[WARNING] I am not a Doctor. I am not telling you to do any of the things I mention. I am simply noting my personal rationalizations about why I carry this shit for myself and my family and friends. Take home message: Don't do anything I talk about, ever. I have had more orthopedic surgeries than anyone I know... But I'm still here and I'm in a sharing mood.
No, I'm not going to talk about math. I am hoping to discuss some of the gear I carry and its uses. Specifically I intend on talking about some of the nontraditional uses for the gear in my med kit. If you want to learn how to use a med kit take a med class! Not only is continuing education a good investment but it could, might, will save someones life so in that regard it could be priceless.
I don't always carry a kit, but when I do its streamlined and has gear that can do more than its intended purpose, this is a discussion of some of those unintended uses.
Gauze and antibiotic ointment = fire helper. Gauze burns fast, but add a little petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment, rub it around, and it can burn for a few minutes. This can come in handy when you're trying to get a fire going in less than optimal conditions.
Alcohol swab - another good candle for fire starting help. Simply tear the edge open, pull the swab out slightly and light. The alcohol and swab will burn for a few minutes.
Iodine swab for emergency water debugging. Yea there are probably bad chemicals in the swab but the iodine can kill many of the harmful things in water too. If I had to I would rather deal with the few chemicals and avoid the shit in the water (literally). One swab in a Nalgene for 30 or so minutes is what I would do, though haven't had to do it yet. you never know who peed in your water source upstream.
Sutures - good for sewing gear too. sutures work on your body and they are strong for repairing gear and come with a nice needle that can penetrate through tough materials. I keep many of them in my little kits for anything that needs sewing shut.
Gauze for water filtration. Recently we were in the south where most of the fresh water looks like chocolate milk. To clarify and filter the particulates out we used charcoal, plant material, and gauze. after passing the water through this is was mostly clear and ready to boil. remember you need to do this before boiling and it makes a big difference.
There are probably infinite things you can come up with, but ill leave that to the gear nerds. my advice is that when you're gathering stuff for the field, try to make sure that each item has two or more uses.