First Aid Checklist

If you’re heading outdoors for a long or even a short hike, you should always carry a first-aid kit. Knowing how to use the items in a first-aid kit is as important as having them, so consider taking a training course.

Getting yourself a reference book and first aid kit for a full range of medical issues is also a wise move:  

Remember: Safety is your responsibility. No article or video can replace the advice of a medically trained professional. Make sure you’re practised in proper techniques and safety requirements before you render first aid.

The list below is a good starting point. It also includes emergency essentials that you might carry separately from a kit. Don’t forget to include any prescription medications your group needs, as well as additional supplies you might need for where you’re going and how long you will be out.

First Aid Basic Care

  • Antiseptic wipes (BZK-based wipes preferred; alcohol-based OK)
  • Antibacterial ointment (e.g., bacitracin)
  • Compound tincture of benzoin (bandage adhesive)
  • Assorted adhesive bandages (fabric preferred)
  • Butterfly bandages / adhesive wound-closure strips
  • Gauze pads (various sizes)
  • Nonstick sterile pads
  • Medical adhesive tape (10 yd. roll, min. 1″ width)
  • Blister treatment
  • Ibuprofen / other pain-relief medication
  • Insect sting / anti-itch treatment
  • Antihistamine to treat allergic reactions
  • Splinter (fine-point) tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • First-aid manual or information cards

Wraps, Splints and Wound Coverings

  • Elastic wrap
  • Triangular cravat bandage
  • Finger splint(s)
  • SAM splint(s)
  • Rolled gauze
  • Rolled, stretch-to-conform bandages
  • Hydrogel-based pads
  • First-aid cleansing pads with topical anesthetic
  • Hemostatic (blood-stopping) gauze
  • Liquid bandage

Additional Medications/Treatments

  • Prescription medications (e.g., antibiotics)
  • Sunburn relief gel or spray
  • Throat lozenges
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Antacid tablets
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Glucose or other sugar (to treat hypoglycemia)
  • Injectable epinephrine (for severe allergic reactions)
  • Aspirin (primarily for response to a heart attack)

Tools and Supplies

  • Knife (or multi-tool with knife)
  • Paramedic shears (blunt-tip scissors)
  • Safety razor blade (or scalpel w/ #15 or #12 blade)
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Standard oral thermometer
  • Irrigation syringe with 18-gauge catheter
  • Medical / surgical gloves (nitrile preferred; avoid latex)
  • CPR mask
  • Small notepad with waterproof pencil or pen
  • Medical waste bag (plus box for sharp items)
  • Waterproof container to hold supplies and meds
  • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Biodegradable soap

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