How do you know how many supplies to take? Do you really need a snake bite kit? What about emergency fishing equipment? Hiking, backpacking, and camping are excellent, fun forms of exercise and entertainment, but it is crucial to be properly prepared in case of an emergency.
Here are some tips for choosing the right first aid kit and equipment to take with you.
First of all, where are you going? Equipment to go hiking in the mountains is much different than a beach camping trip and your first aid supplies are no exception.
Will you be in a remote location or fairly near other people? How much water will there be? What kind of animals do you need to be aware of? The answers to these questions can help determine which "extra" first aid items you might require such as a "distress whistle, duct tape, compass, waterproof matches, an emergency fishing kit, signal mirror", or snake bite kit.
If you are backpacking or hiking a long distance, weight becomes an issue as well.
Items that can "double up" or fulfill more than one role in your first aid kit are best.
For example, a bandana can be both a bandage and a tourniquet.
The most common injury when camping is burns, so make sure you are prepared with burn cream.
Athletic tape is another area where it is best not to skimp in case of a sprain or muscle injury.
A basic first aid kit usually contains the following: "bandages and gauze of various sizes, antiseptic creams and ointments, sterile wipes and rinse solutions, pain medicine, tweezers, scissors, and knife, sunburn relief spray, [and] anti-diarrhea medicine.
" If you purchase a first aid kit, be sure not to simply pack it in your rush to get outdoors.
Going through your kit and discarding old medicine or refilling bandages can ensure you are not out of the supplies you need.
While you might think that you will not need all of these supplies, it is much better to have them on hand "just in case".
Since you never know what you will encounter on a camping trip, you need to be prepared for everything.
Some things you will realize you need only after experiencing camping a few times.
For example, saline solution is a wonderful addition to your first aid kit if you are in the habit of building campfires and find you are sensitive to the smoke.
Or perhaps skin protection from the elements and insects is your greatest need.
As one camping expert wishes, "May your first aid kit be something you always have, but never need!"