DIY Backpacking First Aid Kit
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DIY Backpacking First Aid Kit Checklist
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PackedTypeItemDescription & UseDay HikingOvernightMulti-Day
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Medicines & TreatmentsAloe vera gelTo relieve sunburn, rashes and chaffingOptionalSuggestedSuggested
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Medicines & TreatmentsAntacidsTo treat acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion and coughs.SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Basic First AidAntibacterial ointmentOintments such as Neosporin, Bacitracin, Polysporin and Germolene help to prevent infection.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Medicines & TreatmentsAntidiarrheal pillsTo treat the symptoms of diarrhea.UnnecessarySuggestedSuggested
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Medicines & TreatmentsAntifungal foot powderBecause multiple days on the trail can turn your feet into a happy (and pungent!) breeding ground for fungi. We recommend Desenex Foot Powder.OptionalOptionalSuggested
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Basic First AidAntihistamineTo treat allergic reactions to foodstuffs, pollen, dust, animals, plants etc.SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Basic First AidAntiseptic WipesNecessary for disinfecting/sterilizing wounds, cuts and scrapes. BZK (benzalkonium) wipes are preferable but alcohol-based wipes will also do the trick.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Medicines & TreatmentsAspirinCan be used to treat pain, fever, inflammation, or to stop an impending heart attack.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Basic First AidAssorted Adhesive BandagesVarying lengths and widths to cover different sizes of cut or wound. Fabric bandages adhere better than plastic.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Basic First AidBlister treatmentPads such as Dr. Scholl’s help to heal and prevent blisters.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Basic First AidButterfly bandagesUsed to assist the closure of small wounds and cuts.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsCleansing pads with topical anestheticTo clean out wounds. The anesthetic properties numb the area while you clean.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Basic First AidCompound tincture of benzoinActs as an extra adhesive on bandaging and helps to seal cuts and wounds.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Tools & SuppliesCotton-tipped swabs​For cleaning wounds or applying ointments.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Tools & SuppliesCPR maskAids resuscitation during CPR.UnnecessaryUnnecessaryUnnecessary
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Tools & SuppliesDuct tape (small roll)​Useful for securing splints or bandages (or making gear repairs).UnnecessaryUnnecessaryOptional
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsElastic wrapTo compress strains and sprains.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsFinger Splint(s)To immobilize and protect injured fingers.OptionalOptionalSuggested
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Basic First AidGauze pads (various sizes)For cleaning wounds and applying ointments.SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Medicines & TreatmentsGlucose or other sugar solutionTo treat hypoglycemia.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Medicines & TreatmentsHand sanitizerTo sterilize hands prior to treating an open wound or cut.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Tools & SuppliesHand warmers​A very welcome addition should one of your team develop signs of frostbite.UnnecessaryUnnecessaryOptional
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Wraps, Splints and Wound Coverings​Hemostatic GauzeSeals wounds more effectively than powders or creams.OptionalSuggestedSuggested
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsHydrogel-based padsProtect dry or dehydrated wounds and minor burns.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Basic First AidIbuprofen or other painkillersFor use in a variety of situations, ranging from headaches, toothaches and menstrual pains to relieving pain in sprained ankles or wounds.SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Medicines & TreatmentsInjectable epinephrineTo treat life-threatening allergic reactions.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Basic First AidInsect sting relief treatmentPads or wipes which contain some form of antiseptic, analgesic, anesthetic or antipruritic and reduce irritation and inflammation.SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Tools & SuppliesIrrigation syringe​To irrigate and cleanse wounds. An 18-gauge catheter is preferable.OptionalOptionalSuggested
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsLiquid bandageIdeal for protecting cuts, scrapes and wounds on areas where bandages and plasters are liable to fall off, i.e. finger joints, elbows and knees.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Medicines & TreatmentsLubricating eye dropsTo treat eye infections and injuries. More likely to be required in arid, dusty terrain and in the case of photokeratitis (snow blindness).OptionalOptionalOptional
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Basic First AidMedical adhesive tapeTo secure bandages and dressings. Waterproof varieties recommended. A ten-yard roll with a minimum 1” width should suffice.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Tools & SuppliesMedical gloves​For sterilization and treating someone else’s wounds (nitrile varieties are best)SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Tools & SuppliesMedical waste bag​To dispose of used items.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Basic First AidNonstick sterile padsProtect wounds from infection and can be removed without re-opening the wound.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Medicines & TreatmentsOral rehydration saltsTo prevent and treat dehydration. Also useful for staving off cramp and muscle fatigue.OptionalSuggestedSuggested
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Wraps, Splints and Wound Coverings​Oval eye padsFor protecting and treating eye injuries.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Medicines & TreatmentsPoison ivy/poison oak treatmentBarrier creams such as IvyBlock will help to prevent developing a rash. Cortisone creams or calamine lotion will help reduce itchiness should a rash develop.OptionalOptionalOptional
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Medicines & TreatmentsPrescription medicationsAntibiotics, insulin, antidepressants etcOptionalOptionalOptional
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsRolled GauzeFor wrapping wounds and other injuries. A 4”x 4-yard roll will cover longer trips and weighs next to nothing.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsRolled, stretch-to-conform bandagesAn upgrade on rolled gauze, these allow for greater movement in injured areas such as elbow joints, knees or fingers.OptionalSuggestedSuggested
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Basic First AidSafety pinsFor securing bandages, slings and dressings.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Tools & SuppliesSafety razor blade/scalpel​For minor field surgery.UnnecessaryUnnecessaryOptional
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsSAM splints​A lightweight and more versatile means of immobilizing bone and soft tissue injuries.UnnecessaryUnnecessaryOptional
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Tools & SuppliesScissors (blunt tip)​To cut dressings and remove clothing from injured areas.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Tools & SuppliesSmall mirror​To assist with eye and facial injuries.Critical (if solo)Critical (if solo)Critical (if solo)
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Tools & SuppliesSuture needle and thread​To stitch larger wounds.UnnecessaryUnnecessarySuggested
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Tools & SuppliesThermometersA standard oral thermometer and alow-reading thermometer to gauge fevers and hypothermia respectively.UnnecessarySuggestedSuggested
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Medicines & TreatmentsThroat lozengesLubricates irritated throat tissues. Particularly useful at high altitude or in very dry or cold climates.OptionalOptionalSuggested
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Wraps, Splints and Wound CoveringsTriangular cravat bandage​To create slings, tourniquets and protect head and eye injuries.SuggestedSuggestedSuggested
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Basic First AidTweezersTo remove ticks and splinters.CriticalCriticalCritical
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Tools & SuppliesWaterproof container​To protect supplies and medication.CriticalCriticalCritical
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The above list is a suggestion based on our experience. When assembling your first aid kit, please consider your health, fitness and the likely condidtions of your trip. We hold no responsiblity for your safety or health.
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