First Aid Kit for Hiking

First Aid Kit for Hiking

First aid kits for hiker that you can buy in supermarkets etc. could be equal, but they are not. There is a huge range of different ones out there. So before you go out and just buy one and think you are ready to go, you might just take a look at what you might really need. And then check if it actually is inside the kit. If it just has a few bandages and tapes it might not be the right one. If you actually want to go on a multi day trip or are in the wilderness where they might have snakes, you would need a few extras.

Better prepare your own individual first aid kit. If you bought a prepackaged one** already no worries, just use what you need and then include the other things you want to bring with you.

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Everyone carries their own first aid kit

If you are hiking in a group, everyone should carry their own first aid kit. If anything real bad happens it would be safest if you have enough bandages to really help somebody… 

And everybody is different, so you might need medication that others don’t carry, so remember to pack your own first aid kit always!

And if you have made an individual kit, make sure people find it on first sight, if they might need to help you (write “first aid kit” or a red cross on your bag/kit )

Typical first aid kit

A first aid kit for hiker should at least include these things:

  • Blister prevention (wool it**, Band Aid**, …)
  • Blister treatment ( e.g. Dr. Scholl**)
  • Medications (pain relief, prescriptions, allergy medications, maybe something against diarrhea, salt (put it into your water, helps immediately against cramps),…etc…)
  •  Simple wound care like bandaids
  • disinfection spray
  • Medical gloves to prevent contamination in case you need to help another person (should be latex free because latex is a very common allergen)
  •  triangular bandage
  • tweezers (to remove ticks, thorns, splints..) use your tweezer you already have or get a tick-check-kit** 
  • trauma shears/Swiss knife.

Individual extras:

  • Your own prescription medication!
  • If you hike in winter, bring an emergency blanket. No need to use disposable ones, there are great and lightweight reusables safety blanket/sleeping bag** you can bring. You can even use it to sit a while on your lunch break.
  • If you hike in areas where there are snakes: bring snake bandages, antihistamine tablets.
  • If you camp: a multi tool (like a Swiss knife) and needle plus durable yarn or dental floss for thread, duct tape for repairing tents
  • If you hike in areas with a lot of ticks, definitely bring anti tick spray/lotion, tweezers and maybe some ointment
  • Sam splint**
  • If you have a special disease bring a small copy of information or your treatment record, etc. So people who need to treat you if you are unconscious know what’s up. Plus your emergency contact.
  • Emergency fire starter if you hike in winter or very remote areas (a small bag with lint)
  • tiny emergency whistle.
  •  Biodegradable wipes (even though it says biodegradable, it doesn’t mean you can leave them behind! Please leave no trace! Don’t leave anything behind but footprints!)

How to pack the kit

  • Use a reusable water proof bag or a reusable sealed container.
  • Most important things like glove, bandage, tape or spray closer to the top.
  • Heavier things at the bottom (sam splint e.g.)
  • If you have liquids that could spill, pack them into a reusable zip lock bag (could be used as trash bag for medical waste too if you need it)
  • Pack any medicals that come in foil packs (tablets etc) into a smaller hard case to avoid the foil packs get bursted.
  • And make sure to sign the kit as first aid kit, in case that others need to help you when your unconscious. If they can see it is the first aid kit on first sight they can help quicker!

If you travel to developing countries

If you travel to developing countries to do some hiking, bring any necessary medication with you.

If you run out of medication don’t worry, you will be able to buy most medication. It is mostly cheaper too and you need no prescription, but you might not get the exact product you are used to have.

Just to name an example, my boyfriend has asthma, and he needed a new inhaler when we traveled through Thailand. Easy to buy because you don’t need a prescription, cheaper too, but a different kind than he was used to. So first thing after we arrived back home he got the one he used to have… So now we always make sure to pack a new inhaler before we go.

Always be prepared and informed before you go to a developed country. You can get a lot of health oriented information on the WHO website.

First Aid Course

If you are planning on spending a lot of time in the wilderness, in the mountains, or maybe bring your kids, it would be a great idea to do a first aid course. Being prepared and knowing what you need to do if anything happens (CPR, venomous bites, injury management, etc.) , can potentially save lives! If you like to read a little bit about first aid and what to do in medical emergency situations, the book from Paul Auerbach: “Medicine for the outdoors”** could be interesting for you.

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