Be prepared! Outdoor enthusiasts should always carry either a prepackaged first-aid kit or a DIY kit created using our comprehensive list as a guide.

Basic Care: Prepackaged first-aid kits available at REI typically contain many of the following items:

Comprehensive Care: Carry all of the basic items listed above; add items below based on anticipated needs.

Note: The list below is intentionally extensive; rarely will a single kit include every item shown here.

Wound Coverings

Medications/Treatments

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

Selected from a more extensive list published in the book Medicine for the Outdoors by Dr. Paul S. Auerbach.