What you take in a first aid kit when travelling to remote areas depends on the country you’re travelling to, the length of your trip and what kind of trip you’re going on.
Make sure you plan your first aid kit well in advance. Lots of items, like medications or certain bandaging material, might not be available in the country you’re travelling to. It could be that some medications are available but have expired or are fake. I suggest you take whatever you might need with you; you can always stock up while on the road if necessary.
Choose medications of which you know you tolerate well. When stocking your first aid kit with medications and material you still have at home, check the expiry date; it should be after the end of your trip. Keep in mind that expiry dates for open creams and ointments or liquid medications shorten their life span, read the instructions carefully. Another thing to keep in mind is that certain medications must be stored within a certain temperature range. If you travel in a four-wheel-drive, keep in mind, that temperature can quickly climb above 40°C inside the vehicle. In that case, you will need a stable and insulated box for those medications.
Don’t forget that if you are on any prescribed medications that must be taken at specific intervals or times, that time difference plays an important role. This is particularly important for the birth-control pill. And if you have to reply on injections, you must inform the airline in advance and carry a prescription from your doctor with you at all times (take several copies of the prescription with you).
If you are travelling through hot or humid areas, your body is under exceptional stress, especially for its immune system, its cardiovascular system, skin and mucous membranes, leaving you tired, exhausted and drained. Any infections could make this worse (and you might be more prone to any infection already). Know what kind of bacterial infections you could come across, how you can prevent them and to manage them in the case of. Keep in mind that finding a good doctor or other reliable medical healthcare professional might be challenge in remote areas of Africa, Asia or South America, making a sound first aid knowledge mandatory before setting off to such areas.
Sterile needles and syringes as well as an infusion set should also be part of your first aid kit if you are going on an adventure trip. Don’t forget about water, either and how you can get that germ free. Whether you use river-nitrate or filters, is up to you, at least to a degree.
Matthew and Megan, two South African medical doctor, travelled through South and Northern America on their motorbikes. Their blog is a fascinating read for anyone who is travel sick for adventures but it’s their advice on what to pack in your first aid kit that really got me. Having done a motorbike trip though southern Africa myself, I know how important the correct equipment and just the right amount for the limited space you have is.
Read the full article and who to out in your first aid kit for an adventure trip HERE.
And don’t forget, a first aid kit is just one step in your preparation for an adventure trip, you need to be trained in first aid and life saving skills to be able to use some of the equipment and material in your kit. Our partner HEALTHY AND SAFE AWAY FROM HOME offers a large variety of first aid training in English, including the option to book them privately for a customised training.
Are you looking for a water filter? Check out our partner FAMILYSAFETY’S WEBSHOP.
If you are looking for a medical doctor specialised in tropical medicine to give you the correct advice on how you are best prepared for your trip, here’s a list of specialist in travel and tropical medicine in the Zurich area we can recommend:
- Dr. med. Bernhard Beck
- Travel Clinic
- Tropeninstitut Zentrum für Reisemedizin der Universität Zürich
- Dr. Akert in Wädenswil