How to Pack a First Aid Kit for Hiking

Categories:Backpacking Advice | Camping Advice

One of the essentials you should always take on a hiking trip is a first aid kit. Whether you trip and scrape your knee or lose your way and must fend for yourself, a first aid kit can be a lifesaver. While you can buy some pretty great kits, it’s just as easy to build one yourself. It can be cheaper as well, especially if you are packing multiple kits for different family members. Be sure you pack small items, like cleansing pads rather than bottles, and label everything with the name, dosage and date. Here are the items you should include.

Antibiotic Ointment

  • Perfect for minor cuts and other wounds.

Sterile Dressing Pads

  • Dressing pads are used to apply pressure to a wound and stop bleeding.


  • A gauze roll can be used to hold dressing in place.

Wound Closure Strips

  • These can work similar to stitches for larger wounds. 4-inch strips or butterfly closures work best for larger wounds.

Adhesive Bandages

  • Have an assortment of sizes and shapes for small cuts and blisters.

Antiseptic Towelettes

  • These can be used for cleaning small wounds and preventing infection.

Pain Reliever (Tylenol, Ibuprofen)

  • Accidents aren’t unheard of when hiking. You could fall or injure yourself in many ways. Pain relievers can help you get through the rest of your hike.


  • These can help with pollen reactions or even reduce the reaction to bug bites or stings.

Immodium/Antacid Tablets

  • For abdominal upset and relief from diarrhea, you’ll be thankful you have these.

Electrolyte Powdered Drink

  • Powdered drink or oral rehydration salts can help for treating dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Water Purifying Tablets

  • These tablets can seriously come in handy in dire situations.

Fire Starter (Matches/Lighter)

  • A fire starter can help if you need to start a fire for extra warmth or sterilize water.


  • A multi-use tool or knife can be used to cut bandages.

Safety Pins

  • These pins can hold gauze in place, help to fasten a sling or remove splinters.


  • These can be used for the removal of ticks, insect stingers and even splinters.

Space Blanket

  • If for some reason your hiking trip turns into a camping trip, having a space blanket can be a lifesaver.

Bug Repellent

  • Hiking equals bugs. You’ll need repellent to protect yourself.

Latex Gloves

  • Latex gloves can be used for protection against infection and disease.

First Aid Instruction Booklet

  • In the case of an emergency, it will be beneficial to have a reference guide to instruct you.

Now that you have your first aid kit ready, don’t forget to outfit yourself in comfortable and durable hiking gear from a trusted retailer like Carhartt!

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