A Well-Stocked First-Aid Kit

a well-stocked first-aid kit banner

Joe is a seasoned camper who likes to spend his time in the outdoors doing what he loves–birdwatching, hiking in the woods, and reading by the campfire. Owen is a new-ish camper who some would call “extreme.” He spends his camping trips rock climbing and biking on the edge (of a cliff!). What could these two campers, with obviously different ideas of what camping means to them, have in common? They both have a need for a well-stocked first-aid kit. Sure, Owen might actually use it more than Joe would, but accidents and emergencies happen, and every responsible camper needs to be prepared with the right tools. Could Joe get pecked in the eye by a Western Kingbird? Maybe. Is it possible that Owen might get road (cliff) rash if he wipes out? Definitely! Both campers will be glad that they have a fully stocked first-aid kit with them when (not if!) accidents happen.

Prepackaged first-aid kits are widely available for purchase and contain the basic first-aid essentials. Or you can make your own first-aid kit and customize it to your camping and recreation needs. If assembling your own kit, choose a box that is large enough to hold everything and has multiple compartments/sections so that you can group similar items together. Tackle boxes work well, as do plain plastic boxes that you can find at any superstore. Have a fun label maker at home? Create labels for your compartments so that you can quickly and easily find what you need. Also, inspect the contents of your first-aid kit periodically to make sure that your batteries still work and your medication and ointment hasn’t expired. The list below is an exhaustive list. Tailor your first-aid kit to your own personal needs.

All first-aid kits should include these basic items:


· List of your current medications with expiration dates

First-Aid Cards or Manual

· First-aid cards or manual · Antiseptic wipes · Antibacterial ointment · Band-aids (in assorted sizes) · Butterfly bandages/adhesive wound closure strips · Gauze pads · Nonstick sterile pads · Medical adhesive tape

Blister Treatment Kits

· Blister treatment kits · Non-latex gloves · Pain relief medication (Ibuprofen)

Insect Sting Relief Treatment

· Insect sting relief treatment · Antihistamine · Fine-point tweezers · Safety pins · Blanket

Add the following items to your first-aid kit depending on your camping style and family needs:


· Rolled gauze · Rolled, stretch-to-conform bandages · Elastic wrap · Hydrogel-based pads · First-aid cleansing pads with topical anesthetic · Hemostatic (blood-stopping) gauze

Liquid Bandages

· Liquid bandages

Sterile Oval Eye Pads

· Oval eye pads


· Hand sanitizer · Aloe Vera gel · Aspirin · Antacid tablets · Throat lozenges · Lubricating eye drops · Loperamide tablets for diarrhea (Imodium) · Poison ivy/poison oak preventative & treatment · Glucose or other sugar to treat hypoglycemia

Oral Rehydration Salts

· Oral rehydration salts · Anti-fungal foot powder · Injectable epinephrine (EpiPen) to treat allergic reactions


· Knife

Paramedic Shears/Scissors

· Paramedic shears/scissors · Safety razor blade · Finger splints

SAM Splints

· SAM splints · Cotton-tipped swabs · Standard oral thermometer · Low-reading thermometer (hypothermia) · Irrigation syringe with 18-gauge catheter · Magnifying glass · Small mirror · Medical/surgical gloves · Triangular cravat bandage · Steel sewing needle with heavy-duty thread · Needle-nose pliers with wire cutter · Headlamp or flashlight · Whistle · Duct tape · Small notepad with waterproof pen/pencil

Medical Waste Bag

· Medical waste bag · Waterproof container to hold supplies and meds · Emergency heat-reflecting blanket

Water Treatment System

· Water treatment system

Collapsible Water Sink or Basin

· Collapsible water sink or basin


· Sunscreen · Lip balm · Insect repellent

Biodegradable Soap

· Biodegradable soap

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