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Your Ideal First Aid Kit for the Camino

John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
The item I use most often is micropore tape. Useful for minor cuts and grazes and for covering rubbing spots on toes to prevent blisters. Also handy for small repairs to other kit. A crepe bandage is also useful in case of sprains and other joint problems. I carry paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets. A small tub of zinc oxide ointment and a small bottle of tea tree oil to counter fungal infections and chafing.
 

SirRon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May-July 2023
The item I use most often is micropore tape. Useful for minor cuts and grazes and for covering rubbing spots on toes to prevent blisters. Also handy for small repairs to other kit. A crepe bandage is also useful in case of sprains and other joint problems. I carry paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets. A small tub of zinc oxide ointment and a small bottle of tea tree oil to counter fungal infections and chafing.
Great suggestions, thank you!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Agree with @Bradypus, but we don't bring an ace bandage, zinc oxide, or tea tree oil. My husband brings some bandaids and triple antibiotic, chapstick, and sunscreen. Also some duct tape can work in an emergency instead of paper or foam tape. Just don't stick it on an already formed blister or you may deroof it when you take it off later. I am a nurse and I used to carry a huge first aid kit with me everywhere. Only used it a couple of times through so I have dialed it way back for the camino.

Each albergue should have a large first aid kit on hand. You will find all kinds of interesting stuff in there.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 CF, 2022 CF
1​
Tapeca. 1m of Leukotape
6​
IbuIbuprofen
2​
DigestionActive Coal Tablets
1​
Band Aidsgeneric
1​
Sewing KitHotel
3​
ElectrolytesElotrans
2​
Alcohol Wipesgeneric

I used a bit of the Leukotape, i used the Ibuprofen, I used the coal tablets and the electrolytes. I bought some "kinesio tape" along the way.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
There’s a difference between a first-aid kit and a medical kit; I suspect most carry some combination of the two in various quantities.

There’s no point in carrying anything you don’t know how to use, and attending a decent first-aid course is an interesting and potentially useful way to spend a couple of days.

To your specific question: small quantities of pain-killers; two Imodium; blister care stuff; antiseptic wipes and a couple of band-aids.

Spanish farmacias are plentiful, well-stocked and very helpful and as Annie says on the Frances every second signpost has a local taxi number on it.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
There’s a difference between a first-aid kit and a medical kit; I suspect most carry some combination of the two in various quantities.

There’s no point in carrying anything you don’t know how to use, and attending a decent first-aid course is an interesting and potentially useful way to spend a couple of days.

To your specific question: small quantities of pain-killers; two Imodium; blister care stuff; antiseptic wipes and a couple of band-aids.

Spanish farmacias are plentiful, well-stocked and very helpful and as Annie says on the Frances every second signpost has a local taxi number on it.
I agree. I would not consider medications to be part of a first aid kit, and wouldn't consider using them as part of any first aid treatment. I think the only thing that I do carry in my first aid kit that needs to be consumed is salt, and I carry a few sachets that can be mixed with water should someone cramping need first aid. In my 'medical supplies' I carry electrolyte tablets for my own use.

Over the years, I have developed a pretty standard walking first aid kit for any bushwalking activity that I do. It has more in it than I have ever had to use on the camino, but I don't rebuild it for the camino just to lose a few grams of weight. If I were building a camino specific first aid kit from scratch, I might consider leaving out some of the things I currently carry.

The current contents are:
  • scissors,
  • stitch cutter blade (sealed)
  • resuscitation mask
  • latex gloves
  • safety pins
  • cotton buds
  • antiseptic ointment (betadine)
  • prepared toroidal patch (approx 1 cm internal diameter, 3-4 cm external)
  • elastic bandage
  • salt sachets
  • alcohol wipes / antiseptic wipes
  • small patch of moleskin
  • gel toe protector (~3 cm)
  • medium sized hydrocolloidal blister patches
  • paper dressing tape
  • strip of leukoplast or similar
  • waterproof dressings approx 6x7 cm
  • small selection of fabric dressings of various sizes
Separately, I carry tweezers in my nail care kit.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
May 18,2015 - June 23,2015 El Camino Frances
May 25, 2017 - June 30th, 2017 Le Puy to Moissac
Betadine, gauze and large square bandaids - originally I had all shapes but I did not use any other than the large square ones for the huge blister I got at the ball of my foot - they seemed to be the only ones that stayed on the foot. And cloth tape (vs paper) when I ran out of band aids. I used it with the gauze.
 

