Personal First Aid Kits

by Zachary Collier

I always restock my first aid kit on the first day of each season. Since Spring is just two weeks away I recently pulled out my personal first aid list. On our multi-day expeditions and international trips we carry large first aid kits full all kinds of goodies. Something that big isn't realistic for every day use, so here's the first aid kit I leave in my truck and bring on day trips where we're not too far from a road.

First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits

Great organization starts with a functional case. I've found one that I like, but Pelican boxes full of zip lock bags work great too!

Item Why?
Small First Aid Book Knowledge is power!
Band Aids (10) Small wounds
Neosporin Small wounds
Steri Strips (5) Closing deep wounds
4x4 Sterile Gauze Pads (2) To help cover wounds
Tegaderm (2-3) These are great and easy to use waterproof/breathable dressings - a must for paddling
First Aid Tape (1-2 rolls) Everything
Gloves (3 pair) Body Substance Isolation (BSI) - keep yourself stay safe!
CPR Mask Body Substance Isolation (BSI) - keep yourself stay safe!
Hand Sanitizer Sometimes is just plain nice to have clean hands but you should sanitize your hands before and after working around wounds.
Chap-stick Chapped lips are no fun
Small Sunscreen Emergency backup
Aloe Vera Sunburn
Ibuprofen (Advil) An important part of I-RICE (Ibuprofen - Rest - Ice - Compression - Elevation)
Aspirin Shown to help with heart attacks
Bendadryl Allergic Reactions
Anti-diarrheal Mandatory for international trips
Tweezers Wilderness Medical Institute (WMI) sells the absolute best tweezers
Trauma Shears For cutting through clothes or even kayaks!
Lighter Accidental overnighters or to sterilize the tip of a safety pin
Moleskin Blisters
Small Irrigation Syringe Cleaning deep wounds
Sam Splint Easy splint
Ace Bandage To help with splinting or a quick immobilization of a joint
Triangular Bandages (1-3) To create a sling
Safety Pins (3) Great for splinting, but also great for getting splinters out
Pencil Keeping notes
Soap Notes Keeping track of important Subjective - Objective - Assessment - Plan data
Type A & B Tear-Aid This doesn't take much space and is great for quick, easy field repairs.

Every first aid kit is a little different, but this is the one I've found most useful. Please feel free to add any thoughts below as I'm always looking to make my list better.

Originally Published: | Updated on



Zachary Collier

As owner of Northwest Rafting Company, Zach Collier combines international guiding experience in places like Siberia, Bhutan, and Chile with a natural business acumen for systems and logistics. Whether he’s on big water or in the back office, Zach strives to ensure NWRC offers exceptional whitewater and wilderness experiences for guests and guides alike.

Connect with Zach:   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

Related Posts

Huge Victory for Southern Oregon Rivers!

/ Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rough and Ready Creek

Today the BLM and Forest Service, under the Obama Administration, announced protection of Southern Oregon's Rough and Ready Creek, Baldface Creek, North Fork of the Smith River, Hunter Creek, and Pistol River with a 20 year administrative "mineral withdrawal" (aka mining withdrawal). This has taken years to accomplish after exensive public comments and three public hearings showing overwhelming support of protection of these places. These rivers and creeks are uniquely special and absolutely deserve this protection from large scale mining. What is an Administrative Mineral Withdrawal?...

Wild Rivers Night 2016 Recap

/ Monday, January 11, 2016

Wild Rivers Night 2016

Last Thursday was the 6th annual Wild Rivers Night at the Patagonia Store in Portland. Over 300 river enthusiasts joined to celebrate wild rivers in and around Oregon. Once again writer, photographer, and speaker Tim Palmer was the emcee. He followed up opening remarks with a slide show of his 216 mile trip down the Rogue River. Bearfoot Brad Nate Wilson premiered his new film about Bearfoot Brad and the North Fork of the Smith River. Baldface Creek in the headwaters of the North Fork of...