Amor Exploring

Crafting a Comprehensive First Aid Kit for Your Outdoor Adventures – A Nomad’s Guide

Preparing for a day trip, overnight camping or even long-haul caravan adventure comes with the same bumps and scrapes you expect from everyday life. Being conscious and aware of having the essentials first aid kit sounds simple enough, but can be easily forgotten at the same time.

A well stocked kit is crucial for an enjoyable and secure experience.  

Basic Common Sense

Obviously the best way to avoid the need for use of the first aid kit is step 1, common sense. The saying not days is some time common sense, ain’t so common anymore! So just don’t be that guy or gal.

Stocked and ready first aid supplies

No matter if you’re a beginner or seasoned expert, check out your kit before you depart. Supplies are often harder and more expensive to find when your in a small country town or way outback in the wilderness.  

Also important to avoid an unexpected drama if you do go to use an item from you First aid kit it to check expiry, cleanliness and generally the item at hand. On the flip side, if you know you have used an item or stock is getting low, restocking is another area often overlooked.  

Bandaids and tape should be sticky, gauze and bandages should be sterile, scissors sharp and saline within recommended expiry dates. Gloves also have a habit of deteriorating in the heat and cold and over time become brittle and yellowed. Not a great look when your trying to keep a wound or dressing clean and sterile.  

Over my years, kits have come in many shapes and sizes. Hard cases have cracked and zippers have broken. Check these before you leave or on a semi regular basis if you are fulltime on the road.

Take you first aid kit with you

Another simple yet overlooked factor is the common day trip. If you hike away from your car, have your kit safely stored in your caravan under the seat it isn’t going to be very useful if your more than a stones throw from it to use. Pack a mini kit for the hiking trip with the day trip essentials. 

So basically, again a common sense factor. Take your first aid kit with you, no point leaving it in the bathroom cupboard fully stocked at home while you enjoy your adventure.  

First aid kit essentials for camping and adventures - Bandaid

Know your environment

As we prepare for our camping, road trip or weekend adventures we usually consider the weather and pack clothing accordingly. This also needs to apply to our first aid supplies.  

Environmental Preparation is Key

Expecting to be at the beach with a skimpy swim suit on? Consider the larger supply of sunscreen, maybe even the 50+ protection.

Off to the lagoon to go camping? There is a higher chance of those pesky mosquitoes and midges that can take a happy day hike into an itchy fun fest of welts and bites. Never a fun time, but will make for the complaining camping story afterwards.  

Preparation can reduce the need to access the first aid kit supplies if you take some time to plan.

Know your area, terrain, temperatures, weather conditions and wildlife encounters for the area. Prevention is better than cure.  

Travel Australia First aid kit essentials - Bandages

First aid kit packing essentials

Below we have listed some of the first aid kit preparation essentials I had on hand. It need not be endless, and it really does vary activity to activity.

As I travelled solo fulltime in my caravan, I carried 4 kits.  

  • Mini kit in the day pack 
  • Large kit in the caravan under the seat 
  • Mini kit in the caravan vanity cupboard 
  • Large kit in the car under the passenger seat 

Basic safety measures and common sense can go a long way to not even requiring your First aid kit but we will outline some of the supplies you may need. Some simple knowledge can ensure you have a successful camping trip or road trip adventure, so keep on reading.   

Before embarking on any camping trip or day adventure, meticulous preparation can significantly reduce potential risks. Start by researching the specific area where you plan to camp, including its terrain, weather conditions, and any potential wildlife encounters. This information will help you tailor your first aid kit and safety measures to the unique challenges of your chosen location. 