Joanne P

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June 2018 & June 2020
Fixomull for protecting hot spots, and to secure a dressing if needed. I have dodgy knees, so I also carry a good strapping tape in case I need it. It's ok to say I can buy it in a pharmacy there, but that's not much help if I need it urgently between towns (for knee, or a sprained ankle, etc). I've had a physiotherapist show me simple (but effective) strapping techniques.
 

SirRon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May-July 2023
There’s a difference between a first-aid kit and a medical kit; I suspect most carry some combination of the two in various quantities.

There’s no point in carrying anything you don’t know how to use, and attending a decent first-aid course is an interesting and potentially useful way to spend a couple of days.

To your specific question: small quantities of pain-killers; two Imodium; blister care stuff; antiseptic wipes and a couple of band-aids.

Spanish farmacias are plentiful, well-stocked and very helpful and as Annie says on the Frances every second signpost has a local taxi number on it.
yes there's a difference. Maybe I should have just said what you would take to fix common issues: Blisters, cuts etc.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances (2022)
For all of you veterans of the way, I want to bring along my own first aid kit. I understand I can replenish along the way but I want to have one with me for the start. What do you recommend being in it?
Walked in May/June this year.

Blister plasters. Compeed are great blister plasters but almost unobtainable in the USA. Stock up when you arrive. Note: they are not meant to be changed every day, if your feet are clean and dry when you apply them and your showers are quick then they should last a couple of days.
Paracetamol
Imodium strip (6 or 8 tabs)
Possibly 6-8 ibuprofen
Normal plasters
Needle and thread if you like to treat your blisters that way.
If your bag is going in the aircraft hold a small bottle of sterilising hand gel, or buy one after airport security. Also handy for sterilising needle and thread.
Elasticated support bandage roll for strains/sprains.

I gave away more Compeed blister plasters than I used on myself.

Spare blister needle and thread went to a group of badly blistered Italians who believe in the thread and drain approach.
I always carry 2 elastic knee braces as I have had knee surgery - gave one away to a struggling young Korean chap on day 3. (Taking up Tai Chi a year before the Camino meant that the stronger muscles around my knee and ankle joints didn’t need any additional support. )
Oh… did I say blister plasters?
 
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SirRon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May-July 2023
Walked in May/June this year.
Blister plasters
Paracetamol
Normal plasters
Needle and thread if you like to treat your blisters that way.
If your bag is going in the aircraft hold a small bottle of sterilising hand gel, or buy one after airport security. Also handy for sterilising needle and thread.
Elasticated support bandage roll for strains/sprains.
I gave away more blister plasters than I used.
Spare blister needle and thread went to a group of badly blistered Italians.
I always carry 2 elastic knee braces as I have had knee surgery - gave one away to a struggling young Korean chap on day 3. (Taking up Tai Chi a year before the Camino meant that the stronger muscles around my knee and ankle joints didn’t need any additional support. )
Oh… did I say blister plasters?
I'm leaving at the very end of May in 23 and coming back somewhere between July 7 and July 10!
And I'll make sure to follow your plaster advice haha!
 

Lrsawdog5

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances this autumn
I celebrated my retirement as a 40 year career nurse walking the CF. I took way too much in my first aid/medicine kit! I over prepared by taking bandaids, moleskin, tape. I gave all of it away because I walk so slowly that I don't cause friction which then can cause blisters. I did take and used all my ibuprofen as well as diphenhydramine (benadryl) since I suffer from allergies and it helps me sleep at night too in the snoring, coughing, hacking life of an albergue. I gave my loperamide away to a man suffering from digestive issues. (By the way, I drank water from the tap in Spain) I used my small manicure kit several times since it contained scissors, file, clippers and sewing items.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Very little needs to be put in it. You need any prescription meds from home. I recommend taking with a non-sterioidal anti-inflammatory for pain and inflammation (i.e. ibuprofen) unless contraindicated by your other health conditions. Other over the counters only if you are likely to need them. Place all meds in tiny (labelled) zip lock bags to save weight. If flying - you may wish to transport in their original container than put them into the tiny ziplock baggies on arrival. They sell "medication" size ziplock bag and then I store all first aid supplies in a small mesh zipper bag. Other than that - you need a few bandaids and your choice of blister care items. I also bring a few individual packets of antibiotic cream and antiseptic wipes for wound care.

