Essential Components of a Four-Wheel-Drive First Aid Kit
Hitting the great outdoors can be an exciting and fun-filled event, but it is one in which proper safety becomes more imperative than ever - especially when travelling to remote locations.
Your 4WD first aid kit should include all you need to tackle an emergency, so read on to find out what should go inside.
What must I have in a 4wd first aid kit?
Short answer: your 4WD kit must be complete and comprehensive. It should include a variety of bandages, wound dressings, antiseptic, vitals such as a CPR shield and emergency blanket and more.
- Aim for a durable, water resistant exterior.
- It is a good idea to include an essential first aid instruction booklet too.
- Locate an accessible backup restock avenue to replace supplies as they run out.
- Check out our list below for a range of ready made 4WD kits!
What Must be Found in a 4wd First Aid Kit?
Your 4WD kit is arguably the most crucial piece of equipment that will accompany you on your trip.
On the road (and off it) we face a variety of potential hazards and safety threats - accidents, snake/spider bites or injuries to name a few!
- Your 4WD kit must be comprehensive, inclusive and carry the bare minimum essentials to address these common situations.
- It should also be durable and (preferably) waterproof.
Below is a list of what your kit should contain.
4WD first aid kit components:
- A selection of bandages; crepe, conforming, triangular, adhesive (band-aids) and compression (snake bite bandages)
- Antiseptic solution, spray and/or wipes
- Adhesive skin tape
- Wound dressings (a variety); including non adherent, burn dressings and sterile dressings
- Bandage shears
- Saline solution (tubes/solution)
- Gauze swabs (sterile)
- Eye pads
- Hydrogel/burn gel
- Emergency thermal blanket
- 1x Instant ice pack
- Tweezers and a tick removal spoon (splinter probes are recommended too)
- Disposable nitrile gloves
- Multiple plastic bags
- CPR resuscitation face shield
- Safety pins
- Notepad and a pen/pencil
- A basic first aid instruction booklet or leaflet (this should come with your kit)
- Optional: any prescription/OTC medications you take.
Include more than one of each bandage, or ideally a variety of sizes to cater to various injuries.
Your kit should include crepe bandages, conforming/self adhesive bandages, triangular bandages and snake bite (also known as compression) bandages.
To secure bandages.
Include a variety of wound dressings.
Your kit should contain non-adherent, sterile, burn and combine dressings.
Multiple of each is recommended.
For cutting bandages.
Include some saline tubes for flushing wounds/eyes.
Gauze swabs provide essential wound padding and coverage.
Eye pads are essential to include in case of an eye injury - make sure to pack multiple.
Include either a tube or individual sachets of hydrogel.
Either a disposable or reusable emergency blanket is essential for temperature regulation.
Make sure you also have CPR instructions/a leaflet on hand.
Is is recommended to include one if it doesn’t.
A medications kit can also include painkillers, antihistamines, hydrocortisone cream and anti-diarrhoea medications or laxatives.
- An emergency radio (especially if remote/off-grid)
- A signalling mirror
- An emergency/SOS whistle
- Backup food, water and/or clothing supplies.
What is The Price Range For The Best 4wd Kit?
The price range of a 4WD kit varies depending on the inclusions and features of the kit.
When purchasing a kit, you should therefore take into account:
- Your budget
- The extent to which your kit needs to be able to serve you in an emergency.
- An emergency/SOS whistle
- Backup food, water and/or clothing supplies.
Example: if you are somebody who regularly travels, works or drives with your 4WD your needs for a kit may be different to someone that only requires one periodically.
Comprehensive kits include a more broad, general variety of supplies.
Prices range from a starter essential kit at around $80-100+ up to approx $280 for a complete, comprehensive kit that covers all bases.
Note: the exterior of your kit may influence pricing - some kits come in a hard box as opposed to a fabric covering.
This is preferable for some people.
In our Survival 4WD bundle, for instance, you have the option of either a waterproof bag or waterproof box to suit your needs. (The former currently retails at $229.95 and the latter at $279.95).
Where Can I Get a Complete Kit?
- Recommended: Survival 4WD First Aid Bundle
- The 4wd bundle is a combination of 2 of our popular first aid kits - the Workplace First Aid Kit and the Remote & Outdoor Module.
- Containing everything you could possibly need when travelling, this kit also offers a choice between a waterproof hard box or bag to keep your contents safe.
- All items disclosed above are contained in the kit.
- Off-road/4WD and travel retailers
- 4WD Supacentre
- Additional First Aid retailers
For a complete, comprehensive 4wd kit that includes both the basics and comfort essentials you will need to cover you in common emergencies; check out our Survival 4WD Bundle.
To view the extensive list of contents, check it out here!
It is not always the case that you have time to wait for an online purchase, and we recognise the occasional need for in-store access.
4WD Supacentre stock a range of first aid kits for this purpose here, also offering our Survival range.
How Can I Maintain Each Component of the 4wd Kit?
After you have purchased your 4WD kit, proper maintenance and restocking practices are crucial to optimising its usefulness.
Let’s go through a rundown of how to carefully maintain the main components of your kit.
- Replace all disposable/non-reusable items after their initial use.
- Avoid exposing your items to water (keep them in their waterproof bag) to prevent rust and other issues (for shears etc).
- Replace all items as their expiry date occurs.
This includes bandages, CPR face shields, gloves and wound dressings.
You should also replace your emergency thermal blanket if it is disposable.
Remember not to use items that have had their packaging compromised/damaged.
When it’s time to restock:
Eventually, you will burn through and need to replenish some supplies.
Knowing where to purchase restock supplies is the other crucial aspect of maintaining your kit.
You can find replacement first aid supplies at:
- First Aid retailers
- Medical supply stores
- Major chemist retailers
- Select sporting, off-road/off-grid or 4WD goods stores (although range may be less broad/limited).
We will also detail some specifics in the list below:
- Restocking your Survival 4WD Bundle
- Other reputable First Aid suppliers
- Restock for St John kits is located here - where you can select your respective kit.
- NSW First Aid has a comprehensive range from which you can purchase individual supplies here.
- National First Aid has a selection of refill kits (note: not sole/individual supplies) that you can view here. Individual supplies can be found here.
- The Michael Hughes foundation offers a restocking service and even provides defibrillator checks (should this be a part of your kit).
- Chemists and franchises
- Chemist Warehouse
- Terry White
Below are several popular locations that stock first aid supplies:
With a solid range that includes many restock essentials, you may find Chemist Warehouse an easy option.
While you likely won’t find everything necessary for your kit here, they do supply many basic bandages and vitals like antiseptics.
Are there any additional components I will need when travelling remote?
If an incident or accident occurs whilst remote, you face a greater safety threat due to reduced accessibility of emergency services.
For this reason, we recommend bringing along an emergency radio/means of contact - especially if you will be without reception.
You may also wish to pack signalling devices or a compass (mirror and whistle).
Where can I find a good first aid booklet?
You can find our Survival First Aid ebook here, which is also available for purchase as a hard copy.
We hope you now possess the knowledge to become adequately equipped with your 4WD/off-road first aid essentials!
Remember… being well prepared in advance can make the difference between a comfortable trip and an unpleasant/dangerous one.