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Part of what makes an adventure a great one is being prepared for almost any scenario, and safety is an important facet of that. You never know what you might encounter while hiking the backcountry, and you’ll have to be ready for anything whether you’re traveling solo or with a big group size. So whether you’re going on a casual day-hike or embarking on a multi-day backpacking trip, it’s always best to have a hiking first aid kit on your person for all kinds of medical emergencies.
But how do you pack a fully-equipped wilderness first aid kit without packing too much or too little? We’ve put together a list of must-have items and medical supplies that you should bring during your hiking trip if you want to build your own first aid kit. We’ve also recommended some of our favorite hikers first aid kits from Amazon that will already everything you need. With mild medical training and a crash wilderness first aid course, you’ll be ready to safely hike across the country in no time.
Essential Items for Your Hiking First Aid Kit
Basic First-Aid Supplies Checklist
If you want to build your own version of a typical Red Cross first aid kit, then here are the basic medical supplies you should include. These items should be pretty compact enough to fit in a small bag or container that you can easily carry with you as you go on your hike.
Antiseptic Wipes: For cleaning wounds to sterilize area before dressing
Antibiotic Ointment: To apply as a topical application to keep out infections during healing
Adhesive Bandages/Band-Aids: An assortment of different sizes for blisters, scrapes, and abrasions
Gauze Pads: To help clean wounds out before sterilizing and dressing
Cotton Swabs: For removing foreign objects out of smaller openings or applying ointment to smaller wounds
Medical Tape/Duct Tape: To hold dressings in place
Blister Treatment: To help ease blister pains
Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen: To help with pain relief
Antihistamine/Benadryl: To help treat mild allergic reactions
EpiPen: To treat more serious/life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings, insect bites, etc.
Closure Strips/Butterfly Bandages: To help close larger or more open wounds
Insect Sting/Anti-Itch Treatment: For treating bug bites
Safety Pins: To help remove splinters or fasten slings
Moleskin: To help prevent blisters when used for sensitive spots on your skin
Tweezers: To also help remove splinters
Shears: To cut medical tape or clothing away from injury
EpiPen: To treat serious allergic reactions to bee stings, insect bites, etc.
Prescription Medications: For any conditions a doctor recommends you manage
More Medical Supplies to Bring
If you have extra room in your bag or you know you’ll be taking on a longer trip, you might want to consider bringing these items as well. Again, you can’t go wrong with being “over-prepared,” and even if your bag is starting to feel too heavy or full, you’ll thank yourself later if you find yourself in a sticky situation.
Sam Splint: To serve as a temporary cast for broken bones or sprained ankles
CPR Mask: For rescue breathing in emergency cases
Nitrile Gloves: To protect from bodily fluids, blood-borne diseases, and infections
Irrigation Syringe: To flush and clean wounds
Rehydration Salts: Electrolyte salts to treat dehydration, heat exhaustion, or fluid loss
Antacids: For abdominal relief
Elastic Bandage: To wrap around sprains or strains to help reduce swelling
Best Hiking/Backpacking First Aid Kits on Amazon
If you’d like to skip the hassle of trying to make sure you have all the necessary supplies in your first aid kit, check out one of these amazing ones on Amazon! Complete with mostly everything you’ll need, you won’t have to worry about missing that one item you might end up needing the most while hiking.
Adventure Medical Kits
Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight/Watertight .5 Medical First Aid Kit
General Medi Mini First Aid Kit
EVERLIT Emergency Trauma Kit
Monoki First Aid Survival Kit
I GO Hard Shell Mini Compact First Aid Kit
Have you ever needed to use a first aid kit while hiking or backpacking? Share your tips and experience with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!