It stands to reason that the closer you are to civilization, the more basic your kit should be—why haul a five pound kit around if you can walk across the street to a pharmacy in your location of choice and buy what you need? By the same token, if you will be traveling off the beaten path, in remote areas of any country, in war zones, or in truly impoverished areas, you are going to need a pretty hefty kit to see you through whatever medical situations you may encounter.
Before you leave:
- Update all of your standard vaccinations
- Get a tetanus booster if needed
- Get your series of Hepatitis shots
- Get additional vaccinations (flu shot for example) if needed
- Renew your prescriptions and carry enough prescription meds to see you through your trip
- Only consider the heavy-duty vaccinations/treatments (ie: for malaria) if it is absolutely necessary
- For sunburn: high SPF suntan lotion and Noxzema to soothe the burn you will get from not using the suntan lotion.
- For intestinal upset: acidophilous tablets (helps restore the bacteria in your gut, can be found at Walmart and health food stores); try these for a day or two then switch to Imodium if needed. Tums is also useful to have on hand.
- For general pain such as headache, body ache, sprained ankle, backache, fever: Ibuprofen and Tylenol. If someone is having a heart attack, give them aspirin.
- For allergy and congestion: use Sudafed for congestion and Benadryl for allergies. If you have serious allergic reactions, bring along an Epi Pen
- For wound care: anti-septic wipes, alcohol wipes, bandaids, gauze pads, cloth tape, triple antibiotic ointment, Ace bandage, petroleum jelly, moleskin
- Tools: Surgical scissors, needle, thread, magnifying glass, flashlight, tweezers, Nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer, water purifyer
- Male/Female stuff: use condoms at all times—if you don’t you will either leave behind a kid or bring home a disease; both unpleasant thoughts. Monostat to treat yeast infections.
- Prescription meds: a good general antibiotic (and the knowledge to know when and when not to use it), a good general pain killer (ditto with the knowledge part), regionalized medicines such as an anti-malarial drug, deworming pills, etc.