If you plan to spend time hiking or camping, it’s a good idea to take a first aid kit with you as part of your essential packing list. You never know when you, or someone you are with, will suffer an accident or feel unwell and having a simple first aid kit can help to ease a range of discomforts.
It is worth noting, here, that it’s unlikely you will be able to deal with major incident when, for example, a call to emergency services or a trip to hospital are the only course of actions. But for many minor issues, such as cuts, stings, abrasions, sprains and feeling generally unwell, a small first aid kit will come in handy.
You can buy small first aid kits ready made, which will cover most of the bases, but you may decide to supplement it with some extras specifically for tackling the sort of minor injuries that happen outdoors. Alternatively, you might find it's more affordable to put your own personal kit together from scratch.
What to pack in a first aid kit for hiking
This is the sort of first aid kit that you can fit into a hiking backpack. It might include:
- Hand sanitiser
- Waterproof Band-Aids
- Blister bandages
- Medical tape for blisters and cuts, such as micropore tape or zinc oxide tape
- Antiseptic cream or alcohol wipes for cleaning grazes and cuts
- Butterfly closure strips
- Sterile dressing or gauze – for larger wounds
- Eyepad wound dressing
- Open woven bandage
- Triangular bandage
- Ibuprofen and paracetamol tablets
- Antihistamine tablets
- Thermometer strip
- Midge and/or insect repellent
- Bite relief cream or spray
- Small roll of duct tape
- Tick remover
- Small pair of scissors
- Safety pins
- Emergency foil blanket and/or group shelter.
What to pack in a first aid kit for camping
Many of the items will be the same for a camping first aid kit as a hiking first aid kit. However, if you are planing on a camping trip that allows you to take more items with you, such as a campsite camping holiday, then you may want to think about adding these further items:
- Surgical gloves to keep hands clean
- Cold and flu medications
- Small thermometer
- A larger range of sizes of bandages
- Burn gel sachets
- Instant ice pack – can be used for sprains and bruising
- Cloth bandages to help support a sprain, or similar
- Splints for temporary support of a broken bone
- Camping knife
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.