Regardless of whether you're camping at Yellowstone or next to your neighborhood lake, you should always remember to take appropriate precautions to protect yourself in an emergency.
A good first aid kit can give you peace of mind on your trip, provided that you've got it stocked with the right items. Here are a few smart additions to keep you safe and comfortable while you experience the great outdoors.
These items will come into play on every camping trip. Make sure everyone in your party wears sun lotion and use the insect spray as soon as you set up your campsite. You might also include calamine lotion, anti-itch medicine for bug bites and other after-the-fact treatments.
Keep your camping trip eco-friendly. Look for insect repellents, not insecticides, and only use as much as you need.
It's called "roughing it" for a reason, and if you're camping with a few people, there's a good chance that someone will get a non-serious scrape or cut. The hydrogen peroxide will keep the cut from getting infected and allow it to heal quickly.
Bring an assortment of bandages. Plastic bandages work fine for small cuts, but you'll need gauze and bandage rolls for larger scrapes.
You can pick all of these items up at your local camping store or drugstore with the possible exception of the emergency blanket, but any warm blanket will do.
These items are your health emergency items. Before heading out, learn how and when to use a compress for severe cuts, broken bones and other serious injuries.
In an emergency, you might need fast help. Charge up an old cell phone, turn it off and put both the phone and charger in your kit. It doesn't matter if the cell phone has service; all cell phones are capable of calling 911 with or without a coverage plan.
The whistle will allow you to call attention to yourself in an emergency, and the pocket mirror can reflect light to show your location if you're camping in a particularly remote place. Your cell phone's a good first line of defense, but these other items show rangers, ambulances and other helpers exactly where to go.
Finally, remember that the best way to protect yourself from a sudden health emergency is to learn CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and other basic techniques. Make sure that all of your camping partners know what to do if someone is suffering from hypothermia, a severe allergic reaction, a broken bone or another common injury. Find out about your group's allergies, who can't swim and anything else that could affect the trip.
Early preparation is key, and you'll never regret spending a few minutes to learn techniques that could save your fellow campers' lives.
After you've assembled your camping first aid kit, check out our complete camping checklist to make sure you've got all the essentials outside of safety.