what to pack in your camping first aid kit
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What You Need in Your Camping First Aid Kit

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Part of going camping is knowing which is the best camping first aid kit for your needs, because if you’re going camping with kids, you need to be prepared for some bumps and bruises.

Common Camping Injuries
Best Car Camping First Aid Kits
Best Backpacking First Aid Kits
Best Hiking First Aid Kits
Best Kid’s Camping First Aid Kit
Best Pet First Aid Kit
Make your Own First Aid Kit
What do you NEED?

You only need a small first aid kit to bring camping, but make sure you take the essentials. We’ll help you figure out the best first aid kits for camping, or what emergency supplies you should bring hiking, backpacking and camping.

You can also use our first aid kit checklist help your kids make their own diy kits, they’ll love carrying their own bandaids and supplies!

(Momma Critter will admit that the big first responder bag she has in her car has an excessive amount of safety gear for the average weekend trip.)

Best First Aid Kit for Car Camping

Adventure Medical Sportsman 300

We have this as our basic first aid kit and it’s permanently packed with our camping gear and it comes on every trip with us. The Camping Critterz rate this as the best first aid kit for camping.

Common Injuries Sustained While Camping

First things first, we recommend taking a basic first aid class or a wilderness first aid class to learn the different kinds of injuries, how to treat each kind, and when to see a doctor.

**We are not doctors and this advice should used as entertainment only and is not to be treated as medical advice. **

From my 30 years of camping experience, the most common camping injuries are: Scrapes, Blisters, Cuts, Minor burns and Splinters/slivers.


First you want something to clean the wound out with, an alcohol wipe or hand sanitizer will work. Putting a small amount of an antibiotic ointment on can help prevent infection. After that you’ll want to cover it with sterile gauze pads or band aid.


Some people swear by moleskin, we swear by blister bandaids. No matter what we do, Momma Critter always ends up with at least one small blister somewhere.

I wouldn’t have made it on the hike out of Havasupai falls without blister bandaids. Before you go on a long hike, putting blister band-aids on places where you usually get blisters can be a hike-saver.


Like scrapes, you’ll want to clean the wound with an alcohol wipe or hand sanitizer. For small cuts where the edges are staying together nicely, you can cover it with a band aid and leave it alone.

If the edges aren’t staying together you can use wound closure strips to keep it closed and help it heal. You can also use a small amount of antibiotic ointment on cuts, but be aware that using too much will make it almost impossible to apply a band aid or tape.

If a cut will not stop bleeding in a short amount of time, is very deep, very long or in a tricky place to bandage such as on a hand, finger or face, it’s best to go see a doctor.

Splinters or Slivers

When Momma Critter is removing a sliver, she wants a tweezer, a magnifying glass and possibly a pin of some sort. Some tweezers come with a magnifying glass attached, they are very handy.

tweezer and magnifying glass for splinter removal


Whether it’s a sunburn or a minor burn from grabbing a hot stick in the campfire, they both require the same treatment. After you cool the area with cold water, you can use an ice pack or ice from the cooler to help keep the swelling down.

After the burn has calmed down, Aloe Gel or Burn Gel works the best to keep the sting and pain down. Burn cream often has Lidocaine in them to help alleviate the pain further.

Premade First Aid Kits

Best Kits for Car Camping

The store bought kits we suggest for car camping are selected for gear, not size or weight. It’s assumed that you already have basic survival tools, a way to make a fire, knife, flashlight, emergency blankets and water.

Adventure Medical Kit Sportsman 300

Adventure Medical Kits are the best first aid kits for camping. This sportsman series kit is the clear winner. It has almost everything I pack in my kit, and the extras are smaller items that don’t take up much space or weight.

You could easily remove the disposable thermometers and syringe to make room for blister bandaids and aloe gel.

The Adventure Medical Kit has standard items like gauze, gloves, adhesive bandages, alcohol wipes, medical tape and wound closure strips. It also has basic medications like anti-histamine and ibuprofen.

Weight: 15 oz (425 g)

Pros: The first aid bag has labeled pockets so you can keep your supplies organized. There is a map on the outside to help you find supplies quickly and it has a reflective design to help you find it faster in the dark. It also has a first aid manual to help guide you through treating common injuries.

Cons: This kit contains Aspirin, do NOT give Aspirin to children.

100 Piece First Aid Kit for Camping

This is a really good first aid kit for tent camping. It has gloves, sterile gauze pads, alcohol wipes, several kinds of band-aids and a convenient hard plastic case to protect it from the elements.

100 Piece First Aid Kit
$8.99 $8.39
Learn More
03/11/2024 03:32 pm GMT

You can leave it in your car all year so you always have it on hand for any injuries!

