It’s unwise and dangerous to go camping without a first aid kit. When you are out there “roughing it”, you are exposing yourself to a great number of dangers. You could fall out of a tree, bruise yourself with an axe, or burn your fingers in the fireplace. It’s even more serious if you have your kids with you.

Here is a list of 11 items you need in your camping first aid kit checklist:

  • Antihistamine and hydrocortisone
  • Painkillers
  • Suncreen
  • Snake bite kit
  • Splint
  • Eye drops
  • Tourniquet
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton tip swabs
  • Bandages & Band-Aids

You should also consider adding items that you need and that are unique to you and your situation. Also, make sure that you pick a first aid kit that has enough room to carry all your essentials.

Antihistamine and Hydrocortisone

You are highly likely to suffer allergic reactions when camping. If not you, then someone with you might. It is therefore necessary to come prepared with antihistamine cream or hydrocortisone.

These two can provide relief for your skin if you have been bitten by mosquitoes or other insects.

Many camping grounds are teeming with insects that will cause an allergic reaction through biting, stinging, and so forth. Some plants also cause allergic reactions when you touch them.


Camping is unpredictable. Anything can literally happen and cause you great pain. For instance, you could have a terrible migraine because of the hotness of the sun.

If you are camping out in the middle of nowhere, that’s the last place you want to have a migraine in. You can’t run off to a drug store to buy painkillers.

It is therefore important to have painkillers in your camping first aid kit. Which in particular doesn’t matter – bring your preferred type. It could be aspirin or acetaminophen or ibuprofen, whatever works for you.

You should also remember to bring painkilling creams or sprays for your skin, in case you get a burn while lighting a fire or cooking.


Yes, you are not going to the beach, but you are still going to be exposed to direct sunlight. Sunburn can ruin your trip!

In case of sunburn, try a cream that has aloe vera – it works wonders!

Snake Bite Aid

For venomous snake prone areas, you should also consider bringing a snake bite kit or compression bandages such as the Setopress High Compression Bandage along with you. It is intended to slow down or stop the venum from travelling around the body if you are bitten.

The Setopress High Compression Bandage is perfect for use with the Pressure Immobilisation Technique (PIT). PIT is used for the treatment of all Australian Snakes, Funnel Webbed Spiders, Blue Ringed Octopus and Cone Shell stings. – TACMED Australia


You might fall from a tree. A stone could drop on your foot. Anything could happen. A splint is a must-have for any camping first aid kit. If you get so hurt that you have a broken bone and you are deep in the woods, a splint is a life-saver.

Eye Drops

In case of an allergic reaction in your eye, eye drops will come in handy. You also need them when you want to flush out your eye – like if a small insect flew in there. The brand Visine is a good option for allergy eye relief.


When your leg or hand is bleeding heavily, a tourniquet is a device that will put pressure to the limb (or extremity) to help reduce the flow. If you don’t have one when an emergency happens, you can improvise by using rope and a stick – or a leather belt and a stick.

Antiseptic Wipes

They are useful for cleaning minor wounds. They help sterilize your skin.

You use the antiseptic wipe once then throw it away – a single-use item. As a result, you are able to sanitize your skin with zero cross-contamination risk. In contrast, a bottle of liquids could get messy.

Since each wipe is packaged individually, you can easily carry them in your pocket or a first aid kit.


Tweezers are for removal of splinters, ticks, or any foreign bodies from wounds on your body. They come in handy for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. For instance, when you are climbing a tree, a splinter from a branch could lodge itself in your skin.

If you want to stay on the safe side, make sure you use clean tweezers. Before use, disinfect the pair of tweezers using alcohol. Remember to disinfect again after use.

Cotton Tip Swabs

These are also known as cotton tip applicators and are useful for a variety of reasons.

You can use them to apply antiseptic ointments, burn creams, and other medications.

Since cotton tips are sterile, they are better than using your fingers. You see, fingers pose the risk of infection.

You can also use them for cleaning your external ear.

Lastly, if you need to apply makeup, you can use cotton tip swabs.

Bandages & Band-Aids

Bandages and Band-Aids are a must have in any first-aid kit, for binding up wounds.

Before you use the bandage, you should first clean the wound. Doing that removes debris from the wound and reduces the risk of infection. Use clean water to rinse the wound. If there is any persistent dirt or debris in the wound, remove with tweezers.

After that, cover the wound with the bandage or gauze.

The Take away

Stock up on these first aid items and you should be okay. However, it’s very important that everyone in your group knows where you’ve kept the first aid kit.

They should also know to use it – that goes for you as well. Before you go on your camping trip, it’s smart to do some research on that, maybe watch a few videos on You Tube.

If you are going camping with your kids, make sure they know the basics of first aid.

Kelvin Mwathi