I do bring safety pins for multi-purpose - and will sterilize one if a blister must be drained. I do NOT thread my blisters. I do like compeed for "hot spots" as long as they are placed on the hot spot before the blister appears and not removed until the compeed is falling off - they work well. If you wait for the blister to form or remove too soon they don't work well.

Wraps and braces - only bring if you are someone who needs them frequently. No sense in carrying them if you aren't likely to need them. If you DO need them - you can buy along the way. Same with sports tape. Only bring if you are likely to need it. I also don't bring "big" bandages of any sort - you can use an article of clothing temporarily and then go to a pharmacy if you need something bigger than regular bandaids. I wore a buff/neck gaiter that works well as a temporary way of covering a wound. Bandanas work for this too. (for arms/legs/hands/feet anyway)
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
For all of you veterans of the way, I want to bring along my own first aid kit. I understand I can replenish along the way but I want to have one with me for the start. What do you recommend being in it?
Is DaveBugg still roaming this Forum? He can provide the best response to this question.

Alternately, the Author here can do a search for First Aid Kits and add, DaveBugg to the parameters. I would not be surprised that Dave has responded to this question many times before.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte 2022
I am a physician and a Canadian who does a lot of backcountry stuff so yes, will tend to take too much BUT on the Norte I almost used everything I had (I wiped out and got a really impressive black eye, broke my glasses, sprained my ankle, right thumb and hurt both knees and had quite a good amount of scratches- sometimes farmacias are closed or you in a village that doesn't have one or you are too far away from help and need it right away ( I was still 20 km away from the next real village so had to walk anyhow and there weren't many farmhouses on that long day). I think there is a balance between having EVERYTHING you may need vs having barely anything then having to rely on other pilgrims who with kindness have carried more (weight)... I carried a nice selection of second skin which I used most of, kinesiology tape and just a few Band-Aids, clean wipes, 1 x 3 " tensor bandage, a very small amount of duct tape on my poles, Gravol, Benadryl (I also got bed bugs argh), Tylenol, Ibuprofen Magnesium, Immodium, an Epi pen since I am anaphylactic to wasps, a pair of reading glasses in case I broke my regular bifocal glasses which I needed, 2 pairs ear plugs (and yes I lost a pair so was grateful to have the second pair), safety pins, a few clothes pins and a thin cord to hang my clothes on.
 

darealdeal77

Member Since 2018
Time of past OR future Camino
2014 Camino Frances
Hi! My first aid kit for Camino and any other long hikes I do consist of:
- Moleskin
- KT Tape
- Small scissors
- Needle & Thread (used it plenty in Camino)
- Alcohol Swipe
- Neosporin
- Bandaids
- Small Tiger Balm
- QTips
- Eye drops
- Immodium
- Alka Seltzer & Tums
- Ibuprofen (but found out is super easy to get the 600mg in Spain)
- Some small and medium gauze pads
There is a lot of first aid items available in Spain, plus the pharmacist can prescribe antibiotics and other things without seen a doctor. There is a product sold at stores and pharmacies (I cannot remember the name) is a gel for before and after walking to put on your feet. We found it a little late in Barcelona after I developed a horrible blister. After using this gel we had no more blister issues the remaining of our Camino. It comes in a little packet set, I think it has the Peregrino she’ll on the cover. When you get there you can ask the pharmacist if they have it, or maybe someone in this chat can give it to you. Hope this helps! BUEN CAMINO
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021
Fisterra 2021
We carried blister stuff, tylenol and advil. I don't think we had to stop for anything else. I keep about a meter of duct tape on each of my trekking poles. Good for fixing almost anything, and can wrap around ankles and knees for sprains/strains, as well as can hold a splint in place.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Blister plasters. Compeed are great blister plasters but almost unobtainable in the USA.
I have found the Compeed brand at Walgreens, and Band-Aid brand also makes hydrocolloid bandages.
Spare blister needle and thread went to a group of badly blistered Italians who believe in the thread and drain approach
It's a bad approach unless your goal is to create a super highway for bacteria to enter the wound.
 
