Survivalists are prepared individuals who prioritize their ability to stay alive in extreme situations. In such circumstances, having knowledge of what to use for an emergency IV can be a life-saving skill. When medical assistance is not readily available, knowing how to administer fluids and medications intravenously can make a significant difference in a survival situation.

In this article, we will explore the essential components of an emergency IV kit, the importance of IVs in survival situations, what would a survivalist use for an emergency IV, and various improvised techniques and remedies that survivalists can utilize. Whether you find yourself in the wilderness or facing a natural disaster, these life-saver hacks can provide the necessary knowledge and resources to stay healthy and maintain hydration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Survivalists prioritize their ability to stay alive in extreme situations.

  • Knowledge of what to use for an emergency IV can be crucial in a survival scenario.

  • An emergency IV kit should include essential components such as IV cannulas and catheters.

  • Improvised IV techniques can be used when traditional equipment is unavailable.

  • Purification methods for IV fluids are essential to ensure safety and sterility.

The Importance of IVs in Survival Situations

When faced with life-threatening situations, survivalists understand the importance of maintaining hydration, administering medication, and restoring essential nutrients through intravenous (IV) therapy. In survival scenarios where access to clean water and medical facilities is limited or non-existent, IVs can be a life-saver. IV therapy provides a direct route for fluids, medication, and nutrients to enter the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and ensuring quick absorption and delivery to the body.

In survival situations, dehydration can occur rapidly due to physical exertion, exposure to extreme temperatures, or limited water resources. IVs play a critical role in preventing and treating dehydration, as they can efficiently provide fluids to rehydrate the body. IV fluids can also replenish electrolytes and restore the body’s fluid balance, which is essential for proper organ function and overall well-being.

Furthermore, in emergency situations, immediate access to medication can be crucial. IVs enable the administration of medication directly into the bloodstream, allowing for rapid onset and maximum effectiveness. Survivalists may need antibiotics to treat infections, pain medication for injuries, or even epinephrine to counter severe allergic reactions. Having the means to administer these medications intravenously can greatly enhance chances of survival in challenging circumstances.

The Importance of Proper Training and Preparation

While IV therapy can be a life-saving tool in survival situations, it is important to note that its successful use requires proper training and preparation. Survivalists should familiarize themselves with the necessary skills and techniques for IV administration, including finding suitable veins, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring accurate dosage. It is advisable to seek professional training or guidance before attempting to perform IV therapy without medical supervision.

Given the critical role that IVs play in survival situations, it is crucial for survivalists to include IV-related items in their emergency kits. These may include IV cannulas, IV catheters, bandages, syringes, and saline solution. Additionally, having knowledge of alternative techniques, such as improvised IVs using cut water bottles or piercing cannulas, can be invaluable when conventional supplies are not available.

Benefits of IV Therapy in Survival Situations
Efficient rehydration and restoration of fluid balance
Rapid administration of medication for immediate relief and treatment
Direct delivery of essential nutrients for sustained energy and health
Potential to save lives in emergency situations where medical help is limited

By understanding the importance of IVs in survival situations and ensuring the necessary knowledge, training, and supplies, survivalists can significantly enhance their preparedness and increase their chances of surviving even the most challenging circumstances.

Essential Components of an Emergency IV Kit

An emergency IV kit should contain essential items such as IV cannulas, IV catheters, saline solution, sterile water, tourniquets, alcohol swabs, tape, syringes, needles, tubing, drip chambers, roller clamps, Y connectors, extension tubing, and infusion pumps. These components are crucial for administering intravenous fluids and medications in survival situations. Let’s take a closer look at each item and its importance in an emergency IV kit.

IV Cannulas and IV Catheters

IV cannulas and IV catheters are thin, hollow tubes used for accessing veins and delivering fluids or medications directly into the bloodstream. They come in various sizes, with smaller gauges for delicate veins and larger gauges for faster flow rates. These devices are essential for establishing reliable access points for administering intravenous therapy.

See also  Affordable Healthcare Options: What is a Prepaid Medical Assistance Program?

