When was the last time you restocked your first aid kit?

At this point in the season, we've all likely dipped into our first aid kits for a band-aid or two. Be sure to stay stocked so that you're prepared in the event of a larger incident!
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
August 03, 2017
When was the last time you restocked your first aid kit?

Imagine yourself out on a beautiful backcountry adventure. You pick the place - wherever you like! You've planned to spend the night, and as you're settling into camp, you get out your cook set and start to make dinner. All of the sudden - boom - you cut your finger. And yikes, its a bleeder!

Good thing you brought Essential #6, your trusty first aid kit. Phew! You grab your pack, pull out your first aid kit with your one good hand, wrangle it open and - uh oh - where's the gauze? I could swear I had some in here! Never mind, I'll find something else, I know I've got some band-aids. Band-aids, band-aids, band-aids - wait a second, all I've got is this one dried-up little band-aid? Oh dear, well, I'll just grab some tape - I know I have some tape - WHAT IS THIS, NO TAPE!?! 

How many times have you used a band-aid or a piece of moleskin from your first aid kit this summer? Did you restock that dose of ibuprofen or Benadryl from your last outing? At the midway point of a busy summer, it's important to stop and take a minute to reassess and restock one of your most important 10 Essentials - your first aid kit! Frequent restocking, before or after every trip, helps to ensure that you'll always have the supplies that you need when you really, really need them.

Wondering what you should even have in your first aid kit, in the first place? Our friends at NOLS have some great suggestions on their blog! For day hiking, backpacking, and paddling - here’s a list of what I include in my own personal kit. What do you include in yours?

  • (2 pairs) Nitrile gloves
  • (1) CPR face shield
  • (4) alcohol wipes
  • (1 roll) 1” athletic tape
  • (6) gauze pads/roll, various sizes
  • (2) non-adherent dressings
  • (10+) Band-Aids, various sizes
  • (1 roll) vet wrap (Coban)
  • (1 sheet) moleskin
  • (4 packets) topical antibiotic cream
  • (1) tweezers
  • (1) irrigation syringe
  • (1) trauma scissors
  • (2-3) tampons
  • (1) compression wrap
  • (4 doses) ibuprofen
  • (4 doses) acetaminophen (aka Tylenol)
  • (2 doses) antacids (such as Pepto Bismol)
  • (2 doses) diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl)


Stay up-to-date with your medical training and know how to use everything that's packed in your first aid kit - it's not useful if you don’t know how to use it!

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Jerry Logan
Jerry Logan says:
Sep 01, 2017 09:09 AM

Thanks Sara. I have not seen a definitive list of what should be in the kit and this is a nice list. I am updating my kit as we speak...

Dominic Giannangelo
Dominic Giannangelo says:
Sep 05, 2017 04:01 PM

Don't forget prescription medicine - and extras of them

Steve Fayden
Steve Fayden says:
Mar 03, 2022 08:41 PM

Thank you for bring me and my first aid kit up to date. This is very helpful.