Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

First Aid For Campers: Preparing A Camping First Aid Kit


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Linell Edens



When heading out into the great outdoors, whether it’s a weekend camping trip or a week-long hiking adventure, it’s important to be prepared for any possible scenarios, including medical emergencies. One of the most crucial aspects of camping preparedness is having a well-stocked and comprehensive first aid kit at your disposal. A camping first aid kit is an essential tool that can potentially save lives and provide immediate relief for minor injuries.


Accidents and injuries can happen anytime, anywhere, and being far away from civilization amplifies the importance of being self-reliant in terms of medical care. Even though you may have access to medical facilities or emergency services in some camping areas, it can take hours or even days for help to arrive in remote locations. This is where a properly equipped camping first aid kit becomes invaluable. It allows you to administer immediate first aid treatment and can make a significant difference in the outcome of an injury or medical emergency.


While there are commercially available camping first aid kits, it’s important to customize your kit to meet your specific needs and the level of risk associated with your camping activities. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential supplies you should include in your camping first aid kit, as well as additional items to consider and tips for using your kit effectively.


Remember, first aid knowledge and preparedness are equally as important as the supplies themselves. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with basic first aid techniques and principles, so you can effectively respond to any emergency situation that may arise during your camping trip. With the right knowledge and a well-equipped camping first aid kit, you can confidently embark on your outdoor adventures, knowing that you are prepared to handle unexpected medical challenges.


Essential First Aid Supplies for Camping

When assembling a camping first aid kit, it’s important to include a variety of supplies to address a range of injuries and emergencies. Here are some essential items to consider:

  1. Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes): These are useful for covering minor cuts, scrapes, and blisters.
  2. Gauze pads and adhesive tape: These are essential for dressing larger wounds or applying pressure to stop bleeding.
  3. Antiseptic wipes or solution: These help clean wounds and reduce the risk of infection.
  4. Tweezers: Useful for removing splinters or foreign objects from the skin.
  5. Scissors: Handy for cutting tape, clothing, or bandages.
  6. Disposable gloves: Protect yourself and others from potential infections when providing first aid.
  7. Triangular bandages: Versatile for making slings, immobilizing limbs, and creating bandages.
  8. Instant cold packs: Provide relief from swelling, pain, and inflammation.
  9. Pain relievers: Include over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  10. Antihistamines: Essential for treating allergic reactions, insect bites, or stings.

These are just a few examples of the essential first aid supplies you should have in your camping kit. However, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your camping group, the activities you’ll be engaging in, and potential environmental hazards when selecting items for your kit. For example, if you’ll be camping in an area with a high likelihood of encountering ticks, it may be appropriate to include tick removal tools and specialized creams or ointments to treat tick bites.


Remember to check the expiration dates of your supplies regularly and replenish any items that have been used or are nearing expiration. Additionally, it’s a good idea to store your camping first aid kit in a waterproof and durable container to protect the contents from moisture, impact, and environmental elements.


By ensuring that your camping first aid kit is well-stocked with these essential supplies, you’ll be better prepared to handle potential injuries and emergencies during your outdoor adventures.


Basic First Aid Supplies

When it comes to basic first aid supplies for your camping kit, there are a few key items that you should always include. These supplies are versatile and can be used to address a wide range of common injuries and medical issues. Here are some essential basic first aid supplies to consider:

  1. First aid manual: A compact and comprehensive guide to help you handle different types of injuries and emergencies. It provides you with step-by-step instructions for administering first aid.
  2. Disposable face masks: These provide a barrier to prevent the spread of germs and protect yourself and others during first aid procedures.
  3. Pen and paper: Useful for documenting important information, such as the time and date of injury, vital signs, and any treatments administered.
  4. CPR mask or face shield: If you’re trained in CPR, including a mask or shield allows you to perform rescue breathing while minimizing the risk of exposure to bodily fluids.
  5. Emergency contact information: Include a list of emergency contact numbers, including local emergency services, the nearest hospital or clinic, and any important personal contacts.
  6. Whistle: A loud whistle can be used to attract attention in case of an emergency or if you’re lost.
  7. Flashlight: A compact flashlight with extra batteries is essential for navigating in low-light conditions or during nighttime emergencies.
  8. Emergency blanket: These lightweight and compact blankets provide insulation and can help prevent hypothermia in case of exposure to cold weather.

