Outdoor adventures can be filled with fun, excitement and wonder, but they can also be dangerous. That is why it is important to be prepared for every possible situation by having disaster-proof first aid kit essentials ready at hand. Sometimes a small box containing the essentials can be the difference between life and death! Here is what every self-respecting explorer should keep in his or her first aid kit.
Basic First Aid Kit (as recommended by the Red Cross)
- Absorbent compress dressings
- Adhesive bandages
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Blanket (use space blanket to save space!)
- Breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- Instant cold compress
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Latex gloves
- Roller bandage
- Sterile gauze pads
- Oral thermometer
Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag
All outdoor activities differ in difficulty and danger. Before planning your next outdoor adventure, consider any specific essentials that must be in your first aid kit. Whether your next escapade consists of hiking or kayaking, these are some activity specific essentials to keep handy in your first aid kit.
A Hiker’s First Aid Kit
- Multi-use tool that includes a knife, scissor, scalpel and blade.
- Irrigation syringe that can be used to flush and clean wounds, as recommended by the Washington Trail Association
- Suction syringe can be used to clear mouth of fluids, which can help when doing CPR.
- Safety pins can help remove splinters or fasten arm sling.
- Antihistamines to treat pollen allergies or reduce reaction to bites and stings.
- Antacid tablets to provide relief from intestinal infections.
- Oral rehydration salts, or electrolyte salts and glucose, to treat dehydration, heat exhaustion or loss of fluids from vomiting or diarrhea.
- Duct tape to patch holes in tents, backpacks, etc.
- Water purification drops
- Leukotape to prevent blisters.
- Friction defense stick to protect against chafing.
- Snake bite kit
Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets
A Paddler’s First Aid Kit
- Sunscreen to protect you from getting some serious sunburns.
- Lip balm with SPF protection for your lips.
- PFD, or personal flotation device, is something you should never forgo.
- Whistle to call for help in case of emergencies.
- Aloe vera gel to soothe sunburns.
- Dry bag/box to store your first aid kit.
Coghlan’s 4-in-1 Whistle
A Skier’s/Snowboarder’s First Aid Kit
- Headlamp to help you see at night.
- Coban wrap, a water-resistant, self-adhesive and reusable elastic band, which makes it perfect to use as bandage in the snow.
- Lighter to help you start a fire in the freezing temperatures and sterilize equipment.
- Hand warmers
- Wire mesh splint
Zippo 6 Hour Hand Warmer
Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool