What Goes in a First Aid Kit?

First Aid KitsIf you asked a room full of people, “What goes in a first aid kit?” everyone’s answer would be slightly different. The climbers would tell you that that it’s essential to carry athletic tape, while the hikers would say that you need to be sure to pack moleskin. The day-trippers will tell you something different from the through-hikers, and the woodsman will tell you something different from the river rat.

The truth is, there are a lot of factors that determine what should go into a first aid kit.

Your region, or the region you’re going to, can change the contents of your first aid kid. Snakes don’t inhabit New Zealand, so you won’t need a snake bite kit if you’re heading there. However, you will definitely want a snake bit kit if you’re hiking out into the desert. Consider the hazards or dangers of a specific region when putting together a first aid kit.

The duration of the trip and the number of people you are providing for also determine what goes into a first aid kit. More people on a longer trip means you need more supplies. It can also determine the type of supplies you bring A CPR mask is useless on a solo trip, but it could come in handy with two or more travelers.

Some activities are more dangerous than others or lend themselves to specific types of injury. A picnic in the park might just call for band-aids and sunscreen, whereas whitewater rafting or mountaineering requires a more complete first aid kit.

While the exact contents of a first aid kit may change a little bit, there are some basic items that every first aid kit should have.

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Non-adhesive bandages
  • Gauze
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Trauma pad
  • Moleskin
  • Tweezers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sterilizing wipes
  • Antihistamine
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Medical tape
  • Antibiotic ointment

You may also want to include things such as:

  • Aloe vera
  • Electrolyte salt capsules
  • Splint
  • Eye drops
  • Poison ivy treatment
  • Scalpel
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Emergency blanket
  • Safety shears

Keep in mind that your first aid kit may change a bit depending on the factors mentioned above, and always be sure to check your first aid kit before heading out the door. You may use something and forget to replace it; you don’t want that kind of surprise out on the trail.

One Comment

  1. […] is something you hope to never use, but you’ll be glad you have it if you ever need it. Stock a basic first aid kit and always carry it with you whenever you head out in […]

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