First Aid Kit Checklist

Basic care: Prepackaged first-aid kits typically contain many of the following items:

  • Antiseptic wipes (BZK-based wipes preferred; alcohol-based OK)
  • Antibacterial ointment (e.g., bacitracin)
  • Tincture of benzoin (bandage adhesive)
  • Assorted adhesive bandages (fabric preferred)
  • Butterfly bandages/adhesive wound-closure strips
  • Gauze pads (various sizes)
  • Nonstick sterile pads
  • Medical adhesive tape (10-yd. roll, min. 1" width)
  • Blister treatment (e.g., Moleskin, 2nd Skin, Glacier Gel
  • Ibuprofen/other pain-relief medication
  • Insect-sting relief treatment (e.g., AfterBite)
  • Antihistamine to treat allergic reactionsSplinter (fine-point) tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Comprehensive first-aid manual or information cards

Comprehensive care: Carry all of the basic items listed above; add items below based on anticipated needs.

Note: The list below is intentionally extensive; rarely will a single kit include every item shown here.

  • Wound coverings
  • Rolled gauze
  • Rolled, stretch-to-conform bandages
  • Elastic wrap
  • Hydrogel-based pads
  • First-aid cleansing pads with topical anesthetic
  • Hemostatic (blood-stopping) gauze
  • Liquid bandages
  • Oval eye pads
  • Medications/treatments
  • Hand sanitizer (BKZ- or alcohol-based)
  • Aloe vera gel (sun exposure relief)
  • Aspirin (primarily for response to a heart attack)
  • Antacid tablets
  • Throat lozenges
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Loperamide tablets (for diarrhea symptoms)
  • Poison ivy/poison oak preventative
  • Poison ivy/poison oak treatment
  • Glucose or other sugar to treat hypoglycemia
  • Oral rehydration salts (e.g., CeraLyte)
  • Antifungal foot powder
  • Prescription medications (e.g., antibiotics)
  • Injectable epinephrine to treat allergic reactions (e.g., EpiPen, Twinject)

First-aid Tools

  • Knife (or multi-tool with knife)
  • Paramedic shears (blunt-tip scissors)
  • Safety razor blade (or scalpel w/#15 or #12 blade)
  • Finger splint(s)
  • SAM splint(s)
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Standard oral thermometer
  • Low-reading (hypothermia) thermometer
  • Irrigation syringe with 18 gauge catheter
  • Magnifying glass
  • Small mirror
  • Medical/surgical gloves (nitrile preferred; avoid latex)
  • Triangular cravat bandage
  • Steel sewing needle with heavy-duty thread
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire cutter
  • Headlamp (preferred) or flashlight
  • Whistle (pealess preferred)
  • Duct tape (small roll)
  • Small notepad with waterproof pencil or pen
  • Medical waste bag (plus box for sharp items)
  • Waterproof container to hold supplies and meds
  • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket

Personal care, other items

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent (plus headnet, if needed)
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Water-disinfection system
  • Collapsible water sink or basin

Remember that First Aid supplies expire and make sure you know how to use everything in your kit.  If you take something out REPLACE as soon as possible

First Aid,

follow us


Guide to Outdoor Recreation


Travel Guide to Italy