A first aid kit is one of the essentials you should always take on a long hike or overnight camping trip. Some of the items inside you’ll use fairly regularly and should be replaced often, while others are rarely used but may be critical in an emergency.

We suggest you organize your kit with small resealable bags and plastic bottles. Not only does this waterproof your items, but it allows you to add or remove the items you’ll need based on the perceived risk of your upcoming activity. For example, you might not take your full first aid kit on a moderate hiking trail, which may only require essentials like Band-Aids and bug spray, however, you’ll definitely want all of the items listed below for a grueling backpacking trip. Just use your best judgment and remember that it’s usually better to pack more than you think you’ll need!

This checklist is by no means comprehensive, but a basic overnight first aid kit may benefit from
the following items:

  • Aloe Vera Gel – Found in packets or small bottles for relief of minor burns.
  • Antihistamines – For relief of pollen allergies or to reduce reaction to bites and stings.
  • Antiseptic Towelettes – For cleaning small wounds.
  • Bandages – Assorted sizes for small cuts, blisters, etc.
  • Cotton Swabs – For removing foreign objects from the eye or applying antibiotic ointment.
  • Gauze Roll – Holds dressing in place.
  • Hydrocortisone Cream – Relieves skin irritation from bites, poison oak, stings, or allergic
  • Multi-Use Tool or Knife – Should include a knife and scissors.
  • Pain Relievers, Including Aspirin and Ibuprofen – Provides relief for minor aches and pains,
    reduces fever, and helps reduce inflammation of sprains and other injuries.
  • Sterile Dressing Pads – To apply pressure to a wound and stop bleeding.
  • Antibiotic Ointment – For application to wounds. Vaseline can also be used.
  • Tweezers – For removing splinters, ticks, and removing debris from wounds.


You can also include other commonly used items in your first aid kit: lip balm, sunscreen, insect
repellent, and a small roll of duct tape.

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