The first day of spring has officially sprung for this year. For thousands of campers that take the winter camping season off, it's a reminder to open up camping gear bags and complete any maintenance issues and resupply usables. An element in gear prep, although most important when needed, is often overlooked — safety and being prepared for an accident. A simple first-aid kit handles most camping boo-boos, but only if a kit is kept in the gear box or bag.
I'm not suggesting a 20-pound portable hospital should be dragged along, but a simple, small collection of possibles to hold a cut together and repel infection. When refreshing your camp gear checklist, be sure a first aid kit is on that must-have section. Also crucial is to be sure your first-aid kit is complete as possible and up to date as well. No dried up, non-sticking adhesive bandages, melted antibiotic cream tubes, or dust or dirt covering the contents.
The first-aid item kit should include basic, but essential items. Sterile gauze in different sizes and adhesive tape to hold a bandage together. Larger bandages for large wounds or to cover or support joints. Stopping blood loss is obviously important and gauze patches will do the trick. The next thing in my first aid kit is antibiotic cream. This stuff must be included in any size pack to insure a wound is kept infection free as possible. Sanitary wipes that come prepackaged in small foil packets will also be welcomed to assist in cleaning a wound or insect bite before the antibiotic cream can be applied. Alcohol napkins or other infection fighting agent soaked material cleans a wound and relieves a bug bite.
The best course for first-aid around camp is prevention. But if you're the type that is no stranger to scars, be sure you pack a first-aid kit and keep it where it is easily accessible. Just remember, it's better to have and not need, than to need and not have.