Whether you are going on a hike for an hour or two or a week-long camping trip, safety is always key. From carrying a mini safe for your fire arm for proper storage to being sure to have a source of clean water, when it comes to spending time out in the wilderness, you should always expect the unexpected. Being prepared for anything also means carrying a well-stocked first-aid kit in your bag with you at all times. Here is what yours should have:
- Bandages: Keep a variety of sizes and shapes of disposable bandages for minor cuts, scrapes and blisters that you may run into on the trail.
- Antiseptic towelettes and ointment: Use these to clean any wounds before dressing them.
- Butterfly closure strips: These are better for larger wounds that need to be kept closed.
- Dressing pads: In the case of bleeding that needs to be stopped, 4 inch by 4 inch sterile dressing pads should be used.
- Gauze roll: This will hold the aforementioned pads in place without adhesives.
- Pain relief medication: Generally, ibuprofen is a good all-around pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drug. Keep some around in case of injuries as well as for minor aches and pains.
- Antihistamines: These are available in both pill-form – good for general hay fever and pollen allergies as well as relief for some insect and stings – as well as a topical ointment, which is meant for bug bites or skin irritation from things like poison oak.
- Tweezers: For splinters, ticks and removing debris from wounds, pack a set of fine-point tweezers.
- Cotton tip swabs: A great tool for a variety of uses, like applying ointment to wounds or removing foreign objects from eyes.
Your first-aid preparations should also be dictated by where you will be and the time of year. For example, hikers in cooler weather should also consider a Mylar blanket, while those heading out on a hot day should bring rehydration salts to protect against dehydration and heat exhaustion.