First aid kits provide all the necessary items to help with ailments that might come up. This includes cuts and scrapes, open wounds, burns, sunburns, headaches, nausea, splinters, and just about everything you can think of.
Even if you are safe on your beach or hiking trip, things come up. Someone might trip and sprain their ankle, or you may wake up in the middle of the night with a bad headache. It helps to have a first aid kit during your summer adventures just in case you can’t get to a doctor.
If you prefer natural remedies, then this is the report for you. It shows different ways to put together a natural first aid kit, with things like herbs, essential oils, activated charcoal, and of course the necessities.
Keep reading to find out how to put together a natural first aid kit and learn what should be included.
Add Medicinal Herbs
Your natural first aid kit is going to include a variety of different items that will help you to be prepared for emergencies like wounds, burns, cuts and scrapes, sprains, and all sorts of other things. It helps when you are outdoors enjoying activities like water sports, camping, and hiking.
The first category of items to include in a natural or holistic-based first aid kit is your herbs. There are many medicinal herbs that provide a host of health benefits, but certain ones are ideal for a first aid kit you bring along with you.
Here are some herbs to include in the natural first aid kit:
St. John’s Wort
First up is St. John’s Wort, which doesn’t just have mental health benefits, but physical benefits as well. For a first aid kit, you want to add it in order to help provide healing properties for a sunburn, or as an antimicrobial herb. It can be used as-is or in a salve with other herbs and essential oils. This can also help with a DIY salve you make for cuts and scrapes.
Believe it or not, witch hazel is one of the best herbs you can bring with you camping or hiking. This is great for those aches and pains you might get from long, arduous hikes or when participating in a lot of outdoor activities. If you get a bad muscle cramp, it can help to have access to some witch hazel. You can make a tincture with this herb and soothing essential oils like rosemary and chamomile.
Lavender and Chamomile
These are soothing and relaxing herbs that can provide many different benefits. If you are camping and have a stove where you can make tea, you can make lavender or chamomile tea to provide relief for anything from stomach upset to a headache. These herbs can also be used when crushed and applied to your skin if you need some soothing, and can also be added to salves and tinctures.
If you have indigestion on a regular basis or tend to get nauseated when you are in extreme heat, you definitely want to keep some ginger in your natural first aid kit. It might be a little hotter than you expected while camping and need something to relieve your belly ache. Ginger is one of the best natural remedies for nausea and indigestion. It can also help with menstrual cramps and gas.
Echinacea boosts your immune system, but for a first aid kit, you want it to use as an antibiotic. If you get a cut or scrape while outdoors, there is a risk of bacteria and infection. You can apply an Echinacea tincture to the area to reduce the risk of it getting infected.
Lastly, don’t forget the thyme! You can bring this as an herb or as an essential oil. Thyme is good for relieving toothaches, headaches, and a sore throat.
Don’t Forget the Essential Oils
As you might have guessed, essential oils can also be very beneficial when you are packing up a natural first aid kit. Essential oils are extracted from different herbs and plants, from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the healing plants. Each essential oil contains its own set of health benefits, healing things like tummy aches, sunburns, cuts and scrapes, sprains, headaches, and a lot of other ailments.
Here are some essential oils that you should bring with you in your first aid kit, particularly if you will be enjoying outdoor activities in the summertime.
Tea Tree Oil
The first essential oil to bring with you in the first aid kit is tea tree oil. This is a natural antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial essential oil. If you can only bring one oil, this should definitely be at the top of your list. It can help when you have a blister from walking, rashes or burns, scrapes, cuts, abscesses, and fungal infections. If you get an athlete’s foot, a cold sore, or have itchy skin, it helps with those ailments as well.
You also want to have some soothing and relaxing essential oils in the natural first aid kit, such as chamomile oil. This is similar to the effects of lavender, where it can ease and soothe skin burns, cuts, sunburns, rashes, and sprains. You can also use it if you get a fever, muscle cramps, nausea, headaches, or arthritic pain. If you have room, it would be a good idea to pack lavender as well.
Next on the list is rosemary essential oil, which helps calm and relaxes you. If you get anxiety or a panic attack while you are camping, this is a really good oil to have on hand. It relaxes the mind, helps with alertness, and can ease your stress and panic. It also reduces inflammation and pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and sprains or muscle strains.
You also want to add peppermint essential oil to the first kit if you are able to. Peppermint is good for cooling and relieving ailments like sunburns or bug bites. Peppermint can also help with nausea or indigestion, muscle pains, and muscle spasms.
Pack Carrier Oils
After you have chosen the essential oils you want to bring with you, don’t forget the carrier oils. These oils allow you to dilute the pure essential oil so that it doesn’t burn or irritate your skin. These are very strong and can sometimes cause different effects when applied directly to the skin.
