Joe is a seasoned camper who likes to spend his time in the outdoors doing what he loves--birdwatching, hiking in the woods, and reading by the campfire. Owen is a new-ish camper who some would call "extreme." He spends his camping trips rock climbing and biking on the edge (of a cliff!). What could these two campers, with obviously different ideas of what camping means to them, have in common? They both have a need for a well-stocked first-aid kit. Sure, Owen might actually use it more than Joe would, but accidents and emergencies happen, and every responsible camper needs to be prepared with the right tools. Could Joe get pecked in the eye by a Western Kingbird? Maybe. Is it possible that Owen might get road (cliff) rash if he wipes out? Definitely! Both campers will be glad that they have a fully stocked first-aid kit with them when (not if!) accidents happen.
Prepackaged first-aid kits are widely available for purchase and contain the basic first-aid essentials. Or you can make your own first-aid kit and customize it to your camping and recreation needs. If assembling your own kit, choose a box that is large enough to hold everything and has multiple compartments/sections so that you can group similar items together. Tackle boxes work well, as do plain plastic boxes that you can find at any superstore. Have a fun label maker at home? Create labels for your compartments so that you can quickly and easily find what you need. Also, inspect the contents of your first-aid kit periodically to make sure that your batteries still work and your medication and ointment hasn't expired. The list below is an exhaustive list. Tailor your first-aid kit to your own personal needs.
All first-aid kits should include these basic items:
BASIC FIRST-AID ITEMS
· List of your current medications with expiration dates
Add the following items to your first-aid kit depending on your camping style and family needs:
· Rolled gauze · Rolled, stretch-to-conform bandages · Elastic wrap · Hydrogel-based pads · First-aid cleansing pads with topical anesthetic · Hemostatic (blood-stopping) gauze
· Hand sanitizer · Aloe Vera gel · Aspirin · Antacid tablets · Throat lozenges · Lubricating eye drops · Loperamide tablets for diarrhea (Imodium) · Poison ivy/poison oak preventative & treatment · Glucose or other sugar to treat hypoglycemia
TOOLS & SUPPLIES
· Sunscreen · Lip balm · Insect repellent