Wilderness First Aid Kits

It’s important that whenever you go into the outdoors, you bring a wilderness first aid kit with you. You can buy ready made kits, but you will typically have to augment there with additional items specific to your trip.

Life saving and immediate access

CPR mask. You don’t want to waste anytime looking for thisEpi-pen. I don’t carry this on personal trips unless someone explicitly needs one. Also, some provinces/states require you to have a prescription. However, whenever I do carry one, it is in an extremely easy to find place.Medical gloves . Preferably use nitrile over latex because of latex allergies. Never do any first aid treatment without wearing gloves!

Bleeding and Burns Kit

I keep all of this together in a big ziploc bag labeled “Bleeding and Burns” so it’s easy to find. 

Antiseptic wipes. These can be BZK or alcohol wipes and are used to disinfect the cuts and scrapes.Band-aids and bandages of various sizes. Used to prevent further bleeding.Gauze. If the cut is big, this goes underneath the bandage to absorb bloodSam Split: Used to stabilize a broken bone.Polysporin (or another anti-bacterial cream). Goes on a clean would, good for cuts, scrapes and burns.Medical tape. For large cuts or burns, you can cover the entire area with gauze and then secure with medical tape.Scissors. Good for cutting gauze or bandages, I keep paper towel wrapped around the blades and secured with an elastic band to prevent the scissors from ripping the bag.Tweezers. Needed for removing splinters.Tick Key: Do a tick check after each day in the backcountry, and use a tick key to remove the tick if you find one.Moleskin: Good for blisters.

I also have a separate ziploc bag with polysporin, antiseptic wipes and band-aids that I keep outside the first aid kit (either in my small dry sac if I’m paddling or in an external pocket on my backpack. Small cuts and scrapes are common (especially when guiding camping tr...

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