Not everyone who heads out for an hour or two of biking takes a first-aid kit with them. In fact, most mountain bikers don’t take such a kit. But a first-aid kit can be a great thing to have with you in case of a fall. Even a fall that causes nothing but a scrape can be made a little better if you have something to put on the scrape to take the sting out. Anyone who heads into the woods or the country, but especially bikers and hikers, should consider packing a first-aid kit.
If you’re just going for a short biking trip, you won’t need a suitcase full of medical supplies as you shouldn’t need to use more than one of any item, ideally. You should be able to fit everything you need in a small bag. A Zip-loc bag will keep everything organized and waterproof, and goes easily in nylon bag or backpack.
The basics in any first-aid kit are adhesive bandages in varying sizes and pain reliever of some sort. You’ll also want some alcohol wipes to clean scrapes or wounds, and maybe some sort of antibiotic ointment like Neosporin or another brand to put on before covering the area with a bandage. Tweezers for removing splinters can be helpful. Also, throw some 4” square pieces of gauze in the bag and some tape to secure them with. Invest in some sort of joint wrap or tight bandage, in case of a sprain or other injury. And for anyone in wooded areas, a snakebite kit certainly can’t hurt.
If you’re biking alone, carry a whistle in your first-aid kit. This is one of those serious just-in-case items, but if you get into some trouble and for some reason can’t shout very loudly, you may still be able to blow a whistle. It’s best, for the utmost in safety, not to go biking alone but with at least one other person. However, this isn’t always possible.
Also, carry a tool kit so you can make on-the-fly bike repairs and avoid being stranded. Your tool kid should include things that would allow you to patch a tire, and even change a tire if needed, like a tire patch kit, an inner tube, pump, pressure gauge and tire levers. You should have small hex wrenches, repair tape and a small pair of pliers as well as some type of utility tool that can be used in a variety of ways. A spoke wrench and a chain rivet tool, as well as some extra chain links, could come to your rescue, too.
If you’re biking with friends, one of each kit should be all you need between you. Designate one person to carry each kit and make sure each person knows who’s carrying what. It might seem like a lot, but each fit in a small bag and don’t weigh much or take up much room. Then you’ll be prepared and can enjoy biking without worry.