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Curly Cath

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago 2013 hiked
Planning on cycling the Portuguese route in winter
Also vaseline
I smother my feet in it every morning and lunchtime
I think this helps prevent blisters
There are fancier lotions for your feet but a tub of vaseline works well
Defo lots of ibuprofen if you use it, can be expensive
Plasters, kt tape, needle and thread, antiseptic hand gel, wipes are in my pack also x
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte 2022
Also vaseline
I smother my feet in it every morning and lunchtime
I think this helps prevent blisters
There are fancier lotions for your feet but a tub of vaseline works well
Defo lots of ibuprofen if you use it, can be expensive
Plasters, kt tape, needle and thread, antiseptic hand gel, wipes are in my pack also x
One man I met worse nylon socks under his merino socks and never had a blister - I am going to try that next time!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Compeed has been mentioned. It is good for healing open, deroofed blisters but you should know how and when to use it. Rebecca Rushton, creator of the website https://www.blisterprevention.com.au , has, in addition to the information on that website, YouTube videos on blister care. See the list at https://youtube.com/user/ENGOblister/videos

Foot Blister Treatment - Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Compeed
The video ID for the video above is youtube.com/watch?v=car0aN4PpyM

Note that she says that removing a Compeed plaster from a roofed blister may tear the roof off and leave you worse off. In her tip section she mentions that the edges of the plaster may come loose from your skin and stick to your sock. What isn't brought up is that if that happens then removing your sock may cause the plaster to come off with it and cause a deroofing of your blister.
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
You have some great advice here. I carried a minimal kit which included some Hikers Wool. The only injury I had in 5 weeks walking was one slightly bruised toe. I used some of the wool wrapped around that toe to protect it and all was fine. It's great stuff with many potential uses and only weighs about 22g.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
During practice hikes at home, you may get a blister. You can then practice various remedies on how to take care of blisters.

Do not wait until you get to Spain to learn how to hike or to take care of a blister.


-Paul
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
During practice hikes at home, you may get a blister. You can then practice various remedies on how to take care of blisters.

Do not wait until you get to Spain to learn how to hike or to take care of a blister.
Or better yet, how to avoid getting blisters in the first place.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2022)
For all of you veterans of the way, I want to bring along my own first aid kit. I understand I can replenish along the way but I want to have one with me for the start. What do you recommend being in it?
I was fortunate, as my 1st aid kit came home unopened. Having said that, I would still take a small one everytime. I take just half a dozen headache, diarrhoea and antihistamine tablets, a few bandaids and some antiseptic wipes and/or cream or liquid and whatever blister prevention/cure you choose. If used, then you can easily replace. I overdid it on the latter, spent a small fortune on a variety of preventative measures but it turned out I got all my blisters in my training at home.
 

Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
Over the years we've learned one thing, you can't prepare for everything. You can be ready for those issues that are common for yourself as a walker. I take care of my feet and know how to lace and knot my boots.We carry a;
needle and sterilized thread.
Common size bandaids
Triple antibiotic cream
Imodium and
Tweezers.

Never had problems.
 

