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The First Aid Checklist You Need For Camping

The First Aid Checklist You Need For Camping

Whether you’re going tent camping, backpacking, or RV camping, a first aid checklist and kit are essential safety items. 

Never set out on any adventure without first being prepared for anything – emergencies included! This first aid checklist has everything you need to pack a great camping first aid kit. 

Whether you make your own kit or buy one, use this checklist to make sure nothing is left out. 

Let’s check it out!

Going Camping? You Need a First Aid Checklist and Kit

First aid kits are essential no matter who you are or where you’re going. Accidents are called “accidents” for a reason! So make sure you’re prepared for any accident, anywhere, with a first aid checklist and kit. 

The best thing about a first aid checklist is that you can add everything you might ever need to it. Then, you can modify your kit depending on the type of trip you’re taking. 

In addition, be sure to keep all your supplies up-to-date. It’s recommended that you go through any first aid kits at least every six months to ensure nothing is close to expiring, including batteries.

Essential First Aid Checklist for Camping

The Red Cross has its own list for what you should include in a first aid kit. However, our list will be a little more comprehensive. That way, you can choose what to include or exclude based on your trip and your family’s needs. 

As recommended by the Red Cross, every first aid kit should include certain items at minimum. 

Personal Needs

You’ll want to include any personal items you might need on your first aid checklist. Think of things such as your regular prescriptions or over-the-counter medications and supplements. Do you have things you only rarely use, such as an Epi-Pen or asthma inhaler? Make sure they’re on your checklist.

Also, remember to place emergency contact information in your kit. Put it on top or in an otherwise obvious place so first responders can see them right away if you’re unconscious when they arrive.

Do you have to inject something for certain emergencies such as anaphylactic allergies or low blood sugar? Keep a permanent marker on your checklist and in your kit. Then, you can write the dosage and time at the injection site or on your arm – again, in case you’re unconscious when help arrives.

Basic First Aid Checklist

You can buy ready-made basic first aid kits at most pharmacies or large grocery stores and just add it to your kit. At a minimum, the Red Cross suggests the following:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings 
  • 25 adhesive bandages 
  • Adhesive cloth tape 
  • Antibiotic ointment packets 
  • Antiseptic wipe packets 
  • Packets of aspirin
  • Hydrocortisone ointment packets 
  • Gauze roll (roller) bandage
  • Sterile gauze pads 
  • Sterile gauze pads \

Beyond Basics

You’ll also want to include some less-commonly used items in your basic kit. These include an Ace bandage or two for sprains or wrapping splints, an instant cold compress, non-latex gloves, an oral thermometer, tweezers, and scissors.

An emergency blanket is good in case of shock or for minor protection from cold or rain. They’re compact, so we recommend having one per person in your first aid kit.

Lastly, the Red Cross recommends a breathing barrier for CPR and triangular bandages.

Camping First Aid Checklist Essentials 

Now that we have the official Red Cross first aid portion covered, here are some additional items you should bring along when you’re camping. This will certainly cover you for bug bites, scrapes, allergies, and more!

Additional Medications

There’s nothing like having intestinal issues out in the wilderness, so we suggest items like Pepto-Bismol, Tums, and an anti-diarrheal for your first aid checklist. Another option is activated charcoal (found in most stores’ supplement sections), which is great for bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

Also, we suggest bringing multiple pain relief medications in the smaller bottles. You may do well with ibuprofen, but someone else in your group may do better with acetaminophen. In addition, acetaminophen helps reduce fevers.

Lastly, include Benadryl and an insect bite cream or gel for itch and swelling. Something that also works well for poison oak and ivy is a good idea.

We mention Benadryl specifically as an antihistamine because it’s helpful for your pets, as well as people, for swelling and itching from insect bites and more. Contact your veterinarian to find out the right dosage for your pets before you go camping, and write it on your checklist, so you have it handy.

Bite Protection and First Aid

As mentioned above, Benadryl is helpful for insect bites. But protecting yourself from getting them is important, too, especially in areas prone to Lyme disease. So your first aid checklist should certainly include bug spray. In addition, consider adding a snake-bite kit and a tick-removal tool. If you don’t know how to use them, find some videos to watch before you go camping.

Sun Protection and First Aid

Preventing sunburn is as important as treating it. While not technically a first aid item, a good hat should always be on your list along with a strong sunblock. We suggest you place some sort of sunburn relief on your first aid checklist too, even if it won’t be hot where you’re going.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Eye drops or an eyewash cup are helpful, and an irrigation syringe can pull double-duty as an eyewash (carefully) or wound cleanser. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are a good idea if you don’t have hot water and soap nearby.

And water purification tablets or are always a great backup, even if you have a water filtration system. They’re compact, inexpensive, and last quite a while.

Additional Items

As mentioned above, sunburn relief gel is a good idea, and you’ll also want some regular burn cream on your first aid checklist. In addition, you may want to include chapstick, cotton balls, petroleum jelly, and feminine hygiene products.

Pro Tip: The petroleum jelly and cotton balls also make a great fire-starter. Find out how to make them here!

Tools for Your First Aid Checklist

Besides the obvious first aid items, you’ll want to have certain tools on your checklist. A good multi-tool is handy even outside of an emergency. A lighter and weatherproof matches make for easier fire-starting. They’re also good for sterilizing needles or other metal first aid implements if you don’t have isopropyl alcohol.

Duct tape can be used for just about anything you need, from patching boats or tents to repairing broken tools. Super Glue and rope can also be very useful.

Flashlights are important pieces of your first aid checklist. While you’ll want to have a mini flashlight that you can use to look into small spaces, you’ll also want a headlamp to keep both of your hands free. Be sure to include spare batteries for each light!

Lastly, a whistle and mirror are useful for alerting rescue teams in case you need help.

Camping First Aid Kit: To Buy or To Make? 

Many excellent camping first aid kits are available on the market today. They have almost everything you need and come in rugged carrying containers. But should you make your own instead? 

This comes down to personal needs and preferences. If you research camping first aid kits and find one with everything you need, go for it! 

But some people would prefer to make their own for peace of mind, and that’s great too. 

You can make your own camping first aid kit out of supplies you already have at home. Just use this first aid checklist, and be sure all your medications and creams aren’t expired!

Be Prepared With a First Aid Kit

Now that you have this checklist in hand, you can set out on your adventure assured that you could handle most minor first aid emergencies while camping. 

Nobody wants to get injured or bitten by pesky bugs… but these things tend to happen when we’re enjoying the great outdoors! Save this article, make your checklist, and keep your camping first aid checklist handy for all your future adventures. 

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  1. Cathie Leslie says:

    Black pepper (or some other type of anticoagulant) for wounds. Not for major wounds but will stop bleeding instantly from scrapes and minor wounds. Safe on animals as well.