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First Aid Must Haves

September 18, 2019 2 min read 0 Comments

First Aid Must Haves

If you’re always ready to head out for an adventure, your first-aid kit should be ready too. Make sure you keep it well-stocked with this checklist of essential items for successful first aid on any outdoor excursion.

Adventure-Ready First Aid Kit Essentials:

1. Knowledge


What good are first aid supplies if you don’t know how to use them? At the very least, you should keep a first aid manual in an easily accessible pocket of your pack. But as a responsible outdoor adventurer, you should strongly consider taking a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course in order to be maximally prepared for first aid scenarios in the outdoors.

2. Gauze, Bandages, and Dressings


Use these to stop bleeding and to seal and protect wounds. Make sure you pack multiple sizes of gauze pads and rolls to contend with injuries of all shapes and sizes.

Splinting Materials

Credit: Inside Firstaid

Pack a SAM splint and some self-adherent wrap (aka cohesive bandage) so you can avoid resorting to MacGyver-ed stick splints.

Medical Tape

Credit: AMDNext

Useful for fastening bandages, making quick repairs, and holding splints together if the wrap alone isn’t quite enough.

Cutting Tools

Scissors, medical shears, or even a pocket knife/multi-tool (if that’s all you have, just make sure to sterilize it when used near the skin) can be used to trim bandages, cut clothing, help remove splinters, and perform various other first aid functions.  


Credit: ABC12

The big four meds that you should always carry are aspirin, Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Tylenol (acetaminophen), and Advil (ibuprofen). You should also pack any additional meds that you know might be necessary for your specific environment and medical needs (think along the lines of prescription meds, anti-venom if you live in snake country, or epinephrine if you or any of your adventure partners have severe allergies).


Credit: Grainger

Nitrile gloves, disinfectant wipes/solutions, and antibiotic meds/ointments will help you to prevent infections and maintain a clean environment while attending to first aid scenarios.

Protection From the Elements

Credit: Bikepacking

This includes a survival blanket, fire-starting materials, sunscreen, bug repellant, and any other items which might help you to avoid the potential dangers of your specific natural environment.

Rescue Signal

Credit: Soundings Online

Pack a rescue whistle, signal flares, and/or a signal mirror in case first aid doesn’t quite cut it and you need to get the heck out of the woods. Your first-aid kit is a great place to store these items to ensure that they don’t get lost in some obscure corner of your pack.


The best kind of first aid is prevention, but it isn’t always possible to prevent medical mishaps in the unpredictable world of outdoor adventure. Keeping your first aid kit well-stocked and your knowledge current is the best way to prepare for the various cuts, bites, and bruises which are the cost of doing business in the rugged terrain of the natural world. Keep the must-haves on hand so you can adventure with confidence!

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