Saline Solution and Sterile Water

Saline solution, also known as normal saline, is a sterile solution containing sodium chloride and water. It is used to restore electrolyte balance and provide hydration. Sterile water, on the other hand, is used as a diluent for medications or for reconstituting powdered medications. Both saline solution and sterile water must be included in an emergency IV kit to ensure the availability of suitable fluids for patient care.

TourniquetsTourniquets are used to temporarily stop blood flow to a limb, facilitating vein visualization and easier cannulation.
Alcohol SwabsAlcohol swabs are essential for sterilizing the skin before venipuncture, reducing the risk of infection.
TapeTape is used to secure the IV cannula or catheter in place to prevent accidental dislodgement.
Syringes and NeedlesSyringes and needles are necessary for drawing medications from vials, reconstituting powdered medications, and administering them via the IV route.
Tubing, Drip Chambers, and Roller ClampsTubing, drip chambers, and roller clamps are used to create a closed system for intravenous infusion, ensuring a consistent and controlled flow rate.
Y Connectors and Extension TubingY connectors and extension tubing allow for the connection of additional IV lines or the extension of existing lines for various therapeutic needs.
Infusion PumpsInfusion pumps are electronic devices that can be used to automate the delivery of IV fluids and medications, providing precise control over infusion rates.

Having an emergency IV kit stocked with these essential components ensures that a survivalist is prepared to provide lifesaving intravenous care when medical resources may be limited or inaccessible. It is important to regularly check and replenish the kit’s supplies to maintain their integrity and effectiveness.

Improvised IV Techniques in Survival Scenarios

In situations where a pre-made IV kit is unavailable, a resourceful survivalist can employ various improvised techniques to administer lifesaving fluids. These techniques utilize common items that can be found in a survivalist’s kit or in the surrounding environment.

Using a Cut Water Bottle

A cut water bottle can serve as a makeshift IV bag. To create an IV drip, the bottom of the bottle can be removed, and the opening can be sealed with a piece of fabric or plastic wrap secured with duct tape. The bottle can then be filled with sterilized water or a prepared IV solution. A small hole can be made in the cap, through which a makeshift IV tube can be inserted and secured.

Table 1: Steps for Creating a Cut Water Bottle IV Drip

Materials NeededSteps
Cut water bottle1. Cut the bottom of the water bottle
Fabric or plastic wrap2. Seal the opening with fabric or plastic wrap
Duct tape3. Secure the fabric or plastic wrap with duct tape
IV tube4. Create a small hole in the cap and insert the IV tube

Using a Piercing Cannula

A piercing cannula, typically used for inserting body jewelry, can be repurposed as an improvised IV catheter. The cannula can be sterilized using alcohol swabs or by boiling it in water. Once sterilized, it can be inserted into a vein to establish an IV line. However, caution must be exercised to ensure proper hygiene and minimize the risk of infection.

Using a Plant Hook, Tree Branch, or Belt/Rope Tourniquet

In situations where a traditional tourniquet is unavailable, a survivalist can utilize a sturdy plant hook, a strong tree branch, or a belt/rope as a makeshift tourniquet. Applying pressure on the selected limb above the injection site can help constrict blood flow and make the veins more prominent, aiding in the insertion of the improvised IV.

Remember, improvised IV techniques should only be used as a last resort in emergency situations. It is essential to prioritize safety, cleanliness, and proper sterilization when utilizing these methods. Seek professional medical assistance as soon as possible.

Purification Methods for IV Fluids

In emergency situations, it is crucial to purify any water or fluids used for IVs. The availability of clean and safe fluids is essential to prevent further complications. Here are some effective purification methods:

  1. Boiling water: Boiling water for 2-3 minutes can eliminate most bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It is a simple and reliable method that can be done using a heat source such as a campfire or stove.
  2. Adding salt and sugar: Another method is to add a small amount of salt and sugar to the water. This combination helps to balance electrolytes and provides some essential nutrients.
  3. Utilizing purified water: If you have access to purified or filtered water, it can be used directly for IV fluids. Purification systems like the LifeSaver Jerrycan can remove microscopic contaminants, ensuring the water is safe to use.
  4. Using small amounts of bleach or colloidal silver: In dire situations, a tiny amount of bleach or colloidal silver can be added to water to kill bacteria and viruses. However, it is crucial to use the recommended amounts and to follow proper guidelines for safe usage.

