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Essential Camping Checklist

Camping Checklist: Emergency Gear
Duct tape -- Man, that stuff is handy!
Duct tape -- Man, that stuff is handy!

If you're filling coolers full of beer in preparation for your camping trip, it may occur to you to throw in a bottle of aspirin in case you happen to have one too many. However, it might never cross your mind that a silly little blister could derail an entire weekend of camping fun. Luckily, you have this checklist to help you remember everything you'll need for basic first aid and minor repairs:

  • duct tape
  • tool kit that includes a hammer, screw drivers, pliers and wrenches
  • superglue
  • nylon cord
  • string
  • wire
  • razor blades
  • needle and thread
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • band-aids
  • gauze pads
  • adhesive tape
  • Ace bandages
  • latex gloves
  • antibiotic cream
  • antihistamine
  • moleskin
  • Body Glide or other anti-chafe topical
  • anti-itch cream
  • pain relief (aspirin or similar)
  • antacids
  • hand sanitizer

In the event of an accident or medical emergency, assess the scene before doing anything, and do not move a victim until you know the extent of his injuries. Next, check the victim's ABC's (airway, breathing, circulation). If he's not breathing or if his heart isn't beating, call for help before starting chest compressions and/or artificial respiration. If the victim is bleeding freely, apply the cleanest material you can find (a sterile gauze pad is best, but a relatively clean tee shirt also works) to the wound and administer direct pressure. If you plan to do a lot of camping, consider taking a class in CPR at the American Red Cross or your local hospital. Basic first-aid skills like CPR will serve you well in camping and a host of other kinds of emergencies.

In some situations, you could risk serious injury to yourself trying to come to the aid of someone else. In these instances, it may be better to request rescue rather than attempt to handle the situation yourself. We talk about how to handle flash floods, lightning, avalanches and other weather-related emergencies next.