Your first aid kit should be more than a few ibuprofen and a couple band aids. How much you choose to take is really up to group size and the length of the trip. Do you need the same kit on a 2 mile hike with the family as you would on a seven day trip in Alaska, I doubt it? Should you still bring the kit with you on the family hike? Most definitely…
Items that can be used elsewhere are best for you kit. So think out side the box. For instance, you already have 20 feet of duct tape on your hiking poles do you need more? The hand sanitizer you have on your hip belt can be a great first aid item.
You could have the best most well stocked first aid kit in the world and it will not do you a bit of good without proper training. Everyone should take a wilderness first aid course NOLS and SOLO both offer wilderness first aid courses. If you can’t take a course at least buy a good book on wilderness first aid and READ it!
Here is my suggested list of first aid kit items, keep in mind this is not a survival kit…
- loperamide – anti diarrhea
- ibuprofen or acetaminophen – for pain, swelling, fever, etc.
- antihistamine – for bug bites and reactions
- water purification tablets – you never know when the filter will break
- hand sanitizer – for cleaning wounds, tools, hands, etc.
- antibiotic ointment – wound treatment
- zinc oxide – rash prevention and treatment
- sun block – avoid sun burn
- bug repellent – avoid biting and annoying bugs
- moleskin – blister treatment
- band aids – small wound treatment
- 2”x3” gauze – small wound treatment
- wound closure strips – medium wound treatment
- duct tape – wound, blister treatment, etc.
- powdered drink mix – energy, electrolyte replacement
- tweezers or a tick remover – to remove embedded ticks, thorns, splinters, etc.
- safety pins – fasten slings out of clothing
- razor blade – multi purpose
- bandanna – slings, splints, etc.
- WFA cheat sheet – Here is a great one
Be creative when packaging your kit. Use Ziploc bags or Ez Does Pill Pouches. Whatever you use make sure it is water tight and durable. A lot of people like to use individually packaged items some can be found at the pharmacy but I suggest checking out minimus.biz
Make sure to check your first aid kit before heading out to make sure nothing needs refilling.
What do you pack for first aid? How do you pack it? Please share your tips…