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Visiting 1830

There are no words to describe our love for this place. We feel very fortunate to live less than an hour away. This weekend, I brought my camera. Care to take a stroll through 1830 with me?

























Of course, there is nothing truly ideal about living in 1830 compared to (some of the) advancements of today, but you can't help feeling inspired and encouraged by the quiet pace and purposeful days.

Looking forward to our Christmas visit...

Creating a Family First Aid Kit


A couple of weeks ago I shared a picture on Instagram as I was restocking one of our first aid kits, and some of you asked for a closer look by way of a blog post. So, I thought we’d do that today. Of course, it goes without saying that I am no expert in the area, and our first aid kit should not be taken as a correct example to model your own after. But, just the same, I find this sort of thing helpful on a community level; we can learn a great from each other by sharing these sort of details. Our kit is a combination of natural and allopathic supplies, both have their proper place. Western medicine in particular is excellent at managing trauma/high emergency situations.

The kit I am sharing today is not our main kit for at home use, rather it is the kit that travels with us back and forth to Vermont. It’s not as extensive as the one we keep at home, but it is larger than the few band-aids, alcohol wipes, and essential oils that I keep in my purse. It is designed with the most likely needs we would face while working on our land, which is located in Vermont's remote Northeast Kingdom. Medical facilities are not close by, so the ability to buy us some time in the event of an emergency (or simply deal with minor injuries on our own) was the thinking behind designing this kit.

I guess that’s a pretty good mindset for building any first aid kit, to think about the most likely injuries you would experience while this particular kit is close by, and create it accordingly. When we thought about the most likely medical needs we would experience up north, the list wound up being surprisingly short, but the needs are still important, should they arise.

Given our remote location, the type of work we are doing, and encountering the natural habitat (plants, insects, etc.), the following are the most likely medical situations we could face.

  • burns
  • poison ivy
  • mosquito/black fly bites
  • bee stings
  • sprained ankle, knee, wrist
  • cuts (minor and major)
  • blood loss - resulting from major cuts
  • infection
  • broken bones
  • head trauma

(Surely I'm forgetting a few things at the time of this writing.)


What's Inside? First I'll write up a master list then I'll share photos with descriptions of how I organize it all.


First Aid Kit Contains:

  • rolled gauze
  • gauze pads in various sizes
  • medical tape
  • sterile gloves (two sizes)
  • antibacterial hand wipes
  • alcohol prep pads
  • essential oils
  • reference card for essential oil uses
  • cotton balls
  • scissors
  • yard of muslin
  • Gin-Gins
  • antacids
  • Advil/Aspirin
  • Benadryl
  • colloidal silver
  • band-aids, various sizes
  • first aid antibiotic cream
  • healing balm 
  • anti-itch balm
  • anti-itch spray
  • tissues
  • spare reading glasses
  • cocoa butter cream
  • chapstick
  • floss
  • Vaseline
  • hair elastics
  • q-tips
  • sanitary napkin(s)
  • emergency rescue blanket


Now I'll share close up photos and descriptions explaining why each item is included.


The contents of our kit are organized into quart sized freezer ziploc bags (freezer bags are stronger than storage bags). I have a few categories that items fall under, and a few things are just tucked into the tote as is. The ziplocs help things stay dry, clean, easy to access, and organized.


The essential oils I keep in our kit are oregano, lavender, tea tree, breathe (blend), lemon, frankincense, digest zen (blend), deep blue (blend), on guard (blend). All of the blends are from doTERRA. I also love the essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. The reference card is a great guide for the many uses these oils offer. Essential oils are used for so many things - from treatment of cuts, bites, and stings, to relief from headaches, muscle aches, stomach upset and respiratory troubles.


Scissors are used for multiple reasons. A yard of clean muslin can be used as a sling, torn into strips for a tourniquet or to hold a splint in place, etc. There really are 101 uses for clean cloth! A couple of sanitary napkins. You do not need to give up your cloth reusable pads or your diva cup... just get a couple of these disposable pads and put them in your kit. Why? Because they are clean and highly absorbent. When a person suffers a severe laceration that produces substantial bleeding, apply one of these with light pressure (cloth side facing wound, no need to remove adhesive covering) and secure with some muslin or a bandanna. Not only will it help you manage the bleeding, but it will keep the wound covered and clean until you can seek further medical attention.


Medical tape, various sizes of gauze pads, and rolled gauze. I really like how this rolled gauze is sealed in individual packages - a few yards in each.


In our medicine bag I keep a few basics. Again, this was put together with emergencies, or abrupt discomfort in mind.