Remember that these methods are intended for emergency situations only and should not replace proper medical supplies or guidance. It is always best to consult a medical professional if possible. In survival scenarios, improvisation is often necessary, but prioritizing safety and cleanliness is paramount to avoid additional health risks.

Purification MethodProsCons
Boiling WaterEffective against bacteria, viruses, and parasitesRequires a heat source and may not remove chemical contaminants
Adding Salt and SugarHelps balance electrolytes and provide some essential nutrientsDoes not remove microscopic contaminants
Utilizing Purified WaterSafe to use if the water has been properly purified or filteredRequires access to purified water sources
Using Bleach or Colloidal SilverKills bacteria and viruses in small amountsMust be used in recommended quantities and may have potential side effects if used incorrectly
See also  Preppers Medical Supplies: Your Essential Checklist for Any Crisis

These purification methods can help ensure that the fluids used in emergency IV situations are as clean and safe as possible. However, it is important to remember that these methods may not eliminate all potential contaminants, and seeking professional medical assistance whenever possible is always advised.

Medications and Substances for Emergency IVs

To address specific medical needs during survival situations, a well-prepared survivalist may include medications and substances such as fluids, electrolytes, glucose, antibiotics, epinephrine, antihistamines, antiemetics, pain medication, and potentially even blood products in their emergency IV kit.

In terms of fluids, it is essential to have a variety available, including saline solution for hydration and electrolyte replenishment. Electrolytes are crucial for maintaining proper bodily functions, especially during times of physical stress or dehydration. Glucose solutions are also important to provide the body with energy and maintain blood sugar levels.

Antibiotics are essential for preventing or treating infections that may arise during survival situations. It is crucial to have a broad-spectrum antibiotic in your emergency IV kit to cover a range of potential infections. Epinephrine, on the other hand, is a life-saving medication used to treat severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. Having access to epinephrine can be crucial in emergency situations.

Antihistamines and antiemetics can be beneficial for managing allergies, nausea, and vomiting that may occur during survival situations. These medications can provide relief and improve overall comfort. For pain relief, having access to appropriate pain medication, such as over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medication, can greatly enhance the survivalist’s ability to manage discomfort and continue with necessary tasks.

In certain circumstances, blood products may be necessary to address severe injuries or blood loss. While obtaining and storing blood products is challenging, it is worth considering including them in a well-prepared emergency IV kit, especially for survivalists who anticipate potentially dangerous situations or remote locations.

Overall, having a comprehensive selection of medications and substances in your emergency IV kit can significantly improve your ability to address medical needs in survival situations. However, it is important to remember that proper training and knowledge on how to administer these medications and substances is essential for their safe and effective use.

Fluids (saline solution)Hydration and electrolyte replenishment
ElectrolytesMaintain bodily functions and balance
Glucose solutionProvide energy and maintain blood sugar levels
AntibioticsPrevent or treat infections
EpinephrineTreat severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis
AntihistaminesManage allergies
AntiemeticsPrevent or alleviate nausea and vomiting
Pain medicationRelieve pain and discomfort
Blood productsTreat severe injuries or blood loss

To ensure the safe use of medications and substances, it is important to consult with medical professionals or undergo appropriate training beforehand. Additionally, regular evaluation of the expiration dates and storage conditions of these supplies is crucial for their effectiveness. By including a well-rounded selection of medications and substances in your emergency IV kit, you can enhance your ability to address medical needs and increase your chances of survival in challenging situations.

Sterilization Techniques for DIY IV Equipment

Ensuring the sterility of DIY IV equipment is crucial to prevent infections and complications, and survivalists should prioritize using sterile gloves, tegaderm dressing, alcohol swabs, and boiled water for cleaning and disinfection purposes.

Sterile gloves: Before handling any DIY IV equipment, survivalists should wear sterile gloves to minimize the risk of contamination. Gloves create a barrier between the hands and the equipment, reducing the transfer of bacteria or other pathogens.

