June 13, 2014 / Comments (0)

Backpacking First Aid and Hygiene Kit

first aid kit

When lightening your pack weight it is important to be prepared and safe while you subtract each ounce. When creating my first aid and hygiene kit for the John Muir Trail, I thought back to past hiking experiences and what I’ve used.

The easiest way to lighten up is to not take as much. I don’t carry a suture kit because I don’t have the skills to use it, especially on myself!

I do want to note that the choices I’ve made in regards to my gear are my own personal preference and based on what I’ve found useful in the past. Use the internet as a resource, but also consider signing up for a Wilderness First Aid course. I highly recommend it! You are able to carry less when you have knowledge of using gear you’re already bringing to supplement your first aid kit.

Pictured above is pretty much everything I will be bringing for first aid and hygiene. I will also be bringing chapstick and most likely wet wipes for BMs. For toothpaste I brought a half full travel sized tube. You can also buy powdered toothpaste or make toothpaste drops.

There are many items you can repackage in order to save weight and bulk. Hand sanitizer can easily be put into eye dropper bottles. You can fit one fluid ounce into three mini droppers (that’s half of my bottle) and split those into your resupplies.

I ordered a variety pack of mini bags which I put fish oil, a B-complex pill, and vitamin-I in.

I saw a few tutorials on how to repackage things like bacitracin into single use pouches. Those individual size packets you get in first aid kits are really way too much for one time use.

Cutting your toothbrush is usually a sign that you’re going crazy, but in a good way. Right?
Women that use the pee rag rave about it. I know, who could get so excited about a piece of fabric? On the JMT I will be strapping my rag to my pack as it is what folks on the JMT Facebook groups and on the Yahoo group have decided to be the symbol to identify each other on the trail. I just am turning it into a multipurpose item! Instead of packing out toilet paper (yes, you are supposed to do that) I can just hang my rag and let the sun dry and sterilize it.
Pictured above it the total weight including a freezer quart bag. I will be downsizing to a sandwich bag. I will also have my pee rag on my pack and my toothbrush and paste in my bear canister.

Last modified: September 2, 2017

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