Taking a few, basic, first aid items with you when you venture into the backcountry is an important consideration that is often overlooked until the first time an item is actually needed. You don’t have to run out and buy a first aid kit, though, because if you have kids then you surely have most of this stuff in your house, already.
The most prevalent issues that you might have to deal with in the backcountry are cuts and scrapes, burns from the campfire, bee stings, and poison ivy/poison oak. Yes, you could assemble a full-fledged medical kit with splints and scalpels but, let’s face it, for serious issues you will (and should) head to the nearest hospital.
Google™ Maps is an easy way to locate the nearest hospital, before you head out on your trip. Once you have the campground mapped, just do a search on “emergency care” and Google will show you all of the nearby facilities.
Our first aid kit is pretty simple, compared to most. We have a “sleeve” of adhesive bandages out of a Nexcare™ assortment-pack. These bandages come in different shapes and sizes, seem to stick to anything, and they’re about half the price of the leading brand. Every cut and scrape also gets a dab of Neosporin® to help keep it from becoming infected. The kit is rounded-out with aspirin for the adults, Children’s Tylenol® for the kids, a tube of Cortizone-10® cream for itchy skin, some tweezers, and a couple of Instant Cold Ice Packs. We have used everything in our first aid kit except for the Cortizone-10 cream. Knock on wood, but so far, the Scribner kids seem to have inherited mom and dad’s natural resistance to poison oak.
Whenever venturing into the backcountry, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies and problems that could cut your trip short, if not taken care of. Put together a few first aid items and keep them with your toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) so that everyone knows where it’s at, and it’s in a place that is frequently viewed – so you know when it’s time to replenish used items.