The list of essentials that every first aid kit for backpacking should include



One mild injury in an uncharted terrain and you can feel pangs of anxiety surging deep within you. To top that, imagine not having the first-aid kit with you and you are in for one hell of a nightmare! If this ‘sounds’ scary, imagine how unwholesome facing such a situation can be like! That is why the thumb rule for backpackers is to never step out of their home without a first aid kit.


However, before you start packing the first aid kit, you should always remember that the kit contents will depend on certain factors:

  • The medical condition of the hiker
  • Length and duration of the trip, and of course
  • The area of your backpacking trip

This is important because whatever you pack, you don’t want it to be either insufficient or unnecessary.

Before you get the list of things that make an ideal first-aid kit, here are

A few tips on packing a First-Aid Kit

To begin with:

  • Curious as it may sound, preparing an ID is the first step. It should contain all the basic information and should always be with you. This is the first step to ensure your own safety.
  • Next, find something in which you will carry all the first aid essentials. It should be ideally small and lightweight for a smaller trip and a Ziplock bag or a small container if you are going for a longer trip.
  • About the contents of the kit, place the general ones like aspirin, band-aid, etc on top so that you can locate them easily.

Next comes the most important part:

What should a good first aid kit
contain when you go backpacking?

Different people will give you different suggestions. Here is a combined and collective list of the things that you should contain:

1. A comprehensive First-Aid manual: to let you know how and when to apply first aid.
2. Bandages: for dressings or in cases of splint
3. 4-inch closure strips or butterfly closures: adhesive strips to enclose any cut or wound.
4. 4 * 4 inch standard sterile dressing pads (5 to 10): aid in tropical dressing
5. Non-adherent sterile dressing (2 * 2 inches): aids in dressing; as the name suggests
6. Gauze roll: for dressing in case of cuts and wounds
7. Small roll of 1-inch adhesive tape: to secure dressings
8. Multi-use tool or knife: to cut bandages, adhesive tapes and the like
9. Forceps or tweezers and Scissors: aid in the dressing procedure
10. Magnifying glass: helps in identifying the wound better
11. Thermometer: helps in case of measuring temperature
12. Malleable splint: it is designed to immobilize bones and other soft tissue injuries in case of emergency situations.
13. Irrigation syringe (35 cc): used in flushing and cleaning wounds
14. Safety pins: keep the dressings together
15. Cotton tipped swabs: used in cleaning ear, wounds or application of ointments
16. Duct tape: keeps wound bandages in order
17. Razor blades: to cut bandages, adhesive tapes and the like
18. A small mirror: you can look at the wound while applying ointments
19. Re-sealable plastic bags: to keep your things in order
20. ACE, Coban, or other rubberized bandage: it is used as outer cover on splints, wound dressings and also supports joint injuries
21. Antiseptic towlettes: to clean cuts, wounds and scrapes
22. Cleansing pads with lidocaine: used in cleaning cuts and wounds
23. Moleskin: it prevents and provides relief for blisters
24. Lighter: in case you are required to burn off any old dressing
25. Povidone Iodine USP 10 percent, 1 oz.: it prevents infection
26. Aloe vera gel: immediate relief from scars, cuts or minor burns
27. Salt tablets: it helps in case of chronic fatigue, muscle cramps or heat prostration
28. Sunscreen: it helps to prevent sun tan
29. Pain relievers, including aspirin and Ibuprofen: reduce fever, or mild aches and pain
30. Antihistamines: they help in providing relief in case of severe itching
31. Imodium 2 mg capsules or tablets: a diarrhea preventive
32. Pepto Bismol or anti-acid tablets: easy relief for common stomach problems
33. Lip balm: to keep your lips soft
34. After Bite or hydrocortisone cream USP 1 percent: general relief from diarrhea, or stomach upset
35. Insect repellent: to keep the nasty insects off you
36. Latex or nitrile gloves: protection against contamination in case of biological or chemical hazard
37. Water disinfection system: it makes the water pure and suitable for consumption
38. CPR micro-shield mask: effectively prevents mouth-to-mouth contact at the time of CPR.
39. Oral rehydration salts: treat dehydration cases
40. Hand sanitizer: to make your hands clean before eating or administering medicine
41. Space bag/blanket: it is used as a sleeping bag or an emergency blanket
42. Paper and pencil: it helps in keeping track

The list is pretty long. It requires patience and organizing skill to collect and prepare a First-Aid kit.

However, if you want to avoid all the hassle of purchasing and organizing the kit, then there are loads of options of pre-packed kits. One such is the

Fully Stocked Tactical Trauma Kit First Aid Kit Bag

  • It carries as many as 230 items of first aid. Clearly you will not be left in the want of anything.
  • There are a lot of compartments so that you can easily organize the contents for easy access.

In case of any emergency situation, this bag will be of utmost help to you

Being fully prepared is the only way in which you can avoid and survive any minor to major injuries during your backpacking trip. Make sure you have a well-stocked backpacking first aid kit to accompany you.

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