First Aid Kits for the Great Outdoors

Outdoor Excitement

You’re going camping. You and your family have been waiting for this all year. It will be wonderful to get out in the beauty of Nature, to relax and enjoy each other. You’ve got your checklist of camping items handy, from tents to food, but did you remember your first aid kit? In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that there might be mishaps on your adventures, but for an emergency or even for small moments of discomfort, it’s essential to have your first aid kit in tip-top shape.

Basic Supplies

The first step in having a working first aid kit is gathering the necessary supplies. Most first aid kits that are sold have these supplies included, but you can stock your own kit and personalize it for your specific needs. The following are some of the basic supplies you will want to consider for your outdoor adventures.

Personal medications

Pain medicine (aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen)

Antihistamines, sinus medications, and antacids

Sunscreen and bug repellent

Bandages, gauze, and wraps of various sizes

Cotton swabs

Antiseptic creams and ointments

Sterile wipes and rinse solutions (hydrogen peroxide and saline solutions)

Antibacterial sanitizer and soap

Tweezers, scissors, and razors

Splinting materials

Thermometer

Hot and cold packs

Latex gloves

First-aid manual

If you are going camping in an area that has venomous snakes, it’s a good idea to bring a snake bite kit along as well. But snakes aren’t the only things that can cause severe reactions in the wild—many people are allergic to stings and bites from insects. Some people can even have a severe reaction without prior exposure. Having an epinephrine shot like EpiPen and EpiPen Jr for children in your first aid kit can give you peace of mind. No one wants to think about such an emergency, but if someone in your family or group goes into anaphylactic shock because of a bite or sting and you’re miles from help, having an epinephrine shot would be critical.

Kit Tips

Carrying a first aid kit in your camping supplies is important, but if you have an emergency and can’t find what you’re looking for, it can be frustrating or even dangerous. Keep your first aid kit well organized so you can find what you need. Keeping the kit well-stocked and up to date is essential as well. You might find it helpful to make a list of the supplies you used on a trip and replace them when you return. Also, check your first aid kit annually or before each trip to make sure that you have all the supplies and that nothing has expired. The supplies should be stored in a well marked, durable, waterproof container, to protect them from damage. It’s very important that you know how to use everything in your kit, so before your trip, go through the first aid supplies and make sure that you are familiar with the uses of each item. It would be helpful to keep a medical history in the kit of everyone in your camping party, especially if they have special needs. This would include any drug or food allergies, list of personal medications, medical conditions, and emergency contact information.

Prepared for Fun

No one wants to consider that their wonderful outdoor experience may have its rocky moments, but it’s important to be prepared for the possibilities. If you have a well-stocked first aid kit, know how to use it, and are current on First Aid and CPR techniques, than you can rest assured that you’ve done all you can to prepare for any mishaps on your outdoor excursions. The only thing left to do is get out there and have fun!