Barry777

Tapestry
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Portugues (2019)
1​
Tapeca. 1m of Leukotape
6​
IbuIbuprofen
2​
DigestionActive Coal Tablets
1​
Band Aidsgeneric
1​
Sewing KitHotel
3​
ElectrolytesElotrans
2​
Alcohol Wipesgeneric

I used a bit of the Leukotape, i used the Ibuprofen, I used the coal tablets and the electrolytes. I bought some "kinesio tape" along the way.
Hello—What are the “active coal tablets” for? Thanks…
 
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David

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Some good answers .. but, no one seems to have mentioned that there will be other pilgrims around, some in pain, needing help and with no supplies of their own (or they have used them all) .. so could I suggest that any first aid kit 'built' for a Camino should carry enough to help others?
Just a thought xx

a p.s. - I don't use Compeed. It is a great product but is really designed for home use where you get a small blister, slap one on, go home at end of the day and wear different shoes next day - on Camino it is different ... close up a full blister with a Compeed and as you pound the foot day after day it will get bigger and bigger until you have a serious problem. Even worse is where a pilgrim puts one over a burst blister with inadequate cleaning - the perfect Petrie dish.
Drain blister, flatten, antiseptic, cover, pad, cover again - sorted (and never never never leave a thread in a blister to "help it drain" - septicaemia lies that way).
 
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Perambulating Griffin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I have found the Compeed brand at Walgreens, and Band-Aid brand also makes hydrocolloid bandages.
I am among those who love the hydrocolloid dressings. Turns out that band-Aid owns Compeed. I discovered this because I was getting Compeed (first discovered in France in 2003 when I had littel inclination to miss out on walking the new city I was living in) via Amazon and paying through the nose… So I looked up the brand history and discovered that if I were to find the Band-Aid version, I’d be getting the same thing for about 1/3 the price.

And for those who love the Compeed Stick (I do) for preventing chaffing, Body Glide makes a foot stick that is fundamentally the same, and many drug stores will have a house-brand in their diabetic footcare section. I just happen to like the smell of the Compeed stick because it throws me back into camino morning rituals whenever I use it.
 

Perambulating Griffin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Some good answers .. but, no one seems to have mentioned that there will be other pilgrims around, some in pain, needing help and with no supplies of their own (or they have used them all) .. so could I suggest that any first aid kit 'built' for a Camino should carry enough to help others?
Just a thought xx

a p.s. - don't use Compeed. It is a great product but is really designed for home use where you get a small blister, slap one on, go home at end of the day and wear different shoes next day - on Camino it is different ... close up a full blister with a Compeed and as you pound the foot day after day it will get bigger and bigger until you have a serious problem. Even worse is where a pilgrim puts one over a burst blister with inadequate cleaning - the perfect Petrie dish.
Drain blister, flatten, antiseptic, cover, pad, cover again - sorted (and never never never leave a thread in a blister to "help it drain" - septicaemia lies that way).

I think mileage on Compeed plasters may vary. For me, they are perfect. I only get one blister ever if I’m going to get it, and the Compeed takes care of it until it goes down on its own, and then typically about 3 weeks after I get home, the dry skin falls off and reveals a never-exposed, fully healed and ready to go layer of skin. However, my blister is caused by a break that created poor anatomical arrangement of one toe. I have unusually dry feet so I am not blister-prone.
As a general bit of advice, “avoid colloid bandages” is probably sound… but for some of us they are wonderful. I find they completely remove the feeling of pressure and of painful heat. The drain-flatten-cover method leaves me with the burning feeling. Perhaps folks can see what works at home...
And yeah… absolutely never ever ever thread a blister…. That’s only for marathoners who get to go home to clean everything at the end of the day (including the removal of the thread). Even then, I question the wisdom…
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 CF, 2022 CF
Hello—What are the “active coal tablets” for? Thanks…

High cholesterol, hangovers and/or stomach disorders. Limited scientific evidence of efficacy; but wouldn’t it be a boring world if that were all that mattered.
While i have no idea about the scientifically proven efficiacy, i prefer them to Imodium in regards for slight digestive disturbances. For those instances when your bottle of red was followed by a second to help with all the fatty meat from the pork knuckle you ate... if you get the picture ;-)
Likely not sufficient for a real emergency, but for me it's sufficient.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
I am among those who love the hydrocolloid dressings.
Not me, unfortunately, having gotten a raging infection as a result of following "use compeed" advice on my first camino - in circumstances where it was the worst thing to be using. That said, it finally cured a stubborn foot crack that I hadn't been able to shake for a very long time. So clearly it has its uses, but know what you're getting into. And yes, @Perambulating Griffin, the BandAid version is a fraction of the price and just as good. (You just don't get the cute little plastic box to recycle as a sewing kit container. 🙃.)

