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Best First Aid Kits for Hiking, Camping and Kayaking

Whether you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast or an occasional hiker, you should always be prepared when heading into nature. A first aid kit is something that you won’t need on most adventures but, in an emergency, it’s something that you’ll certainly regret leaving behind. Cuts and scrapes, bites and stings, sunburn and chafing rashes are all common outdoors injuries that are easy to treat when you have the right equipment to hand.

Some people prefer to build their own DIY first aid kit but if you want to save yourself the hassle, take a look at our list of the best pre-prepared first aid kits for hiking, camping and kayaking. We’ve done the research and put together a simple guide to help you choose the best outdoor first aid kit for your adventure.

Summary of first aid kits

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ProductWaterproofWeightBest forCost
Surviveware Small First Aid KitWater-resistant16ozBackpacking, group hikes, bike packing, camping$$$
Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .3 Medical KitYes2.3ozHiking, kayaking, biking, trail running$
Herokit Crash PackYes3.3ozCycling$$
HART Health Weekend First Aid KitNo9.5ozHiking, overnight camping$$
Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Day Tripper Lite Medical KitWater-resistant3.2ozDay hikes$
Adventure Medical Kits Smart Travel First-Aid KitYes17ozTravel, car camping$$$
My Medic MyFAK First Aid KitWater-resistant35ozRV/car camping, base camps, multi-day backpacking$$$$$$
Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid KitWater-resistant19ozCamping$$
Lifesystems Camping First Aid KitWater-resistant16ozCamping, multi-day backpacking$$$
Lifesystems Waterproof First Aid KitYes17.6ozCanoeing, kayaking, rafting$$$
NRS Ultra-Light Paddler Medical KitYes8ozWater sports, multi-day trips$$$

What to look for in the best first aid kits for hiking, camping and kayaking

Use and contents

The first thing you’ll want to consider before buying is how you plan to use your outdoor first aid kit. Are you a keen hiker, do you want a kit to keep in the car while camping, or will you be taking a multi-day kayaking trip?

The best outdoor first aid kit for a family camping trip will not be the best first aid kit for backpacking in the wilderness or white-water rafting. Likewise, an activity team leader will need a more comprehensive first aid kit than a solo hiker that sticks to popular, well-marked trails. A 100+ piece kit would be a bit much on a day hike but about right for long wilderness treks or group camping trips.

First aid kit items

The most essential medical items are the same, no matter which sport you’re doing. These items let you treat the most common outdoor injuries without medical training:

  • Wound dressings
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Antiseptic wipes or gel
  • Burn gel
  • Tweezers
  • Tape

More comprehensive first aid kits also contain items, such as CPR kits, breathing assistance, or treatments and dressings for heavy bleeding that require a level of first aid training.
Some kits include over the counter medications, such as ibuprofen, Benadryl, and paracetamol along with treatments for bug bites, stings, and allergies which is useful for group trips. Others do not include medications so you would need to purchase your own – a better option for outdoor enthusiasts with specific needs or medical conditions.

First aid kits for hiking

The best first aid kits for hiking are lightweight and compact. They should have a durable case with external straps for attaching it to the outside of a backpack. For day hikes, a first aid hiking kit can contain minimal supplies as hikers can restock between uses. Whereas the best first aid kit for backpacking should have enough supplies for multiple days and include treatments for more serious wounds. Hiking first aid kits may also include extra items such as water purification tablets, rehydration salts, and a SAM splint.

First aid kits for camping

Camping first aid kits don’t need to be so lightweight. They can, therefore, have a larger content and enough supplies for longer trips or groups. Because a camping first aid kit doesn’t need to be carried, it can have fewer external attachments. Some camping first aid kits also feature removable mini-kits for excursions from the campsite.

First aid kits for kayaking

The most significant feature of a first aid kit for kayaking and water sports is its bag. It must be fully waterproof to protect the inside contents. Zippers are prone to rust, particularly in saltwater, so the best waterproof first aid kits are made with zip-top or dry-bag style closures.

Quality

Quality is another thing to be aware of when you buy the best first aid kit for hiking, camping, or kayaking. Adhesive bandages that don’t stick or antiseptic wipes that dry-out inside the package are next to useless. We, therefore, recommend buying a first aid kit from a tried and tested brand, such as the brands on our list. Otherwise look for an FDA approved kit, brand-named medical supplies, or kits that are made in the USA, UK, or EU.


Best first aid kits for general outdoor use

Surviveware Small First Aid Kit

Surviveware Small First Aid Kit

Best for: backpacking, group hikes, bike packing, camping
Weight: 16 oz
Waterproof? water-resistant

The Surviveware Small First Aid Kit is our all-round winner, it’s one of the best outdoor first aid kits for activities of various lengths. Containing 100 items, it has enough supplies for a group to use on overnight trips or for individuals on multi-day hikes. It’s a practical size for adventure guides but we also recommend this kit for family camping trips. It’s compact enough to be kept in the car or on a boat. Although it’s not an ultralight first aid kit, at just 16 oz it’s still one of the best first aid kits for backpacking and day hikes.

