How to Make a First Aid Kit
Camping First Aid and Safety

How to Make a DIY Camper First Aid Kit for Under $20

Your camper needs a first aid kit, and for or less than $20, you can make one! Learn exactly what you need, and what you don’t.

Perhaps you need help to figure out what to put in your camper first aid kit. Or maybe you need to figure out how to use what you already have.

Look no further.

Here you’ll find out exactly how to make a first aid kit without breaking the bank.

First aid kits are expensive to purchase ready made. Not only that but most of the time they come packed with things that you may not know how to use or why to use. And that’s no good! You want every single item in your first aid kit to be practical and easy to use.

The Best Budget First Aid Kit

Image of first aid supplies sitting on table

The biggest bang for your buck will come from shopping at the Dollar Store.

Why spend $50 (or more) at Target when you can find similar items for $1 a piece?!

I’ve tweaked the contents a little bit for my family and have found that these 19 items make the perfect camper first aid kit.

How to Make a First Aid Kit for Under $20

Image of first aid supplies sitting on a table


These don’t require much of an explanation; everyone is familiar with band-aids. Get the box with a variety of sizes, it’ll help when your child cuts their finger, and you have a small band-aid. And vice versa when they scrape their knee. Also, research has proven that character band-aids magically fix all ailments. So grab a box of those too.

Ace Wrap

Compression wraps are great for a few reasons. First, they’re fantastic for support if someone rolls an ankle or hurts their wrist. The typical things you’d use an ace wrap for. What a lot of folks don’t know is that you can use them for other things too!

I use them in a pinch to hold ice on an injury.

Ace wraps are also useful to use to apply pressure to bleeding. You can place gauze pads, a clean t-shirt, or whatever you have on top of a significant bleed and then use the ace wrap to apply pressure to the wound while you travel home or to an urgent care for more help.

Diaper Rash Cream

Obviously, you can put this on your baby’s bum if they get a rash while you’re out and about. But, it’s always a staple in my first aid kits for a few other reasons. Zinc oxide is a fantastic sunscreen. When regular sunscreen isn’t enough, you can put diaper cream right on the body part, and it’ll work like a charm. Most often you’ll see it used on noses and cheekbones.

Zinc Oxide is also a great drying agent. If you’re out and about and get a terrible blister, add a little zinc to your band-aid. It’ll help dry the blister, and the other ingredients will work as a skin protectant.

Anti Itch Cream

You can get either diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydrocortisone cream; it’s personal preference. There is a slight difference between the two, but for the most part, they’ll help the itching of insect bites, sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, poison oak, and minor skin irritation.

Hydrocortisone is a steroid. Steroids relieve inflammation and thus help with the itching. Benadryl is an antihistamine. Antihistamines reduce or block histamines, so they stop allergy symptoms.

Triple Antibiotic Cream

Triple antibiotic cream (generic Neosporin) is one of those things that’s great to have if you need it in a pinch, but it’s not something that I use often.

I keep it in my first aid kit for times when we’re not able to wash a wound thoroughly with soap and water. I’m able to put a little on, dress the wound, and then make it to a location where I can appropriately wash the scrape or other boo-boo better.


This stuff often gets a bad wrap because it’s a petroleum-based product, but it’s a fantastic first aid ointment because it’s so incredibly versatile.

You can use it on diaper rash, small cuts, as a lip gloss, and even over those itchy poison ivy rashes to help keep it from spreading while you’re traveling home.

I prefer to use this over triple antibiotic cream on wounds that I’m able to wash well. It’s a must-have in every first aid kit.

Gauze Pads

Always keep these on hand for cuts and scrapes that are too big for a band-aid. Layer them over the area and secure with the ace wrap or the paper tape in your kit.

Paper Tape

Paper tape is an easy way to hold gauze pads on a more significant wound or even to use to help secure a band-aid to a weird spot (think fingers or toes).

Athletic tape would work too but be careful; some kiddos can have skin reactions to the adhesive used in athlete tapes. That’s why I usually prefer paper tape when it comes to my kids.


I like to keep Tylenol (acetaminophen), Benadryl (diphenhydramine), and an antacid in my first aid kit. In a pinch, these things will take care of most of what we need.

Make sure you have medicine for both kids and adults. Liquids or chewables for young kids, and tablets for adults.

Peanut Butter

Or any shelf stable food that’s not sensitive to temperature extremes. It’s great to have on hand just in case you need a quick snack, but also if someone needs to take medicine and they’re not good at swallowing tablets.

Multi-Use Tool

These little things come in super handy in a variety of situations. When you’re shopping for one make sure it has a knife, scissors, and a nail file. All the other attachments are bonuses. The scissors, knife, and nail file are what I use most often in a first aid situation. If I need to cut clothing off a wound, slice shoelaces of a slide or swing if they get stuck, or take care of a pesky hangnail, this is the tool I like to have on hand.

Other Odds and Ends

The last four things I like to have need no explanation: travel wipes, sunscreen, tissues, and hand sanitizer.


closed first aid toolbox sitting on table

You need something to store all your goodies in! I like a plastic toolbox because it can’t get crushed by other things, and I can’t lose the top because it’s attached.

There are lots of options at the dollar store: regular plastic bins, large zipper pouches, tons of choices. Pick what you like and what will work best for you.

All packed up and ready to go! I like to take things out of the boxes and store in baggies, it makes everything easy to find.

Contents of first aid kit in a black box

Wrapping Up

And that’s it! An easy-to-follow guide for how to make a camper first aid kit. And, it’s less than $20! These items are all easy to use and will help your family during camping trips.



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