First Aid Kits for Travel

1
First Aid Kits for Travel to the City

Rod Brouhard

When traveling in civilization, think about the types of injuries that occur at home on a regular basis. Small cuts and scrapes, sunburns and windburns, chapped lips, and blisters on the feet from walking are all exacerbated from being on vacation. While the basic needs of first aid - adhesive bandages and antibiotic ointment - are readily available in most hotel gift shops or even at the concierge desk, who wants to pay $2.50 for a single bandage?

Pack the very essentials for a weekend in the city or a corporate conference:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip salve
  • Antiseptic hand wipes or soap
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine for nausea
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief
  • Diphenhydramine or fexofenadine for allergies
  • Moist towellettes for cleaning hands when restrooms aren't available

2
First Aid Kits for Travel to Remote Areas

Homemade first aid kit
This well-traveled kit lived in a backpack. Mat Honan

Moving out of Metropolis into more bucolic settings (or other countries) leads to complications when trying to access emergency services. Whenever medical help may not be easily summoned, the need to carry the essentials is even more essential. Be sure to know how to call for emergency services in any country you visit. More items need to be added.

The essentials:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip salve
  • Antiseptic hand wipes or soap
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine for nausea
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief
  • Diphenhydramine or fexofenadine for allergies
  • Moist towelettes for cleaning hands when restrooms aren't available

Added when leaving the country or visiting remote areas:

  • Compression bandage of at least 5x9 inches
  • Several 4x4 inch sterile bandages
  • Roller gauze bandage two inches wide
  • Roller gauze bandage four inches wide
  • Elastic bandage for support or swelling
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers for splinters
  • Scissors
  • Topical pain reliever
  • Chemical cold pack
  • Zipped closure freezer bags
  • Insect repellent

3
First Aid Kits for a Day Hike

Rod Brouhard

So, staying in a one-star in the suburbs of Bombay not remote enough for you? If you're tossing a pack on to visit Ayers Rock or following the ropes to the top of Half-Dome, it's time to step up the medical planning.

The essentials:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip salve
  • Antiseptic hand wipes or soap
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine for nausea
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief
  • Diphenhydramine or fexofenadine for allergies
  • Moist towelettes for cleaning hands when restrooms aren't available

Added when leaving the country or visiting remote areas:

  • Compression bandage of at least 5x9 inches
  • Several 4x4 inch sterile bandages
  • Roller gauze bandage two inches wide
  • Roller gauze bandage four inches wide
  • Elastic bandage for support or swelling
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers for splinters
  • Scissors
  • Topical pain reliever
  • Chemical cold pack
  • Zipped closure freezer bags
  • Insect repellent

Added for a day jaunt to the top of Half-Dome:

  • Trauma dressing at least 8 inches square
  • Adhesive tape, cloth, and plastic
  • Iodine and alcohol prep pads
  • Insect sting relief pads
  • Twelve ounces of water for every hour on the trail

4
First Aid Kits for Extreme Adventures

Rod Brouhard

When adventure and the great outdoors beckon, first aid takes a drastic turn. When help requires a day or two (or more) to find you, your pack should include some serious gear. Below is the list, amended for wilderness or a true extreme trek to the third-world country of your choice.

The essentials:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip salve
  • Antiseptic hand wipes or soap
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Diphenhydramine or fexofenadine for allergies
  • Moist towellettes for cleaning hands

Added when leaving the country or visiting remote areas:

  • Compression bandage of at least 5x9 inches
  • Several 4x4 inch sterile bandages
  • Roller gauze bandage two inches wide
  • Roller gauze bandage four inches wide
  • Elastic bandage for support or swelling
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers for splinters
  • Scissors
  • Topical pain reliever
  • Chemical cold pack
  • Zipped closure freezer bags
  • Insect repellent

Added for a day jaunt to the top of Half-Dome:

  • Trauma dressing at least 8 inches square
  • Adhesive tape, cloth and plastic
  • Iodine and alcohol prep pads
  • Insect sting relief pads
  • Twelve ounces of water for every hour on the trail

Added when hitting the outback or other wilderness area (some of this requires advanced planning and at least a little training):

  • Butterfly closures
  • Waterproof bandages
  • Epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen) for anaphylaxis
  • Dermal cover for cuts to prevent infection

Continue Reading