Hiking First Aid

Hiking First Aid
A carefully stocked first aid kit is a hiker's best friend. It might be even more important than your boots, map or trail guide. You can create your own hiking first aid kit with some essential supplies. Having the correct first aid tools when you're out on a hiking trip can mean the difference between life and death in some cases, so it pays to know what you are doing. Before doing any regular and difficult hiking, it is recommended that you take a CPR course and learn basic first aid, such as how to administer an emergency stitch or how to create a makeshift splint (should a bad sprain or break occur).  A properly set up first aid kit can provide an endless amount of fixes to problems, especially if the user is even slightly creative or imaginative. The kit should be set up to cover just about any emergency that may arise on a trip, up to and including search-and-rescue situations. 


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Waterproof container
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Pocket knife
  • Gauze and tape
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Burn cream
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Antiseptic wipes or spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Pain reliever
  • Water
  • Flares (optional)
Step 1
Decide whether you want to buy a manufactured first aid kit or make your own.
Step 2
If you purchase a manufactured kit, determine if it contains supplies essential to your hiking needs. Compare the price of the kit to the cost of supplies to build your own.
Step 3
If you decide to make your own hiking first aid kit, make a list of necessary supplies. Include tweezers for splinter removal, scissors to cut away bandages or clothing, a pocket knife, burn cream, anti-itch cream, sunscreen, pain reliever, antiseptic wipes or spray, water, adhesive bandages, gauze and tape.
Step 4
Include flares if you are hiking to remote areas or long distances.
Step 5
Bring extra bandages and water to clean scrapes and cuts. Do not wash an open wound in a stream or pond that may house dangerous bacteria.
Step 6
Bring common-sense safety items, including a charged cell phone, map, extra money for emergencies and a knowledge of the area, including nearby police stations and hospitals.
Step 7
Pack your hiking kit in a waterproof container. If the kit is too heavy, cut down on the quantity of each item. Never eliminate an essential supply, including water or bandages.

Tips & Warnings

Always tell someone where you are hiking and how long you will be gone. Agree to check in with each other at a designated time.
Prevention is the best way to protect yourself from injury. Do not hike with blisters or cuts or while fatigued.
A hiking first-aid kit is not a substitute for common-sense safety and professional medical attention.
Do not hike to isolated rocks, outcroppings, ravines or other dangerous areas.
Even minor cuts can become infected. Seek medical attention for your injuries.
Immediately stabilize an injury. Do not continue hiking.

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