Advil - At home we might have the patience to ease a headache away with some lemon balm tea, but in a more remote situation, pain can be pretty consuming, and we have a family member that occasionally suffers from migraines.  It's best to be prepared. I don't think that is actually Advil in the container, but something similar. I can't remember... I tend to call all OTC pain relievers "Advil."

Benadryl - We are not allergy people, but the Benadryl is included in the event of a severe bee sting(s) in which we need to buy time while we seek medical attention. Last year while installing a fence with Adam, Emily unearthed a bee nest and was stung multiple times. She was fine in the end, but had she reacted severely, plantain and lavender would not have been enough to help her.

Antacids - We may not be allergy people, but we are food intolerance people! Sometimes while away from our main home base we find ourselves eating food that we would not normally. Unfortunately for Adam and I, any type of baked good can trigger heartburn (this is very disappointing!). Not a life threatening situation, and honestly something that is only faced a couple of times a year, but if it happens away from home, a few antacids are a small yet thorough comfort.

Gin-Gins - aside from a particular green leafy herb that is illegal, this is the only remedy I know of to significantly ease or eliminate nausea - they are amazing!

Colloidal Silver - considered a natural antibiotic. There is plenty of controversy out there concerning its efficacy, so please do your own research and decide for yourself if it has a place in your kit. Again, for the use of this particular kit, it could be a necessary thing to reach for in certain situations. Though we've never needed to and hope to keep it that way.


Hand wipes and cottons balls are pretty self-explanatory for a typical first aid kit. The rescue blanket though, is a good example of thinking about the most likely situations you will face while your kit is close by. For us, potential blunt force trauma, a serious fall (broken bone), or chain saw injury (blood loss), could result in a person going into shock while emergency treatment is being sought out. In such cases, body temperature can drop significantly; a rescue blanket can be very helpful.


Wound care! The most reached for items in any first aid kit. The items we've included are pretty standard. Minor cuts, splinters, burns, insect bites, and poison ivy are the most likely injuries we will ever face. In this bag we have alcohol pads for cleaning cuts, various band-aids, antibiotic cream, Injur-Heal Balm (we make two kinds of salve here, but this one from Mountain Rose Herbs is excellent and still sealed so I've tucked it into our kit), sterile gloves for helping to care for others, anti-itch spray and balm from Rachel of Lusa Organics. The balm can be found in her shop, but Rachel whipped up the spray for me this summer when I was suffering from poison ivy. It works so well! I think she may have plans to add it to her product line next year.


 This section contains personal items that are not necessarily crucial, but small comforts that do not take up much space. Tissues, hair elastics, floss, q-tips, cocoa butter lotion, chapstick, extra reading glasses, and Vaseline. I'm not a fan of Vaseline but it came free with the travel size q-tips so I tossed it in here. My mom rubbed it on my cheeks when I was a kid to prevent chapped skin in the winter... so I've got that idea filed away.


Once it's all packed up it stores in a shoe box sized plastic tote. I secure the whole thing with a rubber band for extra protection, but am going to switch the rubber band with one of those elastic, non-slip athletic headbands that my daughter uses which will provide multi-purpose options.

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You may have noticed that I do not keep herbs in our first aid kit. Because this kit is designed to be used away from a tea kettle and such, they are not the most practical addition (although I could include a couple of tinctures). Again, emergencies like blood loss, burns, etc., are our most likely scenarios. Salves, essential oils, and basic first aid supplies are the most practical items for us to include. Upon reviewing how this kit is working for us, a few additional items have come to mind that I'll be including. I may need to switch to a slightly bigger storage box, but only one size up.


Still Need to Add:

  • ace bandage(s)
  • contact lens solution
  • finger cots - if you've ever worked in a restaurant kitchen, you know how valuable these are for keeping a wound protected while getting on with your work.
  • cpr/basic first aid booklet
  • instant ice/heat packs
  • coconut oil - as a carrier for essential oils
  • arnica - pain from injury
  • oscillococcinum - flu remedy
  • tweezers
  • bandanna


If you're into this sort of thing, as I am, might I suggest these two books? Medical Preparedness focuses on holistic emergency medicine and is an interesting reference tool. The Prepper's Blueprint does indeed speak to the prepper mentality, but not in the panicked, made-for-TV kind of way. Tess is very thoughtful and down to earth. I really like her approach to thinking about how you will take care of basic needs should outside help be unavailable.

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I guess this about sums it up. It goes without saying that our kit is not perfect. There are things I haven’t thought of, so please feel free to share items from your first aid kit that you have found to be valuable. And may we all stay boo-boo free and perfectly healthy!

Edited to add one more thing! If you are building a new kit for yourself, don't forget to check out the dollar store for supplies. Especially things like gauze, band-aids, medical tape, etc. You never know what they will have, and they always have something.