A good first aid kit for hikers is that one item that you often overlook when packing for a shorter hike. Much like wearing a seatbelt, it goes unnoticed until something goes wrong, at which it becomes a necessity. Especially in remote locations where there few fellow hikers and phone signal is low, throwing a first aid kit in your backpack is crucial in aiding injuries of various degree.
With thinking of packing a kit come the questions and hesitations: How much do they weigh? Are they expensive? Are there smaller travel kits that do not take up as much space? What are some of the top ones to get?
By realizing the importance of a first aid kid and keeping a replenished kit with you will let you enjoy your adventure knowing you are ready when something goes wrong.
First aid prep before hiking
There are a few steps that can be taken before going into the outdoors that will significantly help you as a hiker, if worst case scenario were to ever happen. While these steps will take some time and money, all it takes is for you to save your life once for it to pay off.
- Learn plants and bugs - Take some time and research non-dangerous bugs and plants to eat or use for medicine. While this may seem too wilderness-ish for you as a hiker, it is important to have the basic understand. This step does not require a lot of time, but can definitely help if you are ever in a bad situation.
- Learn different knots - By learning how to tie different knots, you will be able to tie a tourniquet, splint, or any other knot that might be able to assist you in a tough time.
- Take a first aid course - One simple way to increase your overall knowledge of first aid is to take a course. These are offered in most places and are fairly cheap. Similar to the other two tips, this will pay off immensely when you are in trouble.
Supply Checklist for your First Aid kit:
When approaching packing a first aid kit, opinions vary on the essentials. Below is a list of the absolute basics for what you should bring. Keep in mind, that a first aid kit is not something that you should want the minimum on.
- 3M Micropore Medical Tape
- Alcohol wipes
- Gauze (for larger wounds)
- Antibiotic cream
- Ibuprofen tablets
- Antihistamine tablets (for bites, allergic reactions; e.g. Benadryl)
- Small utility tool
- Sewing needle
- Safety pins
- Fire starter
- Card listing emergency contact & personal medical information.
A great recommendation for a first aid kit: Small First Aid Kit
A few other items that could be beneficial are: medical gloves, duct tape, butterfly closure strips, blister treatment, and a first aid manual. This list is by no means comprehensive, but will allow any hiker a solution for most injuries.
In conclusion, there are plenty of ways to prevent or heal any injuries that you may incur on a hike. By learning the right plants and bugs to eat, how to tie knots, and enrolling in a first aid course, you will be prepared for whatever nature throws your way. Additionally, knowing the basics that should be included in a first aid kit will allow you to either pack your own home made kit or purchase a suitable kit at your local outdoor store.
Whatever first aid pack you choose, you will have confidence in knowing that you have prepared and have adequate materials needed to fix almost any injury that nature throws at you. Now you can take on new adventures and not be held back by a lack of first aid knowledge. Add to your arsenal a good fire starting kit and you will be able to face almost any situation