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First Aid Kits


Monica Palmer, RSRC Safety Administrator

First Aid Kits for the Wilderness

If you like to spend time outdoors camping, biking, or hiking, a first aid kit is essential, and can even save a life.  When you are in the wilderness, you are likely to be a longer drive from any hospital or emergency care center, and you may not have any cell service to call for assistance.  Therefore, the contents of your first aid kit may be more crucial than what is in the medicine cabinet at home.

The following is a list of recommended items for your wilderness first aid kit.

Basic components:

  • Small gauze pads
  • At least 2” gauze roll
  • Non-adhesive gauze pad
  • Adhesive bandage tape
  • Butterfly closures
  • Band-Aids, various sizes
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Bulb irrigating syringe
  • Povidone/iodine solution
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Chemical heat and cold packs
  • Dry-wash pads or wipes
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Moleskin pads
  • Latex gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First Aid Instruction Booklet


  • Antacid
  • Antibiotic (Dicloxacillin, etc.); skin infections
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl, etc.); allergic reactions, insomnia
  • Anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen); inflammation, pain
  • Hydrocortisone cream (soothes allergic skin)
  • Potable Aqua; iodine water treatment

Optional Additions

  • Duct tape
  • Super glue
  • Small mirror
  • Epi-pen
  • Aloe-vera gel

Whether you build your own first aid kit or purchase one from a store, be sure to inspect the contents before venturing out to replace any used or outdated items.  The kit should be in an accessible location, and all members of your party should know where it is located in case you become incompassitated.