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How to Master a DIY First Aid Kit in Five Simple Steps (2023)

Posted by Jel Navarro on
Neev with First Aid Kit

Traveling is one of the most exciting ways to create memories and adventure in your life. But accidents do happen. Especially when you have hyperactive kids with you! This is where a DIY first aid kit comes in handy. While it’s very easy to find and purchase pre-made first aid kits, we still recommend making your own. Why? Because you can tweak it according to the needs of your family and not end up throwing away half the box!

How to Make Your Own First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit for travel

Unexpected emergencies like an ankle sprain or an upset tummy? All parents should be prepared! When you have a handy first aid pouch, you’ll be ready to face most travel emergencies. Here are the five steps you need to make your own first aid kit (it’s not as difficult as you think): 

1. Make a checklist - Is the first aid kit for traveling purposes? And if it is, what destinations should your first aid kit cater to? Do you have smaller children in the family? These questions will help you come up with a list of items specific to your family’s situation. 

2. Use a clear packing cube - The last thing you need during an emergency is panicking just because you can’t find what you need! Use a clear packing cube for organizing your first aid essentials. Find what you need in an instant and feel organized before leaving the house.  

3. Use pill pouches for medicine - You don’t have to bring the entire bottle of Advil. Use resealable pill pouches instead or something like baggies that you can label with the name and time of day.

4. Purchase travel-size items - If you’re building your DIY first aid kit for travel, better invest in portable-size items. Aside from using pill pouches, medicines usually come in travel-size bottles. You can also find smaller versions of bandages, gauze pads and ointments.  

Pro Tip: You probably have a couple of leftover items from previous First Aid Kits you’ve bought in the past. You’re also likely to have band aids and Advil lying around the house. Gather all these items together before going out and buying new things. You might just have a mini kit already!  

5. List of Emergency Contacts - Every DIY first aid kit should include a list of your emergency health contacts. For kids, have their pediatrician’s number or email listed. If you have pets, make sure that you keep a number of their veterinarian as well.  

General List of Items for Your DIY First Aid Kit:

Items to pack in First Aid Kit


✓ Headache Relief - If you are prone to headaches or migraines, over-the-counter medications with aspirin and acetaminophen provide relief. Pack travel size ones to keep in your purse for emergency headaches.  

✓ Anti-Inflammatory / Pain Relief - Bring some Aleve or Tylenol which work well for inflammatory pains like sunburn, arthritis and muscle cramps. Not available in all countries (in case you plan on buying at your destination) so always check first.   

✓ Decongestant / Cough Relief - Colds and coughs go hand in hand. Pack at least one decongestant to bring relief to a stuffy nose. 

✓ Allergy Relief - Sneezing and watery eyes are characteristics of an allergic problem! Try cetirizine-based medications (can cause drowsiness) or loratadine-based medications (no drowsiness) for relieving allergy issues.

✓ Sore Throat Lozenges - Don’t let a sore throat stop you from enjoying food on your trips! Pack some sore throat lozenges to stop bacteria build-up right from the start. 

✓ Anti-Diarrhea - One too many exotic (or spicy) foods can lead to an upset tummy. It’s vital to bring some anti-diarrhea medications in your DIY first aid kit. 

✓ Antacids - Try this Tums alternative for heartburn or acid reflux relief. It’s way cheaper and also tastes better (not chalky at all).  

✓ Electrolytes - When you just can’t fight diarrhea or vomiting, oral electrolytes can help avoid dehydration. Some brands have them in powdered form that you can just add water when needed!  

Wound (Boo-boo) Care  

✓ Polysporin - For treating minor scratches, burns or wounds, we recommend polysporin. You can also bring neosporin - though it can cause an allergic reaction to some due to its neomycin content.  

✓ Iodine Ointment - An all-around antibiotic remedy for wounds and even fungal skin problems. Plus, it doesn’t sting even when applied on open wounds!  

✓ Bandages / Band Aids - No more owies for kids with these. Just peel and stick on small wounded or scratched areas. 

Kids First Aid Kit

✓ Alcohol Swabs - Alcohol swabs are good for disinfecting hands, areas around wounds or even dirty surfaces! Pack a few individual pads in your homemade first aid kit.

✓ Gauze Pad & Medical Tape - Opt for ones that can cover larger wounds. 

✓ Blister Pad / Moleskin - Bring some blister pads or moleskin with you for when you didn't have the time to break in your new shoes. 

✓ Non-Latex Gloves - Helps prevent the spread of infection!

✓ Butterfly Closure Bandage - Butterfly closure bandages are good for holding more serious wounds together.