Some good carrier oils to choose from are:
- Jojoba oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Coconut oil
- Argan oil
Include Your Homemade Balms and Creams
These herbs and essential oils are perfect for making your own natural products to put in the first aid kit, like creams and balm. This makes it easier to use them and apply while on the hike or enjoying other outdoor activities.
Here are a few different DIY balms and creams to bring along with you:
Neosporin is great for relieving the pain from burns, providing antibacterial for infections, and moisturizing the skin. However, you might want to use your own natural version of it instead of what you can buy at the local drug store. To make your own, you want to start with a base of coconut oil. Add to that a little olive oil, lavender essential oil, organic and raw honey, beeswax, and some dried herbs like calendula, chamomile, and comfrey.
You can also add other essential oils if you want. Mix the ingredients together and keep them in a jar small enough to fit in your first aid kit.
This next balm recipe is good for reducing inflammation in the skin and in your joints, depending on how you use it. You can put it on your joints if you are hiking and they start to hurt, or apply it to rashes and bruises you get along the way.
For this balm, you want to once again use beeswax as it has natural inflammation-fighting properties. You can then use your own choice of herbs and essential oils. You can do a similar recipe to the DIY Neosporin, or go in another direction entirely. If you want this to work on sunburns, for example, using some peppermint oil would be great because it is cooling and soothing.
Experiment with different ingredients when making creams or balms that will provide relief for cuts, scrapes, swelling, and wounds you might get during your outdoor adventures.
Why You Need Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the ingredients you will often see recommended for a natural first aid kit or traditional first aid kit is apple cider vinegar. This item provides loads of health benefits, physically and mentally. It is often used in cleansing and detox drinks, helps ease indigestion and stomach pain, is great on the skin, and can help your cardiovascular system.
Here are some reasons to include apple cider vinegar in your natural first aid kit:
It Treats Heartburn
If you struggle with heartburn or acid reflux, it can sometimes be heightened with more exercise or while you are on a camping trip. Perhaps you ate something acidic shortly before bed, and you are in your tent struggling with bad heartburn. You can drink a little bit of apple cider vinegar added to a glass of water and start to feel relief. For chronic acid reflux, try to add a little to water before each acidic meal.
You Can Soothe Your Sunburn
When you are participating in outdoor adventures, there is always a risk of burning your skin. Even if you are good about using sunblock, you might not re-apply as often as needed, or you could be using an SPF that is too low for how hot it is or for your sensitive skin. There is also a bigger risk on overcast days or when you are in the water.
If you happen to get a burn and don’t have your regular after-burn product available, you can instead use the apple cider vinegar in your first aid kit. You want to dilute it instead of applying directly to the burn, preferably by mixing it in a spray bottle, then spraying it on your burn. You can also add some lavender essential oils to the mixture. If you are using it at home, try adding it to a lukewarm bath with the essential oils for full-body relief.
It Helps Heal Poison Oak or Ivy Exposure
Hiking on trails is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors during summer, but there is a risk of coming across poison oak or poison ivy. If you accidentally come into contact with it, it will cause a bad rash that burns and itches. When this happens, it helps to have a natural product to provide relief, such as apple cider vinegar. It is the potassium in this that will help reduce inflammation and swelling.
It Can Relieve Bug Bites
Finally, you should have apple cider vinegar in your first aid kit to help with bug bites. Insects are everywhere, but even more so in wooded areas in the hot summer sun. If you’re planning a backpacking, hiking, or camping trip, apple cider vinegar can help with the burn or sting from insect bites.
Include Activated Charcoal
The next natural item to put in your first aid kit is activated charcoal. This is not the type of charcoal you are putting in your gas grill, but a special powdered form of charcoal. It is quickly becoming a trending topic in the holistic and natural health world, as people discover just how many health benefits it has.
You will definitely be glad if someone gets bad nausea while on your trip or worse, experiences food poisoning. Here are some different ways you can use activated charcoal:
- To ease stomach pain and indigestion
- Help treat food poisoning
- Find relief for diarrhea
- Reduce toxins in the body
- Apply it to burns or scrapes on the skin
- Cure intestinal illness
Remember that activated charcoal is only for external use, so don’t use it on deep cuts or gashes, and don’t ingest it.
The Magic of Arnica in the First Aid Kit
If you are looking up herbs and healing plants for natural first aid purposes, you will probably come across arnica. Arnica is a type of plant that grows in Europe and the United States. The leaves and flowers are used as healing herbs for many different ailments.