Body Glide makes a foot stick
Yes! I love this stuff. Between toes, and wherever else there is friction.
 
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CarolG
Time of past OR future Camino
2014 Camino Frances: Burgos to Santiago
I have a small kit that always travels with me, on or off the Camino.

In addition to the most commonly mentioned items above, I always carry-

- a few Cipro (or similar). Which are antibiotics for intestinal distress. Yes, Spain has clean water but I have been hit with issues in places like Portugal and past experience has taught me to be prepared.

-Metolius tape. It’s like the paper tapes or KT tapes, but it’s used by rock climbers and it really sticks to sweaty feet as a hot spot blister preventative.

- I do carry anti-bac creme and some alcohol wipes. But I buy small individual “serving size” packets from Amazon. They fit easily into my kit. And the small sachets of anti-bac have a much longer expiration date.
 

Stewart K.

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
APril 2016
Did anyone mention Pepto Bismol? I've found it to be effective for most stomach disorders. When I travel, if I feel like a stomach upset is imminent, I'll chew one of the tablets. It seems to settle things down before they get worse and you have to go dig through your pack for Imodium. Inexpensive and the generic version works the same.
 

HolaKaren

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022
yes there's a difference. Maybe I should have just said what you would take to fix common issues: Blisters, cuts etc.
This is what I used from my first aid kit: Moleskin, Swiss army knife, and antiseptic wipes.

Everyone has a different approach on how to care for blisters ( I think the camino world is divided between Team Compeed and Team Molsekin, LOL). Compeed is readily available in the farmacias, whereas Moleskin is not.

I brought band-aids and never used them, but I think they are an essential item to bring. I needed duct tape to patch my backpack rain cover, and I bought a roll at the Chinese emporiums for 1 euro.
 

SirRon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May-July 2023
This is what I used from my first aid kit: Moleskin, Swiss army knife, and antiseptic wipes.

Everyone has a different approach on how to care for blisters ( I think the camino world is divided between Team Compeed and Team Molsekin, LOL). Compeed is readily available in the farmacias, whereas Moleskin is not.

I brought band-aids and never used them, but I think they are an essential item to bring. I needed duct tape to patch my backpack rain cover, and I bought a roll at the Chinese emporiums for 1 euro.
I was wanting a Swiss Army knife. Thinking they
won’t let on a carry on bag on my flights so going to look to buy one in St Jean Pied de Port
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I was wanting a Swiss Army knife. Thinking they
won’t let on a carry on bag on my flights so going to look to buy one in St Jean Pied de Port
One like this might be able to make it to Europe. Check with TSA. Or, if not, this bought there might make it back home. I don't think you will need anything bigger on the Camino.

 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2022 via Camino Frances
Ya'll are ON it. I am such a fly-by-the-seater that I thought a couple of band-aids and I'll be good to go that and I'm a minimalist, but NOPE. I don't know what it is about The Camino, well maybe I do, but my usual go-to's didn't oblige me much and I was chasing my tail on my pilgrimage. In hindsight what could I have done or brought? I let it unfold and was grateful for the pharmacy's along the way. That said - here's what I think I would have done differently so in the coulda, woulda, shoulda's...

1. Injinji toe socks. Are socks a medicine item? In my case yes they were. As many ultra folks say "toe socks or no socks." As a prophylactic I'm not sure they work, but after the blisters bulged, my heavens, they were a kind of salve. Super soft, comfortable and pretty amazing. I've incorporated them into my running routine and I'm sorry it took me so long. Alas...

2. Foam blister tape - it's stickier, thicker and better than a band-aid or tape. I LOVED it. Band-aids don't stay put on me and this did. I ended up wrapping over blisters and each toe each morning. I was able to make one roll work, but had I known in advance I would have started with it? Maybe?

3. Kinesiology tape - I thought it was just snake-oil stuff and boy was I wrong it saved my shin.

4. Ibuprofen - 400 mg but don't think I didn't double down for the 800 mg when I needed it which was more often than I like to admit.

