First Aid Kit for Canoeing and Camping

firstaidkitv21A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid. Kits contain bandages for controlling bleeding, personal protective equipment such as gloves and a barrier for performing rescue breathing and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and sometimes instructions on how to perform first aid.

Most store bought first aid kits, especially the cheap ones, are very poor in terms of quality, quantity, and selection of items, and are only suited for treating very minor injuries. A homemade kit, if properly prepared, is generally better and sometimes cheaper than most commercial kit. However, the contents of a first aid kit should be optimized for local conditions. For example, hikers in snake country should have a snakebite kit and a kit aboard a boat should have medications for seasickness while a kit for paddlers and whitewater rafters should be waterproof.

You can shop for first aid kits at the following online retailers.
NRS first aid kits for paddlers and whitewater rafters.

Altrec first aid kits for paddlers, campers and hikers.

A list of items a first aid kit contains:

Dressings (Sterile, applied directly to wound)

  • Sterile eye pads
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Sterile non adherent pads
  • Burn dressing (sterile pad soaked in a cooling gel)
  • Occlusive dressing (airtight dressing, can be used to treat a ‘sucking chest wound’, in which air is sucked into the chest cavity, collapsing the lung. For this use, occlusive dressings should be taped on 3 sides only, to create a ‘one-way valve’)
  • Petroleum gauze (also used as non-adherent dressing)
  • Half of any gauze wrapper can be used, since the inside is sterile and air-tight

Bandages (sterility is not necessary, used to secure a dressing)

  • Gauze Roller bandages – absorbent, breathable, and often elastic
  • Elastic bandages- used for sprains, and pressure bandages
  • Adhesive, elastic roller bandages -Very effective pressure bandages or durable, waterproof bandaging
  • Triangular bandages – used as slings, tourniquets, to tie splints, and many other uses
  • Adhesive bandages (band-aids, sticking plasters)
  • Straight adhesive bandages
  • Butterfly (knuckle) bandages
  • Disposable gloves should be provided in a first aid kit


  • Adhesive tape, hypoallergenic
  • “Trauma Shears”, for cutting clothing and general use
  • Tweezers
  • Irrigation syringe, for cleaning wounds
  • Rubber suction bulb, for clearing the airway of an unconscious patient
  • Sawyer extractor if treating snakebites is a concern. This is the only snakebite kit generally recognized as not causing further damage and possibly reducing the effects of snakebite

Moshannon Falls: First Aid Kit for Canoeing and Camping

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