How to Make Hot and Cold Packs for First Aid

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Being prepared includes getting into shape.  I started exercising at the gym and found myself feeling sore after a workout.   A hot or cold pack can usually help with minor sore muscle aches.

Having a well-stocked first aid kit is great to have, but if you don’t happen to have a hot or cold pack, you can make them with common household items.

Hot Pack


Tube socks

2 cups uncooked rice



  1. Pour about two cups of rice one sock, filling it about halfway.
  2. Make a knot on the open end to seal the rice inside the sock.
  3. Microwave for two to two and a half minutes.  (Heat will vary according to your microwave-exercise caution when you take them out.)

Place on the sore area for relief.  The hot pack can also be used to warm you up during cold weather.

Cold Pack


Dish soap (mine is Dawn from Dollar Tree)

2 Sandwich bags with seal



  1. Pour a cup of dish soap into the sandwich bag.
  2. Seal the sandwich bag.
  3. Flatten the sandwich bag, removing any air.  Double bag it to prevent leakage.
  4. Lie flat in the freezer.  Freeze for two hours or until it has a gel like consistency.

Place on the sore area for 10 minutes at a time.

Here is my You Tube video that shows you how to do it step by step:

Some sore areas may need cold instead of heat – know the difference:  see Ice vs Heat for Injuries.

Hot and cold packs are great to have as first aid options for minor aches; however, if pain persists or if you have a more serious injury, see a doctor.


© Apartment Prepper 2017


For more tips on prepping on small budget, read my latest book:

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  1. When using hot or cold packs of any kind place in a towel,sock or some type of protective covering. Do not apply sandwich bags directly on skin.
    Skin can be damaged with non-insulated bags

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