Whether you're planning a short hike lasting a few hours, a trek lasting several days or a bivouac, it's essential to have a first-aid kit close at hand. This kit must be equipped with the essential items needed to provide first aid in the event of an emergency. In this article, we present a complete list of what you should absolutely include in your first-aid kit for your future outdoor escapades!
Practical tips and things to think about when preparing your first-aid kit
It's better to anticipate than to have to react in the event of a problem! Here's a non-exhaustive list of the essential items you need to have with you at all times, so you can provide first aid quickly and effectively in case of need:
A durable survival blanket (reusable or not)
A tube of sun cream and/or full sun protection
An assortment of bandages in different sizes and plasters
A few dressings for blisters
A set of compresses
Bandages of various sizes
An analgesic to relieve pain (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen)
Tweezers (to remove splinters and thorns)
A pair of small scissors
Anti-diarrhea and/or anti-nausea medication (in case of gastrointestinal sensitivity)
Soothing cream for insect bites
Ointment for bruises and contusions
A little Marseille soap (liquid or solid)
An anti-venom mini-pump
A distress whistle
Having these items on hand will ensure that you're better prepared for any emergencies that may arise during your outdoor adventures.
Of course, the contents of your first-aid kit must also take into account your own needs, your tolerance to exertion, your state of health and any pathologies you may be suffering from. We therefore recommend that you also pack the following items to complete your equipment:
Antihistamines if you are prone to allergic reactions
A soothing essential oil
A natural mosquito repellent
A few doses of eye drops or saline solution in case of eye problems
A reminder of first-aid measures to take
By adding these items to your first-aid kit, you'll be better prepared to deal with any emergencies that may arise, depending on your personal needs and health.
For a trek
For a multi-day trek, you may need to pack additional, specific items to ensure your experience runs smoothly. So here are a few safety (and non-safety) items you absolutely shouldn't forget.
First of all, it's a good idea to carry waterproof garbage bags. Not only will they enable you to collect and transport your garbage responsibly (thus preventing it from scattering in nature), but they could also protect you from the elements in the event of heavy rain. Next, remember to pack a toothpaste that is entirely biodegradable. This will ensure that you don't pollute any water sources you may come across on your trek, and it's also gentler on your teeth. In the same vein, opting for biodegradable soap or shower gel is an excellent initiative for washing yourself while preserving the environment (soil, watercourses, etc.). Last but not least, a waterproof kit is essential for storing any small items you may need, such as medicines or care products. As for deodorant, it's not necessarily a must if you wash regularly or wear merino wool garments, known for their ability to minimize odors.
With these tips in mind, you'll be ready to face any challenge your trek may throw at you!
Remember your usual medication
Often, when setting off for a bivouac or a few days' trekking, many people simply neglect to pack their usual medicines necessary for their daily routine. This omission could have damaging consequences, perhaps induced by the excitement or haste of departure! That's why it's crucial never to leave your medicines and prescriptions behind. If you have the slightest doubt, take the time to thoroughly check that your medication is indeed in your backpack before fully committing yourself to your getaway for a few days.
Which size to choose?
There's no standard, universal size for a first-aid kit, but it's important to take several factors into account when making your choice. First of all, it's essential to define the purpose of your kit before purchasing it. Do you want only emergency care, or do you need a more comprehensive kit that includes tools and supplies? Then consider the number of people you'll be able to care for in an emergency. If you plan to care for several people, you'll need a larger, more complete kit. Finally, consider the space available for storage. If you have limited space, you'll need a more compact or modular kit, which will enable you to react quickly to different types of emergency.
Preparing for an outing
Preparing for your adventure (whether it's a hike, a trek, a bike ride, etc.) is crucial to avoid any type of incident, whether minor or serious. This means having a complete first-aid kit and familiarizing all members of your group with emergency procedures. In the event of an accident, keeping calm and following these protocols is essential. If you and your companions are well prepared, you'll be better able to deal effectively with a potentially dangerous situation. The unexpected is inevitable, which is why it's always best to be thoroughly prepared, with all the tools and skills you need to provide proper first aid. So it's imperative to bear in mind that undertaking a hike, trek or bivouac without a first-aid kit is simply unthinkable.