Essential on a hike

First Aid

A first aid kit is an essential on any hike. What you put in your pack may depend on a variety of factors including the length and duration of your hike, the terrain, whether you’ll be out overnight, and the time of year. A kit for a short day-hike can be pretty simple and can be purchased as a prepacked unit.

Some basic items to include:

  • Personal prescriptions, clearly labeled
  • Adhesive bandages of varying sizes
  • Moleskin or sports tape
  • Sterile gauze
  • Elastic bandage
  • Antihistamine
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Soap and/or antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers
  • Latex or nitrile gloves
  • CPR mask
  • First aid booklet


A more complete list can be found at the American Hiking Society’s website at An in-depth list for a hiker wishing to be prepared for a wide variety of situations can be found here

Remember, a first aid kit is only part of the Ten Essentials. Being prepared for a hike that is within your capabilities, with the appropriate gear and clothing and a well thought-out plan that is shared with others, is part of staying safe and healthy.

Even if you an experienced and fit hiker not prone to injuries, consider that what you are carrying may be able to help someone else.

A wilderness first aid class is recommended for anyone doing an extended hike or leading a group of hikers.