Having a complete first aid kit is critical in the backcountry. There is no way to predict what may happen in the wild, but it is possible to be prepared for common injuries. It is important to be familiar with the uses of each component of a first aid kit and know where they can be found in your kit, because quick treatment is effective treatment.
Taylor and I’s trip to Yellowstone National Park was our first multi-night backpacking trip. Before we hit the trail, we did a lot of research into the different scenarios we might find ourselves dealing with in the backcountry. You can read all about our Planning and Prepping Process in this post.
We compared several backcountry first aid kits such as Andrew Skurka’s, My Open Country’s, and The Washington Trail Association’s to other kits sold in stores like this one from REI. After taking inventory of what we already carried in our day packs, we looked at these lists and decided what was important to carry and what we needed to buy.
For the most part, we were able to restock and fill our kits at our local Safeway grocery store. Anything that we weren't able to get there, we picked up at the REI in Denver. We each carried our own kits in case we were ever separated. Here is the complete list of items in each first aid kit:
Taylor and I were well prepared with the supplies listed above. She suffered several cuts, scrapes, and bruises from being swept off her feet by a rushing creek and blisters from her new hiking boots, while I suffered a punctured palm after a careless stumble. On top of these, we were both attacked by mosquitoes leaving us covered in bites.
We both used antiseptic pads for cleaning our wounds and off-brand Band-Aids to cover them up. In addition, I used elastic wrap and medical tape for securing the adhesive bandage on my palm. Taylor used moleskin to cover her blisters and insect bite relief for some of her mosquito bites.
The only thing that Taylor felt we should have also carried was a cold compression pack to help relieve her bruising and swelling, but she got by just fine without it.
We discovered that Taylor’s first aid kit was not waterproof even though it was advertised to be. Luckily, we weren’t in a dire situation, but some of her moleskin and bandaids needed to be dried after her slip in the water.
Overall, we were well prepared for the situations we faced in the backcountry, and we hope this guide will help you prepare for any trips you might take.
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!