These basic first aid supplies form the foundation of your camping first aid kit. They help you provide initial care and comfort while awaiting specialized medical help if needed. Alongside these supplies, it’s important to have a clear understanding of basic first aid techniques, such as CPR, wound cleaning, and tending to fractures or sprains. This knowledge, combined with the appropriate supplies, can make a significant difference in the outcome of an emergency situation.


Remember to periodically check and restock your basic first aid supplies, ensuring that they are in good condition and not expired. It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with the proper use of each item, especially if you’re not already trained in first aid and CPR.


By including these basic first aid supplies in your camping kit, you’ll be well-prepared to provide initial care and assistance in the event of common injuries and emergencies that may arise during your outdoor adventures.


Wound Care Supplies

Accidents happen, especially when you’re spending time in the great outdoors. That’s why it’s essential to have a well-stocked supply of wound care items in your camping first aid kit. These supplies can help you clean and dress wounds, reducing the risk of infection and promoting faster healing. Here are some key wound care supplies to include in your kit:

  1. Cleansing solution: An antiseptic solution or wound cleanser is crucial for cleaning wounds before applying any dressings. It helps remove dirt, debris, and bacteria from the wound to minimize the risk of infection.
  2. Gauze pads and rolls: Gauze is highly absorbent and can be used to apply pressure to control bleeding or to dress larger wounds.
  3. Adhesive tape: Used to secure dressings and hold them in place.
  4. Wound closure strips: These adhesive strips help hold the edges of a wound together and promote faster healing. They are useful for small cuts or lacerations where stitches may not be necessary.
  5. Sterile dressings: Include a variety of sterile dressings in different sizes to cover wounds of various shapes and sizes.
  6. Medical adhesive or skin glue: These are helpful for closing small wounds or cuts, providing a barrier that prevents dirt and bacteria from entering the wound.
  7. Disposable gloves: To protect yourself and the injured person from potential infections.
  8. Tweezers and scissors: For removing debris, cutting tape, or trimming dressings.

It’s essential to ensure that your wound care supplies are sterile and stored in a clean and dry environment. Regularly check the expiration dates and replace any items that have expired or are damaged.


Additionally, it’s a good idea to include a small magnifying glass or a pair of magnifying glasses with different magnification levels. These can be useful for examining small wounds or removing splinters that may be difficult to see with the naked eye.


Remember, proper wound care can make a significant difference in preventing complications and promoting healing. Clean and dress wounds promptly, and seek medical attention for any deep cuts, puncture wounds, or wounds that show signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or increased pain.


By having the necessary wound care supplies in your camping first aid kit, you’ll be prepared to handle common injuries and promote the health and well-being of everyone in your camping group.


Medications and Treatments

In addition to first aid supplies, it’s important to include medications and treatments in your camping first aid kit. These items can help alleviate symptoms, manage minor illnesses, and provide relief in various situations. Here are some medications and treatments to consider:

  1. Pain relievers and fever reducers: Include over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve pain and reduce fever.
  2. Allergy medication: Antihistamines are essential for treating allergic reactions resulting from insect bites, plant allergies, or other environmental allergens.
  3. Anti-diarrhea medication: Useful for managing symptoms of mild gastrointestinal issues that may arise during camping trips.
  4. Topical ointments and creams: Include antibiotic ointment to prevent infection in wounds, hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and rashes, and aloe vera gel for soothing sunburns.
  5. Eye drops: Consider including lubricating eye drops to provide relief for dry or irritated eyes.
  6. Oral rehydration solutions: These powdered packets can be mixed with water to help replenish fluids and electrolytes in case of dehydration.
  7. Insect repellent: Provide protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects to reduce the risk of bites and stings.
  8. Sunscreen: Essential for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays and preventing sunburn.

