Considerations for Building First Aid Kits

There is no absolute list for first aid kits, but ACN has some suggestions for things to consider. 

You need to match a first aid kit to the person who is using the kit, as well as your camp population. A person should not carry anything in a kit that they are not familiar with, or do not know how to use. How far the group is from the camp healthcare center and definitive medical care is very important. If you’re on the camp property 10 minutes from the health center you will pack much differently than you would for a wilderness excursion out for multiple days.

Start with basic supplies, adjusting the quantity to the group size. Add supplies and equipment based on the knowledge of the first aid staff and how the kit will be used.

Basic supplies to consider:

  • Gloves
  • Notepad and pencil for documentation
  • Wound care:  basic bandaids and bandages in a variety of sizes (‘flexible fabric” stick well), gauze, antiseptic wipes and/or soap for wound cleaning, antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Cloth tape
  • 4″ elastic bandage
  • Safety pins
  • Triangular bandage. Useful for securing splints, creating a sling and swathe
  • CPR shield

Kits should be regularly checked to be sure supplies are not outdated and haven’t gotten damaged with water, heat or cold.

The knowledge of the health care provider or camp staff member providing first aid is much more important than the supplies they carry. Always have the kit accessible, and make sure group members know where it is located. Consider the packaging of the kit. Be sure it is easily identifiable as a first aid kit. If using in a canoe, raft or wet environment be sure the kit is water proof. Label all containers in the kits, so it’s easy to identify what is in the kit. If building your own kits, check prices carefully. It may be less expensive to buy a pre-made first aid kit.