Weight: 12 oz (340 g)

Pros: This kit is compact and light weight so you’ll have everything all in one place.

Cons: This kit does NOT have tweezers or medications.

Best First Aid Kits for Backpacking

When you’re miles into the backcountry, every ounce of weight matters. We picked these backpacking first aid kits with that in mind.

It’s best to check your first aid supplies to make sure you have everything you need without duplicating gear you already have with you.

It’s a good idea to create a first aid kit checklist and an emergency kit checklist to make sure you don’t have overlap.

Adventure Medical Ultralight Waterproof Medical Kit

Adventure Medical wins another place on our list with this amazing ultralight/watertight medical kit. The new .9 version is a perfect backpacking first aid kit for taking care of 1-4 people for up to 4 days.

This basic first aid kit has the standard band-aids, sterile gauze pads, tape and wound closure strips. It also has an ace wrap, tweezers and duct tape in addition to basic medications.

When backpacking, you may need to stabilize an injury so you can hike out to get help and this kit has an ace wrap, a trauma dressing and medical tape to help stop bleeding.

Adventure Medical Kits are quality kits with all the supplies and first aid essentials you’ll need for your next backpacking trip.

Weight: 7.2 oz (204 g)

Pros: Light weight and water proof with room to customize and add your own supplies.

Cons: Some reviews say the zip-top pouch doesn’t stay sealed, so check yours before heading out to make sure it stays waterproof.

M2 Basics 150 Piece First Aid Kit

This is a perfect first aid kit for backpacking. It is small, weighs 7.2 ounces (204 g) and comes with a carabiner to hang it in an easily accessible place at camp or hook it on your back pack to have it at your fingertips on the trail!

This backpacking first aid kit contains a variety of adhesive bandages, alcohol wipes, sting relief wipes, gloves, scissors, safety pins, medical tape, gauze, and emergency blanket in a small durable case. Clear labeling will help you find it in your backpack.

This kit would also be amazing for mountain biking.

Weight: 7.2 oz (204 g)

Pros: Small and lightweight, which is very important for backpacking.

Cons: No tweezers, medications or triple antibiotic ointment.

Best Overall First Aid Kit

Surviveware Small First Aid Kit

This 1 pound pack has all the essentials, adhesive bandages, gauze, wound closure strips, tape and a first aid guide. It’s small enough to take on a backpacking trip without adding weight, but large enough to be your dedicated campground first aid kit.

Surviveware Premium First Aid Kit
$63.99 $34.99
Learn More
03/11/2024 03:37 pm GMT

The bag is water resistant, and has straps for attaching to the outside of your backpack, a designated spot in your car or a bike.

It has a whistle incase you get lost on a hike, and clearly labeled pockets so you can easily find what you need in a hurry. It’s a great wilderness first aid kit.

Weight: 1 lb (450 g)

Pros: The bag is a durable rip-stop fabric, so you don’t have to worry about snags if you strap it outside your pack, and it’s water resistant for sudden rainstorms or spills.

Cons: It’s a little heavier than most backpacking first aid kits, but it has more supplies as well, so it’s a good trade-off.

Best First Aid Kit for Hiking

When we’re out for a long hike, we bring along a different first aid kit than we do when camping. When you’re camping you should already have the 10 essentials.

If you’re just out for a hike, you won’t have any of those things, and if you get injured enough to slow down your hike, you might be out past sunset.

It’s best to have a few survival items in your first aid kit, just incase. This also kit covers most of the ten essentials.

Everlit 250 Piece Survival First Aid Kit

This is the perfect hiking first aid kit. It has everything you need for common injuries, plus a few survival items like a tactical flashlight, paracord bracelet with a whistle and compass, fire starter, knife, multi-tool card and a poncho.

If you’re miles away from home or your campsite, you’ll want some basic gear with you and this kit has it all. It will help you handle any situation like a pro, from a small blister to twisting your ankle and falling in a creek.

Weight: 1.9 lbs (860 g)

Pros: This kit can easily be packed inside or strapped to the outside of your day pack. If you don’t want to carry a day pack, this pack can be attached to your belt for hands-free carrying.

Cons: This kit is large and may take up a lot of room inside a small daypack.

Kid’s Basic First Aid Kits

Adventure Medical Kits Backyard Adventure Kit

Kids love having their own gear, especially when that gear contains band-aids! Your kids will love this little pouch with their own medical supplies to handle small scrapes and cuts! This mini kit contains bandages, hand sanitizer and antibiotic ointment.

We put this in our son’s hiking backpack as part of the 10 essentials for kids we pack for him.

Weight: 3.8 oz (107 g)

Pros: You get BOTH cute pouches that have carabiners for clipping onto back packs.

Cons: There isn’t a great description of the contents, so I’m assuming it’s only the 3 things I listed.

