Essential Medical Supplies for Preppers A Complete List

Essential Medical Supplies for Preppers: A Complete List

Accidents, calamities, medical emergencies, and unforeseen events can turn a person’s life upside down. Being ready to confront these challenges when SHTF can save your life.

A good prepper will have a small kit of medical supplies on-hand. But a great prepper will have an extensive list of supplies, tools, and medications that can be used to manage the majority of injuries in different settings.

There are 11 categories of medical supplies that should be prepared in their pack for faster and more efficient use:

  • General supplies
  • Diagnostic equipment
  • Hemorrhage kit, and wound closure
  • Emergency fluid replacement
  • Trauma, and fracture kit
  • Burn kit
  • Dental kit
  • Poisoning
  • Medicine and supplements
  • Feminine hygiene and pregnancy
  • Delivery & newborn kit.

List of Essential Medical Supplies by Category

first aid supply

“Sterile” and “clean” are different degrees of the cleanliness of bandages, gloves, gauzes, and most tools. Sterile means that the item was treated (heat, chemical, or radiation), and is 100% microbe-free. Clean items mean that the item was prepared or manufactured in a clean environment, but is not assured to be 100% free from microbial contaminants.

Sterile items are what one would ideally use in wound dressing and performing minor surgeries. This reduces the risk of the wound getting infected, which will not only delay healing but can also lead to local and systemic spread of bacteria.

Survival will depend on luck (uncontrollable factors), and factors you can control. Survivalists should start learning how to use these medical supplies for preppers.

General Supplies

Disclaimer: Items marked with an asterisk (*) are advanced equipment that requires some training to be effectively used. Despite the need for added learning, these items are essential and greatly increases survivability if used correctly.

  • Sterile suturing pack: a surgical scissor, a needle holder, a blade holder, an Adson forceps, at least 2 clamps, and a stainless kidney basin *
  • Sterile sutures with needles: Silk (for skin closure), Vicryl, and Monocryl (absorbable, for mucous membranes and deep soft tissues) *
  • Sterile surgical blades: #20 upwards requires a larger slot on a blade holder *
  • Clean forceps, clamps, bandage scissors, and a plastic kidney basin
  • Bottles of 70% Isopropyl alcohol and 10% Povidone-iodine
  • Cotton balls soaked in 70% alcohol and 10% povidone-iodine in separate airtight containers/packaging
  • Sterile 4 x 4 inches gauze packs
  • Cotton pads
  • Elastic bandage rolls and clips
  • Butterfly adhesive bandages for small cuts
  • Dermabond tissue glue
  • Medical tapes: 0.5inches, 1inch, and 3inches Transpore (waterproof) and Micropore (for sensitive skin)
  • Local anesthesia: Benzocaine ointment, cream, spray, and patches. Sterile lidocaine for dermal injection *
  • Sterile syringes: 1cc, 5cc, 10cc, 20cc, and 50cc.
  • Sterile syringe needles: gauge 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, and 27. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the needle
  • Sterile eye dressing
  • Tourniquet
  • Sterile and clean medical gloves
  • Thermal blankets and hot/cold packs
  • Safety pins
  • Surgical mask, N95 mask, or respirators
  • Eye protection goggles
  • Hand soap

Diagnostic Equipment

stethoscope bp equipment

  • Penlight, headlamp, lanterns, and flashlights
  • Pulse oximeter: reads the heart rate and oxygen saturation of the blood
  • Analog and digital body thermometer
  • Automatic and manual blood pressure monitor
  • Stethoscope
  • Otoscope: can be used to view inside the ear
  • Blood glucose monitor, strips, and lancets
  • Writing materials: pens, regular paper, and waterproof paper
  • Assorted disposable and rechargeable batteries for medical equipment

Hemorrhage Kit and Wound Closure

  • Elastic bandages and bandage clips
  • Large quantities of sterile and clean gauze rolls
  • Large quantities of sterile and clean gauze pads
  • Cotton balls
  • Large quantities of abdominal pads
  • Chest seals
  • Tourniquet
  • Sterile suturing pack: a surgical scissor, a needle holder, a blade holder, an Adson forceps, at least 2 clamps, and a stainless kidney basin *
  • Sterile sutures with needles: Silk (for skin closure), Vicryl, and Monocryl (absorbable, for mucous membranes and deep soft tissues) *
  • Sterile surgical blades
  • Sterile syringes and needles
  • Local anesthesia *
  • Medical stapler and staple remover
  • Medical tapes
  • Indwelling Foley catheter: near the tip is a balloon that can be inflated by injecting water through the base. In cases of a penetrating wound, it can also be used to compress the hole and reduce bleeding.

