If anything inevitably attends a camping trip, it's minor medical problems such as blisters, sour stomachs and twisted ankles. Sometimes an accident might raise the specter of a more severe injury. Although no one wants to get hurt, it pays to be prepared for the worst. Immediate treatment of cuts and injuries prevents long-term complications. Treating the symptoms of illnesses can sustain you until you reach professional treatment. Any well-prepared camper will have a first aid kit that addresses the specific needs of a person living in the great outdoors while at the same time not taking up too much space or creating too much weight.
A camping first aid kit should have a handful of basic medicines. Boys Life, Outside and Backpacker magazines all call for the inclusion of ibuprofen to combat aches and pains and mild fevers. The Red Cross recommends aspirin. Antihistamine tablets for dealing with unanticipated allergy problems are also a good idea. Another medicinal component for a camping first aid kit is a treatment for diarrhea, a problem that might arise from drinking untreated or poorly treated water or flies contaminating food. Outside magazine suggests an anti-diarrheal, and Backpacker advises an electrolyte mix not only for diarrhea, but also for heat exhaustion.
Remedies for Bites, Cuts, and Minor Wounds
All camping first aid kits need supplies for dealing with relatively minor but annoying problems. These items will help you service a wound if necessary. Wrapping bandages, duct tape, adhesive bandages, scissors, antibiotic ointment and antiseptic towelettes are all common components. Tweezers can be handy for pulling out splinters, bits of gravel and other sources of infection. Moleskins are universally endorsed as a treatment for the blisters often incurred by casual hiking. Pack antihistamines for insect bites, along with a hydrocortisone ointment for poison ivy.
It is a good idea to bring back-up and emergency supplies, including waterproof matches and a signaling device such as a whistle and a mirror. Sprains frequently occur on strenuous camping trips, and instant cold compresses are a Red Cross recommendation.
Every first aid kit should include clearly listed directions for emergency assistance. Your contact information should include direct numbers to the local fire and police stations. You should also include emergency contact information for staff members or family members that should be contacted in case of an emergency.