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Thread: DIY First-Aid Kit

  1. #1
    Super Moderator renodesertfox is on a distinguished road renodesertfox's Avatar
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    Smile DIY First-Aid Kit

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    First aid kits are essential items to have regardless of where you are, but it is especially important to have a first aid kit on hand whenever you are camping or enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. The outdoors carry many more risks of injuries from insect or reptile bites, scrapes and scratches, blisters from extensive hiking, or even serious emergencies in the backcountry miles away from civilization. A well-stocked first aid kit could mean comfort from a nasty thorn or it could save your life.

    The items kept in your camping first aid kit will vary depending on your activities, but there are some basic items that should always be included. Keep the following items in a common container, like a small duffel bag, a cosmetic case, or a rubber container with a lid. Fishing tackle boxes make nice containers for camping first aid kits that are kept at camp.

    For a typical family camping first aid kit, include the following:

    • An assorted selection of adhesive bandages
    • At least 2 large compress bandages
    • 5 small gauze pads
    • 5 larger gauze pads
    • First aid tape
    • Scissors
    • 5 individual packets of antibiotic ointment or one tube
    • 5 antiseptic wipes (or travel pack of wipes)
    • 2 roller (ACE) bandages of different sizes
    • 2 triangular bandages
    • 3 hydro-cortisone packets or a small tube
    • Aspirin (at least 2 doses or a small bottle)
    • An oral thermometer that contains no mercury or glass
    • Tweezers
    • 2 pairs of medical gloves, preferably latex free
    • An instant cold compress
    • A breathing barrier for CPR
    • An emergency blanket or space blanket

    These are the bare minimum first aid supplies you want to take on your camping trips. Most outdoor enthusiasts recommend including the following supplies in your camping first aid kit as well:

    • Water purifying tablets
    • Bug and insect repellant
    • Calamine lotion
    • Burn relief spray and aloe lotion
    • Smelling salts
    • An eye patch
    • Eye drops or eye wash
    • Tooth repair kit and pain relief
    • Butterfly bandages
    • A variety of medications to battle common ailments like upset stomachs, headaches, and coughs and colds

    Your camping or outdoor first aid kit may need to include other supplies as well, depending on your activities. Many companies, including Coleman, Walmart, REI, LLBean or Cabelas offer convenient pre-made first aid kits designed for various activities. The Coleman survival kit is perfect for your base camp first aid kit. If you plan day hikes, bicycling outings, or other outdoor activities away from camp, you will want a smaller first aid kit with minimal supplies to carry in your day-pack.

    It is important to remember to maintain for your camping first aid kit just like you care for your other camping gear. Carrying an incomplete first aid kit is almost as bad as having no first aid kit at all. After each trip, check your supplies and restock anything that has been used. Remember to adjust the amount of items you carry based on the number of people who will be on your trip. Inspect your camping first aid kit at the beginning of each season for out of date or expired medications and supplies. Be sure to replace any items you throw out.
    Last edited by renodesertfox; 05-18-2011 at 05:44 AM.
    Get campin', Renodesertfox A canvas campateer
    Campin' Here Between Campouts! Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

  2. #2
    Primitive camper! Bigdog57 is on a distinguished road Bigdog57's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    Having had various 'first aid' kits, of many sizes, for years, I finally got to do a 'real world test'. I ended up with several rather bad infected skin sores on my right leg. Being into the 'prepper' lifestyle, I decided to 'self doctor' as if TSHTF and no doctor (and no modern meds) was available. I kept a close eye on things in case I did have to go in.....
    So, basically I used Povidone Iodine for wound cleaning and germ killing, a few different brands of Antibacterial ointments - Neosporin, Polysporin and the generic Publix store brand. Pain came and went, no sign of going 'septic', but some major clear liquid drainage and the scabbing would get soft at times.
    I'd wash it good with hot soapy water when bathing, dry it well, then treat with Povidone and the ointment, then wrap with three 4X4 gauze pads taped end to end (the wounds covered a fair sized area), and tape around the leg top & bottom. Eventually the drainage stopped, and real healing began. The scabbing would peal in places, especially after a good washing. Now, all scabs are gone, and it's healed.
    I went through a good many (used three 25-pack boxes) tripled 4X4's, three rolls of one inch cloth white medical tape and half an 8 0z. bottle of Povidone (used liberally, but never on deep penetrating wounds!) and two small tubes of ointment. Wiped out the stock I had in my big Medical Box (large red plastic toolbox) - so I learned I need to store a LOT more of these items! As the wounds got smaller, I used some extra-large 3X4 inch bandades - but these never seem to stick well, and fall off too easily. Best to tape them.
    So, you can bet I am repacking my smaller camping/motorcycling FA pouches. This was wih a fairly non-mobility threatening skin injury, NOT a deeper wound that would entail bloodloss and much more pain.
    Any "First Aid Kit" is a compromise on what you can carry, and what you expect to encounter. We can't prepare or carry enough for EVERY possible injury, but I did learn some useful info.
    I also pack a small snakebite kit (this IS wild Florida after all!) and a dental emergency kit.
    A small flashlight or head light can be invaluable, and some saline solution if you have the carry capacity. Tent poles can double as splints.

