The last thing you want to think about before you embark on your camping trip is “what could go wrong”? Yeah, it’s a bit of a downer, but accidents can happen and properly preparing for them could save lives—or at the very least make an uncomfortable situation more tolerable.
There are two different ways to get started on your first aid kit—purchase a pre-made kit or build one from the first aid kit you have at home. Most camping supply stores will have pre-made backpacking first aid kits that you can buy for individuals, couples and families, and then you can add or remove items as you see fit. Or, you can purchase a first aid bag, stock it yourself from your supplies from home, and purchase the missing items. One important thing to remember… avoid large bottles of anything. You only need a small amount to get safely out of the wilderness and you don’t want to be bogged down by a large, heavy emergency bag.
Wilderness First Aid Kit Checklist
Here’s our basic kit list to get you started on your camping trip preparations. Since it’s just the basics, it may not list everything you need, or it may list way more. Either way, it’s a great baseline for your checklist.
- Self-adherent wrap
- Latex-free gloves
- Bandages—Triangular bandage to be used as a sling/ ACE bandage/ Band-aids of various sizes/ Butterfly closures
- Medical tape
- Mole skin—for blister prevention and treatment
- Abdominal pads
- Tampons—for women’s hygiene, but useful for anyone in cases of severe puncture wounds/ nose bleeds
- Antibacterial cream
- Alcohol/ Iodine wipes
- Ibuprofen/ Aspirin
- Benadryl—for allergic reactions
- Imodium or other anti-diarrhea medication
- Pocket knife
- Hard candy—for sucking on in cases of low blood sugar
- Electrolyte supplements
Customize Your First Aid Kit
Now, to build the perfect first aid kit for your next outdoor adventure, you’ll have to make it a bit more customized. While the basic kit list is a great starting point, it is intended as a baseline guide only and not a complete list for every backcountry or camping adventure.
Depending on how long your trip is, where you are going, what kind of climate you’ll be in, if you have any specific medical needs, etc., there may be other items you should add to your medical kit.