Nature’s First Aid Kit

It is well to be prepared for life as it is, but it is better to be prepared to make life better than it is. -Sargent Shriver

There are very few things more important than a First Aid Kit when preparing for an outdoor adventure, especially the lengthier ones. But the question remains, what exactly should you bring? If you’re anything like me, I prefer the natural approach. I want products that are not only harmful to myself, but also my environment.  Keep reading, as I get you started on a more natural path to first aid!


For Short/Day Trips: 

BANDAGES: While using plant leaves such as “Lambs Ear” and “Marsh Woundwort” would be preferred due to the natural healing properties, they are not always readily available based off location. Sometimes, we just have to suck it up and head out the the local pharmacy for some good ol’ fashion band-aids and wraps. I personally prefer those by Accouterments such as the Shakespearean Insult Bandages or their Edgar Allan Poe package. Sure, they are not natural, but they are amusing enough to make me forget that detail. Honestly, other than using plants, bandages are pretty difficult to come by naturally, but despite that, every first aid kit should have them, from wraps, to band-aids. You may think you’re too tough for a band-aid, but that toughness will quickly deflate when infection sets in and you are hours or days from the nearest medical center.


CALENDULA SALVE:  Scrapes, cuts, burns, exzema, rashes, dry lips. This is the super-remedy of the natural world. Not only should you keep this on hand when outdoors, you should simply just keep it on hand. It’s just an amazing substance. It’s really hard to come up with words to describe how wonderful Calendula is. Just trust me on this. You need it.


SUN-STICKS: Sun-Sticks, such as the Mystaya Zen Stick. are great to have, especially if hiking in the summers months. While the Sun can lead you to some spectacular views, it can also be a cruel mistress! Most of us know all-too-well the discomfort of sunburns, especially if we happen to be carrying a backpack ON those burns! There are plenty of organic and natural options that can be purchased in-store and online. Sure, you could carry lotion or spray as well, but I find them both to be not only too messy, but too bulky. Much easier to pop out the stick and rub it on the parts that matter!


ARNICA: Arnica is to unopen wounds, what Calendula is to open ones. It is one of the most beneficial substances available in nature’s pharmacy, with the ability to relieve many of the most common aches, pains, and injuries that may arise on trail. Arnica is mostly used for  bruising, swelling, pain relief, arthritis, and the like.


BUG REPELLENT: There are so many different ways to repel bugs, it always surprises me how people still pick up the toxic sprays that contain DEET. People usually misunderstand how Bug Repellent works. Despite it’s name, most “repellents” do not actually repel insects. They simply hide your own scent from them. With that said, there are a few tried and true methods that actually will repel these welcomed guests. Essential Oils are a great option. Oils such as Citronella, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus are great in combination or separate. For those of you who prefer not to make your own or dabble in essential oils, you’ll find plenty of companies who have already done the work for you, such as Natural Citizen!


ALOE VERA: The miracle plant. There are so many uses for this that it’s hard to sum it up. athlete’s foot, burns (both the sun and fire genre!), poison, blisters, scrapes, this easy to get ahold of plant/extract is a must have for home and outdoors. For all you men out there, it also makes a great shaving creme if you feel the need to look civil while out in nature! If I could only keep one item in my kit, I’d be hard pressed to choose between Aloe and Calendula.


ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Absolute best way to clear your system of any recently ingested toxins. These little tablets/pills can save you from a night of vomiting, intestinal illnesses, food poisoning and diarrhea (Which I have been lucky enough to never encounter on an outing!). I can’t imagine ANY first aid kit being complete without Activated Charcoal


Additional Items and Herbs For Longer/Backpacking Trips


VALERIAN ROOT: When made into a tea, you will find very few things that legally compare to it’s ability to relieve a person of anxiety. It’s also a much safer way to fight insomnia than taking sleeping pills. Sometimes when out deep in the wilds for extensive lengths of time, you’ll find yourself facing some of your own inner demons. Valerian Root is a great way to calm yourself and get back to more even footing. Plus, nice, much needed sleep will almost always present you with newer and more positive opportunities upon waking!


PEPPERMINT HERB AND ESSENTIAL OIL: Lightweight to carry, this is a great herb to bring along with you. Outside of the pleasant aroma, it makes for a wonderful tea that will help curve digestive issues and upset stomachs. The Peppermint Herbs I tend to only carry on longer excursions or overnight trips, as you seldom have the chance to sit and brew a cup of tea on day-hikes. The Essential Oil on the other hand, is great to have around at all times. It’s highly effective at ridding headaches when applied to the temple and forehead (Just keep it away from the eyes).


YARROW: This herb is most commonly used to assist in the treatment of fevers, colds, hay fever, G.I. Infections. On the outside, Yarrow is known for it’s ability to stop bleeding. Dried out and in powder form, all it takes is a light sprinkle. Not sure of the source material, but they even say Yarrow Oil could provide wound healing from napalm! That’s pretty intense. 


LAVENDER: Anti-spasmodic for muscles when used topically, and like peppermint it can also be used for headaches. Insomnia and general relaxation can be tackled when brewed into a tea. It’s another great topical remedy for burns and sunburns. The pain of bug bites and stings can be remedied by by a drop of the Essential Oil.

15 Responses to “Nature’s First Aid Kit

  • I love the natural path to first aid. These are amazing and will be with me next I backpack or hike.

    • <3 Glad you liked it! What's nice is, these items are not only great for the Outdoors, but at home as well. I definitely trust natural remedies more than the over-the-counter types!

  • I carry a small First Aid box in my car all the time. During hurricane season, I carry a larger box of items because you never know when we might have to evacuate quickly.

    • Its good that you do. You never know when it will be needed. First aid is one of those things I’d rather have and not need, than need and not have. =)

  • Love your suggestion on essential oils for “bug repellant”. My husband and I love to camp and hike and I am always looking for a cleaner way to take care of ourselves!

    • Bearfoot
      1 year ago

      <3 Thanks! And yeah. Definitely a much better alternative. Not only better for the environment, but our own bodies as well!

  • im not very much into hiking as i grew up in an island so im more of a water person…however, aloe vera is indeed a miracle plant! got stung once by a fire coral in a remote island where 1st aid training does not exist and the local just washed my feet with sea water, vinegar and used aloe vera as a topical! worked wonders!

    • Bearfoot
      1 year ago

      Right? We always have an Aloe plant on hand. Did you know the ancient Egyptians used to refer to aloe as “The Plant of Immortality” due to all it’s awesome properties? =)

  • I am totally not a hiker, but I do carry first aid supplies in my purse. When my kids get older, I want to take them for hikes in more state and national parks, so this list is super helpful!

    • =) Glad you found it helpful! It’s a great kit to keep in your home or car as well. You never know when you’ll need it!

  • Absolutely awesome post. I love Calendula oil, I make my own. So many good points you made, well done.

  • I really enjoyed this and learned a lot! Not just for travel either. I might get me some valerian root tea and see how it works on my anxiety. Thanks for sharing!

    • Valerian root is absolutely amazing for anxiety. I find that a lot of these natural remedies work better than anything you can get from a doctor, and they lack the side effects. There are some other great methods to fix anxiety, but I’d fill up my comment page! Feel free to message me if you’re curious.

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