Although first aid kits are useful irrespective of where you are, they are especially important to have with you when you go camping. When you are outdoors, the chances of getting injured are much higher. For example, you are exposed to reptile or insect bites; you could get scratches or scrapes; extensive hiking could result in blisters; or you could even experience serious emergency situations far away from civilization, in some backcountry. A well-equipped first aid kit could come in useful to alleviate the pain of a sprained ankle or perhaps could even be a lifesaver.
While the items you include in your camping first aid kit will depend upon your activities, there are a few basic things that should be included in all kits. Given below is a list of items which you can keep in a container such as a cosmetic case, or a small drawstring bag, or any handy container that can be secured with a lid.
A typical camping first aid kit for the family should include:
- A pair of scissors
- First aid tape
- Cotton swabs
- Antiseptic wipes
- A couple of large sized compress bandages
- 4-5 large sized gauze bandages
- 4-5 smaller sized gauze bandages
- Liquid pain relief spray
- Either a large tube of antibiotic ointment, or smaller individual tubes
- Different sizes of ACE bandages
- A small bottle of aspirin
- A small tube of hydrocortisone
- A breathing barrier kit for CPR
- A couple of pairs of latex-free medical gloves
- An oral thermometer which contains no glass or mercury
- A blanket for emergency
Although the above are the minimum requirements that you would want to have with you when you go on your camping trips, many outdoor experts also recommend adding the following items as well:
- Insect and bug repellent
- Eye wash or eye drops
- Water purifying tablets
- Aloe vera lotion or any sunburn relief spray
- Eye patches
- Pain relief medication for toothaches
- Smelling salts
- Calamine lotion
- Various medications to combat common ailments, such as colds and coughs, headaches, stomach upsets, and so on.
There are many companies that have ready-made camping first aid kits on offer. If you plan on bicycling or hiking outings, or any other kind of outdoor activity that will involve moving away from the camp, you will require taking along an additional smaller sized first aid kit, with fewer supplies, that you can carry in your backpack.
And finally, keep in mind that maintaining your camping first aid kit is as important as taking care of your other camping gear. After coming back from a trip, check the supplies in your kit and replenish anything that has been used up. Remember to include the amount of supplies according to the number of people going on a trip. Check for expired or outdated supplies and medications, making sure to replace anything that you throw away.