Pet First Aid Kit

Adventure Medical Pet First Aid Kit

Adventure Medical Kit Dog Series
$56.99 $47.40
Learn More
03/11/2024 04:02 pm GMT

Don’t forget about your furry friends! A lot of people go camping with dogs, and I’ve even heard of a few people camping with cats! Having a pack of supplies is great for bringing the fur-babies along.

The kit comes packed in 2 waterproof bags and has a wilderness medicine guide for humans and a pet first aid guide for your dog! It’s a human AND a pet first aid kit in one!

This dog first aid kit has standard items like a splinter and tick remover, a cold pack, trauma shears, wound irrigation syringe and an emergency blanket. It also has blister and regular bandaids and gauze for human first aid.

Weight: 1.7 lbs (0.77kg)

Pros: This kit has everything. If your dog breaks their collar or leash, this has a spare.

Cons: I don’t see any downside to bringing this kit with you.

How to Make your Own First Aid Kit for Camping

I highly recommend making your own first aid kit. I think the best first aid kits for camping is a kit designed specifically for your individual needs. As a trauma nurse, I’m picky about my supplies and I want to only take what I know I’ll use.

If you’re not sure what should be in a camping first aid kit, the first thing you’ll need is a reliable first aid kit checklist. We have a printable first aid kit checklist you can download here.

A good bag is essential for any good first aid kit, and you don’t need anything fancy. The bag pictured in the next section is from an overseas airplane flight, it originally came packed with socks and an eye mask.

I’ve also used cosmetic pouches, standard zip-top bags or very small dry bags. The main goal is to have your kit be waterproof, you don’t want a sudden rainstorm or hydropack leak to waterlog all of your gauze and ruin your adhesives.

Small dry bags for creating your own first aid kit

After you figure out what bag you’re going to pack your first aid supplies into, the next step is gathering supplies. You can use the first aid kit checklist I’ve created here for a good starting point on what to bring and what to leave home.

What Should be in a Camping First Aid Kit?

Basic car camping first aid kit. Cold pack, tweezers, anti-itch cream, medicine, bandages, aloe and hand sanitizer.

If you’re going car camping you can bring a large first aid kit. Space and weight are not at a premium and you can pack several heavier things, like one-time use cold packs. The other option is to pack ice packs in your cooler and use those as first aid items if needed.

If you’re creating a backpacking first aid kit, you’ll want to stick to light weight options.

We don’t bring much more than what is on this downloadable first aid kit checklist for standard camping trips, because if we need more first aid than that, odds are we’re packing up camp and going to the clinic or hospital. You should have enough to get through a few minor bumps and scrapes or bug bites.

Basic Camping First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Bandaids – for minor scrapes
  • Blister bandaids – for blisters
  • Antibiotic ointment – for minor scrapes and cuts
  • Wound Closure Strips – for slightly deeper cuts
  • Anti-itch cream – for bug bites and possible plant itchies
  • Tweezers – for splinters/slivers
  • Hand sanitizer – for cleansing hands and wounds
  • Aloe gel – for minor burns and sunburns
  • Ice pack – one time use for bumps and sprains
  • Pain relief of your choice, make sure you have it in liquid form for the little ones.

Comprehensive Camping First Aid Kits

If you want to create a more extensive camping first aid kit you can add:

Advanced car camping first aid kit, Gauze, scissors, ace wrap, tape and other first aid items. Black kit on a blue background.
  • Gauze 2x2s – for bigger scrapes and cuts
  • Medical Tape – for holding gauze
  • Ace wrap – for minor sprains
  • Small scissors – for cutting gauze and tape
  • Ibuprofen – for swelling or headaches
  • Antihistamine – for itching and minor allergies
  • Anti-diarrheal medicine – for upset stomachs

What NOT to Pack in your First Aid Kit

You may have noticed that I don’t have sutures, tourniquets, a SAM splint, sling or additional supplies like that on the first aid kit checklist.

Yes, I’m a trauma nurse and I have a giant first aid kit in my car with this kind of thing and more. The average person doesn’t know how to use these things so they aren’t of any benefit to bring with.

I also count on my improvising skills if I’m really in a bind. A broken bone or sprained ankle can be splinted with sticks, belts become tourniquets, and shirts or bandanas easily become slings with a few safety pins.

You should not pack or bring items you don’t know how to use. Take a wilderness first aid course because you can’t always count on your cell phone having service to look up information.

Before you go into the great outdoors, familiarize yourself with the contents of any first aid kit you’re using, whether purchased or home-made. Check everything off your first aid kit checklist and go scurry around!

**We are not doctors and therefore are not qualified to give advice on specific medications, illnesses or injuries. Please read our disclaimer page for more information**

Happy Camping!

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