10 Must-Haves for Your Hiking First-Aid Kit || REI

Have you ever felt overwhelmed at the prospect of building your own first-aid kit? We partnered with the experts at NOLS Wilderness Medicine to figure out the most important items to bring on every adventure. Watch the video, then click here to find a wilderness first-aid class near you: https://www.rei.com/events/a/wilderness-medicine

And to learn more about choosing a first-aid kit, click here: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/firstaid-kits.html


  1. Rebecca Hawksworth on March 31, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Creams and ointments……. one word alergic ..

  2. cmcer1995 on March 31, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Well, I always carry a pretty good first aid kit, but you came up with a couple of good ideas I will in cooperate in my kit from now on. Great video as usual Miranda.

  3. Brave Tea on March 31, 2020 at 10:36 am

    First 😉 anywho thanks for the video!

  4. Danny Segovia on March 31, 2020 at 10:36 am

    No TQ?

  5. JustSimplyBrandon on March 31, 2020 at 10:52 am

    For those of you who are wondering why this video doesn’t mention other items you would consider having in your first-aid kit, this is just a baseline of what every kit should AT LEAST have. Whatever else you add depends on your needs. Painkillers, tourniquet, medical sheers, even EpiPens are some examples of IF NEEDED items you could add to your kit. For the average hiker, all the items listed in this video WILL SUFFICE at most typical situations. In the end, it’s you the one carrying your first-aid kit and only you know what you need.

  6. vinniedayhiker B on March 31, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Excellent video!

  7. BK Bland on March 31, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Learn to improvise. Duh.

  8. hb8dinwa on March 31, 2020 at 11:01 am

    This list will kind of get you there, but it could be vastly improved AND simplified. Leave the bandaids, hydrogel, KT tape, athletic tape and elastic wrap at home, unless you are car camping. They do not hold up to more than a couple miles on the trail and you’ll be reapplying almost immediately. Steristrips and Leukotape are far superior and will do the job of all the rest. If you only need a bandaid, you don’t need a bandaid – just keep it clean and rub some Neosporin into it. If it’s worse, irrigate with clean water (a syringe is nice but not necessary), use alcohol wipes to disinfect, close with steristrips if needed, apply Neosporin, cover with a bit of sterile gauze, and finish with leukotape to keep the dirt out and keep it all in place while you hike. Also, I’d strongly recommend adding a small container of Silvadene or other similar burn ointment containing silver sulfadiazine; substitute that for the Neosporin when it’s a burn. Needle and thread is also an absolute must; some cuts can’t be closed with steristrips – a curved needle is best and sanitize it and the thread with alcohol wipes before you break the skin with them. As for the meds, although that is the basic must have list, I’d also strongly recommend Imodium or similar – it can go a long way to easing gastrointestinal discomfort which most hikers will go through at some point if they aren’t immaculate about washing hands (most aren’t).

  9. profd65 on March 31, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I’m simple. I see an REI video and I give it a thumbs down.

  10. Big Gus on March 31, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Now show how to use them all

  11. Mikee on March 31, 2020 at 11:16 am

    FYI: Moisture will actually slow down wound healing.

  12. lyraface on March 31, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Tbh, if I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail and not going into a war zone then I probably wouldn’t carry anything that won’t pack into an altoids tin. I’m probably not meant to admit to that but it’s the truth of most leisure hikers. I would rather take some sticky plasters, a couple of blister dressing and a little superglue. I have a GPS with an SOS function should the worst happen, and a needle and some dental floss. Unless I’m going out with a group specifically as an expedition medic then I wouldn’t take much. If I’m in the wilderness and need to stabilise a broken bone or use a tourniquet then I’m going to be calling out that SOS anyway so I might as well sit tight and use the straps of my pack to TQ or my clothes as bandages, etc.

  13. walter edwards on March 31, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Great video. Could you add scissors to to this. Cutting tape is a lot easier with good surgical scissors.

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