One item every campsite requires is a smartly stocked first-aid kit, and though ready-made outfits are available through many online and retail outlets, it’s easy enough to assemble one at home.

Start with a medium-size dry bag—the type kayakers use to protect their gear—because soggy medical supplies can do no one any good, as well as a good first-aid pocket manual. A pocket guide is helpful because having clear instructions to follow can ease anxiety during what might be a panic situation. Studying the guide pre-trip is a good idea, too.

Cuts, scrapes, minor burns and sprains are the types of injuries a camper will likely have to deal with, so make sure the kit contains a good supply of antibiotic ointment, burn cream, antiseptic wipes and adhesive bandages. For larger cuts, 2×2-inch and 4×4-inch gauze pads work well. Keep them in place with white medical tape.

Other items for your kit include:

  • Large-wound compress(es)
  • Elastic bandage(s)
  • Universal splint—bendable aluminum covered in soft foam
  • Triangle bandage(s)—to stabilize injured limbs or large wound dressings
  • Instant ice packs(s)
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Non-prescription pain-relief medication (such as aspirin or ibuprofen)
  • One-way breathing barrier—for your own protection
  • Mylar “space” blanket
  • Small scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Small multi-tool
  • Small flashlight
  • Non-latex medical gloves (large size)
  • Digital oral thermometer

A kit equipped with these items will allow you to handle most minor injuries right in camp. You’ll also be able to stabilize a victim of a more serious wound until professional medical assistance is available. Your first-aid kit . . . don’t go camping without it!

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