Adventure First Aid Kit: A Checklist
A NW Ontario Adventure Essential: The First Aid Kit.
To quote our last blog post, it’s better to be safe than sorry! We’ve gone on many an adventure and returned home with nary a scratch, but everyone has their close calls, or at least a pesky splinter. The reality of exploring Canada’s wilderness is that a misstep on the trail could mean anything from a faint scratch or, worst case scenario, a broken bone or serious wound. Nature and hiking are unpredictable at best, so we’re encouraging all Northwestern Ontario and Kenora visitors to carry a basic first aid kit with them!
Buying a Kit
If you’re short on time and resources, buying a lightweight, waterproof kit may be the best option! Canadian outdoor supplier, MEC, offers a wide variety of first aid kits, and you can check some out here. You can also search Amazon for available kits. This Lifeline Kit provides a good starting base at a reasonable price.
Things to Keep In Mind When Purchasing a Kit
How many people the kit can sustain
The amount of tools/aids included for the price - does it have the essentials (detailed below)? You may want to add additional items.
Is it waterproof?
First Aid Kit Essentials
What are the bare necessities? It depends on your comfort level, the type of terrain/wildlife you may encounter, the length of your trek, whether you’re out solo or in a group, and ultimately your experience navigating the outdoors. We’ve come up with a suggested essentials list and some additional items you may want to consider. Pick and choose from either list to craft the perfect first aid kit tailored to your specific needs and comfort level!
Wet bandages may not be sterile and may not stick - keep your kit dry so it’s ready to go when needed
For blisters, small wounds, securing bandages
Anti-histamines & bite treatments (hydrocortisone)
Pollen, trees, bugs, and more can take a trek from fun to sneezy and itchy in an instant
Tweezers and/or forceps
For splinters and ticks
Moleskin for blister relief
Gauze bandage (tensor)
Useful for easing out splinters or securing bandages
Sterile dressings & bandages
Adhesive bandages (bandaids)
Pack a variety of sizes, and consider fun colours if trekking with children
Closure strips for wounds (up to 4” in length)
Anti-septic and antibacterial wipes
For cleansing small wounds
The potential uses are almost endless - our fave is to apply to a spot that feels like it may blister, reducing friction
Multi-tool with knife, scissors
Useful for removing particles from eyes or applying ointment
Latex -free is best
Cleaner hands/extremities in a pinch - not recommended for cleansing wounds
A universal signal for help
Emergency Fire Starter
Shelter and warmth in case you need it
First Aid Booklet
Instructions on how to deal with most first aid situations
Contact & Info card
A small card detailing important medical notes and your emergency contacts should anyone need to get ahold of them
Additional Items to Consider
Needle & thread
Resealable plastic / silicone bags
Cleansing pads with a topical anesthetic
Antibiotic ointment or vaseline
Aloe Vera gel
Immodium, Pepto Bismol, Antiacids
CPR Microshield Mask
Oral Rehydration Salts
Eye Drops (allergy or otherwise)
Paper + Pencil
Another recommendation is to take a Wilderness First Aid Course - it’s not packable, but knowledge is key!
The best backcountry first aid advice we’ve heard is that prevention is better than cure.
Plan ahead, do your research, be prepared, and be aware of your surroundings when out in the wilds!
We hope you found our suggestions useful. Take the time to consider all factors when packing your kit - experience, difficulty of the trek, familiarity, terrain, weather, length, and so much more! Hope for the best, but be prepared for any and all situations!
Do you have additional suggestions? What’s in your kit? Tell us in the comments below!
*This post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by linked products or companies.