First Aid Kits

There are plenty of off the shelf first aid kits available, but you need to consider what is in those first aid kits and if it will be enough to handle most situations you may encounter on the trail. Not all first aid kits are created equal and many people find that building their own first aid kit suits them better than buying a pre-packaged first aid kit off the shelf.

While the possibilities are endless for putting together a first aid kit, the Red Cross has compiled a nice list for what they would rei_first_aid_kitrecommend in a first aid kit for a family of four. The recommended items are:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet

You should build the first aid kit to be able to do what your skill level will allow you to do safely without causing additional injury or death to yourself or others. The Red Cross sells first aid kits at this link