As many of you know, I have a rare genetic skin disorder that causes my skin to be thin (literally, unfortunately, and not figuratively). I get hurt more than the average person. I lack a protein in my collagen, which doesn't sound that bad, but has the potential to cause significant issues. I'm lucky because my body has the genetic recipe for how to create the protein, and sometimes it does. Other people with the disorder aren't so lucky and lack the protein recipe completely, which can be fatal.
I do my best not to let my disorder keep me from taking adventures. Instead, I try to be as prepared as possible so that I can get out and explore and even take some calculated risks. But, as is the case with everyone, there is always a chance of being hurt when out on an adventure.
Having a proper First Aid Kit with you whenever you head outdoors is essential. Whether you're on your bicycle, on foot, or in a kayak (or a dozen other amazing scenarios), you need to carry a kit that is light and able to help you if you're stung, cut, blistered, nauseated, or broken.
I recommend buying a small kit with a waterproof bag and then adding to it. There are too many on the market to review them all. Simply find one that matches a good portion of the list to keep your expenses to a minimum.
Beyond this list, you'll obviously want to keep safety items (such as bear spray, sunscreen, and emergency blankets) and hydration with you. This list is simply what you should keep in your First Aid and Foot Care Kit. The numbers after the listed items are how many of that item I recommend keeping in your kit. I'll provide a more in depth post at some point in the future about foot care while out on the trail--it can make or break an adventure--but since foot care items are stored with first aid items, I've also listed them here.
Note: Many people are allergic to latex and neomycin (found in Neosporin, Polysporin, and a few other topical ointments). Since there is always a chance that you will need to use your kit to help someone else in need, it is best not to use products with these ingredients in your kit even if you don't have an issue.
Again, at the bottom of this post you can find a link to a Google Doc with a printable checklist.
- Waterproof Kit Bag -- 1
- Compact First Aid Guide -- 1
- Tylenol, Advil, and Aspirin -- 5, 5, 2
- Adhesive Bandages of Various Sizes -- 12
- Non-stick Gauze Pads -- 4
- Rolled Gauze -- 1 roll
- Hemostatic (Clotting) Gauze -- 2 packs
- Medical Tape -- 1 roll
- Bacitracin -- 1
- Small Zip-Top Bags for Pills, Other -- 10
- Anti-Diarrhea Pills (Diamode) -- 5
- Antacids -- 5
- Antihistamines -- 5
- Topical Antihistamines -- 1
- Hydrocortisone Cream -- 1
- Scissors -- 1
- Hand Sanitizer -- 1
- Alcohol Wipes -- 4
- Latex-Free Gloves -- 2 pair
- Tweezers -- 1
- Ace Bandage -- 1
- Self-Adherent Wrap -- 1 roll
- Safety Pins -- 3+
- Tongue Depressor or SAM Splint -- 2
- Irrigation Syringe -- 1
- Oral Rehydration Salts -- 2
- Wound Closure Strips -- 12
- Liquid Bandage -- 1
- Q-Tips -- 5
Foot Care Kit
- Blister Bandages -- 12
- Moleskin -- 5
- Leukotape/Waterproof Cushion Tape -- 1
- Packets of Skin Lubricant -- 5
- Toenail Clippers -- 1
- Travel-size Gold Bond Foot Powder -- 1
- EpiPen -- 2
- Lotion/Aloe -- 1
- Saline Eye Drops -- 1
- Lozenges -- 12
- Glucose Tabs -- 5
- Compound Tincture of Benzoin -- 2
A printable version of this document is available through Google Docs.