their leg) keep their eyes averted so they don’t focus on it.
- If present, leave the weapon in the body. This reduces bleeding and keeps you from accidentally cutting any more vessels when it is removed. Don’t jostle it when helping, and if you move the patient have someone to steady it and keep it from moving. Weapons left in the body should only be removed by knowledgeable medical staff that can immediately perform needed surgery to correct potential damage.
- Choose the wound that is bleeding the most and stanch the flow. Any wound where blood is spurting out has priority unless there is serious flow elsewhere, since spurting blood comes from an artery that your body desperately needs. A tourniquet may be needed if there are multiple serious wounds, but it is always better to apply direct pressure instead since that actually stops bleeding rather than cutting off blood flow. Keep a barrier between yourself and the patient’s blood. If you lack gloves, use layers of clean cloth. If you have helpers, clean their hands and let them apply the pressure so you can continue directing things.
- Proceed to stanch bloodflow from each major wound, if there are more than one. If possible, have the person sit up and lift limbs above where the heart would be to slow bloodflow. If the wounds are mainly in the legs, lay the patient flat and lift their legs up on a chair or box.
- Once you have some control over the bleeding, begin cleaning the wounds in order from most serious to least serious. Remove debris if present, but remember that even a wound without debris has had a dirty sharp implement jab at it, so they all need cleaning. Clean water is the best for sheer irrigation, but in a pinch peroxide or even alcohol will work.As salt is an excellent natural cleanser, a mix of 1 tablespoon of salt to 1 cup of warm clean water is perfect here. Be aware that there will be pain when applying cleaning liquids, so if the person is somewhat conscious give them warning.
- Once a wound is clean, close smaller gaping wounds. Butterfly bandages can obviously help here if they are the correct size. Otherwise, glue (on the outside of the wound only!) and duct tape can make an effective placeholder. You want to close the wounds to prevent infectious materials from getting inside, and to keep the wound fairly dry.
- If a larger wound refuses to stop bleeding, DO NOT CLOSE IT. Instead, pack it with clean rags and cover with tape. The tape should be reasonably loose: it is primarily a strong covering, not a wound binder, and you want to be able to change out the rags as needed. Some clean spiderwebs can be used over the rags and under the tape, as an extra anti-bacterial layer if you choose.
- Keep the person resting, and apply antibiotic ointment if you have it periodically. Check the area furthest away from the heart for each limb that has a bandage on it: check fingers for arm wounds and toes for leg wounds. If a bandage is too tight, it may cut off blood flow to the area below it, and you will need to loosen it immediately.
In many places, the ability to properly treat a knife wound is already invaluable. When disaster strikes and the dredges of society decide to make their move for your supplies, be sure that you can patch up your group of defenders and keep everyone alive.
Even if you can’t treat it, you can probably grasp the danger of broken bones, severe diseases, or stab/gunshot wounds. The dangers of internal bleeding however are typically harder to understand since they’re not as easily seen. Heck, in most movies internal bleeding is code for “the doctor won’t be able to save him”! Fortunately in real life this is not so, but nevertheless is is important for you to know what internal bleeding does and how to identify and treat it properly.
Disclaimer: I’m no doctor, nor did I play one on TV at any point. Internal bleeding can become very serious quickly, so if you suspect that this is an issue please seek immediate medical attention! This post is meant only for situations where no medical help is available, and should only be treated as my opinion and not any kind of sound medical advice.
Internal Bleeding: More common than you might think
As I mentioned most movies tend to treat internal bleeding like some sort of mysterious affliction that can kill anyone regardless of treatment, but in all likelihood you have suffered from it a time or two yourself! If you’ve ever suffered from even the most minor bruise, you have had internal bleeding which discolored the skin and left the area tender to the touch. Of course, more serious cases will be much more dangerous than a mere bruise, but it is important to know that not all cases of internal bleeding are inherently deadly.
