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5 Essential First-Aid Items

Accident preparedness. A perfect group of words seeing as you don’t plan an accident and who knows what exactly you will need or when the accident may take place. Preparing for the worst is always difficult and sometimes time-consuming, but it’s also vital and so important for any outdoor adventure – wet or dry.

So what kind of accidents should one anticipate while camping or taking to the water? There are the typical mishaps such as the occasional cuts, scrapes, and scratches. And then there’s the ones that can happen when you’re kayaking and learning new tricks with your playboat – usually not a super cautious adventure. Whatever your version of the outdoors, knowing what to do in a wilderness emergency and packing your kit with some of these essential items could make things a whole lot easier.

2 kayaks by the water with a helicopter taking off in the background.

1) Tweezers/Scissors/Safety Pins/Knife

We’re going to categorize these together as they fall along a similar premise. A knife is one of the most basic essentials – so many uses and options when out on the water or a camping trip. This single tool can help with digging, hunting, fishing, gathering and/or preparing materials to make a shelter, open food packets, or even something simple such as cutting spare rope. You may choose to keep one on you at all times and a small spare in an emergency bag, just in case.

2) Antihistamine for Allergic Reactions

You may not think any medicine is needed besides some simple Advil or Ibuprofen for your trip in the wilderness, but think again! Remember, you are sharing the great outdoors with poison ivy, bees, wasps and other fun creatures. Never underestimate the power of the sting! Always pack along some Benadryl – which is also safe for dogs – or another similar antihistamine for that plant or animal you weren’t looking out for. Nothing can cut a trip short faster than a full body rash. Ouch!

3) Moleskin

A blister may not be totally life threatening, but man, they sure are painful! Moleskin can be useful for protecting any part of the foot from shoe friction and they cut easily into small pieces to fit nicely into any first-aid kit. Your handy scissors will come into good use here to cut out what shape you need. Instead of popping a blister – which can mean more discomfort, infection (and gross…), moleskin is applied to form a protective barrier around the blister, preventing further friction.

Survival Equipment Watershed Drybags Product Image

4) Waterproof First-Aid Bag

Whether you are hiking on the trail, out on the water on a glorious rafting trip, or hosting a day ride down the coast, a drybag is your best friend. Wet moleskin and bandages really aren’t too helpful, so keep the essentials dry and together in one space. The Watershed Drybag Survival Equipment Bag is your perfect solution. This duffel will hold enough survival gear for a multi-passenger raft or hiking group in the event of an emergency. The bag includes:

  • Manual oral inflate/purge valve
  • Coast Guard approved SOLAS reflective tape
  • Stainless steel D-rings
  • Mil-spec stitching

Don’t let your first-aid supplies sink to the bottom of the river!

Rafting picture with one man in the water being helped back up

5) Sterile Wipes

Antiseptic Wipes are a convenient way of sterilizing the skin – packable, lightweight, and without risk of cross contamination (unlike an entire bottle of potentially messy liquids). Placing a bandage on a dirty wound won’t do it much good unless you clean the affected area first. Just like you don’t leave the house without one glove or one shoe, don’t leave without sterile wipes and the Band-Aids!

What are some of your top safety items for the outdoors? Stay safe and enjoy!

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