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First-Aid Kit Checklist: 13 Must Have Items For Hiking And Backpacking | Mountain Matron

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 2:05 PM

First-Aid Kit Checklist: 13 Must Have Items For Hiking And Backpacking | Mountain Matron

If you are not a medical professional your first-aid kit should focus on the following

  • Stop Bleeding
  • Clean/Wrap Wounds
  • Treat Symptoms/Pain
  • Seek Medical Professional

Entering the wilderness prepared is essential to safety, entering the wilderness with intentions of self-sufficiency is critical. Bring the right supplies and know how each can be used. Understanding when and how to use the items below can keep an emergency situation from becoming a formidable fight for survival.


1] Medical Grade Gloves: Statistics show if you’re ever caught in a bloody emergency there is a likely possibility it won’t be your blood, and if you have ever taken a first aid, emergency medicine, or wilderness medicine course you know the first thing you absolutely need to do to protect the wound and yourself from infectious disease is put gloves on. Carry minimum of 2 pair. 

2] Sanitizer, Antiseptic, Antibiotic Ointment: Hand sanitizer is a valuable way to rid your hands of any infectious agents. Use it before cleaning an open wound on yourself or anyone else. Saline/antiseptic solution is helpful for flushing deeper wounds and antiseptic wipes are effective for cleaning surface wounds. Antibiotic ointment will fight against infection when applied directly to burns, minor cuts or abrasions.

3] Bandages: Carry several size options in adhesive bandages. Medium to large rectangle bandages are good for knee abrasions, limb lacerations, or heel blisters. An Elastic Bandage is going to help for minor sprains or strains to your limbs or smaller extremities. Including a liquid bandage formula in your kit allows for additional treatment options for minor cuts and scrapes. Sterile gauze and adhesive tape can also be used to help treat and protect wounds.

4] Over The Counter Medication: Ibuprofen, chewable Aspirin, Meclizine, and an Antihistamine medication are common symptom relief, generating an effortless remedy when prepared. Your doctor or pharmacist should manage all of your medications.

5] Prescription Medication: Always bring an extra dose of important daily meds. If you get stuck for any reason, finding yourself hours behind your anticipated schedule, missing your daily prescription can turn things desperate very quickly.

6] Tweezers, Safety Pin & Cotton Balls: Tweezers are good for removing cactus spines or splinters from the skin or your four-legged companion. Safety pins work well to repair torn fabric on backpacks, clothing, etc. You can also use a safety pin to secure your elastic bandage. Cotton can be used as a multipurpose item; most commonly for fire starting and wound treatment.

7] Emergency Blanket: Sudden weather change can be deadly. An emergency blanket offers temporary relief from life-threatening low temperatures, shelter from light rain, and a source of reflective signaling for air rescue.

8] Trash Bags (13 Gal) x 2: A trash bag has a list of uses; a rain poncho, a rain cover for your backpack, a lightweight option for wet/dirty clothes, or the basic use of removing litter from the trails.

9] Lip Balm with SPF: the sun is brutal, having a lip balm with spf offers protection from harmful rays. Dehydration is common and can quickly cause dry, chapped lips, carrying lip balm for immediate symptom relief will prompt the skin’s healing process. Chapstick, Carmex and Vaseline contain enough petroleum to additionally help as an emergency fire starter.


10] Sunscreen: The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to wear long, light-colored clothing that cover all areas of the skin and a wide brim hat, if you are not covering the skin the next best option is a travel size bottle of sunscreen. Sunburns can become severe causing blisters, nausea, confusion, and extreme pain.


11] Sharpie: A permanent marker is an excellent resource for effective marking of maps, labeling personal items, or keeping tally. Writing things down can be crucial for keeping record when suffering conditions affecting memory retention or short-term confusion.


12] Bic Lighter: You do not need to be an expert survivalist. Bringing a Bic lighter will create efficiency when needing a fire; keeping warmth top priority and allowing for a better outcome in various emergency circumstance.

13] Extra Batteries: Bring extra brand new batteries for your headlamp. You could be stranded for hours without sunlight, having a functioning headlamp will add safety and comfort to any emergency.

Place each item into (1) half-gallon waterproof bag. Using a lightweight element-proof storage bag will allow for maximum comfort while on the move.

What do you pack in your first-aid kit? Do you pack activity focused items? Tell us about your kit and your first-aid hacks in the comment section below.

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Categories: Hiking, Travel

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