How to Pack a First Aid Kit for Camping

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Whenever we travel, and especially when we go camping, kayaking, or hiking together, we always carry a first aid kit with us. It stays in our vehicle 24/7, even for short day trips, like when we go fishing.

I also keep a stash of first aid supplies in our working pantry in our home.

I started carrying one with us because when Jacob and Jaden were little, there were numerous times they'd need a Band-Aid, and I wouldn't have one. So, I solved that problem by packing a comprehensive first aid kit that would hopefully get us through any mini catastrophe.

Trust me… With boys (just kids in general), there WILL BE lots of mini catastrophes. It's come in handy more times than I can even say.

We were given a kit years ago, so I've kept a few of the supplies that were in it and added to it over the years. You can buy a first aid kit, or you can put together your own kit. All you need is some sort of container, a small box, or zippered pouch. A zippered lunch box, with a handy dandy handle, is an easy solution.

What to Pack in Your First Aid Kit

If you keep the usual first aid supplies on hand, it's pretty easy to pack your own kit; it also gives you an opportunity to add in extra things that a regular first aid kit may not have. Here's a checklist of what to pack in your first aid kit…

Wounds and Injuries

When it comes to bandages and Band-Aids, be sure to pack multiples.

  • Bandages and Band-Aids (various sizes and types)
  • Butterfly adhesives
  • Gauze and/or gauze pads
  • Compress bandages/dressings
  • Bandaging tape
  • Scissors
  • Elastic bandages with clips
  • Cold compress – If you're carrying ice in a cooler, you could take a few resealable plastic bags for ice and use as a homemade cold compress, along with a wash rag.
  • Antiseptic cleansing wipes
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment or spray
  • Tweezers – for removing things like splinters or cactus spines while backcountry camping in Big Bend
  • Q-tips
  • Moleskin – for blisters
  • At least 1 pair of medical gloves
Pain and Comfort

Be sure you have the appropriate medications for all ages in your family (always consult a physician before giving or taking any type of medication).

  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Benadryl
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Anti-gas medication
  • TummyGize Essential Oil
  • Charcoal capsules
Itch Relief and Burns
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Lavender Essential Oil with a carrier oil in a roller bottle – great for bug bites
  • Burn cream
  • Aloe vera gel
Other Supplies and Necessities
  • First aid guide or booklet
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Emergency solar blanket
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Thieves Essential Oil
  • Oral or Forehead Thermometer
  • Nail clippers

If your family loves camping, you may also love our Camping Checklist for Packing, as well as our tips for cooking while camping.

Did I miss anything? What else would you add to a first aid kit for camping or family adventures?

Disclaimer: Everything I share about essential oils on Adventures of Mel is based on personal experience and has not been approved by the FDA. Please do your own research, and never use essential oils in a way that would make you uncomfortable. Also, take special caution for those pregnant or nursing, as well as infants and children. Read the full disclaimer.

1 thought on “How to Pack a First Aid Kit for Camping”

  1. My wife and I have been wanting to go camping for quite a while now so we’ve been researching what we’ll need to be prepared. After reading the article, I can see that I’ve underestimated just how much goes into a successful first aid pack for a camping trip. And the suggestion to get a zippered pouch or lunchbox would be really practical for storing our first aid supplies too.


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