How to Buy First Aid Kits

How to Buy First Aid Kits
Being prepared is a key factor to a successful adventure in the great outdoors. Whether you are spending several weeks on the John Muir Trail or kayaking your local river, a well-supplied first aid kit is an essential part of your gear. Many outdoor gear retailers sell prepackaged first aid kits designed to suit the specific needs of outdoor enthusiasts.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Decide which size of first aid kit you will need. Smaller kits contain supplies that can readily treat minor scrapes and bruises. Often these kits are packaged in lightweight canvas pouches that add very little weight to your backpack. If you plan on traveling in the backcountry for more than a few days, then a larger, more comprehensive first aid kit would better serve your needs. Although these kits tend to weigh more, they come stocked with supplies for a variety of injuries. Backpacking first aid kits generally include the basics plus butterfly bandages, burn cream, splints, instant cold compresses, a thermometer and a CPR microshield.
Step 2
Check for basic first aid supplies. Every outdoor first aid kit should include non-latex gloves, first aid manual, adhesive bandages, gauze pads, moleskin, Second Skin burn pads, self-adhesive tape, shears, tweezers, antibiotic ointment and a sealable bag.
Step 3
Inspect the first aid kit for extras, such as antibacterial wipes, hydrocortisone cream, sunscreen, lip balm, calamine lotion, electrolytes, ibuprofen, antihistamines, space blanket and a small knife. If these items are not included, consider adding them.

Many outdoor retailers sell kits that contain supplies for activity-specific injuries, such as rock climbing or mountain biking. These supplies are also available in packets to add to your first aid kit.
Step 4
Pick a first aid kit that is contained in a waterproof container or pouch. This will protect the contents against inclement weather.
Step 5
Add any personal first aid preferences and medications.

Tips & Warnings

Familiarize yourself with the contents of the first aid kit before taking off on your next trip.
Never use medical supplies that you are uncomfortable with or do not know how to handle.

Article Written By Patricia Poulin

Patricia Poulin is a freelance writer based out of the western slope of Colorado. Poulin's travels and insight have chronicled in print media resources, such as "Inside Outside" and "Breathe" magazine. She is also a regular contributor for other various publications including "USA Today." Poulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Nice easy flat trail that leads to beautiful red rocks.
Stunning hike but extremely steep and tiring! Bring plenty of water.