Camping First Aid

camping first aid kit

Packing a camping first aid kit and knowing how to use it is an essential element for a fun and safe trip. The adventures of living outdoors come with a fair amount of risk and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to planning for these conditions.

Your camping first aid kit should be small and compact, while still being able to fix the injuries you may encounter. Take a moment to ask yourself some questions about your trip to see what items you should pack:

  • Are you doing a lot of walking?
    If you’re trip involves a lot of trails, hiking, and walking through the woods, you might want to consider items that treat blisters, twisted ankles, poison ivy, scrapes and cuts.
  • Will you have a campfire or other exposed flame?
    Burns can be extremely painful and serious if not treated and protected. If you’re camping with kids, it’s a challenge to keep them a safe distance from the fire and the fire ring of rocks can get extremely HOT! Having some burn gel, gauze pads, first aid cream, and tape is good idea to have if you’re around the camp fire.
  • What critters do you expect to encounter?
    Depending on when and where your camping trip takes you, you’ll likely be sharing the woods with some pesky little critters. Tweezers to remove ticks, alcohol pads, Benadryl cream for bug bites & bee stings, and any allergy serums are good things to have. If you’re going out into areas where snake encounters are likely, a snake bite kit may also be wise to pack.
  • Plan for the “what-ifs?”
    I’ve found that it’s always helpful to have some travel size pain-killers in my camping first aid kit. Things like Ibuprophen, Sudafed, and Tums can ease unwanted discomforts when you’re away from home. I’ve also got in the habit of packing a small bottle of chewable aspirin in my pack which can assist in clearing blockages of heart attack victims. You may also want to consider taking a basic first aid course or refresher to learn some good first aid skills.

The list below is a list of recommended items for your camping first aid kit.

First Aid Kit

Band aids, ¾”5
Band aids, 1”5
3” x 3” gauze pads5
4” x 4” gauze pads5
Triangular bandage1
Gauze roll, 2” wide1
Adhesive tape, roll1
Antiseptic wipes, packets10
Antibiotic cream, tube1
Motrin, tablets20
Chewable aspirin, small bottle1
Sudafed, tablets12
Antacid tablets, roll1
Burn cream, packets5
Benadryl cream, small tube1
Caladryl lotion, travel size1
Elastic ACE bandage, roll1
Safety pins7

Many outdoor and retail stores sell nice kits in zipper pouches that allow you to expand, like the one pictured above. You could also use something as simple as a zip-lock bag or small toiletry kit.

Another consideration is how to carry your first aid kit. I like having it clipped to the outside of my backpack or day-pack with some small carabineer clips. This way, it’s easily accessible by myself or others without dumping my whole pack on the ground. A fun pre-camping trip activity with the kids is making their very own small first aid kits out of an old film container or metal mint tin.

Whatever your camping first aid kit contains, put some thought into it, pack it, and hopefully you won’t have to use it!

Related Links:

Basic First Aid
First Aid Kit – Kid’s Craft
Signs of Shock
Poisonous Plants
Heat Related Injuries
Cold Related Injuries
Treating Bug Bites
Safely Removing Ticks

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Camping Activities