How to Build Your Own First Aid Kit for Backpacking

If you prefer to create your own first aid kit, you need to learn what supplies are commonly needed and how to treat everything from blisters to broken bones. Fortunately, most of the problems people encounter on weekend backpacking trips are minor, involving maladies such as sprains, blisters, insect bites and upset stomachs. But if you plan a more extensive trip, or are entering wilderness areas far from help, you will need to carry along a more comprehensive medical kit and receive more extensive training.

backpacking kit How to Build Your Own First Aid Kit for Backpacking

Here are a few basic items every kit should include:

- Adhesive tape (for holding dressings in place)
- Adhesive foam (for padding blisters & hot spots)
- Antiseptic cleanser (betadine, Bactine, etc’
- Bandaids (various sizes for minor wounds)
- Gauze pads (for cleaning and dressing larger wounds)
- Latex gloves (to protect your hands when treating injuries)
- Medications: Do not forget to include over-the-counter painkillersˇŞibuprofen is a popular anti-inflammatory for hikers.
Also bring antibiotic cream, and betadine or other wound cleanser. If you are traveling with children bring children’s strength medications such as aspirin, tylenol, etc., and carefully read directions on all medications before use.
- “Extractor” snake & insect bite kit (for removing venom)
- “Moleskin” or “Second Skin” (for covering blisters and wound?)
- Pre-moistened towelettes. For cleaning away dirt from around a wound, and cleaning hands before treating other people’s wounds.
- Splints (for immobilizing sprains and broken bones)
- Scissors (for cutting bandages, moleskin, etc.)
- Small flashlight (should already be part of “Essentials” kit)
- “Space blanket” (for keeping injured person warm)
- Thermometers (one for hypothermia as well as fevers)
- Tweezers
- Needles (for lancing blisters, removing deep splinters)

If you begin taking longer trips into more remote areas, or are traveling with someone with allergies, take a course in wilderness medicine and learn how to safely use the following supplies that would be included in more advanced kits:

- “Epi-pen.” Easily administered emergency epinephrine for allergic reactionsˇŞrecommended for anyone with a history of allergies to bee stings, poison ivy, etc.
- Oral rehydration supplies (for extreme diarrhea & dehydration)
- Sterile saline solution (for cleansing deep or dirty wounds).
- Oral antibiotics if infection is a concern and you are far from help.
- Prescription painkillers (for serious injuries)


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