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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. (Momma Critter will admit that the big first responder bag she has in her car is excessive for the average camping trip.) 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 kit for camping, or what to put in your car camping first aid kit, backpacking first aid kit and hiking first aid kit. You can also help your kids make their own first aid kit, they’ll love carrying their own band aids and supplies!

Best First Aid Kit for Camping

Adventure Medical Sportsman 300

Adventure Medical Sportsman 300 is the perfect grab and go car camping first aid kit. It has everything you need to handle all of the common camping injuries, it doesn’t take up much room and is amazingly organized for easy access and use. It is stocked with enough supplies for a week-long trip with up to 6 people, so you don’t need to worry about not having enough supplies.

This first aid kit contains supplies to help clean small wounds or scrapes and bandages to keep them clean. It has hospital-quality gear to help treat blisters, cuts, scrapes, stop bleeding and remove slivers. It also has common medications to help stop swelling, diarrhea, headaches, and itching. All that and it only weighs 1.5 lbs (680g).

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

Adventure Medical kit, car camping first aid kit
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?

Common Injuries Sustained while Camping

First things first, we recommend taking a basic 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.

  • Scrapes:
    • 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 a gauze pad or band aid.
  • Blisters
    • 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. Our hike out from Havasupai falls ended with 9 different blisters on her feet and she wouldn’t have made it without the blister band aids. Before you go on a long hike, putting blister band-aids on places where you usually get blisters can be a hike-saver.
  • Cuts
    • Like scrapes, you’ll want to clean the wound with an alcohol wipe or hand sanitizer. If it’s a small cut and 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 difficult if not impossible to apply a band aid or wound closure strip.
    • If a cut will not stop bleeding in a short amount of time, is very deep, very long or is in a tricky place to bandage such as on a hand, finger or face, it’s best to go see a doctor.
tweezer and magnifying glass for splinter removal
  • Burns (minor)
    • Whether it’s a sunburn or a minor burn from grabbing a hot stick in the campfire, you’ll need the same things to treat it. 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 work the best to keep the sting and pain down. Some burn gels have Lidocaine in them to help alleviate the pain further.

Premade First Aid Kits

Top Kits for Car Camping

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

Adventure Medical Kit Sportsman 300

Adventure Medical Kits are the best first aid kits out there for camping. This sportsman series kit is the clear winner when it comes to car camping first aid kits. 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 thermometers and syringe to make room for a few blister band aids and aloe gel.

This kit has standard items like gauze, gloves, band aids, alcohol wipes, 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 easily find things. 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.

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

100 Piece Car Camping First Aid Kit

110 piece car camping first aid kit

This is a great car camping first aid kit. It has gloves, gauze, alcohol wipes, several kinds of band-aids and a convenient hard plastic case to protect it from the elements. 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 first aid kit is compact and light weight so you’ll have everything all in one place.

Cons: This kit does NOT have tweezers or medications.

Top 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. The best first aid kit is one that has everything you need without duplicating gear you already have with you.

Adventure Medical Ultralight Waterproof Medical Kit

Adventure medical ultralight waterproof backpacking first aid kit

Adventure Medical wins another place on our list with this amazing ultralight/watertight medical kit. The new .9 version is perfect for taking care of 1-4 people for up to 4 days. This first aid kit has the standard band-aids, gauze, 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 tape to help stop bleeding.

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 the essential 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 first aid kit contains a variety of band aids, alcohol wipes, sting relief wipes, gloves, scissors, safety pins, tape, gauze, and emergency blanket in a small durable case. Clear labeling will help you find it in your backpack.

Weight: 7.2 oz (204 g)

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

Cons: No tweezers, medications or ointments.

Essential Overall First Aid Kit

Surviveware Small First Aid Kit

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

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.

Top First Aid Kit for Hiking

When you’re just out for a hike, you’ll need to bring along a different first aid kit than you do when camping. When you’re camping you should already have items like knives, ways to make fire, rain gear and flashlights with you. 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 kit covers most of the Ten Essentials.

Here is our favorite hiking first aid kit for longer hikes:

Everlit 250 Piece Survival First Aid Kit

This is the perfect first aid kit for hiking. 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 and 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.

Cute Kid’s Camping First Aid Kit

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! The first aid kit contains bandages, hand sanitizer and antibiotic ointment.

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

JUSAID Pet First Aid Kit

Pet first aid kit

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.

This pet first aid kit has standard items like gauze, tape and bandages, and it also has awesome pet-specific gear like a muzzle, extra collar and leash, spray bottle, water bowl and trimming comb. You’ll be well-prepared for any minor injuries that could happen to your dog or cat.

Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.1kg)

Pros: This kit has everything. If your dog breaks their collar or leash, this has a spare. It also has great gear for helping a lost or stray animal.

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

Making your own First Aid Kit for Car Camping

I highly recommend making your own camping first aid kit. I think the best first aid kit for camping is the one you customize for your individual needs. I’m picky about my first aid supplies and I want to only take what I know I’ll use. Bringing a first aid kit with a tweezers is one thing, bringing a tweezers that will actually help pull out a sliver or tick is essential. I also love do-it-yourself projects and making a DIY first aid kit is very easy.

A good bag is the starting point for any 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 water proof, 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 into, the next step is gathering supplies. You can use the list I’ve created here for a good starting point on what to bring and what to leave home.

What do you NEED 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 heavier first aid kit. Space and weight are not at a premium and you can pack several heavier things, like one-time use cold packs.

We don’t bring much more than what is on this list in our first aid kit for standard car 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 Car Camping First Aid Kit

  • Band aids – 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 Car Camping First Aid Kit

If you want to create a more extensive car 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
  • Tape – for holding gauze
  • Ace wrap – for minor sprains
  • Small scissors – for cutting gauze and tape
  • Ibuprofen – for swelling or headaches
  • Anti-histamine – for itching and minor allergies
  • Anti-diarrheal – for upset stomachs

You should not back or bring items you don’t know how to use. Before you go, familiarize yourself with the contents of any first aid kit you’re using, whether purchased or home-made.

**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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