Sometimes cuts and scrapes can become a part of the camping experience. Bummer! Though most camping injuries are minor and do not require emergency medical attention, it is important to keep your camping first aid kit stocked with the right essentials so that you can keep wounds clean and dry and avoid infection.
The number of times I’ve been out in the camper and wished I had this or that is way too many to count. BUT, one thing I never forget to bring is my camping first aid kit. Over the years, I have perfected what I bring based on my experiences. For example, the one time my nail was half ripped off while chopping wood means I’ll never forget to bring nail clippers again! And yes, that one did hurt.
Your camping first aid should be unique to you, but this list will be a good place to get started!
Prebought First Aid Kit or Make Your Own?
You can decide for yourself whether you want to create your own first aid kit or buy one that is already pre-made. The benefit of building your own is that you can customize it to your specific needs. For example, including aloe vera if you know that you have a tendency to sunburn or antacid if you know that you get heartburn. Even if you opt for the prepackaged first aid kit, most will have some room left over for you to toss these items in.
Camping First Aid Checklist
A first aid kit should include the following:
- Antiseptic, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and Neosporin. When spending time outdoors camping, it is extremely important to keep wounds clean to prevent infection.
- Bandages of all shapes and sizes. Once you have cleaned out the wound, it is a good idea to cover it up to protect it. Also include bandage tape and a small pair of scissors.
- Tweezers to remove splinters, ticks, etc.
- Nail clippers. You can get nasty hang nails when you least expect it or need to clip your toenails in tight hiking boots.
- Hydrocortisone cream for itches from poison ivy, mosquito bites, etc.
- Burn ointment, particularly if you are going to be cooking hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire.
- Tylenol, Advil, etc. Pick your favourite pain reliever.
- Benadryl for allergic reactions.
- Aloe vera. Lots of time in the sun means you may be susceptible to sun burns.
- Sunscreen and bug spray. Preventative measures always work best!
It is also a good idea to include a first aid handbook in your first aid kit. Before leaving for your trip, flip through the book, and familiarize yourself with the basics of first aid. Make sure you have the items the book discusses (within reason) in your first aid kit. You can usually find one of these books in a travel size, and they provide basic instructions for most types of emergencies.
Natural Camping First Aid
I’m a big fan of taking the natural route. When I can understand and trust every ingredient of a product, I feel much better about putting it on my skin. Making your own products doesn’t take as much effort as you may think!
Plants are powerful allies to have while camping. Learn more beneficial herbs for camping as well as some of my go-to natural products to make before a camping trip.
I also have plenty of recipes for everything bugs. From bug spray to anti-itch roll-ons, I have you covered for all the bugs, bites, and itches of camping.
Camping First Aid Final Thoughts
A little time and energy before your trip can ensure your safety and those of your campmates. Surrounded by dirt in the great outdoors, there is a much better chance of infection.
Small wounds can become a big deal in a hurry if not properly cleaned. It doesn’t take much time or money, and the security of knowing that you can treat small injuries easily is well worth it. Always better to be safe than sorry, especially when you’re camping in remote areas!