There are a lot of reasons you should have a first aid kit; in fact, theres probably not one good reason for not having one. But theres no better reason to start a first aid kit than if youre planning on hitting up the great outdoors. Whether youre camping, hiking, backpacking or just surveying the scene, you should never go empty-handed. And while youre free to buy a premade first aid kit from any grocery store to take along, make sure it has the few essential items in it. Otherwise, you may be kicking yourself if something bad happens.
1. Pain Relievers Its not uncommon to hurt yourself while youre roughing it, and pain relievers like aspirin are important for more than one reason. In addition to eliminating the pain if you find yourself injured, aspirin can also reduce swelling if youve found yourself with a twisted ankle or something similar. Or even if youre still able to make the climb with your injury, you may find yourself with a headache or general body aches, all of which will be solved by popping a few aspirin.
2. Antibacterial Cream Its also not uncommon to get a couple of scrapes and bumps along the way, which is where antibacterial cream comes in. Without being able to thoroughly rinse off your wound, antibacterial cream will prevent an infection from taking hold until youre able to get back home and clean yourself off. You can also look for something with a numbing agent in it to make your wounds feel just a little bit better.
3. Bandages This is probably one of the most obvious suggestions, but no first aid kit would be complete without a package of bandages. Buy a pack that has an assortment of sizes so that whatever wound you find yourself facing, youll be prepared. Also, try to avoid plastic bandages unless youre expecting rain. Fabric bandages will hold much tighter and will keep the antibacterial cream you also used from making the bandage slide right off.
4. Sports tape Not only is sports tape great for topping off a bandage when you dont seem to have the right size, but its also essential for rolled ankles or the like. If youve found yourself with a twisted ankle, bandage it up and make your way down the mountain. The extra support will make your foot at least walk able and youll be able to make it home where you can thoroughly ice it.
5. Blister pads Everyone has had a blister problem at some point or another, but the worst time to get them is at the top of a very long hike when youve still got a long ways to go. Pop a blister pad on your wound to relieve the pressure. Or, if you know that you often have blister problems with the boots youre wearing, put one on beforehand to prevent the problem altogether.
Make sure that any first aid kit you buy at least has these essential items in it. There are plenty of wound care manufacturers out there to make one that fits your specific need so choose wisely.
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