Serious cases and the damage they cause
That said, what we’re looking at here are specifically the more dangerous kinds of internal bleeding, which may not be as obvious as a bruise. These are typically caused by trauma in a disaster situation, though some illnesses and conditions (brain aneurysms for example) can also result in internal damage and blood loss. Any kind of trauma, from a gunshot to a stab wound to a fall can cause internal bleeding. The more severe the trauma, the more likely that internal bleeding will show immediate symptoms, while a less severe incident with lesser blood loss might not be apparent until later.
Regardless of the severity of the actual injury, blood seeping from vessels is never a good thing and can cause a great deal of damage depending on which vessels are broken and where the blood pools. The most immediate and obvious issue is the typical symptoms of external blood loss. Unsafe drops in blood pressure, skin clamminess, and even shock can result from blood leaking out into the cavities of the body. Beyond that are symptoms exclusive to internal bleeding:
- Pressure in the wrong places. It may not seem like much, but leaking blood can pool and put pressure on certain organs and inhibit proper functioning. This is most prominent in brain, chest, and abdominal injuries. Your brain, heart, and other important organs need blood in very specific amounts from very specific locations and are forced to work harder and harder to overcome the crushing pressure of blood. The brain and heart in particular react poorly to excess blood owing to the presence of other fluids (in the brain) or the need to move and pump (in the heart).
- Stiffness in skin and muscles. A side effect of excess pressure from pooling blood, parts of your skin or even whole muscles can become stiff and difficult to move owing to swelling.
- Pain in strange places like muscles or joints. Pooling blood can also deny that precious liquid to other areas of the body by pressing on vessels that are still intact and slowing blood flow to extremities of the body. This can result in pain as muscles attempt to move without the proper amount of blood. Joints can also suffer from this, though sometimes swelling is all that is needed to cause joint pain.
- Abdominal/chest bleeding denies oxygen to parts of the body. Not only does this cause pain, but it can also cause the body to go into shock as the cells that usually use oxygen for fuel switch into emergency anaerobic (without oxygen) modes. This allows your body to survive without proper blood flow for a time, but the body is unable to subsist for long in this mode before it starts to damage organs. The brain generally suffers the most from this, since it can’t really function without oxygen at all.
- A wide variety of sensory weirdness from internal bleeding around the brain. The brain floats within your skull, cushioned, protected and fed by the cerebrospinal fluid it produces. One key reason why your brain floats is to avoid putting too much pressure on any one spot, since that can destroy or severely alter the functioning of a particular part of the brain. When internal bleeding disrupts this delicate balance, you can experience nausea, hallucinations, or lose vision. In extreme circumstances you can even have a stroke or fall into a seizure since the brain cannot compensate for the increased pressure.
How to identify internal bleeding
Some types of injuries almost always cause internal bleeding. A gunshot to the gut, for example, is definitely going to make you bleed! However other trauma like falling or getting tackled by a crazed lunatic could still cause that blood loss without any obvious external signs, at least initially.
First off, you should pay attention to any signs of bruising in areas that were otherwise unaffected by the injury. This may indicate that loose blood is pooling near the skin and showing through the layers, similarly to a regular surface bruise.
Secondly, you should be extremely careful to watch for sensory problems, a persistent headache, or any other odd symptoms that might be related to blood in the brain. Even if you otherwise appear fine, long-lasting headaches, sudden and frequent migraines where you had none before, or nausea that is persistent long after any sickness should have been cured.
Thirdly, keep an eye out for blood in any bodily excretions. Vomit, urine, and poo all show signs of blood present, and any amount of blood in them is a very bad sign. Any blood in urine or vomit will probably be red to some degree, while the color in feces varies between black, tea, or red. Vomit indicates blood in the stomach or the throat, while urine and feces can both indicate blood in the intestines or digestive organs such as the kidneys.
