Backpacking First-Aid Checklists – Basic & Extensive

Backpacking, Checklists

Be Prepared & Be Safe

Backpackers & Hikers should always carry first-aid kit it can be either a store bought prepackaged or a DIY first-aid kit created using the comprehensive list supplied below as a guide.

Where to get Backpacking First-Aid Kits – Click HERE


Basic First-Aid Care:

  • Antiseptic wipes (BZK-based wipes preferred; alcohol-based OK)
  • Antibacterial ointment (e.g., bacitracin)
  • Assorted adhesive bandages (fabric preferred)
  • Antihistamine to treat allergic reactions
  • Blister treatment (e.g., Moleskin, 2nd Skin, Glacier Gel)
  • Butterfly bandages/adhesive wound-closure strips
  • Compound tincture of benzoin (bandage adhesive)
  • Ibuprofen/other pain-relief medication
  • Insect-sting relief treatment (e.g., AfterBite)
  • Gauze pads (various sizes)
  • Medical adhesive tape (10-yd. roll, min. 1″ width)
  • Nonstick sterile pads
  • Safety pins
  • Splinter (fine-point) tweezers
  • First-aid manual or information cards

Where to get Backpacking First-Aid Kits


Comprehensive First-Aid Care:

(in addition to basic items listed above add items below based on anticipated needs. This is an extensive list rarely available as a single prepackaged kit)

Wound Coverings

  • Rolled gauze
  • Rolled, stretch-to-conform bandages
  • Elastic wrap
  • Hydrogel-based pads
  • First-aid cleansing pads with topical anesthetic
  • Hemostatic (blood-stopping) gauze
  • Liquid bandages
  • Oval eye pads


  • Hand sanitizer (BKZ – or alcohol-based)
  • Aloe Vera gel (sun exposure relief)
  • Aspirin (primarily for response to a heart attack)
  • Antacid tablets
  • Throat lozenges
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Loperamide tablets (for diarrhea symptoms)
  • Poison ivy/poison oak preventative
  • Poison ivy/poison oak treatment
  • Glucose or other sugar to treat hypoglycemia
  • Oral rehydration salts (e.g., CeraLyte)
  • Antifungal foot powder
  • Prescription medications (e.g., antibiotics)
  • Injectable epinephrine to treat allergic reactions (e.g., EpiPen, Twinject)

Tools and Supplies

  • Knife (or multi-tool with knife)
  • Paramedic shears (blunt-tip scissors)
  • Safety razor blade (or scalpel w/#15 or #12 blade)
  • Finger splint(s)
  • SAM splint(s)
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Standard oral thermometer
  • Low-reading (hypothermia) thermometer
  • Irrigation syringe with 18-gauge catheter
  • Magnifying glass
  • Small mirror
  • Medical/surgical gloves (nitrile preferred; avoid latex)
  • Triangular cravat bandage
  • Steel sewing needle with heavy-duty thread
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire cutter
  • Headlamp (preferred) or flashlight
  • Whistle (pealess preferred)
  • Duct tape (small roll)
  • Small notepad with waterproof pencil or pen
  • Medical waste bag (plus box for sharp items)
  • Waterproof container to hold supplies and meds
  • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket

Personal Care, Other Items

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent (plus headnet, if needed)
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Water-disinfection system
  • Collapsible water sink or basin

Where to get Backpacking First-Aid Kits – Click HERE

Selected items from the book “Medicine for the Outdoors” by Dr. Paul S. Auerbach

Resources & Products

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach

Wilderness First Aid Information & Training Resources