Camping First Aid Kit for Kids and Other Safety Items

Camping First Aid Kit for Kids
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When packing for camping, one of the first items in the car or camper is a camping first aid kit for kids. Over the summer, my kids seem to have permanent scraps and bruises on every knee and elbow. While the band-aid or ice-pack isn’t always needed, they find it comforting none the less. As a mom, it is also reassuring to know that we have the tools to help the problem should anything minor come up. Also note that we are car-campers, and we can bring A LOT of stuff. So a lot of stuff we bring.

Camping First Aid Kit For Kids

This camping first aid kit for kids can be used for adults too! I just make sure to point out children’s specific medications since they come in the liquid form and are easier for them to take. However, wherever it says “children’s” make sure to pack the adult version as well. Of course, adults can have accidents, and first aid kits are needed for them too, but kids seem to acquire most of the camping scraps and cuts.

  • Thermometer
  • Children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Children’s Ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • Band-aids (kid designs recommended!)
  • Nose spray
  • Saline solution (for dry eyes or cleaning out wounds)
  • Children’s cough medicine
  • Children’s anti-diarrhea medicine (Imodium)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze
  • Gauze pads
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Ace bandage
  • Butterfly closure strips
  • First aid medical tape
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Children’s antihistamine (Benadryl)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Calamine lotion
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Epi-pen (if needed)
  • Instant cold compress or ice-pack
  • Burn relief gel or spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe
  • Bug spray
  • Finger splint

Other Camping Safety Items

Beyond the actual camping first aid kit for kids, there are a few other items that are good to have.

  • Bouillon cubes– These can offer you some good electrolytes should you need them quickly. Plus, bouillon cubes are an emergency meal, and they can settle an upset stomach.
  • Carbon monoxide and propane detector-Newer RV’s or hard sided trailers will typically come with these. However, older models or pop-ups will not always have them. We found a portable battery operated carbon monoxide detector to place in our camper. It’s not as big of a concern in a pop-up since there is some ventilation, but it is still a good safety precaution.
  • Bear spray– This is mace, but it comes in a can that sprays further than mace designed to be used on humans. This can also come in handy for snakes or humans too.
  • Emergency poncho-These ponchos pack up really small and can be useful in an unexpected rain storm.
  • Emergency blanket-An extra blanket can come in handy for the cold, a place to sit on the ground, or by the fire.
  • Water purification tablets-I would only use these in case of an emergency. They are small and pack-able, and could quite literally save your life.
  • Fire extinguisher As mentioned here, you’ll want to have this if your campfire gets out of control. We all want to enjoy our s’mores in peace.

Nice to Have Campy Safety Items

I’ll admit that I do not own these safety items. These items are certainly nice to have if you want to be extra prepared:

  • Tourniquet– If you needed to, you could always make your own tourniquet, but these are designed for proper use and aren’t too pricey.
  • AED– These are expensive. But if you have any heart issues or a need for it, it could be a life saving device. Some of the newer ones will also instruct you through CPR.

Additional Camping Safety Tips

Bear Country

Remember you are usually in bear country when you are camping. Pack up all your food and trash into your car, RV, or designated bear locker. Tents and pop-ups are not adequate for food storage.

Poison Control

As a general rule, it’s best not to eat anything you don’t what it is. Did you ever see Into the Wild? Also, place all medications out of the reach of children. If needed, you can call poison control for free 24 hours a day. The number is (800) 222-1222.

Other Safety Resources

If you want to be extra prepared you can take CPR and First Classes or even Wilderness First Aid Classes. And if you are really into it, you can be trained as a Wilderness First Responder.

Phew, we’ve covered a lot of safety tips over the last few weeks. I feel like it’s important to also remember that even though accidents happen, they are rare and you are camping to relax, enjoy, and have fun. For our family, camping is a way to escape our regular day to day. These safety tips are not meant to be all doom and gloom, but as a way to be prepared. We’ll move away from this topic for now, and focus on lighter and more fun things to come. In the meantime, do you have any other safety tips?

My Outdoor Family: When three-nagers meet intentional parenting

Article originally posted on Outdoor Families Magazine in May 2018.

adventure family

In 2005, my husband and I moved to Colorado from Florida. We moved across the country for a change, a sense of adventure, and the Rocky Mountains. Our 480-foot studio apartment was only $500 a month. Our jobs were not serious, and with limited responsibilities, we explored this great state together. We hiked over 12 hours to summit and descent Long’s Peak. As fit and competitive people, we ran the Bolder Boulder, competed in multiple triathlons, and finished, albeit slowly, a century bike ride (100 miles). Additionally, we came to appreciate the outdoor music scene Colorado has to offer be attending shows at Red Rocks, Mishawaka, Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, and Jazz in the Park in Denver. Camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, four wheeling, rafting-you name it-we did it. Basically, we soaked up everything Colorado has to offer.

Our marriage was built on this framework of adventure and the outdoors. Now in 2018, we have two little boys, a dog, a house and careers. It sure would be easy to get caught up in the rat race, and say we’ve checked those items off our bucket list. After all, there is laundry to be done and a house to be cleaned. But, what kind of childhood memories would we be creating staying indoors and just watching movies? Sure, we all love a lazy day, but where is the sense of adventure? Some of my best childhood memories are running barefoot in the rain and riding my bike to the ice-cream store. I want that for my kids too.

