What is the Best First Aid Kit For a Boat?


Are you a planner or a non-planner? If you’re a planner, you’ve considered everything you need on your boat, right down to the nitty-gritty. You’ve thought about accidents that could happen, and you’ve planned accordingly with a boating first aid kit.

But where is your boating first aid kit stored right now? Is it hidden away under a whole bunch of stuff in a cabinet somewhere or in a plastic packet stashed in a storage bin? It’s great that you’ve never needed it, but on the day you do need it, how long will it take to find it?

Many non-planners have not even given first aid a second thought – you’ve never actually sat down and made a list of what you may need should an emergency arise while onboard. Maybe, you realize in retrospect … after the fact that a first aid kit would have helped in a particular situation. 

I’m sure most of you reading this are big on safety, but you get guys out there who do the weirdest things on boats, and maybe you need a kit to save someone else’s day.

How do you Pick the Best Boating First Aid Kit?

There are so many kits on the market, and you will never find a “one fits all.” If you’ve ever tried to put your own kit together, you’ll know that buying up everything you need is expensive, and you end up getting way too many unnecessary supplies. Look for multi-use items that will help save space because you want to have enough supplies without unnecessary fluff.

So what is the best boating first aid kit?

Well, recently, I started looking at replacing my own first aid kit. The first aid kit we had was good, but we have used a few things over the years, and other items were misplaced. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, kids love red boxes with a big white cross on them. During my research, I came across Surviveware Waterproof First Aid Kit, and here are a few reasons I like it and why I think you should get one.

Waterproof Casing

You want to keep your kit in a prominent position on deck. Having a bright red kit placed where you and others can see it will help immensely in a tight situation. For this, you will need a waterproof casing.

This Surviveware Kit is fully waterproof (including the zip) with an IPX7 rating (it can go up to 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes without leaking) – in addition if the kit should accidentally fall into the water, it floats. The zipper is strong (so strong you should lubricate it with the lube provided for easy opening and closing) and certified to 1000 zips. The seams are also welded together and not sewn, which makes the kit super watertight.

First Aid Kid Mounting Options

You have options with this kit. It needs to be seen, so it includes MOLLE compatible snaps, straps, and D-rings to allow you to mount the kit anywhere on your boat. It even has a strong Velcro panel so that if you need it somewhere else, you can rip it off the panel and take it with you—no fiddling with straps in an emergency.

Due to these mounting options, you can take the kit anywhere. You can even attach it to your backpack and take it kayaking, hiking, climbing, etc. It’s truly one of a kind first aid kit.

It is Well Organized

This kit is the first of its kind globally – fully waterproof and organized in labeled compartments. I love the labeling of compartments and think they are great for two reasons.

Firstly, the labels are helpful when you’re trying to think during an emergency. They steer you to the right place.

Secondly, this helps when supplies need to be replenished – you can see at a glance which supplies you’ve run out of. All you need to do is order a refill kit, and voila! You’re done. You won’t have to buy endless supplies that sit in a cupboard waiting to be used and then end up throwing half of them away because they’re way past their expiry date. 

Supplies Included With Surviveware Kit

Let’s take a look at what supplies you’ll have in this kit. Remember, no one size fits all first aid kits; all kits should be customized to your own preferences. The best thing you can do is get hold of a good basic supply and add what you need. This kit leaves space for customization, but for the most part, it contains everything you need to have in the First Aid Kit that you keep on your boat.

  • Trauma or Bandage Shears – A stainless steel, blunt-tipped (to avoid nicking yourself or someone else), serrated edge that cuts through thick fabric like denim and seatbelts.
  • Alcohol and Cleaning Wipes – Antiseptic to keep the wound clean.
  • String Relief Wipes – provides relief from stings with a cooling sensation and alleviates the itch to stop us from scratching; scratching causes infections. 
  • Adhesive Bandages – Butterfly (Large/medium), Large, Standard, Mini, Square, H-shape; as discussed previously, options are good. 
  • Bandages – Combine Dressing (for a heavy bleed), conforming bandage (for a joint injury, it contours and supports), Pressure bandage (prevents hematoma’s from forming over a wound), Triangular bandage (arm sling or improvised padding for heavy bleeds).
  • Gauze Swabs – To dress wounds.
  • CPR Kit With Instructions – Like the labels, it’s best to have clear instructions to help you think in an emergency. I’ve never seen a CPR kit in a first aid kit, but this one has it, and you can’t complain about that.
  • Ear Buds – Used to apply ointment and clean a wound and, according to doctors, not clean the ear! They’re also great for cleaning “hard to get to” small areas on your boat or gear.
  • Emergency Blanket – Used in the treatment of shock or hypothermia. Engine cuts or severe weather changes can take you by surprise; you’ll be able to stay warm and keep your body temperature regulated. Or if another person on the boat has suffered a severe injury and is in shock, they’ll need to be kept warm.
  • Eye Pads – Protection from infection or eye strain and protect an already injured eye from further injury. 
  • Fever Strips – A quick reading strip to help monitor the temperature until help arrives.
  • First Aid Handbook – familiarize yourself with its contents.
  • Hypoallergenic Tape – Secures dressings, bandages, and splints.
  • Nitrile Gloves – Wear gloves whenever you’re dealing with other people’s blood or body fluids. Nitrile gloves are more puncture-resistant, and some people have allergic reactions to latex. 
  • HydroGel – Works to cool down a burn wound and keep it from getting infected.
  • Laminate Bags – Use these bags to include your own personal prescription or over-the-counter medicine. Add supplies for nausea (Dramamine), diarrhea (Imodium), inflammation, pain, and fever (Aspirin, Tylenol & Ibuprofen). 
  • Safety Pins – Used to secure bandages and a makeshift arm sling. They can be used as hooks to catch fish or last resort wound closures in a survival situation. 
  • Skin Cleaning Wipes – Keep a wound clean and clear from infection.
  • Splinter Probes – It’s either this or a safety pin.
  • Strip Wound Closure – Again… it’s either this or a safety pin, and unless you’re Chuck Norris, you’ll probably prefer the less invasive version. 
  • Tweezers – Take out splinters and other debris from a wound, thread a needle, tighten loose screws on your glasses… multi-uses.
  • Whistle – You can hear high pitch whistles from far away if you ever get in trouble of some kind while on the water. 

Other Kit Ideas to Customize

If you think that what Surviveware Kit offers is not enough for your needs, here are some additional first aid supplies to think about.

  • A 36-inch splint in case of bone breaks, fractures, or a neck injury. It is pliable but firm when curved into shape to support a limb or the neck. 
  • Wet Wipes (extra-large, biodegradable, odorless) for onboard “showers” or clean up after a day of fishing off the boat. 
  • Outdoor Duct Tape for those emergencies you can patch up to fix later. Extra strong, easy tear technology. I carry this with me while fishing with an inflatable kayak. You never know when the puncture might happen.

Whether you’re a planner or a non-planner, it goes without saying that everyone needs the peace of mind a properly stocked kit can bring. So stop with the excuses and get yourself a Surviveware First Aid Kit; excuses will not help you when you need it most, first aid kit will.

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