15 First Aid Kit Essentials

A cursory “googling” of wilderness medicine will inevitably lead you to a book by Dr. Paul S. Auerbach titled Medicine for the Outdoors.

He’s established himself as the expert on wilderness medicine and defines it as, “…the practice of medicine in situations of constrained resources.”510m45vrq9l-_sx286_bo1204203200_

His book’s reviews on Amazon are filled with phrases like, “tells you the best way to respond to just about any medical problem”, “this medical reference book may literally save your life”, and “it belongs in your pack.” 

If you’re like us, your first aid kit was put together long ago, and subsequently stuffed in that hard-to-reach part of your hiking pack. You put it there because you figured you wouldn’t need it. And even though the circumstances which would dictate that you DID need it require rapid response, you stuff it way back in there anyhow.

Only problem is, like your memory of what you packed to begin with, some of the contents expire. Some of the basics in first aid kits expire surprisingly fast. Have you looked at the expiration date on your sterile gauze lately?

Here at New Innocents, we’re at such a juncture. So spelunking into the recesses of our pack we went. We emerged unscathed with our kit in hand and got down to the business of taking an inventory.

To inform our family’s First Aid Kit Overhaul, we turned to Dr. Auerbach’s book. Preparing for our upcoming visits to Pinnacles, Sequoia, King’s Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks, we’ve looked over the “first aid kit” essentials and are making our updates accordingly.

Based on recommendations from Medicine for the Outdoors and our own painstakingly acquired experience, below you’ll find a list of “MUST HAVES.” These items should be in your pack for every single one of your National Park Adventures.

Annoying to buy everything separately but, at least you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re covered. We hope you’ll find it useful!

National Parks Adventure General First-Aid Kit

***All medication recommendations are for the children’s version.***

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Bug Repellent
  3. Diphenhydramine, Antihistamine (e.g., Benadryl Children’s Allergy) 
  4. Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin)
  5. Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine (e.g., Excedrin Migraine) ***Not for kids***
  6. Bacitracin (e.g., Neosporin)
  7. Fabric-based adhesive bandages
  8. Butterfly bandages/wound closure strips
  9. Gauze and sterile pads
  10. Medical tape
  11. Moleskin or preferred blister treatment
  12. Insect-sting relief treatment
  13. Bulb syringe and saline solution
  14. Tweezers
  15. First aid guide book (perhaps Auerbach’s…we’ll let you know when we finish the review)


***If your children have known allergies, you’re adding an Epipen to the collection…but of course if you were dealt that hand, we’re preaching to the choir.***

Thanks for reading!

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