First-Aid Kit Contents and Precautionary Measures One Should Consider Before Heading Out on the Trail…

First-Aid kit contents and Precautionary measures one should consider before heading out on the trail…

My lovely girlfriend informed me, to begin the discussion, she always carries an antihistamine as part of her first-aid kit because she’s allergic to bees and whatever else she may be allergic to. As a result, I may need to do this as well. Africanized bees, here in the South West, are particularly dangerous. They’ve flown over head in the thousands and I’ve escaped without injury many times before but others have not been so lucky. There only needs to be one single bee to begin the onslaught. Precautionary measures such as cleansing with natural products, clothes too, that do not contain perfumes begins the process of escaping this menace. Other precautionary measures may include having a rain coat handy to slip on quickly if you should be attacked.

Other over-the-counter items may include the usual… ibuprofen (aka vitamin I), aspirin, band-aids of various sizes, gauze, eye drops and eye patch, antibiotic ointment, a bandana that may be used as a tourniquet, a hemostat agent called…®-Sport™.aspx, and some even carry a suture kit… all great items to consider for your kit. Of course, you’ll need to tailor your kit to your particular surroundings, environment, weather conditions, etc.

While thinking of the bees I’ve been thinking of additional dangers that exist in the desert…

Here, in southern, AZ, we have many Black Diamond Rattlesnakes, among other poisonous critters… my plan (more of a rule or decree)… once I’ve stepped over the third it’s time to head back home :)

We also have, in the Sonoran desert, the only venomous lizard found in the United States, the Gila Monster. My best suggestion is to view these beautiful lizards from a distance rather than resorting to the need for first-aid in an unfortunate encounter. You may find more information regarding Gila Monsters…

Once, and only once, have I run into a Black Bear, within maybe 30′, and thankfully, the Bear ran the opposite direction of me. I have never seen an animal move so quickly. Within seconds she was literally a quarter mile away. As a result I sometimes, not always, carry Bear spray.

My Bear encounter…

Black Bear
Black Bear

I have also, many, many times, hiked into large herds of peccaries and they have always run the opposite direction. However, I spoke to someone several years ago whom, fortunately escaped without harm, was surrounded, and with her hiking poles, fought back keeping them at bay for over a half hour. Must have been peccary infants, which by the way are the cutest little things, about. In any case, now, when I run into them I always hop up onto the nearest, tallest rock I could find until they’ve dispersed.


These young Bucks followed me, quite close, along a stream bed in the Rincon mountain range after leaving camp, walking along with me, for at least a half mile. They could present a danger if one is not too careful…

Arizona Coues Deer
Arizona Coues (pronounced “cows”) Deer

Yes, they were that close for over a half mile. Spectacular hiking companions!…

Arizona Coues Deer
Arizona Coues Deer
Arizona Coues Deer
Arizona Coues Deer

Catalina (yes, I’ve named her), the Mountain Lion, my most prized wildlife encounter…

Mountain Lion (that is the shadow of my head in the foreground).

This prepubescent Horned Toad lizard presented the most danger…

Horned Toad Lizard
Horned Toad Lizard

“That’s it, as soon as you put me down I’m going to…”

He’ll eventually look like this…

Horned Toad Lizard
Horned Toad Lizard

And, Mort, the keeper of the mountain…


Thus, there are many potential dangers (I like to think of them as friendly, fortuitous encounters) in the wilds and we need to take heed or call to their attention. Wildlife is no exception. Precautionary measures may include antihistamines and Bear spray among others, backing up slowly from a Mountain Lion is a good idea, that may be an asset as part of your first-aid/precautionary kit.

If you carry additional items that have not been discussed, please feel free to share your ideas… all are welcome and encouraged.

Reach Your Summit!

All photos copyright, WildDrake, and may be used only with permission.


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Wild Drake

Coming soon: Exquisitely perfected, Health Conscious, Travel & Trail Cuisine. We may be Organic, non-GMO, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Nutrient-dense and Delicious. We may also be Vegetarian and/or Vegan but certainly not limited to such... For the Omnivore we may offer Grass-fed, Free-Range, Cage-free, etc., when available. Bottom line... We intend on offering the very best in Conscious Trail Cuisine! We love it and believe you will too.

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