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Essential Items for a First Aid Kit (for Home or Car)

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Essential Items for a First Aid Kit (for Home or Car)

If you’re a human being who’s reading this right now and not an android or other artificial life form, chances are that you’re going to get hurt at some point in the not-too-distant future. No, that’s not a threat, but rather a prediction based on the number of people out there who manage to hurt themselves on a daily basis. In fact, as I just finished writing that second sentence, my husband bellowed up from the kitchen to tell me that he’d sliced his hand open on the aluminum foil wrapper on a Toblerone bar.

Case in point.

To deal with the various cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, rashes, grazes, abrasions, blisters, and other miscellaneous boo-boos that you and your family members might acquire, it’s a good idea to have a solid first aid kit in both your house, and your car. If you don’t have a car, then a miniature version strapped to your bike or kept in your handbag/backpack/manly courier bag can be amazingly handy too.

First Aid Kit Contents:

Disposable Sterile Gloves

If you’re dealing with open wounds, it’s best to take extra precaution not to contaminate them with dirt or bacteria that may be clinging to the undersides of your nails. Keep a couple of packages of sterile non-latex gloves in your first aid kit, and replace them after use.

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A Flashlight and Extra Batteries

Just in case you have to help someone in the dark, like during a power outage.

Rubbing Alcohol Swabs

To clean and disinfect wounded areas.

Adhesive Bandages (e.g. Band-Aids)

Whether they’re used to keep a cut clean or to cushion a blister, they’re multi-purpose gems, and it’s important to have a variety of different sizes and styles in your kits.

Sterile Gauze Pads

These are perfect for placing on burns, bad scrapes, or larger cuts that need help clotting.

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Medical Tape

This is to hold the gauze in place, and can even be cut into strips to hold large cuts together until the injured person can be stitched up at a hospital.

Scissors

For cutting the aforementioned tape, or cutting a gauze pad into a particular size/shape. They’re also good for cutting away fabric in case of serious injuries, and can come in handy in ways you probably couldn’t dream up right now.

Tweezers

Necessary to remove slivers, bits of gravel, and other nasty bits.

Hydrocortisone Cream

To alleviate itching and swelling from reactions to insect bites and bee stings.

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Cloth Bandage and Clips

These are ideal for immobilizing wrist, ankle, and knee injuries, and can also be used as a makeshift sling. It’s of vital importance to familiarize yourself with bandaging techniques for different injuries so that in case you ever need to use them, you’ll know what you’re doing.

Chemical “Instant” Ice Pack

A rather brilliant invention, the “instant” ice pack is a plastic sack that contains chemicals which, when the pack is crushed, will meld together to create a cold effect. Though it’s advisable to always have an ice pack in your freezer, these chemical packs are great for keeping in your car, or at home: you never know when someone will use the freezer pack to keep their lunch cold, so having a backup plan is always good.

A Thermometer

In case someone’s running a fever, you can monitor their temperature and determine whether there’s improvement, or extra help needed.

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Pain Relief Medication

Ibuprofen is ideal, but acetaminophen is also handy to keep on hand. They do serve different purposes: the former is good for muscle and injury pain and for reducing inflammation, while the latter is better to bring down fevers and alleviate headaches, and is safer for pregnant/nursing women.

In addition to all of these items, every first aid kit should also contain a laminated—or otherwise waterproofed—list of emergency phone numbers, such as local hospitals, primary care physicians, other healthcare workers (naturopaths, chiropractors, therapists), next of kin/emergency contact, family members, and even veterinarian(s) (in case of emergency pet first aid). There should also be a first aid manual on hand in case the caregiver’s mind goes blank under duress.

You may wish to put a reflective blanket in their kit to help treat shock, as well as a bottle of spring water, Gatorade (to help balance electrolytes if the patient is dehydrated), and some energy bars that can be used to boost blood sugar. These are especially important for a car’s first aid kit in case of any accident—your own, or someone else’s that you’re providing assistance for.

 

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When in doubt about something to add to your first aid kit, remember that it’s always better to have something and never need it, then to need it and not have it on hand.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2021

The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

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The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

Camping can be hard work, but it’s the preparation that’s even harder. There are usually a lot of things to do in order to make sure that you and your family or friends have the perfect camping experience. But sometimes you might get to your destination and discover that you have left out one or more crucial things.

There is no dispute that preparation and organization for a camping trip can be quite overwhelming, but if it is done right, you would see at the end of the day, that it was worth the stress. This is why it is important to ensure optimum planning and execution. For this to be possible, it is advised that in addition to a to-do-list, you should have a camping checklist to remind you of every important detail.

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Why You Should Have a Camping Checklist

Creating a camping checklist makes for a happy and always ready camper. It also prevents mishaps.  A proper camping checklist should include every essential thing you would need for your camping activities, organized into various categories such as shelter, clothing, kitchen, food, personal items, first aid kit, informational items, etc. These categories should be organized by importance. However, it is important that you should not list more than you can handle or more than is necessary for your outdoor adventure.

Camping checklists vary depending on the kind of camping and outdoor activities involved. You should not go on the internet and compile a list of just any camping checklist. Of course, you can research camping checklists, but you have to put into consideration the kind of camping you are doing. It could be backpacking, camping with kids, canoe camping, social camping, etc. You have to be specific and take note of those things that are specifically important to your trip, and those things which are generally needed in all camping trips no matter the kind of camping being embarked on.

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Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next camping trip.

  1. First off, you must have found the perfect campground that best suits your outdoor adventure. If you haven’t, then you should. Sites like Reserve America can help you find and reserve a campsite.
  2. Find or create a good camping checklist that would best suit your kind of camping adventure.
  3. Make sure the whole family is involved in making out the camping check list or downloading a proper checklist that reflects the families need and ticking off the boxes of already accomplished tasks.
  4. You should make out or download a proper checklist months ahead of your trip to make room for adjustments and to avoid too much excitement and the addition of unnecessary things.
  5. Checkout Camping Hacks that would make for a more fun camping experience and prepare you for different situations.

Now on to the checklist!

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Here is how your checklist should look

1. CAMPSITE GEAR

  • Tent, poles, stakes
  • Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)
  • Extra tarp or canopy
  • Sleeping bag for each camper
  • Sleeping pad for each camper
  • Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp
  • Pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Chairs
  • Headlamps or flashlights ( with extra batteries)
  • Lantern
  • Lantern fuel or batteries

2.  KITCHEN

  • Stove
  • Fuel for stove
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pot
  • French press or portable coffee maker
  • Corkscrew
  • Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs
  • Food-storage containers
  • Trash bags
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Water bottles
  • Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives
  • Cups, mugs
  • Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Foil
  • soap
  • Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel
  • Paper towels
  • Extra bin for washing dishes

3. CLOTHES

  • Clothes for daytime
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuits
  • Rainwear
  • Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes
  • Extra layers for warmth
  • Gloves
  • Hats

4. PERSONAL ITEMS

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Toothbrush, toiletries
  • Soap

5. OTHER ITEMS

  • Camera
  • Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
  • Maps, area information

This list is not completely exhaustive. To make things easier, you can check specialized camping sites like RealSimpleRainyAdventures, and LoveTheOutdoors that have downloadable camping checklists that you can download on your phone or gadget and check as you go.

Featured photo credit: Scott Goodwill via unsplash.com

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