The kit includes treatment for minor injuries, wound dressings, a removable CPR kit, and other useful instruments. Items are organised into user-friendly labelled pockets and a zippered closure keeps everything in place. There are no medications but there is enough space in the case for you to add your own.

The Surviveware Small First Aid Kit has a water-resistant, rather than waterproof, case. However, individual items are protected inside zip-top laminated pouches. In terms of portability, the kit features a durable top handle. It also has two Velcro straps for attaching the kit to a backpack, bike frame, waist belt, or for hanging in the car.

Extra info:

  • Made for 1-2 people on multi-day trips or small groups on short trips.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Best ultralight first aid kits

Adventure Medical Kits UltralightWatertight .3 Medical Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .3 Medical Kit

Best for: hiking, kayaking, biking, trail running
Weight: 2.32 oz
Waterproof? yes

If you’re looking for a lightweight and waterproof first aid kit to tuck into your day bag, the Ultralight/Watertight .3 Medical Kit from AM is about as minimal as it gets. Packed inside a 5 x 5-inch reusable pouch and weighing in at just over 2 oz, this essentials-only kit is small enough to tuck inside a hydration pack or a PFD pocket. Despite its size, this first aid kit is equipped for most minor outdoor injuries, including blisters, bites and stings, scrapes, splinters, ticks, muscle pain, and allergies.

Extra info:

  • For 1 person
  • Designed for 1 or 2-day trips
  • Useful for multi-sports

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Herokit Crash Pack

Herokit Crash Pack

Best for: cycling
Weight: 3.3 oz
Waterproof? yes

The Herokit Crash Pack is the best first aid kit for cyclists. Its compact size and waterproof case also make it a practical option for trail runners, fast day hikes, and kayaking. It’s small enough to fit inside a jacket pocket or hydration pack and weighs just 3.3 oz.

The kit provides very minimal supplies and would need restocking after each use. That said the kit is fairly comprehensive, it includes bandages for minor injuries, gauze pads, antiseptic gel, burns gel, wound dressing, and over the counter medications. Another useful item, particularly for hikers and cyclists, is the included syringe for cleaning dirt from wounds.

Extra info:

  • For one person
  • Designed for short trips (1 day or less)
  • Also suitable for short hikes, trail running, and kayaking

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Best first aid kits for hiking

HART Health Weekend First Aid Kit

HART Health Weekend First Aid Kit

Best for: hiking, overnight camping
Weight: 9.5 oz
Waterproof? no

HART Health Weekend is one of the best organised first aid kits for hiking. The kit is packed full of quality first aid supplies, including tropical relief for bites, stings, and burns. The kit is kept tidy by the elasticated loops and clear, labelled compartments so it’s easy to find what you need. Inside, each of the treatments and dressings is individually packaged with usage details printed on the packaging. A zip closure keeps the contents safe whilst hiking but allows the pack to open fully for easy access and refilling.

The kit even comes with a contents list, complete with expiry dates, to help you keep track of your supplies. There’s also a manual included, making it suitable for people with little or no first aid training. Plus, the Weekend First Aid Kit from Hart Health comes with a very affordable price tag.

Extra info:

  • For up to 3 people
  • Designed for short trips (2-3 days)
  • Not waterproof

Find the latest price at:
REI


Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Day Tripper Lite Medical Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Day Tripper Lite Medical Kit

Best for: day hikes
Weight: 3.2 oz
Waterproof? water-resistant

The Mountain Series Day Tripper Lite Medical Kit from AMK is built for day hikes or overnight backpacking trips. Weighing just over 3 oz and fitting into a compact carry bag, you’ll hardly notice the additional weight in your pack. The kit comes in a water-resistant zippered bag that opens flat for easy access to medical supplies. The outside is also printed with a contents list and a kit storage map. The inside pockets are labelled so you can find what you need easily.

This hiking first aid kit contains the tools, dressings, and treatments to deal with common minor injuries. A wilderness first aid guide is also included.

Extra info:

  • For 1-2 people
  • Also suitable for cyclists

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Best first aid kits for camping

Adventure Medical Kits Smart Travel First-Aid Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Smart Travel First-Aid Kit

Best for: travel, car camping
Weight: 17 oz
Waterproof? yes

Designed as a first aid kit for travellers, the AMK Smart Travel First Aid Kit is a useful addition to an international camping holiday.

Although it’s light enough for hiking trips, the Smart Travel First Aid Kit is specifically designed for international travel. It, therefore, includes treatments for typical travel illnesses, including oral rehydration salts and anti-diarrheal medication. There are no scissors in the pack as these may be confiscated if packed in cabin luggage.

The kit has a 220-page manual, ideal for when you’re camping without an internet connection. Another useful feature is a visual aid card to help you overcome language barriers. The card has images of common conditions and is printed in multiple languages.

What’s more, the inside of the pack is well organised, with labelled compartments for each type of injury. The pack is divided into three sections, two sections zip closed leaving the manual easily accessible in the top flap.

