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First aid and survival kit checklist

Read the first aid checklist below, or download a PDF copy here. First aid kits are designed to be used as a way of treating minor accidents. First aid kits can vary in what they offer. First Aid is not to be confused with serious healthcare, and is only to be used for minor treatments. First Aid is about stopping a flow of blood and stabilising an injury or condition until the person can receive proper medical attention.

For travelling in the Third World and Africa especially, a sterile set is essential so that use of potentially contaminated equipment can be avoided. Look for individually sealed items where possible. For specialist trips, such as canoeing and kayaking, or Arctic travel, a large and waterproof first aid kit is ideal, and a survival bag should be taken. Survival bags are an essential item of emergency kit for mountain travel, especially in winter. A heavy duty plastic bivi bag can be used to provide emergency shelter. This is a lightweight aluminium thermal bag reflects and retains 90% of body heat, provides better protection against wind-chill and is also waterproof.


  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Sterile gloves
  • Plasters
  • Gauze bandages 
  • Safety pins
  • Sterile plasters
  • Water purifying tablets


  • Pain relief
  • Antacids
  • Anti diarrhea medication
  • Rehydrating salts/tablets
  • Eye wash
  • Burn gel/cream
  • Snake bite kit
  • Insect bite relief
  • Prescription medicine
  • Foil blankets
  • Aftersun
  • Blister pads

Sterile Kits:

  • Disposable syringes and needles
  • Disposable syringes and needles
  • Silk suture and needle
  • Wound closure strips
  • Intravenous drip needle
  • Antiseptic cleansing tissues
  • Adhesive dressings

Preventative measures:

  • Sun cream
  • Soap
  • Insect repellent
  • Mosquito repellent/netting
  • Prescription medicine
  • Handheld fan
  • Water purification
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunglasses/glasses/contact lens spares
  • Spare water


  • Sun cream
  • Scissors
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Pen and paper
  • String
  • Small torch
  • Map
  • Needle and thread


  • Spare clothes
  • Fire starters
  • Spare food/energy bars
  • Super glue