**Think this packing list is a little boring? Want the updated version? Check it out here!**
Now for one of the most important packing lists you will need for any campout: the First Aid Kit list. And to be perfectly honest, the only things I have used out of my first aid kit over the 6 years of camping has been alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, bandaids, and tweezers. And Advil – for me! 🙂
The tweezers are really the most important thing. When our All Camp Nurse asked about buying things to stock our First Aid Kit for the big campout last month, I said get two sets of tweezers, and she agreed, because she knew that the two main things you will be dealing with for your troop is scrapes and splinters. A good set of tweezers is NOT made of plastic, and WILL cost more than $1. There are lots of “how to painlessly get rid of splinters!!!!” pins on Pinterest, but here’s an article from WebMD on how to get rid of both tiny splinters and big ones. I would rather not use one of my girls as a test subject for an unreliable fad cure.
Also, bandages. I don’t care what brand you get, what color, what character (although you know Daisies will squeal for Princess bandaids!); but get LOTS. As many as you can fit. Get plenty of the standard 3/4″x3″, but also get the larger ones, too. I’m also fond of having some Telfa pads in my kit. They will not stick to the wound, and are nice and large for those big scrapes kids always get on their knees. I like the ones with self adhesive tabs on the sides (like the ones I linked to). Get them in bulk at Amazon, though. You can either spend $30 for 100 or $10 for 3 at the drugstore!!
Alcohol wipes are also something great to have in bulk. They’re not only good for cleaning wounds, but also good for cleaning that “whatever-it-is” a girl got on her finger. Also, if you buy bandages, telfa pads, and alcohol wipes in bulk, you can use them to make personal First Aid kits with your Juniors for their badge requirement, or at any level. Once the girls are Juniors, I would add .5g packets of antibiotic cream, as they are usually past the “I’ll stick something I’m not supposed to in my mouth” stage by then, but YTMV (Your Troop May Vary). I feel uncomfortable giving anything more than antibiotic cream to any girl to carry around under 18, especially without parent consent. I think now that my girls are Cadettes, I might be okay with them bringing their own pain medicine (Advil or Tylenol) or OTC allergy medicine from home with (parents’ permission) and keeping it with them, as long as they give me a heads up. Because they may not necessarily want to come to me for Midol.
Which brings me to the next important things you should have in your kit once your girls get to a certain age. Like say, Cadettes. Put some supplies in your kit, make sure the girls know they are there, and make sure they know you are not going to make a big deal about it. Once my girls were in 5th grade, I sent out an email to my troop parents and asked them to let me know when their daughter started having a period, so that I could start stocking the First Aid Kit. I don’t need to know the details, I don’t need to know their cycle (although it might help me plan campouts and meetings for best participation – I dread the meeting when half of them are hormonally challenged and the other half are grumbling from cramps!), but I do need to know when to start carrying the appropriate supplies.
My troop’s First Aid Kit started as one of these travel kits, and then I started adding things(because it does not come packed to the gills, there is plenty of space to add). The first thing that got added was a good pair of tweezers! Then I added:
- more wipes (6? seriously?)
- Telfa pads
- a tube of antibiotic cream (the packets are best for making up girl kits)
- Pepto tablets
- insect bite relief
This is by no means a prepared for anything kind of kit. Nor will it ever be. It is a “prepared for what I can deal with at camp” kind of kit. There are many situations where my best option is put a girl in a car and get her to the emergency room, or call 911 and care for her until the ambulance gets to camp. We are going to be hiking a mountain for a week, miles from civilization and adequate cell phone coverage. If we were, I would pack a different kit.
These are some additional things that would be worth the weight to add to your kit (remember, you have to carry this with you when you go hiking):
- poison ivy relief (I like the no touch aspect, and the no liquid aspect of these pads)
- roll of tape (for splinters)
- small scissors
- cotton swabs
I also wanted to mention something that I pack in our troop box, but could be considered first aid equipment: hand warmers. Down here on the Gulf Coast, we don’t get snow, really, so when it gets down to the 20s or 30s or 40s on a camping trip, it really chills the girls to the bone (I have considerably more internal insulation). So, I learned (and then taught) how to sleep very warmly, thanked my lucky stars I did a backyard campout so I could tell some of the parents that they needed to get their daughter a REAL sleeping bag for their birthday, and keep a stash of hand warmers to slip into sleeping bags on really cold nights. The girls love them, the sleeping bags trap the heat all night long, and I don’t get woken up by pitiful waifs with chattering teeth. 🙂
And finally, I found so many cool/cute ideas as I was poking around Pinterest that I made a board of First Aid Badge ideas. And since we’re Girl Scouts, I’m including SWAPs and snacks (those disgustingawesome graham cracker bandaids are in there). Check it out here.
First Aid Kit Packing List (one of these days, I’ll have to pretty these up, they’re pretty spartan at this point, huh?)