Finally, look for any signs of the symptoms noted above, particularly pain in joints or muscles or any kind of swelling. You’ll have to use your own best judgement (joint pain isn’t odd to an arthritis sufferer, for example) and be careful to notice any persistent issue that seems strange.
How do you treat it?
First the bad news: certain severe internal bleeding problems require surgery from a competent doctor. No amount of care or medication will save them, and they will suffer the full extent of the damage or death that the pooling blood will cause. Unless you have a surgeon along for the ride with you.
However, there is some good news to counterbalance the bad! Although some injuries require surgery, other cases of internal bleeding are quite capable of healing themselves if the patient is properly cared for until they recover. Proper care in this case largely involves treating someone for shock, giving the body additional time to recover. Unless the head, neck, or back were harmed during the traumatic incident, elevate the patient’s feet about a foot off of the floor and wrap them in a loose, warm blanket. Try to keep the head from moving at all, though if the person is vomiting or has blood coming out of their mouth you should set the head on its side to improve drainage. If they’re still conscious, try to keep them calm to avoid raising their heartrate and bleeding faster. Assuming a lack of hospitals or medical care, at this point you merely keep them comfortable (don’t give water or food unless dehydration becomes a danger or other factors demand it) and hope that the inner wounds heal.
I should note that unless there is a strong medical reason for it, anticoagulants and blood thinners are very bad for a patient suffering from internal bleeding. This includes many prescription medications, but it also includes Aspirin. If you take these medications regularly, I would advise you to ask your doctor about the appropriate course of action. For everyone else, don’t take them in that situation unless a trained medical person instructs you to.
Internal bleeding is a nasty business, but it’s not the death sentence many think it to be. Know how to identify it and treat your patients so that their body can heal the damage and hopefully save their life.
Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” Hippocrates.
When there is no doctor and when there is no medicine, what then? Survival
medicine is doing what you can with what you have, so make sure you have something
when the rest of the world runs out! If you are passionate about your survival,
consider asking your physician now for extra prescription medicines and antibiotics, or
stocking up on unusual homeopathic and non-prescription medicines. Stocking up on
medicines just might save a life: yours!
Emergency Medical Technicians, nurses and doctors have one common shortcoming:
much of their power to heal and save lives becomes useless without support of
medicine and medical supplies. And therein lies the reality: eventually medicines and
supplies will run out in the end of the world as we know it.
Here are the top prepper medicines to stock for survival:
#1: Activated Charcoal Tablets (toxin adsorption*).
Activated charcoal is the black magic potion the prepper’s medicine bag. We’re not
talking Kingsford here (don’t use chemically laden charcoal briquettes): the
recommended medicine for your cabinet is a specially activated charcoal. While
activated charcoal has many uses (from teeth whitening to reducing your cholesterol)
its ideally suited for preppers as an emergency toxin removal. Activated charcoal,
through adsorption, traps toxins in the body to help flush them out. Another of the
major benefits of activated charcoal is that it helps alleviate gas and bloating.
Make way for Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal capsules, pictured left. Nature’s Way
Activated Charcoal (from Indian Hardwood) is commonly used to adsorb* digestive
gas. It also protects the body from overdosing on harmful toxic substances. Due to its
large surface area, activated charcoal has high adsorption properties, meaning that it
keeps certain substances from being absorbed in the body’s gastrointestinal tract.
- * Note: adsorption, not absorption, refers to adhesion of atoms, ions, molecules
from a dissolved solid, liquid or gas. The adsorption process flushes poison and
toxins from the body.
#2: Ammonia Inhalant (smelling salts).
Ammonia Inhalant, pictured right, is a modern day version of “smelling salts.” It’s
intended as a product to arouse patients who’ve fainted. An often overlooked prep,
you will be happy to know you can revive someone to save their life with a swift
measure of ammonia inhalant.
