Restocking Your First Aid Kit
Winter is the ideal time to assess your hiking equipment. Pull out your hiker First-Aid kit and shape it into something that you can count on in an emergency - or more likely, during a small mishap on the trail.
Winter is the ideal time to assess your hiking equipment. I clean my backpacking stove, fluff up my sleeping bag and waterproof my boots during these short days and long nights. Last weekend, I took up another of these projects: restocking my First Aid kit.
Every hiker should carry a First Aid kit. You never know when you might trip and skin your knee, develop a blister - or worse. And once you have a kit, you need to keep it up-to-date - modifying it to fit your outing, the members of your hiking party and replenishing its stores after they are used.
WTA has a great online resource describing how to build your own First Aid kit, with a fairly comprehensive list of basic supplies to include. Because I didn't want to deal with buying 50 sterile dressing pads only to include four in my kit, I chose to purchase a pre-package kit (available at most outdoor outlets) and supplement it with extra items my family needs on a hike. Since I have small kids, I've added Children's Tylenol and an instant cold pack to the mix. I swapped out the Moleskin for Second Skin, my blister treatment of choice.
During the inspection of my kit last weekend I discovered that we were entirely out of large Band-Aids, the antiseptic towlettes had gone dry and the hydrocortisone cream had expired. One trip to the drug store later, I have a First Aid kit that I can count on in an emergency - or more likely, during a small mishap on the trail.
What's your go-to item in your First Aid kit?