While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry bushwhack or exploring the trails in your local woods. As part of a weekly series, here's a look at outdoor essential number five:
#5. First-Aid Supplies
First-aid kits range from the basic, suitable to treating blisters and minor cuts on a day hike, to expedition-worthy kits geared toward extended travel and large groups. You can make your own or buy a pre-packaged one, but at a bare minimum you’ll want: bandages in various sizes, gauze pads, disinfectant, over-the-counter pain medication, blister treatment, and any prescription medications.
Any first aid kit is useless without the knowledge to use it. Consider taking a wilderness first aid course and periodically brush up on your skills. Even if you’ve already passed a course, a small first aid guide inside your kit will help you—and your trip partners—deal appropriately with medical emergencies.
- Personalize your first aid kit to the individual medical needs of you and your party.
- Include feminine hygiene supplies if your group includes women.
- Include a pencil and paper.
- Store all first-aid supplies in a waterproof container or pouch.
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Read the full "10 Essentials for Backcountry Travel" article in the Gear Guide.