5. Scissors to cut that tape.
 

taigirl

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
As suggested, microspore or paper tape. I wrapped my toes every day - no blisters. Also Arnica pills for sprains, strains, bruises, sore muscles. If you can't buy in home country, they are available from pharmacies in Spain.

The item I use most often is micropore tape. Useful for minor cuts and grazes and for covering rubbing spots on toes to prevent blisters. Also handy for small repairs to other kit. A crepe bandage is also useful in case of sprains and other joint problems. I carry paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets. A small tub of zinc oxide ointment and a small bottle of tea tree oil to counter fungal infections and chafing.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
1993 Francés, 2020 Francés, 2022 Francés
Firstly, i premise my response by saying First Aid kits always depend on the route you are taking, and when you’re going.

Generally I’m from the school of a little prevention means you can be some what minimalist. For blister prevention I used blister prevention inner socks (https://www.armaskin.com) on my last couple of long hikes, including the Frances in August/ September this year. No blisters.

For my shoes I always go to a running shop and have them professionally sized/fitted (including an assessment of my feet) then go up 1 size. The extra $10 over the internet is money well spent. I Wear them in before I go (this requires you to carry a loaded backpack).

That all means I can keep my first aid kit to a two day emergency kit. Ibuprofen (tablets and gel); Imodium; paracetamol, a couple of bandaids, small scissors, needle, lighter and hikers wool.

Why two days? Not all towns have Farmacias, and if the town you’re hiking /walking to may not be open when I get there.

Buen Camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2018, Norte, 2019, Camino Primitivo 2023
For all of you veterans of the way, I want to bring along my own first aid kit. I understand I can replenish along the way but I want to have one with me for the start. What do you recommend being in it?
Items not so easy to get on the way but are so very useful for me are - Hikers wool - weighs nothing but wonderful for stopping hot spots from becoming blisters and Paw paw ointment for dried up lips After walking in the wind.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021
Fisterra 2021
1. Injinji toe socks. Are socks a medicine item? In my case yes they were. As many ultra folks say "toe socks or no socks." As a prophylactic I'm not sure they work, but after the blisters bulged, my heavens, they were a kind of salve.
I love Injinji socks! When we did our camino last year we always wore either injini liners or silk liners inside our merino wool socks. My wife got one blister and I did not get any. One of our friends smeared vaseline each day, and likewise had no blisters. I am pretty sure both ways are successful as a prophylactic to prevent blisters by cutting down friction at the skin surface.
 

Lydia Gillen

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007/8/9, 2011 , 2012/13/14. C.F 2015
Camino Portugues 2017,2018,2019
volunteering
One thing which I don't think has been mentioned is anti-histamine cream. Now you do not need a full tube, that is only taking space and adding weight. Get a very small zip lock bag, like the one spare buttons come in, put about 5 gram of anti histamine cream into it, roll it, seal it, write a label and sellotape it on. Then if you get a sting you just pierce it with a pin or needle and a little bit emerges, enough for the job.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
two safety pins (can also use to puncture blister) , 3 alcohol wipes, a 3oz tournquet, 1oz antibiotic cream, several antihistamine pills, 1sheet second skin, 2ft of tape, 5 band aides, Benadryl stick. Vaseline., tiny scissors, 5 aspirins.
 

Perambulating Griffin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
One thing which I don't think has been mentioned is anti-histamine cream. Now you do not need a full tube, that is only taking space and adding weight. Get a very small zip lock bag, like the one spare buttons come in, put about 5 gram of anti histamine cream into it, roll it, seal it, write a label and sellotape it on. Then if you get a sting you just pierce it with a pin or needle and a little bit emerges, enough for the job.
Good reminder!!
I like to pick that up in Spain, because what they sell there is far more effective than anything I can get in N. America.
For those allergic to bed-bug bites — citerizine (reactine) is a must. I always take a sheet of tablets with me.
Benadryl Stick too if one would prefer to be very local in application of anti-histamine for bites/stings…
And I do count this particular set of things as “first aid” because it’s the severe itching that leaves people vulnerable to infections in bites, rather than the bed-bug bites per se, that are a danger.
Oh to be among those who are regularly bitten and never even know….
 
