Introduction: How to Choose a First Aid Kit
Do you love family camping? Are you looking for a first aid kit that is perfect for your family and the outdoors?
The best first aid kits are ones that can handle everything from scrapes to serious injuries. They should be compact enough to fit in your backpack but still have all of the essentials. You need a kit that will keep everyone safe when there’s no doctor around! That’s why we created this list of our favorite products. We want to help make sure you always have what you need on hand.
This isn’t just another boring listicle; we really want to help people stay safe while they explore their surroundings with their families! So we’ve included information about choosing a first aid kit, how to use your first aid kit, where to get first aid training and more general information on how to stay safe in the great big outdoors. If anything looks interesting or helpful, click through and check it out further before making your final purchase decision. We hope these recommendations help you stay safe!
Read through our guides and check out our top picks!
Premade First-Aid Kits
Premade first-aid kits are an easy option. These kits usually come with most of the things you need, and they’re all packed into a single bag.
Most people won’t have any major problems with premade first-aid kits as long as they take time to review each item’s usefulness and make sure the kit includes what they’ll need for their trips. Take a look at our first aid pack content list suggestions that you can access and download – First Aid Packing Lists.
You can buy premade first aid kits for one day, several days, one week or even multiple weeks. Any longer than that, and you should probably think about assembling your own kit because premade ones don’t usually have supplies to cover extended trips.
What is included in a premade first-aid kit?
While premade first-aid kits may vary, we’ve found that the Super Medic Essential First Aid Kit is a good option containing 100 quality items plus there’s a free online first aid course.
This is a list of items you’re likely to find in a ready-made First Aid Kit (note that each kit will be a little different so do check that it contains everything you need):
- Butterfly Wound Closures
- Wooden Finger Splint
- Cotton Tipped Applicator
- Safety Pin
- Instant Cold Compress
- Disposable Mask, 3 ply
- Moleskin, Die-Cut
- Sterile Eye Pad
- Combine Pad, range of sizes
- Sterile Non-Adherent Pad
- Sterile Non-Woven Sponge, range of sizes
- Roller Gauze Bandage, range sizes
- Elastic Bandages
- First Aid Tape Roll
- Triangular Bandages
- Adhesive Bandage, Fabric
- Adhesive Bandage, Fabric, Knuckle
- Adhesive Bandage, Fabric, Fingertip
- Adhesive Bandage, Fabric, Elbow/Knee
- Adhesive Bandage, Plastic
- Adhesive Bandage, Fabric, Junior
- Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps
- EMT Shears
- Nitrile Glove
- Irrigation Syringe with Catheter Tip
- Malleable Finger Splint
- CPR Face Shield
- Antiseptic Wipe
- Single Use Thermometer, Celsius
- After Bite® Wipe
- Burnshield® Emergency Burncare Sachet
- Rescue Blanket
It’s always a good idea to get a kit with tweezers or splints. It can be really helpful to have someone remove a sliver or small piece of glass from your foot, for example. If you know how to use one, the right slings can also be helpful for shoulder injuries. Things like whirlpool treatments (for wounds), alcohol wipes (to clean skin before giving shots) and sunscreen are all nice to have when you need them too!
Most of these kits come with most of the essentials, but you can always add anything extra yourself.
When you are not out camping, the first aid kit does double duty for use at home.
Build Your Own First-Aid Kit
If you prefer to put together your own first-aid kit based on your adventure style, you’ll need to start by choosing a bag. We recommend getting one that is big enough to fit everything in but not too big that it becomes unwieldy or heavy.
We found that most pre-packed first aid kits, whether they are designed for camping or worksite use, have most of what you need already included. If you want to add things that aren’t included, look for bags that have removable dividers. That way, you can rearrange them to accommodate anything extra you are carrying.
Assembling your own kit also means being able to pick the items yourself, so they are what you need in case of an emergency. You may want to include an extra blanket or two, some basic painkillers for things like headaches, and even a set of face masks.
Once you’ve picked your bag, make sure to take inventory of what you already have at home. You might not need to buy anything else!
Here’s a list of basic supplies we think you’ll find useful:
- Assorted adhesive bandages
- Athletic tape
- Blister treatments (such as moleskin)
Medication and ointments/lotions
NOTE: When it comes to medications, ointments and tablets, we strongly recommend you speak to your physician, pharmacist or travel medical clinic.
- Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen
- Antibiotic creams
- Antacid tablets
- Antidiarrheal tablets
- Rehydration salts
- Prescription medicines
- Small mirror
- Blunt tip scissors
- Razorblade or knife
- Bee-sting kit
- Tick remover
- Antiseptic towelettes
- Burn dressing
- Splints and elastic wraps
First-Aid Kit Basics
- Double-check that each item is in working order before you bring them along.
- Decide how many people are in your camping group, and make sure you have sufficient kits for everyone.
- If you plan on day hiking whilst camping, think about having two kit options. One comprehensive kit for the campsite and a smaller lightweight first aid kit for the hike.
- Include a first aid guide; better still, take a first aid course (we’ve listed some options below).
- Use waterproof and/or flame-resistant bags.
- Read your kit’s expiration dates periodically to make sure you are not carrying outdated medicine or supplies.
- Remember, it is better to know how to treat a person who has been injured or fallen ill than ‘not’ have the medical supplies at all – so make sure you keep your first aid kit as complete as possible.
First-Aid Kit Instructions
Most first-aid kits come with basic first aid guides; you might also consider one of these first aid books. In the end, there’s no substitute for training (see below) and use the guides as a backup resource.
Additional Outdoor Safety Essentials
- Small tent or shelter
- Water, water treatment tablets, straws or filters.
Carrying first aid equipment is a good first step but knowing how to use it and what to do in an emergency is even better. You can find training and certification first aid courses through the following organisations
- Canadian Red Cross – they even have specialised courses for Wilderness and Remote First Aid Course
- American Red Cross
Choosing the right first aid kit for your family’s camping trip is just one of many things you’ll want to think about when packing. You need to make sure that each member has their own emergency supplies and be prepared with enough kits in case someone gets injured or falls ill while out on an adventure. The best place to start is by picking a bag large enough to store everything but not too heavy, so it becomes cumbersome. Once you have picked your bag, take inventory of what you already have at home-you might find yourself saving some money! If all this sounds overwhelming, don’t panic. Just follow our lists and take it one step at a time.
Remember, “plan for the worst and hope for the best “.