When you want to spend some time in nature, whether you’re backpacking across Europe, or going to a place dedicated for camping, you need to have a camping first aid kit with you. Wounds happen more often when you’re outdoors, and you need to be ready to respond to any medical situation that may occur. Wounds are also not the only thing you need to worry about! Allergic reactions to plants or bug bites can ruin someone’s trip — not to mention severe medical problems — and all of that can be easily avoided only if you bring an EpiPen or an anti-bug spray.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast getting ready for your outdoor adventure, it’s essential that you pack first aid with you. If you’re eBut, how do you decide on which one to bring and what it should contain? To relieve you of this problem, we’ve created a checklist of all the must-have items. But before we go into that, let’s take a look at kit bags and which one you should choose.
Choosing the Bag
When deciding on the container for your adventure medical kit for camping, there are two core characteristics you should think about — how much stuff can it carry and how heavy it is. If it’s going to weigh you down and be impractical, it won’t do its job well even if you can fit a whole local pharmacy in it. It will just fatigue you on your way and, yes, precaution is important, but don’t be excessive.
Another thing you should consider is how much stuff it can carry. There’s a list of things that it’s unwise to go on a trip without, and you should make sure you have space for all of it. Furthermore, make sure that your bag has a lot of side pockets and dividers so you can easily organize your medical supplies. If there’s a bleeding wound, you want to react as quickly as you can. The worst thing that can happen is rummaging around your emergency kit looking for bandages. Remember, wilderness first aid kits are the most important part of your luggage, so don’t cheap out on it. Of course, you might be working under budget, and that’s fine, but don’t miss out on some items just because you didn’t want to shell out a couple of extra dollars.
Finally, you should also make sure it’s of the right material. When you go on a camping trip or something a bit more extreme like a jungle adventure, you will be in contact with water a lot. With that in mind, make sure that your container is waterproof and puncture-proof so that your items can stay clean and dry the whole time.
Customizing the Bag
You can make your own bag out of a plastic lunch box or something similar. Alternatively, if you don’t want to mess around with that, you can always order online a ready-made kit and improve it with your own additions. You can get a gift card at the store so that you keep a dollar or two when you go for refills.
You should also have in mind where are you going and with how many people. If you’re going on a family trip, you need to be prepared to have enough items to help everyone around (and other nearby campers, if need be). Baby wipes are important if you’re going there with a kid, but they’ll be useless in a solo adventure in Amazon!
Now, let’s see what you should bring along.
First Aid Kit Checklist
We’ll divide the checklist into two groups for practical purposes — small items that will help you clean out wounds and isolate them (tools, if you will) and medicine. You should go over this list whenever you pack up your emergency survival kit. Hopefully, you won’t have the need to use most of these items, but chances are, you will. Let’s check out what items you need.
- Roller bandages
- Adhesive bandages (band-aids)
- Gauze pads
- Sterile wipes
- Duct tape
Many of these will come in handy when you deal with small cuts. If you go into a jungle, you’re bound to get some splinters, cuts, scrapes, and other skin injuries. Tweezers are good for removing thorns and splinters from your body. After you clean your wound, you need to make sure it’s clean before you cover it with a gauze pad and a bandage. This is where sterile wipes come into play. You can use antiseptic wipes or be even more precautionary and apply hydrogen peroxide. You need EpiPens for allergic reactions, while duct tape is always useful in any situation.
Let’s go over some essential medical gear you need to bring on as well.
- Skin glue
- Antihistamine cream
- Insect bite medicine
- Insect repellent
- Diarrhea medicine
- Anti-inflammatory treatment
If you expect a lot of insects where you’re going (it’s not a jungle if there are not a million insects per square inch), you need to be prepared for that. Rubbing insect repellent into your skin will let you get through your adventure without having to deal with annoying scratches and skin irritations. Additionally, many insect bites can be even more dangerous. For instance, jungle mosquitoes can transmit malaria and yellow fever, something you really want to avoid if you’re spending your time in a forest. Of course, repellents can’t be 100% effective, so you need to make sure you have something like Benadryl not to let bee stings or other insect bites affect you.
Skin glue is used for small, but deep cuts, as it helps your healing process and closes the wound up. But beware, you have to make sure you’ve properly cleaned the wound. Otherwise, it can get infected, and that’s a terrible price to pay for negligence. Painkillers like Tylenol and Ibuprofen are always handy to stop your internal problems. Sunscreen and diarrhea medicine seem pretty self-explanatory.
Make it Your Own
As we’ve mentioned before, you have to customize your survival gear depending on where you go and who you go with. If there are some personal medications you or your co-travelers use, don’t forget those. Also, there are some items you will need if you’re more adventurous. For instance, if you’re going to a jungle, you should bring a snakebite kit as well. Yes, you can suck it out like in the movies, but are you willing to risk not doing it properly?
Additionally, when in a jungle, bringing an emergency blanket is also very important — as much as a fire starter tool! There, temperatures can drop low over the night. What’s more, rains are heavy and frequent (there’s a reason we call them rainforests). While the temperature stays up, rain and humidity will have your body temperature drop and dehydrate. Covering yourself with an emergency blanket will keep your body temperature in check, and you can cover yourself from the heavy rain.
Going on a camping trip or a jungle adventure is about flirting with nature and any potential difficulties (and dangers) it might bring. But going in there headfirst with no pre-thought is just silly. People going into a jungle with no first aid kits are just a news article waiting to happen.
You will have to traverse steep and rocky grounds, pass slippery rivers, and fight off vegetation and insects (possibly even animals). There will be possibilities for a wound on every corner, and you need to be ready for that. So the first thing you have to plan when preparing for a trip is a first aid kit! Don’t mess around without it — make sure you have everything you need.