#3: Antibiotics – Fish Mox (amoxicillin – broad sprectrum antibiotic)
The role of antibiotics in modern day is immeasurable. FishMox is the primary brand of
amoxicillin (antibiotic) stocked by preppers for extreme catastrophic situations where a
doctor or when medicines intended for humans are not available. Amoxicillin treats
bacterial infections, but also presents a severe allergic reaction in some people which
is sudden, intense and possibly deadly. Consult your doctor about FishMox* to see if
this option is right for you and your family in a survival situation when prescription
antibiotics will be hard to come by after a societal collapse. Remember, this antibiotic is
intended for fish, not humans, but may be the only antibiotic available in uncertain
times when a doctor is not available. Stock Fish Mox, but do not use it under ordinary
circumstances, and do not stock it without consulting a doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Learn the proper dose for your bodyweight before you ever need it and discuss your
family’s history of allergies! This is the value a medical professional can provide. Fish
Mox is no longer currently available on Amazon.
- Discover the nine best survival antibiotics from the Urban Survival website.
- Nurse Amy and Doctor bones have a video about Fish antibiotics.
- Medical professionals may like to order Antibiotics Simplified.
- Did you know antibiotics are safe to use for at least five years after expiration?
Learn more about expiration dates. Save your unused medicines!
- Read: Fish antibiotics for preppers.
An important prepper medicine to stock is an over the counter anti-diarrheal. It doesn’t
matter whether you stock a brand name or a generic:
- Imodium® A-D or other anti-diarrheal to controls symptoms of diarrhea. Here is
more about the case for stocking Imodium.
- Kirkland Anti-diarrheal includes the active ingredient (Loperamide HCI 2 mg.)but
at a much lower cost.
#5: Antihistamine allergy medicine (e.g., Benadryl)
Benadryl is diphenhydramine, the brand name of antihistamine allergy medicine. Since
1946 Benadryl has been providing temporary relief of seasonal and perennial allergy
symptoms. Most notably, taking an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
provides a measure of relief against bee stings.
- Learn more about bee sting treatment.
#6: Aspirin (painkiller).
Much more than a painkiller, you’ll find many reasons to include aspirin in your preps.
For your bugout bag, pack aspirin in small packets, pictured immediate left.
#7: Boiron Oscillococcinum (Homeopathic flu remedy).
Boiron Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic product for Flu-like Symptoms, pictured left.
Boiron Oscillococcinum, pictured left, temporarily relieves flu-like symptoms such as
body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.
#8: Colloidal Silver (natural antibiotic).
A powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, Colloidal Silver soothes a number
of skin ailments, including soothing burns, minimize scarring, relieving herpes sores,
and medicating boils, ringworm or warts!
Colloidal Silver is a mineral with wildly debated medical claims, but preppers agree it is
a necessary item in the medicine cabinet. According to the manufacturer of Ultra Pure
Colloidal Silver Natures Best Antibiotic, “There is no known disease causing organism
that can live in the presence of even minute traces of Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver is
used to treat a wide range of diseases and infections, both internally and externally.”
The big pharmaceutical companies don’t appreciate these claims, and the Federal Drug
Administration isn’t on board either and so colloidal silver gets a bad rap.
While we don’t think anyone should self medicate, there may be a time in the future
you may be faced in desperation to cure a disease. Preppers pack colloidal silver in
their personal pharmacy because it is a natural antibiotic available without a
prescription. It serves as an alternative when prescribed antibiotics are not available
and infection is life threatening. Preppers also appreciate versatility of a prep.
- Read more about the Benefits of Colloidal Silver for Preppers.
#9: Digestive enzymes (Enzyme supplement, digestive aid).
Your stomach won’t be quite the same after your diet changes. Many a backpacker has
overdosed on freeze dried food and can testify to this. Digestive enzymes will help
restore your body’s proper balance.
#10: Frankincense (natural immune booster).
Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) reduces inflammation, helps fight infection and boost
immunity among so many uses. Read our full article on the benefits of Frankincense.
Learn also about Myrrh Essential Oil.
