Camping First Aid: Supply Checklist
First Aid Kit- Why You Need One
If you’re planning a camping trip and aren’t sure what First Aid materials to bring (if any), this article explores some of the core components of a good First Aid Kit and why you need one. In a perfect world, your First Aid Kit will remain in tact and unopened during your trip, but we’ve found that carrying about a dozen First Aid essentials can treat about 90% of issues that occur while camping, whether it’s a splinter, an allergic reaction, or a headache from the previous night’s overindulgence.
As discussed in our blog here, camping is usually an incredibly safe activity, but it also tends to take you further away from medical supplies and personnel we take for granted. It’s imperative you have some basic First Aid gear to prevent minor issues from growing out of hand and spoiling your trip, or to help stabilize a condition in the event you need more serious aid.
A short story: A friend of ours was once camping by himself about an hour from the nearest town, and he went to fetch some water after he set up camp. He used purification tablets for some water he got from a stream (we always recommend a filter…), and about 5 minutes after taking his first gulp he started breaking out in hives. Sure enough, he was allergic to some of the pollen in what was otherwise extremely clean water, and he had to rush to the nearest town to get some antihistamines that treated his allergy in only a few minutes. Our buddy now keeps a full First Aid Kit within arms reach everywhere he goes.
What to Pack
The type of equipment people pack in their First Aid Kit can vary greatly depending on the type of trip you’re taking, your risk appetite, your training, and any recurring health issues that affect your group. Whereas some hikers who are conscious about space may only bring a few supplies that fit in a mint case, trained medical responders may carry a full backpack with medical supplies when they camp.
Regardless of your destination, we recommend carrying some essential items which we’ve always found useful at one time or another. You can buy pre-assembled First Aid Kits, or simply assemble one yourself based on the brands and items you like best. We tend to favor assembling our own First Aid Kit because we like certain items (like Aleve and Steristrips) that aren’t typically found in basic First Aid kits.
Below is a quick list of some of our Essential First Aid items, as well as some more advanced supplies to consider if you want to be more prepared.