How to Create a Camping First Aid Kit

A red first aid kit against a mossy brick.

If you enjoy spending time in the outdoors, camping is the perfect summer activity. As you camp, it’s important to be well-equipped for whatever the venture may throw at you, including physical injury. Below, find a full guide to putting together a camping first aid kit to accompany you on all of your wilderness adventures.

Before we delve into what to include in your first aid kit, you have to choose how to house these items. A plastic, coated bag with a wealth of separated zipper compartments to stow different genres of items in is best. It’s also a good idea to place your entire kit in an airtight plastic bin to keep items from getting wet or damaged in transit.

Sanitation Supplies

Someone wrapping an arm with gauze.

In case of an injury, it’s important to have sanitation supplies to properly clean and dress wounds. These items could be the difference between prompting a quick recovery and the risk of an injury becoming infected. These items should be kept in their own compartment to ensure that they do not become wet, as if they do, the majority of these items will be rendered useless. For this part of your first aid kit, ensure that you have the following items included:

  • Sterile gauze in both roll and pad forms
  • Blister pads
  • Hand sanitizer (to use before treating wounds)
  • Medical tape
  • Adhesive tape and pads in varying shapes and sizes
  • Elastic bandages
  • Finger splint
  • Cotton balls
  • Closure strips
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Alcohol wipes


It’s also important to pack a host of medications in case someone becomes ill while you’re camping. Before each camping trip, double-check your stock of medicine and verify that none of these items have expired since your last venture, replacing medicine as needed. This list should be in addition to any regularly prescribed medications your family takes, which should of course also be included for the trip:

  • Basic painkillers, such as Ibuprofen
  • Medications to aid against diarrhea or nausea, like Imodium or Pepto-Bismol
  • Antacids
  • Throat lozenges
  • An antihistamine medication to work against common allergies, such as Benadryl

Medical Instruments

No first aid kit is complete without a range of instruments to put the rest of your kit’s items to good use in case of an emergency. These should all be kept in their own compartment and it’s important to ensure that they are clean and dry at all times. The most vital instruments to bring are:

  • Tweezers
  • Manicure scissors
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Safety pins
  • A digital thermometer

Topical Treatments

Someone applying bug spray on a child's arm.

For the occurrence of burns, splinters, insects bites, or other ailments, topical treatments are a camping first aid kit essential. There are a wide range of these to put in your kit, including:

  • An anti-itch cream or spray to use on insect bites or after coming in contact with poisonous plants
  • Burn relief cream or spray
  • Petroleum jelly, which is useful to apply to wounds or to prevent chafing
  • Aloe vera gel or spray for sunburns and for cleansing wounds

Handling Supplies

When dealing with injuries or medical issues, handling the problem with the right equipment is just as important as having the right tools to do so. Pack the following handling items in your first aid kit to, again, reduce the chance of contracting an infection and to make treatment as clean and painless as possible:

  • Sterilized disposable gloves
  • Cold compress
  • A pocket flashlight
  • Medical waste bag
  • A magnifying glass
  • A first-aid kit manual, including important information about treating injuries and administering basic medications

Preventative Items

Finally, to prevent unwanted ailments or issues while enjoying a camping trip, ensure that your first aid kit entails the following items:

  • Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Bug spray that contains DEET
  • Lip balm that contains an SPF

This comprehensive list will help ensure that you’re ready for anything that comes your way as you enjoy the great outdoors. No one wants to count on an injury or illness during a camping trip, but be prepared for the worst and you’ll be glad you are if an issue arises.