Whether you are hiking for the day on a local well maintained trail or heading out into the backcountry for a multi-day hike, you need to be prepared. A hiking or backpacking first aid kit is an essential and very important part of any hiking trip. There are no doctors or clinics at the top of a mountain and you need to know how to treat minor injuries.
A hiking first aid kit should be able to treat most minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes, small burns, slivers, bee stings and minor joint and muscle pain.
Check your supplies before you leave, make sure you are well stocked with the basic supplies of cotton, bandages, alcohol, tweezers, pain and fever relief medicine and insect bite relief for the kids if they are hiking with you.
A backpacking first aid kit is a slimmed down version of a car camping first aid kit or what you keep at home. Because weight and space are at a premium you need to really decide what you need to take with you.
Make sure you have checked expired dates on medicines, and any liquids are carefully wrapped. We also suggest wrapping some duct tape around your magnifying glass to save weight and space.
If you are unfamiliar with how to treat minor injuries consider taking along small first aid book with you or doing some research to educate yourself so that you are prepared while you're away.
You need to take a hiking or backpacking first aid kit with you. What you put in it depends on a few things:
- where you are going
- how long you will be away
- what the weather is most likely to be
- the activities you are planning
- the age of any children with you
Duct tape is an invaluable item, especially hiking and it has hundreds of uses. Always bring some duct tape with you.
This first aid information is based on our family's experience and what we normally take with us. Use this first aid kit list as a guide and modify it for your family's needs.
• cotton swabs or balls
• bandages of all sizes
• antibacterial lotion
• over the counter allergy relief
• joint and muscle pain relief
• tensor wrap
• Cold compresses
• magnifying glass
• disposable warm packs
• duct tape
• multi use utility knife
• emergency blanket
• ear and eye drops
• pocket mirror
Take your time packing up a hiking first aid kit. Many items can be used for more than one purpose and you will be very thankful for being well prepared in the event that anything happens that required first aid treatment.
Thankfully our family has only encountered small first aid treatment over the years of hiking and camping but you'd be surprised at what can happen when you're out in nature without any medical supplies. It does not take much but is well worth having those minor injury first aid treatments in your hiking backpack.