Hiking First Aid kit essentials

One of the most important items among the 10 essential things you need on a day hike is a first-aid kit and even though you can purchase ready-made first aid kits at stores, I would recommend adjusting it according to your needs. The main reason for this, is so that you become more aware with its contents, learn the expiry dates and the usage of each item. The list below offers a suggestion of some basic items that should be in personal first-aid kits.

  • Plasters / bandages in a variety of different sizes and shapes (2 of each size)

  • Medical / duct tape

  • A set of medical gloves

  • Antiseptic or alcohol wipes (4) for cleaning wounds

  • Butterfly closure strips (2)

  • Safety pins (2)

  • ​Hemostatic gauze to stop bleeding

  • A roll of sterilized, non-stick gauze to treat larger wounds

  • Gauze pads

  • Elastic wrap to treat strains and sprains

  • After bite wipes or gel for insect bites or plant stings

  • A small size tube with antibiotic ointment

  • A pair of tweezers - for splinter or stinger or tick removal

  • Moleskin to prevent blisters

  • Alcohol based sanitizing gel

  • A multi tool - e.g. Swiss Army knife

  • Pocket mask for CPR

  • A small whistle

  • Space blanket – to preserve body heat

  • Lighter or a small box of matches

  • A small card listing emergency contact and any important personal medical information

  • A variety of medical tablets: Anti-inflammatory (2 tablets), pain relievers (2 tablets), antihistamine in case of allergic reactions (4 tablets), aspirin (2 tablets), Imodium for diarrhea relief (2 tablets)

  • Any prescribed medications in a labelled bag

  • Personal items - for example, I wear contact lenses, so I always have an extra pair with me and eyedrops

  • Electrolyte replacement powder


It is important to note the following:

  • Adjust the kit based on your needs, the number of people you are responsible of and the length /days of your hike.

  • Check your first aid kit regularly to replace used items

  • Medicines should always have labels and check them consistently to make sure they're within their expiry date

  • I strongly encourage you to join a First Aid course to gain the knowledge and confidence to deliver assistance in the event of an emergency

  • Since your first aid kit will be with you during hikes and all seasons make sure you choose a water-resistant, drop-proof bag

  • If you are planning to travel for hiking, you will be experiencing different hygiene levels, perhaps limited access to medical aid and different health hazards (i.e. altitude, insects etc). Make sure to research before your trip and get any additional medication necessary.

I hope you found this post helpful and always be prepared before each hike. Stay safe and enjoy your adventures! Feel free to share with me your comments or any questions you might have!


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