As brand new parents we were in survival mode, but now we are establishing more of a groove and are finding time to get outside. Last year, we bought a pop-up camper. On our first camping trip as a family of four, our youngest was five months old and our oldest was three. There were challenges and fears. Our three-nager was going through a tantrum phase over the traumatic event of having a baby brother. I kept worrying the youngest would be too cold in his pack ‘n play. Also, packing for a trip with a baby and a toddler is no joke. How can people so small require so many things? We dealt with cleaning bottles and managing sleep schedules. But, we got outside together. Our kids know what a s’more tastes like and have seen the Milky Way in all its glory. They have been on hikes to waterfalls and fished in ponds with Dad. The awe they experience when they see a deer or even a frog is worth the effort to get outside.

Overall, we feel we are being intentional in our efforts to spend time together as family and instill values of appreciating experiences more than things. Of course, our kids will be their own people, but we hope they have a zest for life, and a love of nature. We want to experience things as a family and make memories together.

As a family, we have been on eight camping trips and have four more planned this summer. When we are not camping, we play outside and ride bikes around the neighborhood. We still watch tv and occasionally play video games, but we think there is more to childhood and life than screen-time. Our house could always cleaner and laundry is an infinite problem. It is not always easy, but we choose to go outside, spend time together and make lasting memories together.

Turquoise Lake in Leadville, CO

Turquoise Lake
Turquoise Lake

I like fun facts. Do you? Here’s a couple:

  1. Leadville is the highest incorporated town in the United States at 10,152 feet.
  2. I thought Turquoise Lake got it’s name from the blue sparkling water, but it was actually named after the mineral, turquoise, which was found nearby in Leadville’s mining days. Cool, right?

I hope really hope one of these is a question on trivia night.

Baby Doe Campsite

Baby Doe Campground
Baby Doe Campground Photo: Recreation.gov

This was our second time camping at Turquoise Lake and our first camping trip of this summer. For both trips, we camped at the Baby Doe Campground. It’s nestled away from the shoreline in the thick pine trees. The campground is made up of two loops like a figure eight. For the first time, we let our older son ride his bike around one of the loops with the “big” kids. Naturally this was his favorite campsite and favorite trip of the summer.

On every camping trip, we like to scope out the best sites for future trips. Our first time here, we camped at site 14, and our second time we were in site 43. From my perspective, site 14 is the best spot. It’s a large area and nestled back into the tress for additional privacy. You are also a little closer the water and can see the lake from your site. Site 43 was just fine, but we weren’t as thrilled with it.

Turquoise Lake
Sparkly water

The adults love this spot too. I kept taking pictures of the water and remarking how the picture does not do it justice, and I think it is a pretty good picture. Looking at the sparkling water, you can’t help but feel happy here. Unless you are an 18 month old. Then you cry. About EVERYTHING. If anyone is reading this and went camping when we were there, I am truly sorry. Our youngest son is having a crying phase. We aren’t exactly sure when it started or when it will stop, but if he isn’t on my hip, he cries. Sometimes, I have to do things like go to the bathroom, eat, get dressed, LIVE. If I do any of these things, he cries. At one point my husband was making dinner and asked if I could cut up apples for the kids. Sure if you don’t mind the wailing while I am cutting up the apple, or can it wait?

Amenities

Anywho, back to the Baby Doe campground. Here are the amenities:

  • Firewood for sale on site
  • Walk-up sites available
  • Drinking water
  • Vault toilets
  • Self pay station
  • Tables
  • Campfire rings

Turquoise Lake Nature Trail

The one time Wyatt wasn’t crying AND I wasn’t holding him was when he was in the hiking backpack. We did this short hike on the Turquoise Lake Nature Trail which is a 1.2 mile out and back trail along the shoreline. This is an easy, kid-friendly route through the lodgepole pines with views of the lake the whole way. If you are looking for a longer more challenging route, this trail connects to the Turquoise Lake Trail for an additional 6.4 miles. Family hike, check!

Turquoise Lake

Lodgepole pines
Lodgepole pines at Turquoise Lake

The dense trees by the campsite guards against the wind. We were blissfully unaware how much cooler and windier it was when we got to the lake. I’m not sure if it’s always that windy or if it was just a windy weekend. I did see some people braving the choppy water on paddle boards, kayaks and canoes, but we stuck to hiking for this trip. There is a boat ramp available and you can even water ski here. I’d recommend wearing a wet suit. We were perfectly happy just taking in the view. In different weather, the water activities would have been a great addition.

Despite all the crying, we are still happy we went. Are we crazy? Maybe. The thing is, our son would have been crying at home anyways. I get it though. It’s not for everyone. It is challenging and not always the most fun. Our oldest son has energy to burn so we can’t just sit around waiting for the crying phase to pass. We also enjoy the time together away from the usual distractions of life. I really hope we will look back at this phase and remember the happy moments and the memories we made.