Planning a Family Camping Trip? Don’t Leave Home Without These First-Aid Essentials

If your family is preparing to head out on a camping trip, you know there’s a lot to pack and organize — from food and cooking utensils to tents, sleeping bags, and games. Although there’s a lot to remember, don’t forget to pack a well-stocked first-aid kit, as well as a few other camping health essentials, to keep all family campers happy and healthy.

Basic First Aid Essentials

You can make your own first aid kit, or purchase one preassembled. Whichever method you prefer, the following items should be included for every camping trip:

Bandages, gauze, and tape: Scratches, cuts, scrapes, and other minor wounds are common occurrences while camping. Be prepared by packing a variety of bandages in different sizes, as well as gauze and tape for more serious cuts.

Alcohol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic ointment: Before bandaging, it’s important to keep any wound clean, especially while camping, where dirt, sweat, and germs could lead to infection.

Pain medication: Travel-sized bottles of a few basic pain medications, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen, as well as naproxen, are great to have on hand, as they can help relieve headaches, aches and pains, as well as reduce inflammation after a sprain or fall.

Antihistamine: Packing liquid or tablet antihistamines is important to not only have in case of seasonal allergies or hay fever, but also in case a family member comes into contact with any type of unknown allergen. If allergy symptoms get worse, seek medical help immediately.

Tweezers, nail clippers, scissors: Whether for a pesky hangnail, a splinter after handling firewood, or the removal of an imbedded tick, tweezers, nail clippers, and scissors are first-aid kit tools that will definitely come in handy while camping. Make sure to disinfect all tools with alcohol wipes before and after use.

Happy, Healthy Campers

In addition to the above basic supplies, there are a few more camping-specific items that you should consider including in your camping first aid kit, from soothing itchy bug bites to potentially saving a life.

Blister care: If your family is planning on trekking into the wilderness for a day hike, or simply running around the campsite, foot blisters are sure to occur! Blister pads, cushions, and protective skins can really make the difference between a miserable camp experience and a great vacation by soothing the pain and keeping the blister clean and dry.

Sun and bug aftercare lotion: Too much sun, bug bites, and run-ins with poison ivy can lead to tears. Soothe campers’ sun-burned skin with aloe lotions or other aftercare products. In addition, keep itching skin at bay by applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to bug bites and rashes from poisonous plants.

Diarrhea and stomach medication: If a family member indulged in one-too many s’mores, diarrhea and stomach-ache relief medication, such as Pepto-Bismol, can help get them feeling better fast.

Water-purifying drops or tablets: Never drink or let your children drink unpurified water from lakes, streams, or rivers, no matter how clean it may look. Even the most clean, free-flowing water can harbor bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can make you very sick, and more than ruin a good camping vacation. If you must drink unpurified water, treat the water first with water-purifying drops or tablets, which can be purchased online or at any outdoor sporting goods retailer.

It’s not only important to bring a first aid kit camping, but also to make sure that everyone in the family knows how to treat a wound, or seek help, in an emergency. Make sure to teach young campers the basics of cleaning and bandaging a wound. Stay safe and have fun out there!

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