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Jodean

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 CF, 17.04.-26.05.22 CF
15.04-31.05.23 CF
Mine is small. A few ibuprofen, some pills for my IBS in case I eat things I shouldn't, a couple of bandaids, 4 migraine pills, several cold pills for stuffed head at night, (I had 2 colds this past spring) tiny tube of antibiotic cream, and usually buy some Volteren pills when I get there.
 

Wandershot

CarolG
Time of past OR future Camino
2014 Camino Frances: Burgos to Santiago
I hope that you bring enough for a full course of treatment (5-14 days) since misuse of antibiotics can lead to drug resistant bacteria taking hold.
Yes, although the intestinal distress drugs tend to be just 3-4 pills
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021/22 Francés
2022 Inglés
2022 San Sal+Primitivo
I've only ever carried one or two plasters/bandaids in my wallet and if I need more there'll be somewhere in the next town. For anything more immediate and worse every other pilgrim seems to carry the stuff you need.
One suggestion though if you are from the UK is to bring co-codamol. It's prescription-only everywhere else in the world it seems.

Edited to point out you should be trying other legal pain-killers first.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Camino Mermaid 🧜🏻‍♀️
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016, 2019. LePuy 2019, CF February 2023
I always like to prepare a small "blister/1st aid baggie", should I start getting hotspots, need a dose of electrolytes, prep a scrape with an alcohol wipe, polysporin, etc. Nothing too crazy, just some essentials.

I've also taken to tossing in a few extra bandaids and tape for any unprepared pilgrims I come across who may need a little tlc.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2013
2014
2015
For all of you veterans of the way, I want to bring along my own first aid kit. I understand I can replenish along the way but I want to have one with me for the start. What do you recommend being in it?
I tend to have a lot of problems with blisters so I bring:
**moleskin to protect hot spots (don’t use on blisters) and white 1/2 in medical tape to secure it in place (esp on toes). Small but decent metal scissors to cut the moleskin.
**if i develop blisters, I have corn pads that make a raised/protective area around the blister then tape (or bandaid then tape) to secure in place, esp if on the toes.
** if open blister, I apply a really good stretchy, nonstick bandaid then tape to reinforce (esp if on the toe).
My medicines are pretty broad but also I am of an age that I get achy, esp at night:
1. Ibuprofen or aleve
2. tylenol ( can also be added to #1, if needed)
3. Imodium
4. Anti nausea medicine
5. A few days of (leftover) antibiotics in case needed
6. A few sleeping pills, in case needed. For most people over the counter benadryl can be substituted
7. Routine prescription meds and vitamins
 
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joseywales

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino francés (from SJPP): 2015
One man I met worse nylon socks under his merino socks and never had a blister - I am going to try that next time!
In books I have read re: hiking long distance they advise wearing a liner under socks. I did that and I only had one blister on the Camino...that was due to a full day of moderate to heavy rain so not sure much can prevent a blister in that case.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I have found this product in my local pharmacy that I hadn't seen before. It might work well as a compromise between paper tape and retention dressing (e.g. Omnifix) to protect blister-prone areas. It is not quite as soft as Omnifix, but is more flexible than paper tape and has the convenient 1-inch tape format.
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Tigger

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
TBA
Also vaseline
I smother my feet in it every morning and lunchtime
I think this helps prevent blisters
There are fancier lotions for your feet but a tub of vaseline works well
Defo lots of ibuprofen if you use it, can be expensive
Plasters, kt tape, needle and thread, antiseptic hand gel, wipes are in my pack also x
I am new here. I'm not a Camino veteran yet, but I am a military veteran with many miles in boots. Lots of great first aid suggestions. Rather than Vaseline and similar products to improve toe movement may I suggest Vicks. It is the same consistency with menthol which prevents the growth of fungus on feet and toe nails.

Also, womens sanitary pads work great in the boot 🥾 if you get a blister on the bottom of your foot or toe. They are clean, light weight, and absorbent to start the healing process while walking. I have packed both of these items for my Camino. 🙂
 

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