6 Best Backpacking First Aid Kits for the Wilderness

by Carissa Stanz
Updated May 05, 2020

backpacking first aid kits

Accidents happen. It’s best to be ready for them.

Every backpacker needs a solid first aid kit in their pack. Whether you’re gearing up for a one-nighter or a week-long expedition, you never know when a mishap could come your way.

Not every backpacker has time to go through a Wilderness First Aid course before hitting the trail, but the simple act of carrying a first aid kit can make all the difference. With the right tools you can clean and bandage cuts, administer Benadryl for allergic reactions, treat dehydration, and more without having to backtrack to your car.

From the lightweight to the waterproof, there are a range of first aid kits specifically designed to tackle emergencies in the backcountry. For safety’s sake, we gathered up six first aid kits to help you in a pinch.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight Watertight7 Medical Kit

Given our love for chasing waterfalls and alpine lakes, waterproof gear is a must. For our fellow backpackers who love the water, we recommend the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit.

This American-made kit is lightweight and watertight — two features we love most about backpacking gear. The zippered pouch is made from Silnylon, which is a blend of silicone and ripstop nylon known for being extremely waterproof and durable. Inside you’ll find two DryFlex™ watertight pouches, furthering the kit’s ability to keep the medical contents dry.

The 0.8-ounce kit covers all the basics for first aid, providing the essentials you’ll need for wound care, blisters, and basic medication. The kit also includes some handy MacGyver tools in case an interesting situation arises on the trail.

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Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Backpacker Medical Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Backpacker Medical Kit

The Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Backpacker Medical Kit is a solid choice if you’re heading into the backcountry with a mettlesome buddy for a few days.

Specifically designed for two backpackers on a four-day journey, this 15.2-ounce first aid kit packs all the essentials and a few bonuses. Whether you’re dealing with dehydration, nausea, cuts, or scrapes, this kit has you covered.

Inside you’ll find a variety of helpful items including hospital quality tools, a 20cc irrigation syringe, pre-cut moleskins, butterfly closures, Benzoin tincture, and alcohol pads. For pointers on how to address injuries in the field, check out the included medical field guide with illustrated medical tips and techniques from a certified M.D.

Beyond the contents, the thoughtful kit design is another simple yet appreciable feature. It has a reflective logo on the outside with clearly labeled see-through pockets on the inside so you can address injuries swiftly. Considering emergency situations can escalate quickly with your adrenaline-seeking buddy by your side, that’s definitely a helpful feature.

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HART Health Weekend First Aid Kit

HART Health Weekend First Aid Kit

For the weekend warrior who works hard and plays harder, the HART Health Weekend First Aid Kit is there when you need it. This kit has enough supplies for three friends heading out on an epic two-day excursion.

The compact 9.5-ounce kit comes with everything you need for patching up and trekking on in the event of a minor injury. Inside the kit you’ll find gauze, adhesive bandages, wound cleaning agents, medication, topical relief ointment, and a Wilderness First Aid Manual.

The organization of this first aid kit is impeccable. It has clear, well-labeled supply pockets, hook-and-loop closures, and a list of medication expiration dates. There’s also a list of contents cleverly positioned on the back of the kit, so you can easily restock after weekend outings.

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Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

Stuffed with enough essentials to last a group of three for one day, the 57-piece Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit is indeed your lifeline in the backcountry.

This kit comes equipped with everything you need to take care of wounds, burns, sprains, strains, gear repair, headaches, and allergic reactions. It covers all the basics with important items like tweezers, vinyl gloves, antiseptic, adhesive tape, and a first aid guide.

The bag itself is bright orange so it’s tough to miss when you’re in a pinch. The kit is a little heavier at 1.79 pounds, but the extra weight is worth it for the supplies and functionality. Its compact design makes it easy to stash in your pack without wasting space, and the price is a steal at under $15.

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Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit

If you’re interested in the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Backpacker kit but only need first aid supplies for a couple days, take a look at the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit.

The Hiker Medical Kit employs the same user-friendly design, bright blue packaging, and easy-to-spot reflective logo that we love about the Backpacker Medical Kit. The only difference between these two packs is the supply count.

Where the Backpacker Medical Kit offers a four-day supply, the Hiker Medical Kit saves weight and space by offering a two-day supply. Considering you’ll only be out for two days as opposed to four, it assesses your needs and packs accordingly.

At 7.2-ounces the Hiker Medical Kit is virtually half the weight and a fraction of the cost of the four-day kit, making it a no-brainer for one-nighter adventures.

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Adventure Medical Kits Tactical Field Trauma

Adventure Medical Kits Tactical Field Trauma

The Adventure Medical Kits Tactical Field Trauma kit is a simple, convenient first aid kit to stash in your pack.

While many of the other first aid kits feature an array of supplies, this one primarily focuses on stopping bleeding. The Tactical Field Trauma kit comes with supplies to address bullet wounds, arrow wounds, and small cuts, with an Advanced Clotting Sponge with zeolite that’s capable of clotting blood up to three times faster than without any medical attention. It also comes with hospital-quality tools, medications, nitrile gloves, and wraps to handle a sprained ankle.

The grab and go style makes it the ideal companion for any backpacking venture, with an accessible zipper closure and quick grab handle. It’s the kind of kit you never expect to use, but are happy you have it tucked in the bottom off your pack when you finally do.

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For more backpacking gear, check out our favorite camp shoes, backpacking cookware or the best 3-person backpacking tents.

Seen in: Backpacking, Gear

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