I’ve had a number of people contact me asking what I carry in my first aid kit. I’ve been hesitant to address this topic mainly because it varies so much from trip to trip. Also, first aid kit contents can easily lead to a very heated debate, of which I have no interest in participating in. One person is going to look at your kit and tell you how unprepared you are and likely to die “out there” and the next person will look at the very same kit and critique you for bringing so much crap, you don’t need all that, etc. Obviously, there is no right answer as to what you should carry for first aid and I never tell people what they should carry anyway, it’s not my place.
I did decide to go ahead and post what I typically carry on a solo three day trip, just for those curious individuals who may actually be interested in that sort of thing. Keep in mind, this is unique to me, based on my comfort level and I am in no way suggesting anyone should or should not carry a similar kit. And I stress, this is for when I go out solo. If I am on a trip where I am potentially responsible for the medical care of others, I suck up the weight and carry a much more substantial kit.
Let’s break down the contents. I am not going to bother weighing each item, as I mentioned before, what I take varies from trip to trip so the weight of my first aid kit is inconsequential. Nor am I going to go into justification as to why I carry each item. This is what I have found works for me and I can do quite a bit with these few items.
- Band aids
- ½ roll of ½” medical tape
- Safety pins
- Leukotape Strips
- Roller gauze
- Non-latex gloves: I am a strong believer in universal precautions, even when working on yourself
- OTC meds: Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Loperamide, Diphenhydramine
You’ll probably notice the most dominant items in my kit are over the counter meds. There are a lot of things that can be improvised in the field but meds are not one of them. Now I know there are some people out there that can gather local flora and come up with all types of natural remedies but I’m not one of those people, so I carry meds. Saves time and is much more convenient. You’ll notice a number of these meds are prepackaged in single doses. Purchasing them that way is not really necessary and ends up being more expensive but those meds are ones which I don’t normally have on hand at home.
I carry the contents of my first aid kit in a one quart Ziploc bag. It’s quite water resistant, durable, lightweight and cheap. Other advantages are that it is clear, so I can easily see the contents and the large opening makes it easy to stick my hand in there and fish out what I need. I’ve learned thru experience it is really annoying if all your first aid stuff is in a tiny bag and you have to dump everything out to find what you need.
There are a couple other items I carry which I don’t consider part of my dedicated first aid kit but certainly work into the kit when necessary. A small SAK gives me a sharp edge, scissors and tweezer. I carry unscented Dr. Bronner’s which I can use to clean a wound, making carrying alcohol/disinfecting wipes redundant and unnecessary.
So there it is, my personalized, solo, three day first aid kit. Your contents may vary.
Disclaimer: this post is for informational/entertainment purposes only and not intended as medical advice/direction. What you take in your first aid kit and how you use it is your responsibility.