A Guide to Your Camping First Aid Kit
Things to consider when buying a first aid kit for an outdoor activity such as camping – and there are so many. Our experience tells us the first thing to consider is the activity you intend on doing and the climate you intend on doing it in. For example, a first aid kit consisting of animal plasters and a lollipop for the children for use in your back garden won’t cut it on an ice climbing trip to Scandinavia.
Another important consideration is your ability – if you were to open your first aid kit, would you know how to use each item contained inside? Is it time to maybe enrol on a basic first aid course? Even the most complete first aid kit is rendered useless if the knowledge required to give basic first aid is lacking.
For this guide, we’ll assume we will be participating on a low risk camping activity.
Our definition of a low risk camping activity:
- Falls from height will be unlikely.
- Risk from submersion in dangerous waters (cold, deep, fast flowing etc) will be minimal.
- Medical attention is available within the hour.
- Shelter, food and water are no further than 4 miles or one hour walk away.
Always make sure you are competent to carry out any activity you plan to engage in. Use your judgement to determine the risk factor of your activity. Always take into account any factors beyond your control – a sudden fall in temperature or visibility can render any activity dangerous.
Moving on to the first aid kit, the first thing to be included in any kit is personal medication – that is any medication that has been prescribed to you that you would require on a day to day basis.
The rest of your kit should consist of at least:
- Waterproof First Aid Kit Bag
- First Aid Tape
- Antiseptic Cream
- Anaesthetic Spray
- Variety of Gauzes
- Eye Wash
- Burn Relief Ointment
- Variety of Bandages
- Plasters / Band-Aids
- Some form a pain relief – Aspirin / Paracetamol / Ibuprofen
- Latex Gloves
- An EpiPen or similar
You should consider including the following items if not already included in your survival kit:
- A Fire steel or similar
- Water Purifying Tablets
- Space Blanket
Finally, the following we consider optional but make great additions when pack weight isn’t an issue:
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Insect Repellent
Read on below for a description of each item steel bite pro and its suggested use.
Waterproof First Aid Kit Bag
There is absolutely no reason not to have a waterproof first aid kit bag to hold your first aid kit contents. The items in your first aid kit should be kept clean and dry at all times – a damp first aid kit is almost like no first aid kit.
Flashlight / Torch
Chances are you’ll be carrying a flashlight anyway, but should always carry one in your first aid kit. This should be pretty self explanatory; first aid is a lot harder in the dark. Besides this, a torch is a great morale booster when an injured member of your party is immobile in the dark.
Don’t carry just one whistle – carry one for each member of your group in case you need to separate or are separated for any reason. It is not only required to signal for help but is just as important to signal to each other.
These have a variety of uses in many first aid scenarios from trimming bandages and gauze to removing clothing in an emergency. Try not to use these for general tasks and try to keep sterile where ever possible.
First Aid Tape
First aid tape has an unlimited number of uses, from a makeshift splint to taping on gauze. A roll should be found in every emergency first aid kit.
A minor cut or graze wouldn’t normally cause a problem – until it gets infected and can ultimately lead to very serious complications. Application of an antiseptic cream to keep this from happening could be very important.
This may bring some welcome relief to common mishaps such as burns, stings, bites, cuts and grazes. Be sure to read the accompanying leaflet for details on the use of the spray – different sprays can be used on different ailments.
Variety of Gauze
Knowing when to use a gauze is easy when you know its purpose – to help stop bleeding. A gauze is made from porous fibres designed to absorb and trap the blood and thus help it clot. Do some research on when to and when not to use a gauze.
Deemed unnecessary by some , but we like to take an eye wash in our first aid kits so we know we have a convenient and sterile wash available should any of our party be involved in an eye related incident.