What to pack in your First Aid Kit Essentials

A well-stocked first aid kit is a camper’s best companion. Ensure your kit includes the following essentials: 

  • Band aids Fabric or plastic, but I carried a combination of both. Often the plastic ones were no longer sticky after being in the heat. If this happened a layer of strapping tape was applied over the top. 
  • Tissues:  I was always that kid that managed to end up with the blood nose. Be it combusting in the heat or getting the beach ball tossed at my face, I was the one to end up needing the box of tissues and a five minute rest. Tissues also double as toilet paper if you get caught without at a public rest stop.
  • Bandages and Dressings, including snake bite bandages: Various sizes of sterile gauze, adhesive bandages, and non-stick dressings are crucial for covering wounds and preventing infections. Cutting these to size always felt like a waste but made application much easier. Snake bite bandages are on the expensive side but will stand the test of time stored in your kit, hopefully never to be used.  
  • Medical or Strapping Tape and Sharpe Scissors: Secure dressings in place with medical tape, and include a pair of scissors for cutting tape and bandages to size. 
  • Antiseptic Wipes, Ointments and saline: Disinfect and clean minor cuts and scrapes to prevent bacterial infections. Antiseptic wipes and ointments like iodine or bacitracin are valuable additions to the first aid kit. 
  • Tweezers: Remove splinters, ticks, goat head prickles or other foreign objects with tweezers. Some people suggested the use of a magnifying glass for better visibility but I like to pretend I’m not at that age yet. 
  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like Panadol or ibuprofen can alleviate discomfort caused by injuries or minor illnesses. 
  • Sunscreen: In various sizes, formulas and packaging. All great for throwing into a backpack, applying from a large bottle on the caravan shelf to applying everyday in a moisturiser. Sunscreen is my go to product daily It no longer has that after greasy feel or that nasty chemical smell it used to have a few years back., unlike the following item. 
  • Bug repellent / spray: Aeroguard or Bushmans was always my go to. I am one of these people who will attract the mosquitos and then present with welts even days after. The newer clothing sprays have since been released however I am yet to try these personally. If you have let us know your thoughts.  
  • Other ointments and treatments: Itch Eze, Antihistamines and Vaseline are always in my cupboard and an ice/ cold pack in the freezer. If the ice pack was unavailable a frozen bag of peas and corn were usually on hand. I always had to remember to cover with a damp tea towel or paper towel to avoid the direct ice burn on the skin  
  • Disposable first aid gloves: Always a part of my kit in the even I needed to ever preform first aid for someone else. Travelling solo this never eventuated however from my previous training in a past life I was always very aware of bodily fluids and transference safety. These disposable gloves also come in very handy when you are attending to any black tank disposals and the facilities are questionable. I used to wear them on all occasions and then still sanitise afterwards.  
  • Disposable disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer: great for that clean of the surfaces and counters both before and after getting out your sterile first aid suppliers. The final items and waste can also be wrapped and disposed of before placing into a bin or trash. No one else then comes into contact with contaminates or fluids. An even better option here would be a sealable bag prior to disposal. 
First aid kit resupplies for camping and adventure

Some other items that you may like to consider in your first aid kit but never required in mine may included  

  • Emergency Medications: If you have specific medical conditions, include necessary prescription medications in your kit.  
  • Hydralite or rehydration packs/sachets 
  • CPR masks 
  • First aid blanket 
  • Fever strip 
  • Single use ice pack 
  • Bio hazard bags 
  • Safety pins 
  • Splinter probes 

Commercial first aid kits usually contain the following:

First Aid Manual: A compact first aid manual provides guidance on administering basic medical care in emergency situations. 

Note pad and pen: documenting details like times, amounts of personal medications administered and such when providing first aid allows for extended care practitioners to monitor and provide the best next level care if additional treatment is required after an event. 

Camping, caravanning, hiking, biking, and day trip exploring is a rewarding experience and being prepared on all levels is essential. Equipping yourself with a well-stocked first aid kit, and knowing how to handle common bumps and bruises that can occur along the way, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable adventure.

My past life required CPR, Basic Frist aid and Epi Pen administration training. This gives me the confidence to know when a true injury requires additional medical guidance.  

If you have the opportunity to attend a course there are many reputable organisations and providers that offer basic level training which will give you a more knowledgeable approach to all areas  and take one level of complexity out of a possible situation. 

How to avoid camping and hiking injuries - Road trip Australia
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