✓ Burn Pad / Second Skin - For bad sunburns or mild burns, you can bring a burn pad. It will help with cooling off the area (without adhering to the skin) and preventing blistering.


✓ Tweezers - Very handy for removing splinters from wounds!

✓ After Bite Ointment - When mosquitoes or other insects won’t stop bugging you, use an after bite ointment or gel to stop the itch!

✓ Safety Pins - There are many uses for safety pins especially for outdoor trips. They can also hold makeshift arm slings made from a bandage or bandanas so bringing a few is worth it.

✓ Thermometer - Bring a digital thermometer that each member of the family can use (just sanitize using alcohol).

✓ Hand Sanitizer - Sanitize your hands right after touching surfaces or handling items.

✓ Alcohol Spray - Not only for disinfecting wounds, but also for sanitizing handles and surfaces that will be in contact with your skin.

✓ Face Mask - The CDC recommends everyone to wear a mask during the pandemic especially when in public spaces. Be sure to pack extra disposable ones.

✓ Eye Drops - Pack handy pocket size eye drops that you can keep in your purse. 

✓ Anti-Fungal Cream - Because fungi thrive the most in moist areas (inevitable during outdoor trips when we’re sweating), pack some anti-fungal cream. 

✓ Dental Pain Relief - Tooth pain is one of the worst kinds of pain and can truly put a damper on a fun trip. Pack a Kanka Pen for temporary relief from tooth pain or gum discomfort.

Homemade First Aid Kits for Everyone

Baby / Kid’s | School | Camping | Car | Pet

Homemade first aid kits for everyone

What kind of DIY First Aid Kit are you making? Below are five of the most common types we think are worth making (plus some extra goodies you’ll need for them):

1.) Baby / Kid’s First Aid Kit:

Baby's first aid kit


✓ Children’s Pain Reliever - Pack one in your kid's favorite flavor so there's less whining when he or she needs to take the medicine. 

✓ Antihistamine - Because you never know when allergies will attack!  

✓ Nausea Medication - Take anti-nausea chewable tablets for your long trips.

✓ Baby Gas Drops/Gripe Water - Very handy especially on long road trips.

 ✓ Teething Relief - Pain from erupting teeth can lead to lots of whining and crying. Pack a teething gel that can provide relief for your bubba! 

Baby with teething toy

Wound Care 

✓ Cold Compress Ice Pack - Pack an instant cold compress ice pack that doesn't need refrigeration. Kids are always more prone to accidents. Be safe! 

✓ Saline Solution - Can help in removing dirt or debris from wounds without inducing pain or discomfort to your kiddos.  

 ✓ Colorful Band Aids / Bandages - Lessen your kid’s anxiety with cute, cartoon bandages.   

✓ Knee and Elbow Bandages - To protect kids knees from bumps, wounds and bruises. 


✓ Burn Gel - Helps relieve pain from excessive sun exposure. 

 ✓ Bug Spray - Essential when going outdoors.

✓ Water Bottle - For all day hydration (and for cleaning of wounds). 

✓ Bulb Syringe - A bulb syringe can remove snot, mucus and dirt from a baby's tiny nose!  

✓ Calamine Cream - Combat the itch from insect bites with calamine cream

 ✓ Calendula Cream - Moisture plus heat isn’t a good combo, especially for a baby's diaper area. Calendula cream is an all-natural remedy for diaper rashes and itching.

✓ Arnica Cream - Arnica cream is perfect for reducing the appearance of bruises and temporary pain relief.  

✓ Medicine Dropper - So your baby can drink his or her medicines without any hassle!

2.) School First Aid Kit: 

First aid kit for school

Hygiene (for when schools reopen)

✓ Face Mask - Aside from wearing a mask, always remind your kids to practice social distancing and wash their hands with soap frequently.

✓ Disinfectant Wipes - Pack a few Clorox wipes or antibacterial wipes to clean their desks and chairs with.

✓ Hand Sanitizer - Pack a travel size hand sanitizer that they can use before and after eating their snacks / lunch.

✓ Alcohol Spray - Teach your kids to spray alcohol on handles and surfaces before touching them.

Medicines (some schools are strict about bringing in medications, so opt for alternatives) 

 ✓ Raw Honey - If your kid is prone to developing colds and coughs, a natural remedy you can try is raw honey. One to two teaspoons of raw honey can effectively suppress coughs in children. 

✓ Natural Migraine Relief - Migraines and headaches can hinder learning in children! Use a natural migraine remedy that can reduce the occurrence of headaches.

Feminine Hygiene (For girls)  

✓ Extra Tampons/Pads - For your teenage girls, make sure you pack extra travel-size tampons and pads in their school emergency kit. It pays to be extra prepared even if they don’t have their period yet.

