Here we briefly talk about first aid kits. We recommend anybody surfing should take a First Aid or First Responder course - Real First Aid are an excellent company that can cater first aid courses towards remote environment sports such as surfing. 


Finding a first aid kit specific to surfing is either pretty tricky or pretty expensive. Below we have put together a list of what we have in our club kit for group trips and surfs, and what we think should go in your personal kit. These are by no means exhaustive, and there is always the balance of preparing for as many situations as possible vs carrying and buying all that stuff (which you will hopefully never use).


Club first aid kit


At a bare minimum we bring Tuff Cut trauma shears and a trauma dressing (Israeli bandage). Trauma shears have a blunt end to cut through wetsuits without harming skin, and trauma bandages are wide and elasticated enough to support joint injuries as well as keeping pressure on wounds.

Extra touch.

Some useful extras - disposable lighter, head torch, plastic bags, super glue, glucose tabs, antihistamines & painkillers. These are all pretty good things to have around outside of first aid, and as a result often go missing - so it's usually sensible to have spares squirreled away.


Compact 99 piece.

We bring a compact standard first aid kit because it's easy and cheap to replace, and most people are familiar with what is inside.  For a smaller version scroll down for advice on how to minimallise the standard first aid kit.  


for bleeding.

We have a waterproof bag containing cling film and gauze. Cling film is an excellent bandage to use, just put some non-adhesive gauze over the wound and wrap with cling film. Now you can keep the wound fairly clean and keep an eye on bleeding. 

For exposure.

We have a waterproof bag containing survival bags (tin foil sleeping bags) and 20 hour charcoal warmers. This is for people who have gotten a bit too chilly - bung them in a bag, wrap the warmers in a sock and throw them in too and find some shelter. 



For a cheap compact group kit, you want to prepare for the major stuff - serious bleeds and joint injuries. Although bringing something for every eventuality is best on paper, it's a cumbersome task to source and bring a field hospital with you, so focus on the cheap, practical things that will make the difference. 

Accident/Casualty Cards • Antiseptic Wipes • Cling Film • Conforming Bandages • Gloves
Non Adherent Dressings • Tuff Cut Trauma Shears • Triangular Bandages • Wound Dressings • Zinc Oxide Tape


Personal first aid kit

This is the practical downsize of a full first aid kit, and tailored to one person use in a remote(ish) environment. This list is made to cover as much as possible using as little as possible. 

Accident/Casualty Cards • Antiseptic Solution 25 ml x 4 • Assorted Adherent Dressings (Plasters) • Burns Dressing 10 x 10 cm
Cleaning Wipes • Cohesive Bandage > 6cm • Duck Tape (because what can you not do with duck tape?) • Gauze Swabs 5 x 5 cm x 5
Gloves • Inodine (iodine dressing) 10 x 10 cm x 2 • Light Stick • Needle & Syringe ( 18g Pink and 20 ml ) for wound irrigation
Non Adherent Dressing 5 x 5 cm x 5, 10 x 10 cm x 5 • Nurses Scissors • Saline Solution 25 ml x 2
Steri-strips 6 mm x 2 packets, 3 mm x 2 packets, Surgical Blade (#20) • Tegaderm 2 (Clingfilm) • Tincture of Benzoin • Transpore Tape
Triangular Bandage • Tuff Cut Trauma Shears  • Tweezers • Waterproof Pen • Trauma Dressing • Zinc Oxide Tape

Here we have used some brand names, simply because they offer the most compact option, but if you're not concerned about space and weight you can generalise. 



Waterproof/sandproof containers are essentially a necessity at the beach. Roll top bags or dry bags are pretty waterproof and portable. Otter boxes and pelicases are the gold standard but also cost just under their weight in gold, so it's personal choice on what you and your bank think will work for you. Aloksaks are a nice alternative and are the super durable and waterproof version of resealable lunch bags (also tried and tested at keeping sand out of your sandwiches btw). 


Other than calling 999 and updating insta your phone can actually be pretty useful. 

Firstly... keep it on

Obvious? Not so much, people often turn their phone off to save battery in an emergency but this is the worst thing you can do. When your phone is off you can't be contacted and you can't be found

If you're worried about battery life turn down the brightness, turn off vibrate, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data Roaming, voice control.

texting 999

Calling 999 can only be done if you have enough signal. When your phone says SOS only, it has enough signal to call the emergency services - this often means your service provider will drop other calls to enable emergency communication. But even SOS signal has it's limits, and in this case you can text 999. To use the EmergencySMS service you have to register - simply text "register" to 999 and follow the instructions. When you report an emergency you should text three things which service you want, what has happened and where you are. You will then get a reply asking you more questions and confirming if help is on the way.