Trip planning should be geared to how long you are going
to be gone and where you are going. It is very important to
research the specific areas you are going, specifically if
you are leaving abroad. You need adequate supplies of your
personal medication you are taking as well as refills. Check
with your health care provider so that you can get refills
and carry them with you. Many medications in foreign countries
are substandard and you probably want to get your medication
from where you are.
A Medical Kit
Survive Outdoors has repeatedly stressed a good travelers
medical kit. A basic kit with wound dressings, bandages antibiotic
ointment, tapes and scissors. They have excellent over the
counter supplies for minor lacerations from new skin to steri-strips
that are helpful. Some basic over the counter medicines are
Imodium AD, Benadryl, antihistamines that will make your life
much more comfortable. If you have severe allergies to bee
stings, as well as food allergies or scorpion stings, an Epi
pen is invaluable to have with you. Pain medications such
as over the counter Tylenol and Ibuprofen are very helpful.
In severe pain, you can take two Advil and two Tylenol at
the same time. This is very safe and an effective pain relievers.
Rolaids, Mylanta and Tums are good over the counter antacids
that are helpful in relieving stomach upset. If one is concerned
about traveler’s diarrhea, Pepto Bismol as well as antibiotics
are good to take with you and will be very helpful in travelers
diarrhea. It is important to note that you do not want to
take your antibiotics with the Pepto Bismol and you want at
least a two to three hour span because the antibiotic will
have a decreased absorption rate with the Pepto Bismol. Over
the counter topical steroid creams are helpful for allergic
dermatitis and rashes. Water filtration systems are excellent.
Make sure you have one that will take care of viruses. There
are no viruses in the water in North America or Canada, however,
there are viruses in foreign countries. Some other basics
that are helpful such as skin protection is to use sunscreens,
a very good hat to avoid sun to the ears and back of the neck,
insect repellents with DEET. We do not recommend anything
with more than 30-35% DEET. Good over the counter permethrin
solutions are excellent to put on clothes to repel tick and
mosquitoes. Flashlights are necessary. The LED flashlights
are excellent and last a long time, where you will not have
to change the batteries. Some LED flashlights will burn for
30 consecutive days on one round of batteries. Extra fuel
sources are helpful, as well as candles and rope. A parachute
rope is a superb source of strong rope. You can get these
at the Army Navy Surplus Store. The tensile strength is approximately
550 pounds. Toiletries are often forgotten, such as toilet
paper. If you are flying abroad and going out of the country,
obviously travel documents are very important. Please see
the section on foreign travel on Survive Outdoors.
Passports - Make a copy of
your passport and keep a copy in the bottom of your backpack
or one in a safe place. Passports are often stolen. It is
nice to have a copy, although it will not be helpful in going
place to place. At least you can show that you had it. For
more information, please go to www.travel.state.gov/passport_services.html.
This provides help in applying for passports. Extra photographs
are very helpful. God forbid someone is lost or kidnapped.
It is good to have a photograph of everyone on your trip.
Personal health records, as well as any type of emergency
bracelet is helpful. Travel health insurance is very important
to have and in extremely cheap, especially if you are going
camping or doing any outdoor hiking in the west or in the
Rockies. They have rescue insurance also, which is extremely
minimal. To fly someone out of the Rockies is extremely expensive
and the medical care will be astronomical. With this type
of rescue or travel insurance, the small or minimal cost is
well worth it. Do not forget your telephone number of your
doctor in the United States or wherever you are traveling.
Traveler’s checks, credit cards, and cash is important.
Always keep some amount of cash in your sock or some other
safe hidden place for emergencies. These are only a few, but
not all of trip planning.
We strongly advise the International Travel Health Guide
by Stuart Rose, MD. This is an excellent guide and has helped
as a reference for the above topic. It is a valuable text
that is well worth the purchase.