Tegaderm dressing: Tegaderm dressing is a transparent film that can be used to cover and protect IV insertion sites. It creates a sterile environment around the IV site, preventing bacteria from entering the bloodstream. Ensure the dressing is applied securely to maintain its sterility.

Alcohol swabs: Alcohol swabs are essential for disinfecting the skin before inserting the IV cannula or catheter. The high concentration of alcohol kills bacteria and reduces the risk of infection. Thoroughly clean the area with alcohol swabs and allow it to dry before proceeding with the IV insertion.

Boiled water: Boiling water is an effective method for sterilizing improvised IV equipment, such as containers or tubing. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least 1-3 minutes to kill any bacteria or contaminants. Allow the water to cool before using it for IV fluid preparation or cleaning equipment.

Sterilization Techniques for DIY IV Equipment
Sterile Gloves
Tegaderm Dressing
Alcohol Swabs
Boiled Water

Alternative Remedies in Survival-Induced Medical Situations

In survival scenarios, alternative remedies like oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, herbal remedies such as willow bark tea, garlic, and honey can provide potential relief and aid in the management of various medical conditions. When traditional medical resources are limited or unavailable, these alternative options can be essential for survivalists.

An oxygen tank can be a life-saving tool in emergency situations where breathing difficulties arise. Whether it’s due to high altitude, smoke inhalation, or respiratory ailments, having access to supplemental oxygen can alleviate symptoms and help maintain vital oxygen levels. Paired with a nasal cannula, which delivers oxygen directly to the nostrils, oxygen therapy can be administered safely and effectively.

Herbal remedies have long been used to address a range of health issues. Willow bark tea, for example, contains salicin, a compound similar to aspirin, and can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Garlic has antimicrobial properties and can be used as a natural antibiotic to fight off infections. Honey, on the other hand, has antibacterial properties and can be applied topically to wounds to promote healing.

While alternative remedies can provide relief in survival situations, it’s important to note that they should never replace professional medical care when accessible. Understanding the limitations and potential risks of these remedies is crucial. Consulting a healthcare professional when available is always recommended, as they can provide guidance on the appropriate use of alternative remedies in emergency circumstances.

See also  The Inside Scoop: What is the Best Colonoscopy Prep Medicine?
Oxygen tankProvides supplemental oxygen and aids in breathing difficulties
Nasal cannulaDelivers oxygen directly to the nostrils
Willow bark teaReduces pain and inflammation
GarlicActs as a natural antibiotic and fights off infections
HoneyHas antibacterial properties and promotes wound healing

Alternative remedies can provide valuable support in emergency situations, offering relief and aid to survivalists. However, it is important to remember that these remedies should be used responsibly and with caution. Knowledge, preparation, and seeking professional medical care when available are essential for survivalists facing challenging medical conditions in survival-induced scenarios.

Essential Tools for Survivalists

Beyond the specifics of an emergency IV kit, survivalists should also equip themselves with versatile tools like duct tape, zip ties, and wire, which can be invaluable in a range of survival scenarios. These simple tools have multiple uses and can help you overcome various challenges in the wild. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these tools can be utilized:

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a survivalist’s best friend. This multipurpose adhesive tape can be used to repair gear, create makeshift shelters, and even fashion tools or weapons. Its strong adhesive properties and durability make it an essential item in any survivalist’s kit. From patching up a torn tent to securing bandages, duct tape can be a true lifesaver in the wild.

Zip Ties

Zip ties are another must-have tool for survival situations. These small, lightweight plastic fasteners can be used to secure gear, create makeshift restraints, or even build shelter structures. Their versatility and strength make them indispensable when it comes to constructing and organizing resources in a survival scenario.


Wire, whether it’s steel or paracord, is an incredibly useful tool for survivalists. It can be used for various purposes, such as creating snares for trapping food, repairing gear, constructing shelter, or fashioning tools. Its malleability allows for easy manipulation, making it a valuable resource in a wide range of survival situations.

In conclusion, survivalists should not underestimate the importance of having versatile tools like duct tape, zip ties, and wire in their survival kits. These simple tools can prove invaluable when it comes to improvising, repairing, and adapting to the challenges of the wilderness. So be sure to include them in your survival gear, and remember, in a survival scenario, resourcefulness is key.


