Just so we get off on the right understanding this post is about making a First Aid Kit for your tent and camping gear rather than for humans or even pets.
If you are looking for what to pack in a First Aid Kit for your family you can download and print our First Aid Checklist. Likewise, if you are looking for what to pack for your pet on a camping trip have a read at our Best Camping Gear for Dogs post where we cover the essentials for your pet.
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While there are many camping repair kits out there on the market there are none that I have found that cover everything. Some are for repairing tents, some for tent poles, some for fly fabric. While these are great, you would spend a fortune buying one of each. By making your own not only will you save some money, but you can tailor it to suit your own camping style and gear.
Why Take A Camping First Aid Kit?
Many people ask why bother taking a first aid kit for camping on your trip as it is only extra stuff to carry?
Well if you have ever had something happen to your tent or your gear while on a trip you know!
We never know when something is going to happen that may result in your tent becoming damaged or your gear breaking. This is why putting together a small, yet effective First Aid Kit to take with you is just as important as packing one for your family.
A good kit will allow you to make repairs quickly and effectively. Not only may this save your holiday or time away but could save further damage and or more costly repairs when you go home. That tear in your tent may only seem small and insignificant when it happens. A gust of wind or something catching it may ruin your whole tent if it is not repaired quickly.
Believe us, for a few quid and some time preparing your own first aid kit for your camping adventures, is a worthy investment. Whether a tear in your tent, sim, awning. Broken or snapped poles, puncture in your air beam or many other things that can go wrong. A quick and simple repair on the campsite can save a holiday and more pennies being spent.
What To Pack In A Camping First Aid Kit
Here we will list what you should pack in your Camping First Aid Kit and then we will go on to discuss what each item can be used for. This will help not only clarify WHY you are packing it and what it can be used for. But, it may also help you think of other items suited to your personal style of camping or other things each item could be used for.
A good place to start is to look out for all spare parts, repair patches, glue, sealant, fabric that have come with any of your tents or camping gear in the past. If you are new to camping and have only started to purchase items lookout for these items and set them aside to include in your kit.
- Spare Guy Lines
- Tent Fabric Patches
- Fly/Bug Mesh Patches/Black Thread and Needle
- All Purpose Glue
- Seam Selant
- Tenacious Tape
- Gaffa Tape
- Small Sewing Kit
- Cable Ties
- Small Pair of Scissors (if you don’t carry any in your kitchen kit)
Spare guy lines are great to have and not only to replace your tents guy lines. These can also be used for many other things while away. If you are going to use a tarp or create a canopy with your door you can use these for tying them out. They make great make-shift washing lines. Use to tie up any number of things. We always try to carry at least 2 spares in the tent bag and 2 in our repair kit.
Tent Fabric Patches
Often you will find some repair patches in the bag your tent comes in as most manufacturers supply them as spare. These are the best ones as they will properly match your tent fabric. If you have none with your tent you can purchase these quite cheaply online. Some are supplied with a range of colours. If you need some click here.
If you are not too bothered about the aesthetics of the repair you could save yourself some money and use the tenacious tape mentioned further down or the duct tape.
Fly/Bug Mesh Patches
Pretty much self-explanatory here. They are for repairing tears or holes in the bug mesh fabric of your tent. Many are self-adhesive and can be cut to size. Tenacious make a great repair mesh that is self-adheshive.
All Purpose Glue
Sometimes glue is needed for those small repairs and you want a glue with more than one application purpose. A good all-purpose glue such as Bostik should do. You only want a small tube that can be used in conjunction with repair patches and fix small breaks in your gear. Super glue is not recommended as it can burn through many fabrics and tens to leave them feeling really hard.
This isn’t a must but if you have never seam-sealed your tent you may want to carry it just in case. Or the tent is new to you. We would recommend sealing your seams at home or even when you are away as a planned thing. If this hasn’t been done you may find with some heavy rain that you may get water coming in at the seams. Although you would need to wait until it is dry to carry out such a repair. If you have to do a repair to a seamed area of your tent while away i.e. stitching, it is a good practice to also seal the newly stitched area.
Another great all-around tape worth carrying is tenacious tape. Again this can also be used for repairs on tent fabric, especially if you buy the clear stuff. this is also great for repairing bursts or tears in inflatable items so great for sleeping mats and SIM’s. If you want to leave out the bug mesh repair, you can also use this instead.
The great fix-it-all tape is the master of the repair kit. It can be used for almost anything but we carry it mainly to fix broken poles (we have done this many a time over the years), rips in groundsheets, in fact, rips in almost anything. It is also good if any of your other camping gear breaks to do temporary fixes until you get home.
There is also no need to take the full roll. Simply wrap a few meters around an old broken pencil and this will greatly reduce the pack size.
Small Sewing Kit
You can pack a small sewing kit into something the size of a matchbox. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, some different coloured threads wound around a piece of card and a couple of needles should be fine. You can add some fine fishing line for heavy-duty repairs too just make sure it passes through your needles. This can help repair small tears on various materials. Clothing, bags, bug mesh on your tent if you don’t want to buy patches.
These are another versatile item that you should have in your kit. As well as being great at holding things together they are also great for repairing broken zippers. Whether it is the zip on your tent, sleeping bag or on your clothing these will work a treat. It is useful to take mixed cable ties, they don’t take up much room and weigh next to nothing.
Storing Your Kit
Now that you know what to put in your kit you may wonder what you are going to store it in? This is entirely up to you. Ours is in a small ziplock bag that our repair patches came in. You may want to buy a small box or find something a good size that you have in the house already.
Whatever you choose to store it in try to make sure it will be watertight. If water or even dampness gets into your kit and you don’t notice it will ruin several of your items including your tapes and fabric patches. You certainly don’t want this after putting it all together. Having it dry and ready to use is what you need. Make sure to check it for damage every now and then as if you are not doing repairs it is easy to forget about it.
Thanks for reading. If you have any further suggestions or have something in your own kit not mentioned here why not drop a note in the comments and help out your fellow campers.