Emergency Fluid Replacement

  • Intravenous (IV) infusion set: Gauge 20 IV cannula and a macro set IV tubing *
  • Spare IV cannula: gauge 20 and 22 *
  • Multiple bottles of 1L Plain Normal Saline Solution (PNSS) *

Trauma and Fracture Kit

box first aid

  • Rigid splints of varying length and sizes
  • Slings or triangular bandages
  • Cloth to tie the splint
  • Elastic bandages and clips
  • Ice pack
  • Neck brace
  • Lumbar back brace
  • Elastic wrist brace
  • Knee and ankle elastic brace
  • Adjustable crutches
  • Bag valve mask: people who had neck trauma may stop breathing due to a severed or compressed spinal cord. *
  • Thoracostomy needle: In cases where a fractured rib punctures the skin of the chest cavity, air gushes in and compresses the lungs. After sealing the primary wound, it may be necessary to use a thoracostomy needle to release the air inside the chest cavity. However, advanced training is required to perform this intervention safely, and correctly.

Burn Kit

  • Large quantities of sterile gauze rolls
  • 4 x 4 inches gauze pads
  • Large volumes of sterile water or PNSS
  • Zinc Oxide cream
  • Topical lidocaine or burn jel.

Dental Kit

  • Dental probe aka shepherds hook
  • Toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste
  • Dental mirror
  • Disinfectant mouthwash
  • Lidocaine injection
  • Dental cement
  • Extraction forceps
  • Hydrogen peroxide


  • Activated charcoal: should be given within 1 hour of ingestion of a poisonous substance
  • Syrup of Ipecac: this induces vomiting. It should only be used on ingested disinfectants and sterilant, and only if the person is conscious. *
  • Clean water: used for irrigating affected body parts

Medicine and Supplements

medications pills

  • Any prescription medicine you are currently taking
  • Oral pain relivers: Ibuprofen, mefenamic acid, paracetamol/acetaminophen
  • Antipyretic (fever reducers): acetaminophen (aka paracetamol) 500mg tablets
  • Nasal congestion medication: Phenylephrine tablets or nasal spray
  • Anti-histamine: diphenhydramine, cetirizine, or loratadine
  • Guaifenesin
  • Anti-diarrheal: Loperamide (Imodium), Pepto-Bismol
  • Laxative
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Topical Lidocaine and lidocaine patch
  • Multivitamins and mineral supplements
  • Pre-packed oral rehydrating solution: 6 level teaspoons sugar + ½ level teaspoon salt to be dissolved in 1L of water.
  • Antacids: famotidine, simethicone
  • EpiPen *
  • Salbutamol nebules or tablets and a nebulizer
  • Caffeine tablets
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotic tablets: Azithromycin, Doxycycline *
  • Miconazole
  • Activated charcoal and syrup of ipecac *

Feminine Hygiene and Pregnancy Kit

  • Menstrual pads and tampons
  • Birth control pills or contraceptive devices
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Plan B emergency contraception
  • Vaginal care products

Delivery and Newborn Kit

  • Large quantities of clean towels
  • Indwelling Foley catheter
  • Sterile suturing pack and sutures *
  • Lidocaine Injection and syringes *
  • Large quantities of 4 x 4 inches gauze pads
  • Suction bulb
  • Cord clamp
  • Vitamin K injection: for newborn *
  • Silver nitrate or erythromycin ophthalmic ointment
  • Breast pump, baby bottles, and formula milk

Contents of a Portable First Aid Kit

portable first aid

Unlike home medical supplies which you can stockpile a lot of different types, a portable first aid kit for venturing outside needs to be properly selected and lightweight.

  • Antiseptics: Alcohol and Povidone-Iodine
  • Sterile 4 x 4 inches gauze dressings
  • Elastic bandages
  • Triangular bandage
  • 2 pcs sterile eye dressing
  • Safety pins
  • Trauma/bandage scissors
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine
  • Distilled water for wound cleansing
  • Cotton balls
  • 2 Sterile gloves, and 5 pairs clean gloves
  • Suturing pack, a suture with needle, and 2 sizes of surgical blade
  • Medical Tape
  • Syringes and needles
  • Lidocaine cream or injection
  • Tourniquet
  • 2x abdominal pack
  • Indwelling Foley catheter
  • EpiPen
  • Paracetamol/acetaminophen
  • Imodium
  • Activated charcoal

There’s no such thing as being overly prepared in prepping for when SHTF. The list of medical supplies for preppers is extensive but will increase your, and your family’s survival when every reliable and necessary institution collapses.

The best time to start prepping was yesterday. The second-best time is right now.

Steven Willis, M.D

As a nursing student, medical student, and an M.D, Steven has 6 years of combined experience in clinical and public health fields.