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camping first aid kit

My husband and I recently attended a destination wedding at a rustic resort in Maine, where we bunked in cabins, ate in a dining hall, and had minimal cell service. Although true outdoorsmen (and women) would laugh if we described our experience as “roughing it,” our weekend in the woods was as close to camping as we had ever done.

While we were near Freeport, he and I made a stop at the L.L. Bean flagship store to check out real outdoor gear (and buy fuzzy sheepskin slippers). Peeking inside multiple-person tents and investigating all of the knick knacks that go along with camping actually made the idea of sleeping outdoors kind of thrilling.

Perhaps the least exciting but most important thing to pack when camping, however, is a first aid kit. You can buy pre-made kits like the Coleman Expedition First Aid Kit on Amazon or from recreation gear retailers like REI and L.L. Bean, but you’ll get more bang for your buck if you make your own camping first aid kit. Here’s what you’ll need to make a basic kit:

  • A watertight container like a waterproof canvas bag or plastic box
  • Small resealable bags to group together items based on use (bandages + antibacterial ointment, for example)
  • Vinyl or latex gloves
  • Bandages—standard adhesive bandages, gauze and tape, blister treatment pads, butterfly bandages
  • Sterilizations—antibacterial ointment/cream, antiseptic wipes, alcohol prep wipes
  • Medications—pain relievers, digestive relief, allergy relief, insect-sting relief (and don’t forget your personal medications!)
  • Sprays and creams—sunburn relief (aloe vera), burn cream
  • Tools—tweezers, scissors, magnifying glass, knife
  • Water treatment tablets
  • A first aid manual or information cards

Having a camping first aid kit at the ready will allow you to safely treat cuts, scratches, and sprains that sometimes happen with outdoor adventures—whether you’re sleeping under the stars or simply talking a stroll through the woods.

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