Accidents do happen, and they can be anything. You might just cut yourself slicing an avocado during lunch or you could hit your head over a rock while whitewater kayaking.
For all those reasons and more you might want to consider taking a first aid kit with you on your trips. Especially if you go out alone more often than not.
But what should you bring?
To answer this question I have made a list with the items I think are essential to bring on longer trips, or any trip for that matter.
And don't forget your boat or paddle might also need some first aid at some point! Though you should probably take a separate repair kit, with some nuts and bolts, I included some tools and items which will be helpful in an emergency situation but can also help fix your gear.
Let’s look at what’s in the kit.
What is in the Kit?
A (high quality) waterproof bag to put everything in
Waterproof plasters (multiple sizes)
Rolled Bandages (multiple sizes)
Small roll of Bandage Tape
Gauze Dressings (multiple sizes)
Kiss of Life Mask
Sun screen (min 30 SPF)
Triangular Bandages or Arm sling
Iodine or Betadine
Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Paracetamol (500 mg)
Paper and Pencil
Needle and Thread or a small sewing kit
A few meters of duct tape
A multi-tool (pliers are nice to have if you don't carry a repair kit)
Pocket knife (unless the multi-tool has one/you carry a rescue knife)
Clean towel or cloth
Some small change (keep packed separate)
List of important phone numbers
Want to know more about every item and get some tips, tricks and how-to's? Watch the video in the beginning.
Download the checklist
I made a .pdf (no not a PFD) checklist you can print and keep with your first aid kit (which right away takes care of the paper!). It's recommended to check the contents of your kit before every trip and replace what you used.
On the checklist there is also a section to write down important phone numbers for the country or the place you are traveling. Add it to your first aid kit for when your battery runs out or you don have reception. Think emergency numbers, coast guard, weather lines etc.
First Aid Course
Of course it is important you know how to use your first aid kit properly.
Doing a quick online search will give you a broad selection of first aid courses. Some will cost you money (which might be money well spent) but there are many free courses available as well. Try and find a certified source though so the information you are getting is correct. The Red Cross offers some great courses all around the world.
What is in your kit?
Do you have items you can't do without or did I miss some essentials? Leave them in the comments below for the rest to see and learn!