It’s important to check the expiration dates on medications and treatments regularly and replace any that have expired. Additionally, keep in mind any specific medical conditions or allergies within your camping group and include any necessary medications or treatments accordingly.


While these medications and treatments can provide relief for minor conditions, it’s important to seek medical attention for more serious illnesses or injuries. Your camping first aid kit is designed to provide initial care and comfort, but it is not a substitute for professional medical assistance.


By including these medications and treatments in your camping first aid kit, you’ll be prepared to manage common ailments, minor injuries, and discomfort that may occur during your outdoor adventures.


Emergency Tools and Equipment

In addition to medical supplies and medications, it’s important to include emergency tools and equipment in your camping first aid kit. These items can help you handle more serious situations, perform basic emergency procedures, and provide assistance in challenging circumstances. Here are some essential emergency tools and equipment to consider:

  1. CPR mask or face shield: These tools provide a protective barrier while performing CPR, reducing the risk of exposure to bodily fluids.
  2. Emergency blanket: Lightweight and compact, emergency blankets help retain body heat and provide insulation in case of cold weather or hypothermia.
  3. Tourniquet: A tourniquet can be used to control severe bleeding in the event of a major injury. Make sure to get proper training on its use.
  4. Emergency whistle: A loud whistle can attract attention and call for help in case of an emergency or if you’re lost.
  5. Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife: These versatile tools come in handy for various tasks, such as cutting rope, opening cans, or repairing equipment.
  6. Duct tape: Known as the handyman’s secret weapon, duct tape can be used for temporary repairs, splinting broken bones, or securing bandages.
  7. Compass and map: Essential for navigation and orienteering, especially in unfamiliar or remote wilderness areas.
  8. Signal mirror: A small mirror with a reflective surface can be used to signal for help or communicate over long distances.
  9. Headlamp or flashlight: Ensure you have a reliable source of light for nighttime emergencies or when navigating in low-light conditions.
  10. Extra batteries: Pack spare batteries for your flashlight or headlamp to ensure a continuous source of light.

These emergency tools and equipment can help you take necessary actions, communicate effectively, and manage challenging situations during camping trips. While having these items is important, it’s equally essential to familiarize yourself with their proper use and seek appropriate training whenever necessary.


Remember, prevention is key when it comes to emergencies. Stay informed about the terrain, weather conditions, and potential hazards of your camping area. Always inform someone about your camping plans and expected return time.


By including these emergency tools and equipment in your camping first aid kit, you’ll be better prepared to handle unexpected situations and promote the safety and well-being of yourself and your camping group.


Additional Items to Consider

In addition to the essential first aid supplies, there are several additional items you may want to consider including in your camping first aid kit. These items can enhance your preparedness and provide solutions to specific situations or needs that may arise during your outdoor adventures. Here are some additional items to consider:

  1. Burn gel or ointment: Useful for treating minor burns caused by cooking accidents or contact with hot surfaces.
  2. Instant cold packs: These can provide immediate relief for sprains, strains, or other injuries that require cold therapy.
  3. Elastic bandages: Helpful for providing support and compression for sprained or strained joints.
  4. Safety pins: Useful for securing bandages, making slings, or fashioning makeshift repairs for gear or clothing.
  5. Eye wash solution: A sterile solution for flushing foreign objects or irritants from the eyes.
  6. Emergency medication: If you or someone in your camping group has a specific medical condition or requires emergency medication (such as an EpiPen for severe allergies), make sure to include it in your kit.
  7. N95 or surgical masks: These can be useful in situations where air quality is poor or when dealing with infectious diseases.
  8. Snake bite kit: If you’ll be camping in an area with venomous snakes, consider including a snake bite kit (with a suction device and instructions for use) for emergency treatment.

