Besides packing the essentials [water, a trail map, sunscreen, + CHAARG tank of course ; )], have you thought about adding a small first aid kit to the list? After taking a NOLS Wilderness First Aid course, we learned having a kit is key *just in case* of an emergency.
The easiest way to start is to buy a starter first aid kit then supply it with more items. These kits can be found at any convenience or grocery store, ++ in the long run, it’s going to be cheaper compared to stocking your own kit. There are many options, so what kit should an adventuring CHAARG girl look for?
1] APPROPRIATE KIT SIZE
Find a kit that is going to fit into your backpack + last a 1-2 day hike. The last thing you want to carry is a kit made for 4 people stocked for 5 days if you’re only going for a day hike by yourself — that will be heavy + take up so much space!
2] SMALL SYRINGE
Syringes are a good idea to help clean up wounds + can be easily reused. No matter how small the wound, cleaning it with a quick rinse of water will reduce the chance of infection.
Cuts + scrapes get a little messy,so having gauze on-hand to help stop bleeding or wipe up a mess is super helpful. Starter kits usually have a few pads — make sure you stock up on some extras!
Once a wound is clean, an antiseptic like Neosporin is great to fight infection, help heal your wound faster, + help reduce scarring. Still, scars can make for good stories! #battlewounds ; )
4] ANTI-ITCH CREAM
It’s important to have an anti-itch cream like Benadryl in case of an allergic reaction or coming in contact with poison ivy. Also, you don’t want to have your trip ruined with mosquito bites!
Look for a kit that has a variety of bandages because not all cuts//blisters are the same. Use the winged ones for cuts in between the toes or Moleskin bandages for blisters. Use the strip bandages for small scrapes + the extra large ones for those occasional knee scrapes. Again, starter kits usually contain a few bandages, so make sure to buy a few more at the store — fun patterns optional. : )
6] EMERGENCY CONTACTS + IDENTIFYING//MEDICAL TAGS
You’ll want to have a list of emergency contacts that anyone can call, if for any reason you can’t make the call yourself. Carrying identifying//medical tags is a good idea in case you are unable to communicate with those helping. Road ID makes some great ones you can personalize to put on your shoelaces or make a bracelet so they’ll know your name + if you have allergies. Cell phones also have features to add personalized emergency contacts + a place to list any pertinent medical information on your lock//home screen.
Make sure you reassess your kit each time you embark on a new hike — cleaning out any expired medication, removing any old bandage wrappings//trash, + stocking up on low supplies. Should you ever need your First Aid Kit, you’re now prepared!
Safe travels + happy trails! : )
++ Jessilyn G [@jessilyngi]