Imagine you’re hiking in the woods and you encounter a bear. Your efforts to make yourself big and scary don’t work (here are a few more tips for surviving a bear attack) and the mighty beast roughs you up. 

Somehow, you manage to escape the struggle, but when you come to your senses, you notice a big wound on your arm that is bleeding profusely… How do you make it stop?

Well, regardless of if this happens to you while camping or in a SHTF scenario, you need to be well prepared to take care of your wound before it bleeds you dry. Especially if an artery is damaged – you could faint in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

You can also get a life-threatening wound in plenty of other scenarios. Maybe it seems far-fetched that you would meet a bear on your trail (although we’ve seen this happen before), but a few dozen other situations are going through my mind like getting into a car accident, getting shot, or falling a great distance.

That’s why, as a prepper, I always have a few essential first aid items in my backpack to save a friend, family member or even myself. And I never leave the house without them.

Although I would honestly advise you to recommend your loved ones to carry their own emergency care items. After all, in the military, it’s a given that you always use the victim’s own first aid items rather than your own (you might need them too afterward).

I’ll share with you my top 5 items for emergency wound care that I like because they are lightweight, effective and they don’t take that much space in my backpack.

  1. Israeli Army Dressing 

These are a must-have in the military because they are highly absorbent and can help stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the wound. Make sure the sterilized side doesn’t come into contact with any other surface, including your hands. 

This could let unwanted bacteria inside the wound, which can lead to a very dangerous blood infection. If this item doesn’t stop the bleeding, I have two more advanced solutions at the bottom of the list.

  1. Antiseptic wipes 

Once you’ve got the bleeding stopped, cleaning the wound is the next step. I always have several antiseptic wipes with me, because they’re perfect for disinfection when you don’t have clean water and soap. 

Start by cleaning the dirt off the outside of the wound, then make your way to the inside of the wound with gentle movements to keep the pain to a minimum.

  1. Surgical skin stapler 

In a post-apocalyptic situation, help is not on the way. As a matter of fact, there are probably enemies on the way. That’s why you need to close the wound yourself. 

I find that a surgical skin stapler works much faster than hand-sewing sutures, and the pain is actually more bearable. Allow for the wound to heal for 5 to 10 days, then remove the staples by using a surgical staple remover.

  1. Celox blood clotting solution 

This is a very handy item that I had to order immediately once I’ve heard about it from JJ, a fellow survivalist. The solution is designed to help clot blood for a period of up to 24 hours until help arrives – especially helpful if an artery has been damaged and you’re losing a lot of blood quickly. 

However, if you’re in a SHTF situation and you don’t have access to advanced medical care, then you need to fully stop the bleeding, not just slow it down. In that case, I would recommend a…

  1. Tourniquet 

This is another item that military men are trained to use in life or death situations. It works by cutting off the circulation to the wounded limb, preventing the person from losing major amounts of blood. 

If you’ve called 911 and don’t have Celox with you, a tourniquet will keep you safe for up to 2 hours. After that, it can affect the nerves, muscles, and tissues in your injured limb. 

But after SHTF, a tourniquet could make the difference between losing your limb or your life. It’s a hard decision to make – but when a life is on the line, you have to make it quick to save yourself or your loved ones.

Being a survivalist isn’t always pretty. But the fact that we’re willing to do stuff that others wouldn’t, is the reason why we’ll pull through when disaster strikes.

Be well prepared my friends, because sooner or later, we’ll all be fighting for our lives. If you’re not that well-versed in first aid for survival, I recommend you read a book on the subject like this bestseller by Beau Griffin.

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