You are using a web browser we don't support. Please use the latest version of one of these browsers.

Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome

Apple Safari

Microsoft IE

First-Aid Checklist

detail of a backcountry first aid kit

If you’re headed outdoors, you should always carry either a prepackaged first-aid kit or a DIY kit that you can create using our list as a guide. Knowing how to use the items in a first-aid kit is as important as having them, so consider taking a training course.

This list is intentionally extensive so you don’t forget anything. It also includes emergency essentials that you might carry separately from a kit.

First-Aid Basic Care

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

Wraps, Splints and Wound Coverings

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

Medications/Treatments

  • 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 treatment
  • Insect sting relief treatment
  • Glucose or other sugar to treat hypoglycemia
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Antifungal foot powder
  • Prescription medications (e.g., antibiotics)
  • Injectable epinephrine to treat allergic reactions

Tools and Supplies

  • Knife (or multi-tool with knife)
  • Paramedic shears (blunt-tip scissors)
  • Safety razor blade (or scalpel w/ #15 or #12 blade)
  • 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)
  • CPR mask
  • Steel sewing needle with heavy-duty thread
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire cutter
  • 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
  • Headlamp (preferred) or flashlight
  • Whistle (pealess preferred)
  • Personal locator beacon
  • Satellite messenger

Personal Care, Other Items

Shop REI's Selection

The REI Difference

100% satisfaction guaranteed

We stand behind everything we sell. If you are not satisfied with your REI purchase, you can return it for a replacement or refund within one year of purchase.

REI's guarantee doesn't cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents.

If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time. See our limited warranty.

Gear & advice you can trust

At REI, we live and breathe the outdoors, and we're passionate about sharing our expertise with people of all skill levels. Whether you're new to the outdoors or a seasoned explorer, we'll take the time to understand your needs and help you find the right gear for you.

10% annual member refund

Anyone can shop at REI, but for a one-time $20 fee you can become an REI member and enjoy a lifetime of benefits. These include an annual member refund, typically 10% back on eligible purchases.*

 

 

*10% is typical but not guaranteed. Your refund is based on eligible purchases, which exclude REI gift cards, services, fees, REI Adventures trips, REI Garage, and discounted items. Learn more