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You will find yourself with many options to choose from when setting up your RV for a trip. Many things are in the “would be nice” category while others are “must haves.” A fully-stocked, functional RV first aid kit is not really optional but a necessity. It isn’t a law, but maybe it should be. It is also a good idea for each person in your group to carry their own personal first aid kit when they’re out and about. Well-provisioned first aid kits could save the lives of your family and friends.
One of the things to keep in mind about any first aid kits is that you need to know how to use the items inside it. The Red Cross and other safety organizations offer basic CPR and first aid classes. The more members of your group that are trained in the basics (and beyond), the better.
Always store the RV first aid kit in the same place in the rig – every time. Make sure everyone in the party knows where it is and how to access it. Familiarize yourself and family with the contents and their uses. Add “restock first aid kit” to your RV checklist to ensure it is ready to go before each trip.
The Basics Or Minimums
This list is by no means complete. These items are suggestions on what to have on hand for a basic kit. You should customize as needed or you can grab a fully-stocked, military approved kit from MyMedic.com.
Actual RV First Aid Kit
- Durable, waterproof case or box
- First aid book
- Emergency contact numbers
- Nitrile gloves
- Safety pins
- Cotton-tipped applicators (Q-tips)
- Instant cold pack
- Disposable thermometers
- Wooden finger splints
- Alcohol prep pads
- Sting relief gel or pads
- Hand wipes
- Antiseptic gel
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Burn gel
- Calamine lotion
- Aspirin (see medicine bag below)
- Bandages (multiple sizes and styles)
- Wound closure strips
- Gauze pads
- Eye pads
- Adhesive tape
- Flex tape
It’s a good idea to keep your medicines in a separate bag or waterproof container. Pill bottles can pop open and liquid contents can spill. You run the risk of ruining everything if this happens when all your first aid contents are in the same bag or kit. It’s also easier to restock and renew your meds when they’re separated from the bulk of the first aid supplies. This includes aspirins, antihistamines (for allergies) and any other pills or liquid medicines. Individual plastic baggies are also handy for dividing items.
Customize Your Kit
It’s a good idea to customize your kit(s) to fit your particular needs. There are several things to consider:
- Location – Are you going to be in rattlesnake country or where the fleas and ticks are heavy? Know what to expect and plan for it.
- Climate – Your kit having heat exhaustion and heat stroke remedies when winter camping isn’t the best use of space in your kit.
- Activities – Worrying about hiking accidents when you’re just going to be fishing from a boat won’t do you much good. Pack sunscreen, aloe gel and other sunburn remedies if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun.
- Campers – Keep in mind who is going to be with you when stocking your RV first aid kit. Kids, elderly campers and those with medical concerns need to have supplies available. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit for your furry family members too.
- Ability – Know your limits and don’t plan a field surgery first aid kit if you are only comfortable with a simple bandage on a cut.
Don’t despair if this seems overwhelming to try to compile a complete RV first aid kit by yourself. One of our favorite all-inclusive first aid kits is The Medic from MyMedic.com. Made to military standards, it’s packed full of everything you could want in a first aid kit. It takes the guesswork out of choosing what to bring with you and covers most any emergency that could crop up — from basic to severe.
So what other things have you added to your own RV first aid kit? We’d love to hear from you. While you’re at it, don’t forget to outfit that boat you’re pulling behind your rig. It should have its own marine first aid kit.