While features vary depending on the type of the first aid kit, all first aid kits contain bandages, gloves, tweezers and pain killers. Wrapping bandages, duct tape, adhesive bandages, scissors, antihistamines, aspirin, antibiotic ointment and antiseptic towelettes are all common components.
Bandages are used to treat scratches and cuts that often occur when hiking. Tweezers can be used to pick out specks of wood that have fallen into a hikers cut. Be sure to clean the wound thoroughly and apply ointment to avoid infection. Hand sanitizer should be included so the person administering the aid can can clean his hands prior to treatment. Non-latex gloves may also be used to ensure sterile conditions. Gloves are used for protection for the first aid administrator.
First aid kits vary in content based on the type of activity they will be used for. Backpacking first aid kits often have lightweight tools. In addition, there are also first aid tools especially useful for the outdoors, such as water purification tablets or extra batteries to recharge headlamps. Camping and hiking first aid kits have more tools and are not as weight conscious as backpacking first aid kits. For example, emergency whistles, a larger variety of bandages, or flashlights are commonly found in camping first aid kits.
First aid kits can also vary depending on the location they will be used. For example, if you''re camping outdoors in Texas, first aid kits often carry snake bit kits. When hiking in New England during the winter, first aid kits often carry emergency blankets.
Hiker Specific Considerations
In addition, first aid kits often reflect special concerns for hikers. For example, if someone in your party has sensitive allergies, allergy relief medication such as Benadryl should be present in your first aid kit.