#11 Fresh Green Black Walnut Wormwood Complex (treats parasites).
During a survival situation, you may be hunting and unable to provide a stable source
of fresh drinking water. Have a plan to clear parasites out of the body with Fresh
Green Black Walnut Wormwood Complex. This powerful extract, derived from the hulls
of green black walnuts, is a centuries old herbal tonic to promote healthy microbial
activity. Fresh green black walnut wormwood complex comes highly recommended by
The Patriot Nurse in a survival situation for those who plan on hunting.
#12: Goldenseal (immune support).
Popular as antifungal and antibacterial, Goldenseal root promotes a healthy immune
system. Goldenseal, also called Indian turmeric or “ginseng’s little brother” by the
Cherokee, has potent medicinal properties. It can kill germs on contact particularly in
mucus membranes and not get absorbed in the blood stream, which can be
advantageous for many, but can make blood pressure fluctuate, so check with your
health care practitioner. It’s also used as a digestive aid and studies are underway for
using goldenseal to support healing of cancer.
#13: Neem Oil.
Neem oil reduces skin inflammation and helps remedy skin disorders, including acne,
eczema and psoriasis. Commonly also used as an antiviral, antifungal, and
antibacterial, you’ll find neem oil is also an antiparasitic; and neem oil is also used as
an organic pesticide!
#14: Oregano Oil (an antiflammatory and more).
Packed with protection against bed bugs, fleas, lice, even mosquitoes, and tape worm!
Oregano oil is also effective against vaginal infections, cold and flu, and a host of other
- Read more about oregano oil, and other natural antibiotics.
#15: Potassium Iodide Capsules (radiation emergency).
Potassium Iodide is a prepper medicine often overlooked and yet essential to take if
radiation is imminent and may be limited or unavailable when health officials notify the
public of exposure and urgency. Potassium Iodide capsules, pictured immediate right,
can help maintain a high level of beneficial iodides in the thyroid gland. Potassium
Iodide supports the body’s normal detoxification processes, including the removal of
heavy metals, though it’s not a cure for radiation sickness.
- Learn more about radiation exposure and survival.
#16: Stool softener (constipation relief).
You’ll be eating foods you’re not used to eating, so consider that bowel movements
may fluctuate more often. Miralax, pictured bottom left of page, is a stool softener to
help you get through eating too much freeze dried food.
#17: SaltStick caps Plus (hydration).
Avoid cramping during and after long distance and high elevation hikes. Trusted by
marathon runners, SaltStick buffered electrolyte salts plus caffeine and sodium,
pictured immediate right, will give preppers on the move an edge. In addition to
reducing muscle cramping, these totally vegetarian capsules reduce heat stress,
maintain electrolyte levels and increase energy levels. It’s a great bugout-bag item or
#18: Tea Tree oil (external use only).
Tea Tree Essential Oil, pictured left, is best known as a very powerful immune
stimulant. It’s a powerful anti-fungal and disinfectant for topical use only. It can help to
fight all three categories of infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses), and
there is evidence that Tea Tree Oil massages prior to an operation may help to fortify
the body and reduce post-operative shock. Tea Tree Oil can help with colds, measles,
sinusitis and viral infections.
Tea tree oil is very penetrating oil to help cure infections and boils, and even seep
through toenails. It’s great for athletes foot! Learn more about tea tree oil benefits.
- Do NOT ingest tea tree oil! You may wind up in the hospital. Some apply tea
tree oil sparingly to sores in the mouth and on lips, but this is a deadly
concoction to some and not worth the risk for others. Never ingest tea tree oil!
#19: Thieves Oil (pandemics).
- Ebola prevention? Possibly, however, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration has
been very careful in preventing Thieves Oil manufacturers, like Young Living from
marketing their product as a drug to prevent Ebola and has sent them a severe
warning letter. Such products are not intended for use in the diagnosis, cure,
mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and should not be marketed as
such, according to the FDA. It is illegal to market this product as an anti-viral for
- Plague prevention: There is evidence that Thieves Oil keeps plague at bay!
