Camping

Safety First: A Checklist for Your Camping First Aid Kit

You’re camping deep in the woods. You settle down to enjoy your campfire when… bam! A wasp gets you right on the side of the neck.

If you’ve got the right first aid supplies, this is no big deal. However, if you don’t, you risk a serious allergic reaction to the sting, infection at the site, or at the very least some serious pain.

Having the right supplies in your camping first aid kit is critical. This is especially true if you’re planning to camp far away from medical facilities. You can buy a first aid kit that has the basics included or put together your own and tailor it to your needs.

Here are all the items you should include in your camping first aid kit.

Bandages and Wraps

Cuts and scrapes are some of the most common camping mishaps, and they’re susceptible to infection. They’re also the easiest ailment to take care of as long as you have the right supplies.

Adhesive Bandages (Many Sizes and Materials)

It’s important to carry with you a variety of bandages. That includes different sizes and different materials. You never know where you’ll have cuts and scrapes, and different sized bandages work well on different areas of the body.

Medical Tape

Pack medical tape. This is useful for fashioning a larger bandage for a bigger wound, or for taping up broken fingers and toes.

Butterfly Bandages

Butterfly bandages are something you might not think of, but they come in handy if you have a deep cut that needs sutures. These bandages hold the cut tightly together until you get to a doctor for stitches.

Liquid Bandages

Along with butterfly bandages, liquid bandages are a great idea if you’ve got the room. With a deep cut, it’s important to keep it closed so it doesn’t get infected. Liquid bandages along with butterfly bandages are the best way to prevent infection.

Gauze and Gauze Clasps

You’ll want to have a roll of gauze and gauze clasps. Use this along with your medical tape to bandage up a large area. You can also wrap the gauze around your wrist or ankle in the case of a sprain.

Creams and Ointments

Applying first aid medication ointment on injured leg outdoors.

Your first aid kit needs medicine to keep wounds from getting infected. It also needs medications to protect your skin and to soothe discomfort. Make sure you have all of the following in your kit. 

Triple Antibiotic Ointment

A triple antibiotic ointment is an absolute must. This is your first line of defense against infection.

Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrocortisone cream relieves and reduces rashes and other skin irritants. Trust us, you’ll want this around if you happen upon a patch of poison oak.

Sunscreen and Aloe Gel

Sunscreen is important to keep your skin safe while you camp and hike. Nobody wants to camp with a painful sunburn. If you do happen to get too much sun, make sure you pack some soothing aloe gel to relieve pain and promote faster healing.

Eye Drops

Eye drops keep your eyes clean and help soothe irritation. They can come in handy and don’t take up much space in the kit. Bring some along.

Antihistamine Cream or Gel

Antihistamine cream or gel relieves allergic reactions and can be a real lifesaver for those nasty bug bites or other small allergic reactions.

Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito repellent will keep the bugs off you and help keep you happy while you’re out and about. Even if you plan to camp during cooler weather, bring the repellent just in case.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is important to flush wounds before you dress them. This, along with the antibiotic ointment, provides the best protection against infection. Make sure to flush with hydrogen peroxide every time you change your bandages.

Supplies and Tools

An image of wound material

Medication and bandages are important, but you also need to have the right tools. Here are the tools and supplies we suggest.

Medical Scissors

If you need to get inside clothing quickly, medical scissors are the best tool for the job. They’re also good to cut gauze and bandages.

Tweezers

Use tweezers to pull out stingers, like in the wasp scenario we mentioned above. They’re also good for pulling out splinters and thorns.

Thermometer

If you or someone in your party has a fever, you’ll want to know so you can turn back and seek medical attention. Carrying a thermometer is a great idea because it helps you spot a serious illness or the onset of infection.

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves provide a sanitary way to take care of wounds. Having a few pairs in your kit won’t take up much space, either.

Cotton Swabs and Cotton Balls

Cotton swabs and balls make cleaning up wounds easier. Dab a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide to clean away debris and disinfect the wound.

 

Miscellaneous Items

Man holding pain pills

In addition to all the supplies listed above, you should also bring along the following items.

Pain Medicine: Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Aspirin

Keep a variety of pain medication on hand. That includes Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Aspirin. If you have serious issues, like broken broken bones, you’ll need to rotate medications to control pain around the clock. They are also essential for keeping a fever under control.

Smelling Salts

Smelling salts take up limited space but are super useful in a pinch. If you need to revive someone after a possible concussion, you’ll be happy to have them.

Antacid Tablets and Anti-Diarrhea Medication

Antacid tablets make you more comfortable if you have stomach issues. Anti-diarrhea medication keeps you from getting dehydrated if you come down with a stomach bug.

Oral Antihistamine Medication

Seasonal allergies tend to flare up when you get into deep woods or dusty areas. Pack oral antihistamine to relieve allergy symptoms.

Water Bottle with Flush Spout

A water bottle with a flush spout helps you flush out wounds. Keep it full of fresh, clean water to avoid infections.

Case to Hold Everything

Keep your supplies in a sturdy, waterproof case to make sure they’re accessible when you need them. The case should be light enough for you to carry with you anywhere.

Camping First Aid Kit Basics

tents in the wilderness

Preparation is key when it comes to staying safe on a long camping trip. The further away you are from other people, the more supplies you should bring.

Use this checklist to pack your waterproof case. Remember, bring a variety of bandages and wraps. Creams and ointments keep you safe from infection and more comfortable. Tools are important for administering medical attention, and you never want to leave home without pain medications to control pain and fever.


A quality first aid kit gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip without worrying about medical emergencies. What do you have in your first aid kit that you’d add to this list? 

A checklist for your camping first aid kit

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