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The weather is warming up, and the outside is calling! This is a great time to plant a garden, kill weeds, and get more involved in outdoor sports such as boating, mountain biking, and hiking – time outdoors is good for your mental health as well as your physical health.

But sometimes people pursuing an active hobby like going on “just a short day hike” forget one thing that can be crucially needed at even just a few miles away from home. It’s something simple that we usually have at home, in our car, there may even be one in your purse. But for some reason, when we leave home on foot we can easily forget to take this along. It’s a simple first aid kit.

Why the Fuss?

If you are at home or at least still in civilization and you get hurt, it’s often an easy to get medical help. At home, you probably have a first aid kit tucked away in the bathroom. On a road trip, your kit is probably in the trunk of your car with your other emergency car kit items. If you are at work, chances are there is a first aid kit on site, or at least someone has a little one in their purse or drawer. But what about on a hike or other outdoor activity?

Being on a hike into the wilderness often means you are out of reach of cell phones, and even if you can call out, will help be able to get to you? Getting a cut or blister doesn’t have to be a big deal, but if you have to hike out the 5 miles you hiked in you’re gonna wish you were better prepared.

What Should a Small First Aid Kit Include?

It’s easy to buy a premade kit, but often those are too bulky and get left behind.  Instead, you can easily make your own kit. At the very minimum, I recommend your kit contain:

  • Bandages and sterile gauze (in various sizes)
  • Athletic tape
  • Pain reliever
  • Antibiotic gel
  • Tweezers

Just put all of these (even a minimal amount of each will do) into a small plastic bag, tuck it into your daypack, and you will have the basics covered – for blisters, cuts, splinters, and other things that you could get on your day hike or other outdoor adventure. Be sure you know how to use all the items in your kit.

You kit can be lightweight but very useful. If you don’t need to use it at all on your day hike, terrific! In fact, that’s the goal! And if you do need it, you will be grateful you thought ahead to bring it.

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