Camping is meant to be fun, and no one wants to think about getting injured while they’re out enjoying nature. Unfortunately, though, accidents can happen, and if you’re prepared with a camping first aid kit, you’re better equipped to deal with minor injuries and accidents.
For serious injuries, it is important to quickly and safely get to a doctor for proper medical attention, but you’ll be surprised to see how many minor incidents can be treated effectively with a well-equipped first aid kit for camping. In many cases, you can then get right back to enjoying your camping trip with your family and friends.
Three Types of Supplies for Your Emergency Kit
You can divide the types of items you need in your first-aid camping kit into three main categories:
1. Cleaning, sterilising and disinfecting
Even minor scratches and scrapes should be treated when you’re out camping. There is always a risk of infection, especially if you’re in the bush or near water. Think about carrying the following items to help clean out scrapes after a fall or a cut from a knife or other sharp tool:
A medical disinfectant: apply according as per the instructions on the container.
Anti-bacterial ointment: to avoid any bacterial infections on your skin.
Anti-septic wipes: especially useful with children, and before you eat.
Clean water: never use standing water from ponds and puddles to clean your wounds.
After any skin injury, it is important to make sure there is no dirt left in the wound so it doesn’t become infected. With these products in your camping emergency kit, you’ll be able to properly rinse after a fall or accident.
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2. Covering, wrapping and protecting
Once your wounds are clean, you need to keep them that way. If you’re out away from camp, this is especially important, as you may have many kilometres to make it back. Here are some supplies you should consider carrying in your camping first aid kit:
Band-aids: A variety of sizes is useful for different body parts. Waterproof plasters are also good to have.
Gauze pads and bandages: For bigger injuries, you want to wrap the wound securely.
Liquid bandages: This type of plaster is very useful for long cuts and scratches that aren’t too deep.
Adhesive tape and pins: For securing large wrappings and bandages.
Not only will covering your injuries and wounds help keep them from getting infected, but it will also help protect against re-injury as you continue your camping adventure.
3. Medicating and painkilling
Every safety kit should contain a few basic items for pain and discomfort relief:
Sun protection cream: For protection from sunburn.
Aloe Vera lotion: Helpful for burns and minor scrapes or rashes.
Pain relief tablets: Choose what works best for you and your family with your doctor’s advice.
Diarrhoea and constipation medicine: A change in diet while camping can affect your digestive tract).
Insect-sting treatments: Choose these depending on your camping location.
Always make sure to include any prescription medication you might be taking, and remember to check the expiry dates of all medicines in your camping tool kit.
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Depending on the type of camping you are doing, you might also want to include safety items like ropes, a multi-tool knife, matches, a thermometre and tweezers. Pack everything in a waterproof container, and your medical kit will be ready when you need it. With luck you won’t need it at all, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!