Mom Tip: Teach your girls what to do in case it happens at school! 

✓ Extra Undies - Don’t forget an extra pair of undies or two - leaks can and do happen.

✓ Extra Panty Liners - For those days when there’s extra visits from their period, you’ll want some extra panty liners as well.

✓ Feminine Wipes Another must have for your 'almost' lady teenager.

3.) Camping First Aid Kit:

Camping first aid kit


✓ Electrolyte Pills - It’s important to hydrate and replenish lost electrolytes when going hiking or trekking (they’re essential for energy) with the help of electrolyte pills. Don’t forget to add in water!

✓ Water Purification Tablet - If you need to drink water from questionable sources, you can use a purification tablet to clean it. We like this brand because it’s very compact and portable, and you only need 1 to 2 drops of the product to purify water.

Wound Care (more extensive because chances of accidents are higher outdoors)

✓ Hydrocortisone Cream - Insect bites aren’t unusual in the great outdoors. Pack along a hydrocortisone cream with aloe vera to get relief from itching!

✓ Burn Gel - Can help soothe burned skin after too many hours in the sun.

✓ Wound Seal Glue - Good for sealing minor cuts (when you just don’t want to deal with bandages or gauze pads).

✓ Tweezers / Scissors - For removing splinters or debris from wounds. Pack sharp scissors for cutting gauze pads into smaller pieces (must have when you travel with kids).

✓ Hemostatic Dressing - For more serious wounds or injuries involving blood, you’ll want to stop the bleeding ASAP. Clotting gauzes with kaolin are your best bets as they induce the clotting process in the body!

✓ Triangular Bandage - This versatile first aid kit item can be used as a sprain support, arm sling or bone support.

✓ Poison / Venom Extractor - Also a must in your camping first aid kit is a poison / venom extractor tool, we recommend this one from Sawyer! Make sure you learn how to use the vacuum extractor tool before your camping trip.

Other Essentials for Camping 

✓ Duct Tape - Sole from your hiking boots broken? Duct tape it. Backpack suddenly tearing apart? Duct tape it. There are many practical uses for duct tape especially on a camping or hiking trip. Do not forget it!

✓ Space Blanket - Great for retaining body heat (up to 90%) during cold winter nights. It’s also waterproof, snow proof and moisture proof.

✓ EpiPen - If you or any of your family members have severe allergic reactions to stings or bites, investing in an EpiPen might be a good idea.

✓ Beacon Locator - We can’t stress enough the importance of a beacon locator especially if you’re going to an unknown camping or hiking area.

✓ Whistle - A basic but can help in emergency situations, pack one for each member of the family! Pack one that's very loud and preferably comes with its own lanyard.

✓ Magnifying Glass - Very helpful for removing small splinters or debris from wounds.

✓ Mirror - Another basic but handy tool! Useful when you’re alone and need to remove dirt from your eye and can also double as a signaling tool.

✓ Portable Water Filter and Bottle - Aside from a purification tablet, you can also opt for a water filter.

4.) Car Emergency Kit:

Car emergency kit

Must Haves

✓ Flashlight - Very handy if your car breaks down at night! Invest in a sturdy and reliable one, make sure it’s drop and water resistant too! Don’t forget to pack some extra batteries.  

✓ Jump Cables & Starter - A dead battery is one of the most common roadside emergencies. Having jumper cables and a starter can be a lifesaver in these situations!

✓ Tow Straps - Make sure it won’t break during emergencies!  

✓ Car Emergency Escape Tool - The Ztylus Stinger Car Emergency Escape Tool can break tempered glass or cut seat belts during emergency accidents. Sure you can invest in a safety hammer but you probably stow that in your car’s trunk. This small escape tool plugs in as a USB car charger (you can easily access it during an emergency).

✓ Fire Extinguisher - Opt for a portable one that attaches to the seat rails or the mounts of your car!  

✓ Tire Changing Tools - All car emergency kits should have this. Pack the essentials like a spare tire, jack, lever, pump and gauge! You could also purchase a flat tire repair kit as a part of your Car Kit!  

✓ Roadside Reflectors - Can help prevent collisions with other vehicles in a roadside emergency scenario. Pack those that are sturdy and can resist stronger winds.

✓ Car Manual - Never ever leave home without your car manual! It usually contains tips you can use when it comes to repairing your vehicle. 

Winter Essentials

✓ Emergency Beacon Light - Very useful during winter when there’s low visibility! Aside from roadside reflectors, emergency beacon lights can prevent collisions from vehicles too.

