For a hiking trip, a first aid kit should contain more than just simple medical supplies. It should have items for shelter, warmth, health, nourishment and navigation. A survival blanket is important for water resistance and maintaining precious body heat. For humid or tropical areas, a poncho is good for protection from the rain, and a mosquito net can help guard against insects. A first aid kit also should contain various fire-starters, including a magnifying glass, lighters and waterproof matches.
All first aid kits need bandages, disinfectant pads, tweezers, gauze, surgical razors, diarrhea medication, aspirin and antibiotic cream. You can also include toiletries such as insect repellent, hand sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, hydrogen peroxide, toothpaste and sunscreen. When hiking, bring a 3-day supply of water for each hiker. Water is incredibly important for hydration and for food preparation, so bring a water filter and a container for boiling. Iodine (or chlorine) tablets are good for purification. For food, include canned foods, food bars, dehydrated foods, hard candy and chewing gum. Navigation equipment can include candles, lanterns or flashlights, a mirror, compass, flares, a GPS unit and a map. Other items to include are survival knives, trash bags, rope, fishing equipment and money.
Customize your first aid kit to fit your specific medical needs. For example, if you wear contacts or glasses, pack spare lenses or frames. Include specific medications that could be life-threatening, such as diabetes medication, asthma inhalers or epinephrine or antihistamines for allergies.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has many different quality first aid kits for all kinds of situations and activities. Other trusted first aid companies include Green Cross, Johnson & Johnson, Red Star and St. John Ambulance. Before you embark on your hiking adventure, open any store-bought kits to see exactly what is included.
Make sure you are healthy prior to embarking on any hike. If you are feeling under the weather, wait until you are better before going hiking. If you aren't in top physical condition, it's a good idea to do aerobic activities for a week or two prior to your hiking adventure so your body is adjusted to the intense physical requirements.
You can help avoid personal injury and possible life-threatening emergencies by preparing a full first aid kit. Life in the wilderness is very unpredictable. You might come across extreme weather, poisonous plants or dangerous animals and insects. Hiking and camping without the right navigation equipment can result in getting lost. Once lost, it is important to have adequate water, food and medical supplies to keep you safe until you're recovered.