Army Surgical Kit

An army surgical kit might be the only answer to remove a bullet or to suture a gaping wound, when hospitals are closed or you have no access to medical doctors. People disagree regarding the necessity of having a well- stocked surgical kit as one group believes that resources are better spent on food and shelter supplies, rather than surgical tools that you may not know how to use.

Others argue it is better to be prepared for an emergency with the right tools, rather than have people capable of helping a wounded comrade but not have the tools to do so.


At the very minimum, you should take a Red Cross first aid course or a basic trauma class, which will provide you with basics but may not teach you how to remove a bullet from a wounded comrade. Survival expos sometimes offer training for advanced emergency treatment and seeking out trained medical professionals to be a part of your survival group are all reasonable strategies.

Ultimately, if someone is dying and you are the only resource available to help, it is better to attempt to save a life, than to sit idle watching him or her die.

Other important resources are books and manuals such as:

  • The "US Army Special Forces Handbook", which describes how to treat medical injuries under difficult conditions.
  • Another highly recommended book is "Where There is No Doctor: A Village Healthcare Handbook" by Jane Maxwell.
  • Dr. Martin Fackler wrote "Emergency War Surgery: The Survivalist's Medical Desk Reference", which is an excellent reference for combat injuries.

It is not enough that you purchase books you also need practice such as learning to tie sutures on a dead animal rather than torturing a live one. You can also attend survival medicine workshops that doctors teach. By learning how to use the instruments in an army surgical kit, you increase the value and usefulness of yourself in a survival situation too.

Contents of an Army Surgical Kit

The military surgical kit ordinarily contains basic instruments that are needed in the field such as:

  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Curved and straight hemostats, which are clamps for blood vessels
  • Straight Scalpel handle
  • Scalpel blades
  • Pen light
  • Needle probe
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Iodine wipes
  • Sterile sutures
  • Forceps
  • Butterfly adhesive sutures

Other items that are not always included in the standard kit, but that you can add to your kit including:

  • Quikclot, a gauze that initiates the clotting factors in the body to stop bleeding
  • Suture lip scissors, for lips or moist areas
  • Absorbable and non absorbable sutures in different sizes
  • Gauze sponges
  • Steri strips
  • Anesthetic wipes

Starting with a basic military surgical kit, you can customize your army surgical kit to the people for whom you are most likely to need it. If your group has a large number of children then you should include more small sized sutures than if your group is mostly large adults.


Some people purchase surgical instruments that veterinarians use as it is sometimes easier to find and buy them. Amazon offers a variety of surgical kits including student-practicing kits, you can buy most kits under $20 and reviewers generally give high ratings to these inexpensive kits.

As you become familiar with the instruments you can replace them with higher quality tools, for example, the Kelly straight hemostat costs over $40 but for extended usage, it may be a good investment to replace the $2 one in the US Military Field Style Medic Instrument Kit.

Surgical kits and instruments often carry the warning that in case of an emergency call your doctor or 911 and only trained people should use an army surgical kit. Obviously in Armageddon, you don't have those options so getting the right supplies and developing the skills to use them, is the solution.

Remember while its fine to buy the kits –  don’t pack them away after watching a few youtube vids hoping everything will be “alright on the night”. Get yourself trained even to a basic level- and you’ll never regret it.

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