In the realm of survivalism, being equipped with the knowledge and resources to improvise and create an emergency IV can be the difference between life and death in dire circumstances. When faced with the unexpected, having the ability to administer essential fluids and medication can be crucial for survival. It is important to understand the importance of IVs in survival situations and the essential components of an emergency IV kit.

In the absence of a traditional kit, survivalists can utilize creative and improvised methods to create an IV. By utilizing everyday items like cut water bottles, piercing cannulas, and even tree branches, survivalists can adapt and overcome in challenging scenarios.

Purification methods for IV fluids also play a vital role in ensuring safety and sterility. Boiling water, adding salt, sugar, or using bleach or colloidal silver can effectively purify water for use in emergency IVs.

Furthermore, the medications and substances included in an emergency IV kit should be carefully considered. Fluids, electrolytes, glucose, antibiotics, epinephrine, and antihistamines are just a few examples of the essential medications that can aid in addressing medical needs during survival situations.

Proper sterilization techniques for DIY IV equipment are paramount to prevent further complications. Using sterile gloves, tegaderm dressing, and alcohol swabs, along with boiled water, can help maintain cleanliness and minimize the risk of infection.

While traditional options may not be available, survivalists can turn to alternative remedies and treatments. Oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, herbs like willow bark tea, garlic, and honey can provide relief and aid in recovery when medical supplies are scarce.

By equipping themselves with essential tools such as duct tape, zip ties, and wire, survivalists can also improvise and address their survival needs beyond emergency IVs. These tools can come in handy for various tasks in challenging situations.

In conclusion, having the knowledge and resources to create and administer an emergency IV is vital for survivalists. By understanding the importance of IVs, the necessary components of an emergency IV kit, and the various techniques and remedies available, survivalists can be better prepared to face the unexpected and increase their chances of survival in dire circumstances.


Q: Why is clean drinking water important in an emergency situation?

A: Clean drinking water is crucial in emergency situations as it helps prevent dehydration and the spread of waterborne diseases.

Q: How does the LifeSaver Jerrycan purify water?

A: The LifeSaver Jerrycan removes viruses, bacteria, cysts, and parasites from contaminated water sources through a filtration process.

Q: How long does the LifeSaver Jerrycan last?

A: The LifeSaver Jerrycan has a shelf life of 10 years and can purify up to 40,000 liters of water.

Q: What are some methods for building a fire in a survival situation?

A: Building a fire can be done using various methods such as using a glass lens or creating friction with a log and a twig.

Q: What are some natural shelters that can provide protection in an emergency?

A: Natural shelters like caves, hollow trees, or rock formations can provide protection from the elements.

Q: How can I create my own shelter in a survival situation?

A: If necessary, you can create your own shelter using a tarp or branches and debris.

Q: What are some sources of food in a survival situation?

A: Fish, small game, insects, edible plants, fruit, berries, and nuts can provide nutritious food in a survival situation.

Q: How can I navigate to safety if I’m lost?

A: Natural navigation techniques include studying the landscape, memorizing key landmarks, and using your senses to observe your surroundings.

Q: How can I purify water for an emergency IV?

A: Boiling water for 2-3 minutes or using purification tablets can help ensure the safety of water for an emergency IV.

Q: What medications should I consider including in my emergency IV kit?

A: Fluids, electrolytes, glucose, antibiotics, epinephrine, antihistamines, antiemetics, pain medication, and blood products are all important considerations for an emergency IV kit.

Q: How can I sterilize DIY IV equipment in a survival scenario?

A: Using sterile gloves, tegaderm dressing, alcohol swabs, and boiled water can help sterilize DIY IV equipment in a survival scenario.

Q: Are there alternative remedies for medical situations in survival scenarios?

A: Alternative remedies such as oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, herbs, willow bark tea, garlic, and honey can be used in survival-induced medical situations.

Q: What essential tools should I have as a survivalist?

A: Essential tools for survivalists include duct tape, zip ties, and wire, which can be useful for improvising emergency IVs and addressing other survival needs.