Being prepared is important when you are in remote locations and down inaccessible trails so keeping a well-stocked first-aid kit is a must for any hike no matter how long you will be out in the bush or how hard the hike is. This guide will talk about the ‘suggested’ hiking First-Aid kit but it's important you assess the needs of each hike you undertake and bring items with you that will mitigate the related risks to your hike.
The items we would include in our First-Aid Kit are...
15 – 20 High Quality Band-aids
1 Triangular Bandage
1 Space or Heat Blanket
1 Pair of Tweezers
2 Compression Bandages
1 Crepe Bandage
1 Small Bottle of Antiseptic Cream or Liquid (Betadine)
1 Small Bottle of Saline Solution (Around 15ml)
1 Splinter Pick
1 Pair of Sterile Gloves
5 Packs of antiseptic wipes
5 – 10 tablets of Ibuprofen
20 Chlorine tablets
1 Pair of light medical scissors
5 – 10 Safety Pins
1 Recirculation Face Shield (CPR Mask)
1 Roll of tape for blisters and sores
Note Pad & Pencil
Basic First-Aid Instruction Manuel
1 Small eye pad
3 Cotton Pads and Cotton Tips
The Above is a list of items you will want to bring with you on almost every hike but there are also some items that need to be added depending on where and what time of year you are going to be out in the bush and the location of where your hike is taking place. If you would like to download this list so you can easily tick each item off you can download it here.
Seasonal Items include...
+ Snake Bite Bandages for helping treat snake bites
+ Salt for leaches in areas with known leach populations
+ Hand Sanitiser for places with little water or easy sanitation
+ Eye Drops for after you have been pricked in the eye by a branch or flying stone
+ Lip Balm for hot summer hikes and people who get dried lips
+ Tick Probe for places with known Tick populations
These items above are great inclusions in your kit if you are travelling to areas where there are snake, leaches, little water or is heavily covered with bushland or loose rocks that could flick up into you eye. Including these items are in some parts of Australia are a must so make sure that before you set off on your hike you know what to expect and what terrain you will be entering so you don’t get caught being underprepared. The season in which you hike can also influence the need for these items so make sure to take the time of year into your planning as well as the terrain and location.
Know how to use what’s in the box!
When setting off on your adventures you want to know how to use the items in your kit and you will certainly need to learn the practices of Frist-aid and how to apply them in the real world. The best way to get these skills and learn about how to use your kit correctly is to complete a certified first-aid course by a qualified first aid assessor such as St Johns or The Red Cross. These courses can be over several days and will require you to complete a test but once you have your qualification you should be much better prepared to apply these first-aid skills and will be able to better act in an emergency.
Other things you can do...
To insure your safety out on the trail there is a multitude of things you can do on top of what has already been stated above. The first one of these things is taking your first-aid training further than just a regular first-aid course by doing a wilderness first-aid course that can help prepare you better and help you implement your training further while out in the bush. This can give you far more skills to stay safe in the bush and is a more tailored course for outdoors people who are passionate about staying safe and keeping prepared for any emergency situations hike hypothermia or hyperthermia.
In addition to a first-aid kit, you should also look into getting a survival kit for the bush, survival kits can come in handy when you find yourself lost, out for an extra night than expected or have lost gear that you need to survive. Kits such as this one from Kathmandu that we reviewed have everything you need to survive a few nights out in the bush in an emergency and work even better when coupled with in depth knowledge about general survival skills such as shelter construction and off grid navigation. Make sure that before you start using one of these kits that you know how to use everything inside of it but once you know how to use it, it will surely become one of the most helpful pieces of kit within your bag in the most dire of emergencies.
Remember that before you set off on your adventure you should always make well-structured plans and know where you will be trekking before you set off. Telling others where you are going is another important component of preparation that should be a must for anyone hiking alone or in a small group of people. This article is meant as a rough guide to planning your first-aid kit and what the benefits of a First-aid qualification are so make sure to prepare what YOU need to bring for YOUR situation because following this guide without some of your own input can actually put you in danger rather than protecting you.
Written by Josh Welch