You can use the herb on its own or create a cream or ointment with the herb and other ingredients. If you can find an arnica topical cream, this is a good thing to bring with you in your natural first aid kit. The topical creams help with pain from bruises, heal wounds, and relieve pain from injuries to the joints, tendons, or muscles.
It should not be used internally or with open wounds. You can also find arnica in essential oil, but again, don’t use it for any of your cuts, gashes, or scrapes.
Peroxide and Epsom Salt
As you near the end of your natural first aid kit list, it is important to include some essentials. This is what will bring you to the hydrogen peroxide and Epsom salt. These are still considered natural items, even though they’re not oils or herbs. They are still good to use for a variety of purposes without having added chemicals or preservatives in them.
First of all, make sure you have at least a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your first aid kit. This can be used for so many things but is particularly useful at cleaning out wounds. While other items on this list help provide relief and help wounds to heal, you still need to clean it out if it got dirty and other bacteria in it. It does sting at first, but that goes away quickly. It can also be used if you show signs of infection, like with an ear infection.
Also, be sure you have a small container or jar of Epsom salts in your natural first aid kit. When using them at home, you can add them to your bath to have a long soak for sore and tired muscles after your hike, or to help with a migraine headache.
Epsom salts are also really good for removing splinters. Add some salt to a bowl of water, then let the hand or foot with the splinter rest in the saltwater. After soaking for a few minutes, remove it and the splinter should come out easily. Additionally, Epsom salts help detox and cleanse the body, also helping to treat constipation.
Additional Essentials You Need
Finally, you are ready to start adding the more traditional first aid items to your natural first aid kit. These are going to be the various tools and accessories that help you wrap, cover wounds, and provide basic first aid while indoors or outdoors.
Here are some items to make sure you include in the first aid kit:
Tools – Make sure you have some tools needed to provide basic first aid. This includes items like different types of scissors, tweezers, needles, and safety pins. Whether you are attaching a bandage, removing a splinter, or cutting a piece of gauze for a wound, you will need these little tools.
Gauze and Bandages – The next category of essential items for a natural first aid kit includes the bandages and gauze. While you might be using herbs, creams, or oils for your different wounds and burns, you then need to cover them up. The gauze is going to help stop the bleeding and keep an infection from entering the wound. The bandages help cover up cuts and scrapes.
Wraps – If someone gets a sprained ankle, broken toe, or aching joint, you might need some wraps. You should have a few different sizes depending on the part of the body you need to wrap, along with bandage clips or adhesive tape to hold it securely.
Some other items to include in the first aid kit are:
- Ice packs
- Alcohol wipes
- First aid kit manual
- Mouthpiece for CPR
- Non-latex gloves
You may also want some medical items for the first aid kit, such as:
- Over-the-counter pain relief medications
- Topical antibiotic ointments
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hydrocortisone cream
Put it All Together
Now that you know what to put in your natural first aid kit, it is time to put it together. It is good to keep all of these items in the same container or bag so that you can find them easily.
Here are some options:
Large Plastic Storage Bag
This is a really simple and inexpensive way to pack your first aid kit. If you have a smaller kit with just a handful of items, just one of the larger quart-size plastic bags will work just fine. Little containers of oils or herbs don’t take up a lot of space, and items like gauze and scissors can easily fit in the bag.
If you are planning on a more complex first aid kit, you might want to grab an extra storage bag. One bag can include your different balms, creams, tinctures, herbs, and essential oils. Then in the other bag, go ahead and fill it with the basics like gauze, bandages, wrap, tweezers, scissors, and medications. This keeps it organized and allows you to easily find what you need even in an emergency.
Another option for storing your first aid kit is to put all the items in a cosmetic case. This gives you multiple options, based on the type of case you get. Smaller cosmetic cases might just have one large compartment for fitting everything in, again working good if you only bring a handful of items with you.
Then there are larger sizes with multiple compartments, making it easier for you to organize everything. If it has at least a few pockets in it, you can use those for your tweezers and scissors, keeping them away from the other items.
Finally, there are travel cosmetic bags, which open up or roll up, and have tons of zipper pockets and various compartments. This is really ideal because when folded up, it won’t take a lot of space in your backpack, but also has plenty of room for everything you want to bring.
First Aid Container
You can also use a regular first aid container or box, but switch out some of the items you keep inside. There are stores selling empty and full first aid containers with the classic red and white X on the front. This will make it easy for you to find it in your luggage or backpack in an emergency. If you get one already filled up, replace some of the medical items with your natural health items, and you’re good to go.
By now, you should be ready to have a fun, healthy, and safe trip! Whether you want a first aid kit at home, or you are bringing it with you to a hiking, beach, or camping trip, you should be all ready to go.