    In a pinch, any clean fabric and some Duck Tape can make a 'field expedient bandage' - been there, done that!
    Last edited by Bigdog57; 05-18-2011 at 04:00 PM.
    Longtime Motorcycle Camper. Getting away from it all on two wheels!

  3. #3

    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    We actually carry a small and a larger kit, one for hiking and one for camp. I'm Medic 1st Aid and CPR certified (a monkey can learn this stuff!) for the sake of the kids. We go a little "far out", so our first aid kit does as well, including a scalpel and sutures. Tp's mother is still working in the ER at 72, so he's gotten good advice regarding his kit. We don't pack iodine, as it kills bacteria but won't clean the wound. Simply flushing with water to clean the wound is a better treatment, and applying bacitracin or neomycin can keep the wound lubricated and prevent it from sticking to the covering bandage. We don't pack snake bite kits, as case studies show they are ineffective and sometimes dangerous to use by inviting infection and causing more cell death in the bite area than would otherwise result. We do keep our old snake bite kit at home as an oddity as it looks pretty cool...


  4. #4
    MikeB is on a distinguished road MikeB's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    I have always taken a large, well stocked first aid kit with me. I take a bottle of 100 aspirins (my preference) as well as a small bottle of no aspirin pain reliever. Essential is some Benadryl in case someone has an allergy attack.
    FlashLantern turns your flashlight into a lantern!

  5. #5
    Dubbya is on a distinguished road Dubbya's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    • 24 larger gauze pads
    • First aid tape
    • Scissors
    • one tube Neosporin
    • antiseptic wipes
    • 2 roller (ACE) bandages of different sizes
    • 2 triangular bandages
    • a small tube hydrocortizone
    • Aspirin small bottle
    • An oral thermometer that contains no mercury or glass
    • Tweezers
    • 4 pairs of medical gloves, preferably latex free
    • An instant cold compress
    • A breathing barrier for CPR
    • 2 space blankets
    • Water purifying tablets
    • Bug and insect repellant
    • Calamine lotion
    • Burn relief spray
    • Eye drops
    • Butterfly bandages
    • A variety of medications to battle common ailments like upset stomachs, headaches, and coughs and colds

    Borrowed your list and edited it for time's sake, Reno. I don't take bandaids, only gauze pads, tape, and roll gauze. It doesn't have to be pretty and I have bandaids in the truck. I carry the larger ones because they double as an eye dressing or a compress dressing.

    Not being snyde here, just comparing notes. Good first aid kit parts list.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator renodesertfox is on a distinguished road renodesertfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    Dubbya.....welcome to CF! And your list is right on target! I ain't a know-it-all, just been tent campin since I was 6 months old! Thanks for sharing your $0.02!
    Get campin', Renodesertfox A canvas campateer
    Campin' Here Between Campouts! Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

  7. #7

    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    Quote Originally Posted by renodesertfox View Post
    Dubbya.....welcome to CF! And your list is right on target! I ain't a know-it-all, just been tent campin since I was 6 months old! Thanks for sharing your $0.02!
    Don't let him try to fool 'ya Dubbya, he's the resident expert in these parts!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator renodesertfox is on a distinguished road renodesertfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    Thanks TP for your vote!

    I and my McMansion tent thank you! But you are so right on many aspects of camping yourself!
    Get campin', Renodesertfox A canvas campateer
    Campin' Here Between Campouts! Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

  9. #9

    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    Let's be honest here...everthing I know I stole from the old timers.

  10. #10
    Primitive camper! Bigdog57 is on a distinguished road Bigdog57's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY First-Aid Kit

    I find aspirin ineffective for me these days. Aleve works wonders for joint pain but not for sore muscles. Heat and movement seem best for that.....
    Longtime Motorcycle Camper. Getting away from it all on two wheels!

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