During the 15th-century plague, thieves used an oil of cloves, rosemary, and
other aromatics to protect themselves while robbing plague victims.
- Upper respiratory support: In the Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for
When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton ARNP, they
recommend stocking Thieves Oil! (Page 78.) for upper respiratory infections.
#20: Topical Anesthetic Gel – Hurricaine (tooth pain relief).
Nothing bites worse than tooth pain! Hurricaine topic gel, pictured right, will
anesthetize muscle tissue to provide temporary relief in discomfort in teeth and gums.
This medication will be a godsend for the day when a dentist is not available. In the
old days, the agony of dental pain was among the top causes of suicide.
Nature’s medicine cabinet
Interested in other prepper medicines? Preppers also stock a variety of home
remedies, salves, unconventional medicines, and essential oils for survival:
- Aloe vera. Aloe will provide soothing relief from sunburns.
- Coconut oil. Learn to cook with coconut oil.
- Echinacea. A medicinal powerhouse and secret of Native Americans, echinacea
has been popular as an anti–viral and antibacterial sold to help fight symptoms
of cold and flu.
- Elderberry. Proven effective for use against swine and avian flu, elderberry
extract is manufacturered as Sambucol. Safe and effective for kids, there are no
known side effects.
- Epsom Salts. Discover the medicinal uses of Epsom salts, including how Epsom
salts help flush out toxins from the body, improve absorption of nutrients, and
even soothe aching muscles.
- Honey. Honey is ideal as a topical antibiotic because apparently honey kills
bacteria, according to Science Daily. What’s more, honey will last almost
indefinitely! Consider the many good reasons to hoard honey.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. As a first aid essential, hydrogen peroxide can help prevent
infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns. It may also be used as an oral
debriding agent. It can aid in removing phlegm, mucus or other secretions
associated with a sore mouth. Stock hydrogen peroxide in your prepper’s
medicine cabinet and learn more about applications for your survival.
- Onions. Onions have natural anti-fungal properties. For immediate relief, rub on
affected areas. Here’s how an onion can soothe a bee sting.
- Peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is great for your health, and you’ll keep pesky
little critters away. Spiders hate peppermint oil and rodents too! 100%
peppermint oil will burn their little nostrils!
- Salt. Discover the many medicinal uses of salt.
More great finds:
- Christopher’s Infection Fighting Formula (dietary supplement, flu season).
Pictured at the bottom of the page, Christopher’s Infection Fighting Formula is
highly rated on Amazon. Such dietary supplements offer added peace of mind
during the flu season. Get through pandemic situations knowing you’re charging
your family with infection fighting vitamins.
- Melatonin (sleep aid). Many preppers stash coffee and tea for survival. They
need also stock something to help them fall asleep: Melatonin. During a crisis,
your mind may be hyper alert with thoughts keeping you awake at night, but
without adequate sleep you may not be able to follow through on an effective
strategy of survival. That’s where Melatonin comes into play. Melatonin by
Nature’s Bounty, pictured right, is great for people experiencing occasional
sleeplessness, those with jet lag, or anyone seeking to improve their quality of
- Caffeine (alertness and energy aid). Caffeine supplements will help you stay
awake and five-hour energy boosters may help provide the endurance you need
to protect your family or meet another critical survival need.
- Is a caffeine pill hard to swallow? Try decaffeinated chewing gum!
Considering that stress and poor nutrition along with reduced hygiene and total lack of
medical care are very real threats to your health during a catastrophe, it’s wise to
prepare; however, for any health or dietary matter, consult your Doctor well in
advance of needing to use any of these products. This medicine cabinet supply list is
intended for long-term storage and use only for a scenario where a pharmacy and
medical professional network is unavailable.*
It’s better to have medicine (and not use it) than to need medicine (and not have it)!