DIY First Aid Kit for Digital Nomads

Why do you need a First Aid Kit?

You are on a long voyage. All is good and enjoyable, until it isn’t. How you may ask? Imagine you are on a hike at a foreign territory and you accidentally cut your hand or leg. You are currently not in the best location or situation to seek help at a medical institution. This cut is preventing you from continuing your activities as you can’t walk or carry stuff properly. Without immediate medical attention, your injury will not heal as fast as it should, or make the injury worse. This is why you need to equip yourself with a first aid kit and some basic knowledge on how to use them.

I dropped and shattered a glass jar of water in the kitchen and had 2 cuts on my leg from the sharp broken pieces. Without a handy first aid kit, my leg will be bleeding all over the place and it won’t heal as fast as it should

What a First Aid Kit is NOT meant to beYou must understand that the first aid kit is never intended to be the actual cure for your injuries or ailments. Look at it as an emergency remedy to allow your body to heal itself and prevent further injuries or infections until you receive proper medical help (if the injury is bad).

Problems with Pre Packed First Aid Kits

So great, now understand why you need one, so can you just go online and get a pre-packaged first aid kit?

299 piece Pre-Packaged First Aid Kit: Do you really need all this?

If you search online or simply go to your local pharmacy, you will see that there are too many types of First Aid Kits being sold. There’s activity specific (hiking, skiing, scuba, travel, car) and also size specific (large, medium and small). The contents themselves sound so scientific and you most probably have never heard of it in your life. It’s all confusing and overwhelming especially if you’re not in the medical field.

Let’s be real here, like the majority of people, you are not a doctor and would never be one. In my experience, I have never used most of the contents of the pre-packaged First Aid Kit and I can bet money you won’t either.

So you should customize your First Aid Kit to suit YOU and eliminate stuff that you don’t need to carry. This method will appeal to the minimalist in you whilst saving you money in the long run. WIN.

How to pick the right contents for YOU

Throughout my experience of traveling for an extended period of time and living abroad, I have only experienced minor incidents. So I will bet that you will face very similar scenarios with what I had to go through. These are the common problems that I face while traveling:

  1. Headaches
  2. Colds/ Sore Throat
  3. Minor Burns
  4. Minor and Medium Cuts
  5. Muscle aches
  6. Insect bites (mosquitoes, leeches)

If you think about it, most of the ailments and injuries listed above is not absolutely critical. You can still walk if you have a headache or muscle ache. You can still function if an insect bites you or have a minor burn. But not if you have a cut. You probably can’t walk to safety, you probably can’t lift gear or be fully mobile. So I stock my Kit to emphasize a lot more on remedying cuts above all else.

Split your Kit into 2

For a digital nomad, or someone who is traveling for an extended period of time, You will have at least 1 large travel bag that you will leave at your accommodation and you most likely will have a smaller day-pack for you to bring your essentials to explore the city or area.

Coinciding with your luggage arrangements, it doesn’t make sense to only have 1 First Aid Kit. I highly recommend you to have 2 of different sizes, a small and a medium.

In my following example, I have previously bought 2 pre-packed first aid kits and over the years, the contents have been used or are expired. So I just used the bags and restocked them with only the things that matter to me. You don’t really need a bag with the cross symbol in front of it, you can just use any small bags you have lying around.

  1. A small sized essential Kit for your day-pack catering to cuts and headaches.
  2. A medium sized kit that you will leave in your large travel bag and accommodation.
    1. You will restock the small kit from this medium kit.
    2. And storage for non-common medicines that’s not absolutely critical
My neatly organized medium sized First Aid Kit


Small Kit for my day pack, only the absolute essentials


So now you know how to split and pack your medium and small DIY Travel First Aid Kit. Compared to the pre-packed first aid kit, you will greatly de-clutter and reduce the stuff you have to carry around and replace it with only the things you know how to use and need.

You will have peace of mind knowing that you have the equipment to help yourself or someone else who needs immediate medical attention. Travel safe Digital Nomads and leave me a comment if you have any better suggestions or questions 🙂

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