Hiking first-aid and gear-repair kit

One of us carries this; for a group, parts or all of it should be duplicated. The idea is that it will help get us back to the truck, which has a better equipped first-aid and repair kit.

Another purpose of this kit is to aid in surviving a night or storm if we get caught out (which we shouldn't if we were properly prepared and informed, but...).

We should go through this kit every year or so and make sure any life-limited items are replaced, refill anything that is running low, etc.

This stuff-sack also carries simple gear-repair stuff as well.

Concerning first aid, Nothing beats training; go attend a local Red Cross class. As Denis McKeon put it, ``Knowledge is lightweight and doesn't take up much room.''

Water purification tablets
In New Mexico, water is one of the biggest limiting factors everywhere. If you run out of drinking water, carrying some form or water purification may save your life. I used to carry iodine tablets, but now I carry chlorine dioxide tablets. The only problem I have found is that the packaging breaks down after a few years.
Space blanket
They don't weigh much and they can be used in case of shock, or to keep you from freezing a night on the mountain. I've been told that some of these break on the folds if they are old. Unfortunately, I do not know what brands or how old.
Small flashlight
I carry a 1-AAA LED one. It is a good quality one, not a cheap one, so I can rely on it working in siz months when I find myself needing it. I use a battery with an expiration date on it; both Duracells and Enegrizers often have this.
A small lighter
Not only useful for if you have to spend an unexpected night, but also useful for things like sealing the ends of nylon webbing, rope, etc. It is nice if you can see how much fuel remains to know if you accidentally packed it in a way that held down the fuel button.
Tick Nipper
I know that there are many ways of getting ticks out, but this seems easier. If you're happy with other methods, you can save the weight.
Sting-Eze or After-Bite or similar
Bugs are a fact of life, and they sometimes bite. This helps.
2" ace bandage
For wrapping sprains, etc. The type that sticks to itself is nice, but less reusable. Otherwise, you need the little metal clips also.
A small Swiss Army knife with a blade & scissors
This is as small as I could find which had both a scissors (for cutting things like Moleskin) and a blade for general cutting. It also has a toothpick and tweezers, but I prefer a different tweezers.
Tweezers
I like Uncle Bill's.
Antibacterial towelettes
For wiping wounds. These are individually-wrapped, small and light. Beware that the packaging seems to sometimes die and they dry out.
2 bandanas
For larger bandages, slings, and for wetting and putting on your head when it's hot.
Bandages: 2 knuckle, 8 3/4 in strips, 4 2"x3" bandages, 2pr butterfly closures
What to add? cuts and scrapes are a fact of the backcountry life. Note that when they get old, the adhesive often becomes gummy but usually will still stick. Cheap bandages are often in packages that open when they are old, rendering them non-sterile.
Wire splint
Not only for breaks and sprains, but useful for fashioning research gear for biologists.
Moleskin
I've not found anything (unless it's Molefoam) that is as useful in staving off blisters. Old moleskin doesn't stick well if at all. I used to date it. Now, when I check the first aid kit, I cut off a small piece and check how well it sticks.
12 tylenol
12 asprin
12 ibuprofen
Betadyne or tinture of iodine
An antibiotic for cuts and scrapes that isn't affected by heat the way most antibiotic creams/ointments are. On the other hand, my bottle is slowly leaking, turning the rest of my stuff a yellow-brown color.
Allergy tablets
Claritin or Benadryl for allergic reactions.
Bendadryl or Caladryl cream
For bug bites, allergic reactions to plants.
Tums and/or anti-gas tablets
Burn kit
Consists of Second Skin, non-adherent sterile pads, Lidocane, aloe vera gel. Out day hiking, the second skin and sterile pads are not likely to be needed. For backpacking, they may be useful. The lidocane is great for sunburns (you did remember to use the sunscreen, right?).
Toilet paper
Normally, we carry a supply; this is for emergencies.
Nail clippers
A more convenient way of dealing with broken/torn fingernails. The scissors could also be used for this if you want to save weight.
The gear repair portion of the kit contains:

Duct tape
Wire
Assorted sizes of safety pins
Utility cord
Hot-melt glue stick
With this and the lighter, you can repair many things.
Spare pack hardware
Includes

Buckles break, especially when closed in a car door.

I built a belt out of nylon webbing and the 1" buckle one time when I left my normal one at home.

If backpacking the following may also be useful:

Ripstop & taffeta repair fabrics: 2 strips, 4 round patches
Sewing kit: thread, needles, pins, safety pins, buttons, scissors
Rubber cement & repair patch
For things like Therm-a-Rests.
pack clevis pin
If your pack uses them.
Tent pole splint
Mosquito netting patch
Keep the bugs out.
Heavy duty thread & needle

Ever since getting cliffed-out on a bushwacking hike, I've also carried some very simple vertical gear. Note that this is no good at all unless you have the knowledge to use it safely. Go out and get the proper training before purchasing anything like this.

40' kevlar rope
2 locking carabiners
20' 1" tubular webbing
We also carry but not in this kit:
Sunscreen
The New Mexico sun is intense.
Bug repellent
It seems that the biting gnats are the worst. Luckily their season is somewhat short.



Copyright © 1997-2016 Kenneth Ingham Consulting, LLC.

For details about the copyright, see the full Copyright statement.

Unhappy? Thinking of suing us? Read this disclaimer.

You can read our privacy statement.


Comments? Send them via the suggestion form.