How to Build First Aid Kits for Any Adventure

There are no wrong first aid kits, except the one you don’t have. here are the kits I have and when and how I pack them:

see video for details on different kits:

Basic / Travel kits

This should be a basic kit that you take with you on all overnight or weekend trips, keep in your glove box in your car, etc, and should include:

  • Adhesive bandages
  •  Gauze pads
  • Wound cleansing supplies / antiseptic towelettes
  • 3 triple antibiotic ointments
  •  Topical relief: sting relief wipes, first aid/burn cream and hydrocortisone cream
  •  Medications and antacids, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and allergy relief

Car Kit / Gear bag

Kit should include basics plus:

  • Wound care items: 10 wound closure strips, 4 triple antibiotic ointments, 6 After CutsĀ® towelettes, 1 tincture of Benzoin and 2 cotton tip applicators
  •  Bandages: 10 sterile dressings, 2 non-adherent sterile dressings, 1 conforming bandage, 1 trauma pad, 5 adhesive and 3 knuckle bandages
  •  Plus, 1 elastic bandage with rip-and-stick closure, 10 yds. adhesive tape, 22 precut and shaped moleskin pieces and 3 alcohol swabs
  •  Medications: 8 ibuprofen, 6 diamode, 3 antihistamine and 1 aspirin
  •  Other equipment: examination gloves, splinter picker forceps, irrigation syringe, 3 safety pins and a 26 in. x 2 in. roll of duct tape

Home Medical first aid kit

Should be your main kit and should be packed with what you and your family need for most emergencies from cuts, burns, abrasions, stings, etc. As you are home, in any emergency call 911.

Adventure / Outdoor First Aid Kit

From solo day hikes to multi-days with small groups these kits should include the following, in addition to the basics:

  • variety of medications to provide relief from allergies, pain, fevers and upset stomachs; a single-use thermometer
  •  Hospital-quality tools include EMT shears, precision forceps and an easy-to-read thermometer for efficient and effective backcountry medical care
  •  Clean and close injuries with supplies including an irrigation syringe, wound closure strips and tincture of benzoin
  •  Stop blisters with moleskin, a reliable dressing that reduces friction

Speciality Needs


you should be snake aware and be able to identify poisonous and non poises snakes, as well as wear proper hiking boots and foot gear.

If you go out where snakes are buy a snake rated kit for your area and learn how to use it.

Malaria / Yellow Fever

Again prevention is key and having proper bug spray and mpstuio nets as well as long sleeve shirts and pants in th tropics is important. Travel in areas where malaria is common ask your doctor for anti-malaria pills prescription or a yellow fever shot based on where you are going.


While tetanus or lockjaw is very rare I the US, those going to off grid locations in developing nations should consider a tetanus shot to prevent tetanus. The vaccination is good for 10 years.


While associated with cold temperatures and arctic conditions, Hypothermia can hit someone even in temperate climes during a day hike that goes bad.

Besides having dry clothes and proper gear, carry a space blanket — The emergency blanket creates an envelope of warm around you to prevent life-threatening heat loss.  they are about the size as a pack of cards and light to carry.

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