It’s important to assess the specific needs and risks associated with your camping trip and tailor your first aid kit accordingly. For example, if you’ll be camping in a region with high tick activity, including tick removal tools and insect repellents can be crucial.


Remember, a well-prepared first aid kit should also contain any personal medications, such as prescription drugs, that you or your camping group requires.


Lastly, it’s a good idea to consider taking a first aid and CPR certification course. This will equip you with the knowledge and skills to administer proper first aid in emergency situations.


By including these additional items in your camping first aid kit, you’ll have a more comprehensive set of tools and supplies to handle a broader range of scenarios during your outdoor adventures.


Tips for Using Your Camping First Aid Kit

A properly stocked camping first aid kit is essential, but knowing how to use it effectively is equally important. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your camping first aid kit:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the contents: Before your camping trip, take the time to familiarize yourself with the supplies in your kit. Know where each item is located and how to use them properly.
  2. Understand basic first aid techniques: An adequately stocked first aid kit is only as effective as the person using it. Take a first aid and CPR course or refresh your knowledge regularly to ensure you are up to date with basic first aid techniques.
  3. Customize your kit: Tailor your first aid kit to your specific needs and the potential risks of your camping destination. Consider any specific medical conditions or allergies within your camping group and include necessary medications or treatments.
  4. Check expiration dates: Regularly inspect your first aid supplies and medications to ensure they are still within their expiration dates. Replace any expired or depleted items promptly.
  5. Keep it organized: Maintain a well-organized first aid kit by using separate compartments or labeled bags for different types of supplies. This allows for quick and easy access during an emergency.
  6. Practice preventive measures: In addition to having a first aid kit, take preventive measures to minimize the risk of injuries. Use sunscreen, insect repellent, and appropriate safety gear for your planned activities.
  7. Keep the kit easily accessible: Store your camping first aid kit in a waterproof and durable container. Ensure it is easily accessible in case of an emergency and that all members of your camping group know where it is located.
  8. Regularly replenish supplies: After each camping trip, review your first aid kit and restock any used or depleted supplies. Replace items that may have expired or have been damaged.
  9. Seek further medical assistance as needed: While a camping first aid kit can provide immediate care, it is important to seek professional medical help for more severe or persistent injuries and illnesses.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Stay alert, follow safety guidelines, and be proactive in reducing the risk of accidents or injuries during your camping trip.


By following these tips and maintaining a well-stocked and well-organized camping first aid kit, you’ll be prepared to handle common injuries and emergencies, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable camping experience for everyone involved.



Having a well-stocked and comprehensive first aid kit is an essential part of camping preparedness. The outdoor environment can present a range of potential risks and injuries, making it vital to be prepared to handle medical emergencies effectively. By assembling a camping first aid kit and familiarizing yourself with its contents, you can confidently navigate unexpected situations and provide immediate care when needed.


In this guide, we discussed the essential first aid supplies to include in your camping kit, such as adhesive bandages, wound care supplies, medications, and emergency tools. We also highlighted the importance of customizing your kit to meet the specific needs of your camping group and the conditions of your camping destination. Additionally, we provided tips for using your first aid kit effectively, including staying organized, checking expiration dates, and seeking further medical assistance when necessary.


Remember, while a well-prepared first aid kit is crucial, it should not replace proper training and knowledge in first aid and CPR. Consider taking a first aid course to enhance your skills and confidence in administering first aid during emergencies.


Ultimately, a camping first aid kit is your lifeline in the great outdoors. It empowers you to provide immediate care, reduce the severity of injuries, and potentially save lives. By prioritizing safety, preparedness, and ongoing education, you can embark on your camping adventures with peace of mind, knowing that you are equipped to handle unforeseen medical challenges and ensure the well-being of everyone in your camping group.