Extra info:

  • For 1-2 people
  • For multi-day trips
  • Suitable for multi-sports and camping

Find the latest price at:
REI


My Medic MyFAK First Aid Kit

My Medic MyFAK First Aid Kit

Best for: RV/car camping, base camps, multi-day backpacking
Weight: 35 oz (basic kit) – 45 oz (advanced kit)
Waterproof? water-resistant

The MyFAK First Aid Kit from My Medic is one of the most comprehensive first aid kits for camping. Two versions of this kit are available, basic and advanced. The advanced kit is best for people who have medical training as it includes equipment, such as a tourniquet and Quickclot to deal with heavy bleeding, and instruments for breathing assistance. The basic version contains high-quality first aid supplies which can treat a range of injuries from minor cuts and stings to more serious wounds and sprains. Many of the included medications are brand-named.

Meanwhile, the tri-folding case with multiple compartments keeps the contents organised. It’s made from durable basilic nylon and features a heavy-duty handle and a tear-away Velcro backing. This lets you attach the kit to almost any fabric and detach it quickly in an emergency. The bag also features buttoned straps on the back and Velcro straps on the front so you can attach extra equipment if necessary.

Because of its size and weight, we recommend this first aid kit for camping and campervan trips rather than day hikes. But it’s also suitable for multi-day backcountry hikes or activity guides.

Extra info:

  • For 2+ people
  • Not waterproof but can withstand light rain

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit

Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit

Best for: camping
Weight: 19 oz
Waterproof? water-resistant

The Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit is a medium-sized kit containing 120 items. It’s a convenient size for storing in a car or campervan but the kit also comes with a removable pocket-sized first aid kit. The mini-kit has basic supplies that would be useful on short hikes close to the campsite.

This kit is well stocked with supplies to treat minor injuries – you shouldn’t need to restock on plasters for a while – but medications are not included. Unlike others on this list, there are no treatments for burns or heavy bleeding. Because of this, the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit is one of the best first aid kits for camping in designated campsites, where you’ll have close access to medical services.

Extra info:

  • Suitable for groups or small families
  • FDA approved

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Lifesystems Camping First Aid Kit

Lifesystems Camping First Aid Kit

Best for: camping, multi-day backpacking
Weight: 16 oz
Waterproof? water-resistant

Approved by the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Lifesystems Camping First Aid Kit contains more than the average family camping first aid kit. Inside, you have the supplies to deal with minor cuts, prevent infections, treat burns, and bandage breaks or sprains. It also contains useful items such as duct tape, scissors, tweezers, and a thermometer. The kit is suitable for people with minimal first aid experience or no first aid training, and includes an instruction leaflet. Supplies are organised in labelled internal pockets.

Although designed for camping, the kit is light and compact enough to fit into the top of a backpack on day hikes or overnight expeditions.

Extra info:

  • Suitable for groups or small families

Find the latest price at:
Cotswold Outdoor


Best first aid kits for kayaking and water sports

Lifesystems Waterproof First Aid Kit

Lifesystems Waterproof First Aid Kit

Best for: canoeing, kayaking, rafting
Weight: 17.6 oz
Waterproof? yes

Made from durable impact-resistant polypropylene fabric, the Lifesystems Waterproof First Aid Kit is tough enough to withstand multiple scrapes and trips through white water rapids. The dry bag style roll-top is secured with two buckles, allowing you to clip the kit onto the kayak or the outside of a dry bag. There’s also a quick find pouch inside the bag so you can reach the essential items fast.

This is a comprehensive first aid kit for kayaking and outdoor sports. It contains the equipment to treat the usual minor injuries including adhesive dressings, sterile swabs, and burn gel. It also includes a resuscitation face shield, thermometer, and an instruction leaflet.

Extra info:

  • For small groups
  • Also suitable for hiking and camping
  • Suitable for people with minimal first aid training

Find the latest price at:
Cotswold Outdoor


NRS Ultra-Light Paddler Medical Kit

NRS Ultra-Light Paddler Medical Kit

Best for: water sports, multi-day trips
Weight: 8 oz
Waterproof? yes

The NRS Ultra-Light Paddler Medical Kit is one of the lightest first aid kits for multi-day kayaking adventures. The kit contains medical supplies to treat minor injuries and mild trauma wounds. It also comes with useful survival items such as fire starters. Although it’s designed for paddle sports, this waterproof first aid kit is also useful on overnight hiking trips.

This NRS first aid kit comes inside a durable ripstop nylon dry bag with a watertight zip seal and a roll-down StormStrip top. It’s certainly tough enough to take on white water rapids and wet weather. The pack can be secured to your canoe, kayak or backpack, using the buckle closure. The bag is also fitted with a D-ring and two solid grommets for versatile attachment. Despite its compact size, the bag also leaves enough space for personal items.

Extra info:

  • For 1-2 people
  • Suitable for multi-day trips

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

About the author

author-beth

Originally from the UK and currently based in Turkey, Beth Carter is a full-time adventurer, former scout, and vegan traveller. When she’s not hiking long-distance trails with an oversized pack on her shoulders, you’ll probably find her peddling up and down scenic roads, or pitching a tent in a far-off mountain range. On the odd occasion, you might even see her sitting at a keyboard, coffee at the ready, typing about her latest outdoor pursuit.

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