✓ Blanket - So you can keep warm while stranded in your vehicle during cold winter time.

✓ Foldable Shovel - In case you need to remove ice or snow around your vehicle! Bring a foldable shovel that has a non-slip handle and can be folded into a compact size when not in use.

✓ Ice Scraper - Useful tool for removing ice and snow from windows and the windshield!

✓ Cat Litter / Sand - Pack some cat litter (lighter) or sand in your car’s trunk as well. They can help give traction during times when your vehicle’s stuck in deep snow.


✓ Fluids - Not a necessity for new or regularly-checked cars. But might be necessary for older vehicles. Pack fluids like oils and coolants in leak-proof bottles.

✓ Multipurpose Tool - A multipurpose tool has a knife, screwdriver, pliers, scissors and more. You can use it for a variety of emergency purposes!

✓ Safety Vest - Opt for one that is very cheap but can do wonders in making you more visible while repairing your car on the side of a busy road.

✓ Bottled Water - Hydration is very important when you’re stuck roadside especially during summer season. Pack at least a gallon of water for each person!

✓ Non-Perishable Foods - You don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without food! Make sure you have non-perishable foods stored in your car to keep you nourished during an emergency situation. 

5.) Doggie’s First Aid Kit:

Pet's first aid kit


✓ Hydrogen Peroxide / Activated Charcoal - Just in case your pet eats something they aren’t supposed to, you can use hydrogen peroxide for inducing vomiting.

✓ Allergy Relief Medication - Pack a natural remedy for allergy problems (same symptoms as humans like sneezing and watery eyes).  

✓ Calming Chews - If you’re planning going on a long road trip with your pet, it might be ideal to pack some calming chews in your first aid kit. It helps calm and relax your pet who might not be used to traveling.  

Wound Care

✓ Muzzle - Often overlooked but essential when handling dogs that are in pain! Pack a travel-size muzzle and make sure it fits your dog’s size. 

✓ Tweezers - Yup, your pet can be victim to splinters too! Pack a reliable set of tweezers.

✓ Antiseptic Spray - An antiseptic spray is easier for disinfecting wounds because you don’t need to use your hands to spread the product. Very handy with active dogs!

✓ Waterproof Gauze Pad / Medical Tape - Because dogs love stepping or walking into water and puddles, you’ll need some waterproof gauze pads and medical tape to protect their wounds. 

✓ Wound Cream - Ideal for more serious and deeper wounds that just can’t be cleansed using an antiseptic spray. Use a cotton pad or ball to spread the wound cream on the affected area.

✓ Non-Adhesive Vet Wrap - Multi-purpose wraps that don’t adhere to our furry friend’s skin are also a must. Pack those that cling to itself and can be ripped without scissors.

Other Essentials for your Furry Friend

✓ Tick Twister - Get rid of pesky ticks with a tick twister tool - it removes ticks without leaving the mouth part or squeezing them!

✓ Nail Clippers - Broken nails and bleeding can happen while you’re busy exploring the city or the woods!

✓ Blunt Tip Scissors - For removing bandages (without hurting your pet), pack a small blunt-tip scissors. 

✓ Extra Leash - Useful when your main leash suddenly breaks or gets lost! If going on an overnight outdoor trip, make sure you double your dog’s leash for safety.

✓ Collapsible Food & Water Bowl - Because your dog needs something to drink or eat from when you’re traveling! This one folds up so small too.

✓ Medicine Dropper - In case your pet needs to take medicine while traveling, pack a medicine dropper for easy access.

Now you’re ready for any emergency coming your way. Remember, the items listed above are just additional ones. Our General List of Items in a DIY First Aid Kit showcase the main items necessary for your first aid kit. You can also add or remove items according to you and your family’s needs and depending on the specific trip you’re taking.

Now you’re ready to make your DIY first aid kit!

Whether it’s a first aid bag for general purposes, for babies, for kids, for school, for camping or for your pet, you’ve got all the essentials you need! Check out our different size packing cubes you can use for your homemade first aid kit. If you want something for travel size items, our Extra Small Cube is your best option! It’s good for a DIY kid’s first aid kit or a mini medication kit for your purse.

Buy XS Cube in Amazon

If you want something a little more roomy, our Small Cube is ideal! It can fit in your personal bag, tote bag or backpack. It’s great as a camping first aid kit or hiking first aid kit. Our Medium and Large Cubes are ideal for home or car emergency kits. Just stack them under the bed or in your car’s trunk for easy access during an emergency!

Now don’t get overwhelmed here! Decide which First Aid Kit is your priority and start with that one. Choose from different sizes of packing cubes for different types of emergencies. Always be prepared!

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