Whether out for a quick day hike, an extended backpacking trip, a bike ride, an overnight camping trip or a week in the woods, an accessible first aid kit should be a part of your gear. Different types of kits are available for various activities. Choosing the proper first aid kit will depend on access to assistance, the amount of time you are out and even the geography of the area you are in.
Basic First Aid Kit
This first aid kit will have items to cover basic needs. Included in a basic kit are assorted bandages: strip, butterfly and fingertip. It should also include some gauze pads and tape, alcohol wipes, a topical ointment, tweezers, Ace Bandages, scissors and gloves. A kit like this should be brought along for any type of outdoor activity. Items in the basic kit will cover minor injuries when you are not far from help.
Outdoor First Aid Kit
A kit for more extended periods of time outdoors should contain all the items in a basic kit and more. This type of kit would include a larger assortment of bandages, including sterile gauze pads, a triangular bandage that can be used as a sling and pressure bandages that are useful for larger wounds. In an outdoor kit, look for an emergency blanket for both shelter and warmth, a whistle for signaling, a signal mirror, iodine tablets that can be used for purifying water and moleskin that is used for healing blisters. Make sure that a first aid book is included with this type of kit. Any medications should be added to an outdoor kit.
Extended or Back Country First Aid Kit
Kits for extended or back country use will have supplies in them that will allow you to treat and care for someone for a period of time. In addition to the supplies in the outdoor first aid kit, these kits can contain quick-relief bleeding powder, stomach and diarrhea treatments, anti-burn cream, hydrocortisone cream, a thermometer, a breathing mask (for CPR), a SAM splint for immobilizing both bone and soft tissue, safety pins, razor blades and needles. It should also contain dental items: floss, wax and oil of clove for pain relief.
Article Written By Andy McVeigh
Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.