Everything to Stock in a Portable First Aid Kit.

Everything to Stock in a Portable First Aid Kit: A Complete Checklist

A first-aid kit is a must-have in every household, and keeping it portable means it can easily come along on future trips, too. A well-stocked kit keeps you prepared for all the adventures that lie ahead—and all the potential snags that may just come with them, from bug bites and blisters to headaches and heartburn. Check out our checklist to build your own portable first-aid kit, and stock up on everything you need to stay healthy, safe, and prepared. 

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Man shaking pills into his hand from a bottle.


Acetaminophen reduces fever and relieves minor aches and pains of all sorts…head, tooth, and muscle.

Cold and Flu Medicine

Opt for a pack with both day- and nighttime caplets that target sore or itchy throat; cough; runny nose; sneezing; fever; headache; muscle ache; and nasal, sinus, and chest congestion.

Chewable Tablets for Digestion Relief

Because diarrhea is never cute.


If heartburn is something you regularly deal with, be sure to pack an acid reducer in your kit.


Keep annoying reactions to everything from asthma to eczema at arm’s length.

Anti-Itch Cream

Mosquito bites, poison ivy, healing cuts…Nix the urgent need to scratch with classic itch-stopping calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, or cooling gel.

Aloe Vera Gel

Natural aloe vera soothes sunburn, blisters, itchy skin, and more.

Back-up supply of your prescription medications

It’s always a good idea to keep extra Rx medications in your first-aid kit; stash to two weeks’ worth here, if possible. Talk to your doctor in advance.


Jars holding medical supplies in a doctor's office.

Protective Face Mask

A washable face mask helps you keep germs to yourself and keep others safe.


A bandanna is an all-around useful thing: It can come in handy when you need to apply pressure to a wound, keep the sun off your neck, or cover your mouth.

Hand Sanitizer

Face it: every screen you swipe, door you open, and faucet you turn on is a hotbed of bacteria. Always keep sanitizer on hand—literally.

Nitrile Gloves

Latex-free gloves allow for full dexterity while shielding you and whatever you’re coming in contact with, whether it’s a wound or a germy grocery cart at the supermarket.

Cotton Pads/Q-Tips

A fresh cotton round or ball can stop a wound from bleeding, while a clean cotton-tipped swab can be used to apply antibiotic treatment gel (like Neosporin).

Disinfecting Wipes

Clean up cuts and scrapes with an individually wrapped alcohol prep pad before treating and bandaging up.

Antibiotic Ointment

This medicine-cabinet essential prevents small nicks or lesions from getting infected.

Petroleum Jelly

If you’re allergic to Neosporin and aren’t looking to have a chic bout of contact dermatitis, go for pure petroleum jelly instead.

Burn Gel

Turn down the heat out of a burn with a gelatin-based salve. We like Medihoney, made primarily from New Zealand honey.

Sting Relief Wipes

Fact: bee stings suck just as much now as they did when you were eight. At least now you can remove the sting from the equation with antiseptic wipes designed specifically for insect bites.

Absorbent Dressing Pads

If you graze your leg on the trail (or worse), an absorbent sterile pad will stop the bleeding.

Bandages in Various Sizes

We recommend stocking a full set. Flexible, fingertip, fabric, butterfly, waterproof, kid-friendly Disney characters…the gang’s all here.


Keep blisters and bunions at bay with soft padding that can be cut to whatever shape you need.

Cloth Tape

Easy to tear, latex-free, and breathable, cloth tape helps with swelling and is an excellent (and more versatile) alternative for anyone allergic to traditional bandages.


Rolled self-adhering gauze can work wonders on areas that are hard to bandage.

Sterile Saline Solution

Wash and irrigate injuries safely.


Make sure you can measure body temperature, one of the human body’s most vital signs.

Instant Cold Pack

Squeeze-activated “ice” cuts down on swelling and discomfort.

Rehydration Packets

Fight dehydration with portioned-out powder that’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

Tick Remover

If you’re going into tall grassy areas, these will help you deal with unwanted hitchhikers.

CPR Face Shield

Single-use transparent masks for performing CPR without the transfer of germs.

Multi-Use Pocket Knife

Pick one with multiple functions, including scissors and tweezers, which can be used to remove glass shards, wood splinters, and other debris.

Emergency Info

Medical history and consent forms

List of phone numbers, preferably as a laminated printout and on a dedicated note in your smartphone

This should include contact information for your family healthcare provider, your medical insurance provider (note your member ID/policy number, or make a copy of your medical insurance card), your debit/credit card provider (note your card information, or make copies), local fire and police departments, local EMS, poison control, animal control, and AAA.

Boxes and Bags To Carry It All In

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