Whenever you go camping in the great outdoors, it is always best to try to prepare for the unexpected. There are many great things about camping: enjoying nature, getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and having some relaxation time for yourself. But camping can also expose you to some situations that are harder to treat while you are in a remote area, away from proper medical care. You can more easily resolve any potential problems, though, if you are well prepared.
Being well prepared means packing everything you might need for the place that you are going. That includes some form of shelter (like a tent, RV, etc.), water, food, and a camping first aid kit. The other items are fairly self-explanatory, but you might be wondering: what specific items should be included in your emergency kit?
The answer to that question partially depends on where you are going for your camping trip, and what kind of camping you are doing. There are several kinds, including but not limited to:
- Adventure: Form in which people do different activities during the day (like mountain biking), and camp at night using only basic necessities
- Dry: Campers transport their own water supplies to and from camp, as they are camping at a site without a reliable water source
- Glamping: Camping with all the luxuries of a home or hotel
- Overlanding: Remote camping achieved by overland travel with off-road vehicles
- Survivalist: Campers learn the skills necessary for surviving in the outdoors without basic, easy-to-attain amenities like pre-packaged food or bottled water
- RV Camping: Camping with certain amenities that an RV allows (like beds, or a refrigerator for food and drink)
For your benefit, we have included a list of ten essentials to include in your camping first aid kit. This list will be useful regardless of what kind of camping you are doing, as they can be used in a variety of emergency situations.
- Antiseptic wipes / Antibiotic ointment: These can be used to clean out small, shallow wounds such as cuts or lacerations to prevent infections from occurring, but they can also help speed up the healing process.
- ZipStitch: Close up deeper wounds with this hospital-grade, non-invasive stitch technology, without disrupting your camping activities to go to the ER!
- Pain relievers: Pack a pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen to lessen pain, reduce swelling, and reduce fever.
- Allergy medication: It’s not uncommon to suffer from allergies while you are outdoors, so bringing an allergy medication like Benadryl or Zyrtec can provide relief from any pollen, toxic plants, and insect stings that you may encounter.
- Adhesive bandages: Cover small, shallow wounds or cuts to protect them from irritants and bacteria. This can also be used to cover any blisters attained if you are hiking or doing other outdoor activities.
- Hydrocortisone cream (Insect-Bite / Anti-Itch Ointment): While you are outdoors, it is highly likely that you will come across many biting or stinging insects, or even toxic planets like poison ivy. Packing hydrocortisone cream in your camping first aid kit will provide relief from the itching that may result.
- Sterile gauze: Use sterile gauze to cover and protect larger wounds. Gauze can also be used to staunch any bleeding that may occur from these larger wounds.
- Wrap bandages: If you are doing a lot of outdoor physical activities, such as hiking or even setting up a tent, pack a wrap bandage in your emergency kit. In the event of an accident, a wrap bandage can support and stabilize an injured or sprained joint until you can see a doctor.
- Tweezers: Remove splinters or ticks obtained while you are camping. You can also use these to remove foreign objects from larger wounds.
- Dehydration remedies (Electrolytes, diarrhea medication, etc.): Treat dehydration, heat exhaustion, or loss of fluids from vomiting or diarrhea.
We have also included some other items that may be useful to pack in your camping first aid kit, depending, of course, on what kind of camping and what location you are going to:
- Sunburn relief
- Moleskin (for blisters)
- Emergency/heat-reflecting blanket
- Prescription medications
- Pocket knife (or other multi-purpose tool)
- Burn salve
- Cold packs
- Eye drops/eye wash
Before you head out on your camping trip with your newly packed emergency kit, there are several things to take into consideration. Based on the location you are traveling to and camping at, try to estimate how much of each emergency item should be taken. If you are in a fairly remote area, you might want to bring a larger quantity of each item, and the same goes if you are camping with a large group of people. If you are closer to a medical or emergency center, or camping with a smaller group or alone, then a smaller supply should work fine.
Some other considerations include how long your camping trip will be, so you can make sure you will have enough supplies for the whole trip. Also, before each trip, you should check your camping first aid kit to see if everything is up to date. Make sure all of your items have not expired, and be sure to replenish your stock from your last trip. Then, as mentioned previously, be sure to consider what kind of situations you may encounter while you are camping, and the kind of camping that you are doing. Our list of ten essentials should come in handy as basic first aid supplies for just about any medical emergency, regardless of location or camping type. By packing all these essentials, you can enjoy the outdoors without a worry!
Want to learn more? ZipStitch is in a league of its own as a newly developed, hospital-grade wound closure technology. There are multiple benefits to using ZipStitch rather than taking a trip to the ER. ZipStitch is small and easy to transport, so you don’t have to disrupt your outdoor activities to go to the hospital, and you can receive treatment right away. Because it is non-invasive, it is easy to apply, and causes less scarring than typical stitches. ZipStitch will help you avoid those increasing hospital costs*, while closing your wound just like stitches, but 8x stronger**. Visit the ZipStitch website at https://zipstitch.us/.
**In an in-vivo study, more load in lb. was required to create a 1mm gap between incision edges approximated with Zip than with Ethicon 4-0 Vicryl® subcuticular running suture. Data on file.