Which first aid kit is the best for hiking?
Like me (in my pre-Surviveware days) you’ve probably thrown some adhesive bandages and tweezers into a tiny bathroom bag along with nausea tablets and a couple of anti-histamines because it’ll never happen to you right? How little is too little? Or, you have literally bought out your local department stores’ first aid supply for “just in case” and overloaded your kit with unnecessary supplies, putting extra unwarranted weight in your pack - how much is too much?
Can you relate?
I love people, I love watching them, and seeing how they tick, and with 50 million people walking the trails, you’ve got to wonder at the groups and how they get along. While there must be many more personality types out there, I thought I’d give you a list of ten for your entertainment, together with the benefits of a kit that will suit you. Read on.
Which type of Hiker are you?
1. The Light Packer
Absolutely nothing must weigh you down. You know exactly what to pack and how to pack it; you’ve done this before… many times. It's a "no nonsense" thing for you. You pack what you need and that's it.
You need the Small First Aid Kit – It weighs 1 pound AND it attaches to the outside of your backpack, leaving space for other essential items you're used to packing inside.
2. The Gear Hiker
“Got all ma’ gear strapped to every part of ma’ body”, including trekking poles, whistle, compass and water bladder. Knife hooked on your belt, gaiters on and hiking shoes with extra grip. Whatever is needed or not needed on this hike, you’ve got it. When you sniff trouble in the air, you’re there, running in the bush passing everyone else in case you or your gear is needed in this given situation. You're in the thick of it saving the day with your gear that you totally know how to use.
You want a Survival Kit: (In Camo) It has every gadget you want in it and can still be strapped to your body or backpack. It’s a bit heavier but it has everything you need in case you get lost and you need shelter, or if it rains, or you need to build shelter or saw some wood for a fire or use your multi-tool to open cans or find your way back … you get the picture. You're gonna save the day.
3. Brand New Gear Hiker
You’re trying it out for the first time with brand new gear. A friend invited you and you’ve gone out and bought everything new from hat to hiking boots. You’ve removed the tags but haven’t quite had time to break in the shoes, but they look epic. Everyone knows you’re the newbie with your brand spanking new togs.
You want a Small Waterproof First Aid Kit – It’s new, it’s shiny, it’s the latest gear, you’ll love it. You're going to need the adhesive bandages for blister hotspots.
4. The Coerced Hiker
Your partner coerced you to come, your level of fitness is “iffy”, you don’t like bugs and brought a can of insect repellent to repel whatever dares to fly around your person.
You need a Small First Aid Kit – It’s small, it has sting relief wipes and your partner can darn well carry it.
5. Boy Scout Hero Hiker
You’re always surrounded by ten little dudes. You’re so excited about today as you get to teach some kids what to look out for and how to build a fort. You’re seriously enthusiastic about EVERYTHING you find and when you see something, you run ahead and shout “Come and look at this!” and everyone hurries to see because you get the whole group excited.
You need a Small First Aid Kit – It’s labeled, compartmentalized and fully organized. You know what you need, when you need it and where to find it. While everyone else is searching through unorganized kits, you’ve already found exactly what you’re looking for. It’s MOLLE compatible straps make it fun for the ten little dudes to see what they can attach it to and where, they’ve even tested the Velcro strips to see how well they stick to the trunk fabric of the car and become quite competitive about who can throw it and make it stick.
6. The Photographer
You will literally hang upside down from a tree branch for the perfect shot. Often the group leaves you because you’ve had to try the shot from a few different angles and they have become bored, then you dash ahead to get more shots while the group catches up, they’ll pass you as you try various angles again and the light right here is just perfect …
You need a Small First Aid Kit – It has MOLLE compatible straps, it can be attached to the outside of your kit and it won’t get in the way of your camera equipment, it has splinter probes for when you’re done in the tree.
7. The Hand Holders
I've often looked at people who hike holding hands and wondered why they want to walk far distances fully attached to someone else, but hey, each to their own. For you, it’s so romantic being able to exercise together, to be near each other and nip behind trees to make out.
You need a Small First Aid Kit – Use the extra space provided to add your vitamin C cream for hickey relief.
8. The No. 1 hiker
You like to be out front, you’re leading the way, you think you know where you’re going and it’s quite hard for others to give you advice if they realize you’ve taken a wrong turn… because you know.
You want a Large First Aid Kit – because it’s bigger, it has more and you like that.
9. The Trail Legend
You really DO know where you’re going because you’ve done your research and you know how to read a map. You have this 6th sense on the trail, your sense of direction is flawless and you’re actually the person others feel confident about following.
You need a Small First Aid Kit – It’s small, it’s light but has enough space to keep your map and the EpiPen that you thought to pack because others didn’t. You’re prepared and you like the fact that you know what’s in the kit and that everything is easy to find and replace, you're quite methodical about it. You prepare in a totally understated way but always have everything you need.
10. The Mountaineer
You’re in this for the training it’ll give you for Kilimanjaro, in fact, last week you joined a different hiking group for a long hike and next Saturday you’ve planned to go with a group of colleagues who hike. You go far, you go long, you go high, you go low. You're a steady, consistent hiker who doesn't feel the need to rush.
You need a Small First Aid Kit – It’s exactly what you need on the outside of your pack, ready when you need it and robust enough to withstand any weather conditions on that mountain.
Whichever hiker you relate you, the simple fact is that you need a first aid kit, and you need peace of mind.