10 Things Every Camping First Aid Kit Must Have
There’s a chill in the air and the sky is crystal clear. It’s a great time to head out on a camping adventure!
Whether you’ve got your sights set on a hiking-intensive trek, such as one on the Appalachian Trail, or you’re just looking to spend a night or two at your local campground, you’ll want to be prepared.
Stripped of the luxuries of home and one with nature, you’re exposed to plenty of risks. Before you head out, it’s important to stock your camping first aid kit as strategically as possible.
Today, we’re discussing 10 items you can’t forget to include in your kit. This way, no matter what issues you encounter, you’ll be ready to address it and keep moving.
Ready to learn more? Put down that map and those boots and let’s get started.
Different Types of Bandages
When building your camping first aid kit, start with the basics. You’ll need plenty of bandages as you set out, but simply stuffing a few boxes of Band-Aids in your bag along with your other hiking gear won’t cut it.
Rather, you’ll need an assortment of bandages designed to help cover and protect a variety of cuts and scrapes. From thin, tiny adhesives perfect for a papercut to transparent hydrocolloid dressings or thick gauze ideal for treating a burn, go ahead and pack it all.
You’ll need to secure those bandages on somehow. Medical tape helps keep your bandages secure, so you’re free to keep moving and climbing.
It also sticks to your skin without pulling at it too much, making it perfect for those scenarios when you need to apply constant pressure to a wound but don’t have the time or energy to keep pressing and holding it all day.
An added bonus? Medical tape is sterile, so it comes in handy when you’re dealing with open wounds.
Before applying your bandages, you’ll need to first treat any wound with antiseptic.
Why? If left open, your wound can attract a range of organisms and quickly become infected. If this occurs, it will only exacerbate the issue and a minor affliction can turn serious or even deadly fast.
Though it works in much the same way, keep in mind that an antiseptic differs from a disinfectant. In other words, you won’t be able to pour a little alcohol on your wound and call it a day. Be prepared by packing the right solution designed specifically to treat and repair living tissue.
While the antiseptic is a critical first step, it serves to treat the bacteria lying on the surface of your wound. To help it heal quicker and prevent scarring, you’ll need to routinely apply an antibiotic ointment.
This ointment usually comes in a slender tube and won’t take up too much room in your camping first aid kit. So, pack a few and keep them nearby.
When you’re in the middle of a medical emergency, the last thing you want is to be struggling to open the package your bandages came in. Scissors can help you tear into that stubborn plastic quickly and are also great at snipping the end of a tube of cream so you can get every last drop.
Pack a pair and be sure to keep it isolated from your other scissors, such as the ones used for food preparation.
- Also Read – 10 Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day
Packs of Ice
A cold pack can help reduce swelling in the event that someone sprains a muscle along the way.
Of course, you can’t “pack” ice packs into your camping first aid kit, but you can buy one-use cold packs or prepare packs of dry ice to keep on hand.
You can also bring a few plastic baggies along and fill them with ice or chilled water. If you do the latter, make sure to put a clean towel between the skin and the pack, or you could add frostbite to the list of symptoms.
Ideally, you’d find a wash station along your hike every time you touched something grimy. Yet, we all know that’s virtually impossible!
While it’s no substitute for good, old-fashioned soap and hot water, hand sanitizer is great in a pinch. Use it to quickly sterilize any skin that’s minorly afflicted.
If the wound is deep, it’s unwise to fill it with sanitizer. It’s in your best interest to contact a medical professional as soon as possible to secure the proper care.
A Pair of Tweezers
Nope, we’re not talking about plucking your eyebrows. Pack an extra pair of tweezers in your camping first aid kit to help extract any debris, such as a wood splinter or bee stinger, that may make its way into your skin.
Sterilize the tweezers first with rubbing alcohol, then gently pull the item in the direction that it’s lodged.
If minor aches are getting you down, a pain reliever can work wonders and keep you on track. Pack a few aspirin-based and non-aspirin based options in your kit.
These can help relieve pulled or sore muscles and make sufferers more comfortable until further medical help is possible. If you’re camping with children, be sure to pack appropriate pain-relieving medicine designed for their age range, along with the proper dispensing tools.
A First Aid Manual
You don’t want to be deep in the forest with an injury on your hands and no clue how to treat it. To this end, a first aid manual can be a literal lifesaver.
Find one that covers how to treat a range of wounds, burns, cuts, scrapes, and bites. A manual that’s geared toward treating outdoor or camping-specific injuries is preferred.
Pack Your Camping First Aid Kit and Start Exploring
Now that you know what to pack in your camping first aid kit, are you ready to hit the woods? If so, adventure awaits!
Camping can be an enjoyable, memorable experience the whole family can enjoy. With a little pre-planning and forethought, you can make sure it’s also as safe as possible. A well-stocked kit means that a little setback won’t keep you from all those gorgeous switchbacks.
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