Being prepared (for instance, taking a hiking first aid kit) for an incident on the trails is a must-take precaution to avoid the more serious situations.
Most injuries hiking relates to minor sprains or ailments that can leave the hiking feeling quite miserable.
Plus, for those planning to spend a lot of time hiking in the wilderness, it can benefit to sign up for a first aid training course.
Basic knowledge of first aid makes it easier to deal with venomous stings and bites as well as crisis situation skills like injury management and CPR.
What should I pack
First aid kit preferred by hikers can vary from those that take along the bare minimum to those equipped with every piece of first aid kit imaginable. Rather than just having an attitude of “nothing will happen to me” make sure to find the right balance of kit to stay safe while out in the wilderness.
A hiking first aid kit should be packed based on the intended environment, length of the hike, the number of hikers, and individual needs.
Prior to setting off for the next hike, make sure to evaluate the nature and length of the adventure. Look through the kit inventory and determine if what is packed is really needed.
Removing unnecessary items will lower the weight of the pack and make it more comfortable on the hiking trail.
First aid kit
Traveling with the proper items for the hike on a day or multi-day trip can include:
- A general purpose roll of medical tape is practical in a variety of situations and helps with cuts, blisters, or other injuries that can benefit from breathable surgical tape
- Clean wounds with alcohol or antiseptic wipes
- Use gauze/dressing (non-stick and sterile) for the more significant wounds
- Pack a tube size antibiotic cream
- Get relief from pain or inflammatory with a box of ibuprofen tablets
- Get treatment for allergic reactions and bites with antihistamine tablets
- A small roll of duct tape (a practical addition and helps in a variety of situations)
- A Swiss army knife or similar utility tool with tweezers, scissors, knife and other attachments
- Pack a sewing needle and tread (dental tape is a practical choice for this)
- A suitable tool to light a fire in the event of an emergency
- A LOUD whistle to draw attention in times of difficulty (many hiking daypacks have a whistle attached as standard)
Give the hiking first aid kit a good inspection before setting out on each hike. This gives an opportunity to make sure everything is in place and in good condition. Check the use by dates and replace any medication that has expired.
Plus, add items that might benefit the future planned trip. A first aid kit should be packed so that is it easy to access, while it can also benefit if several members of the hiking party have some knowledge of how to administer basic first aid.
Matt Green, is an avid hiker and lover of the great outdoors. He is always planning his next big trip or hitting the trails for a solo hike.
He’s traveled extensively to many remote regions and has plenty of experience exploring various terrains, and stories to tell.