Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Trip Planning

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US Army First Aid Manual
Fundamental Criteria for First Aid
Basic Measures for First Aid
First Aid for Special Wounds
First Aid for Fractures
First Aid for Climatic Injuries
First Aid for Bites and Stings
First Aid in Toxic Environments
First Aid for Psychological Reactions
Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

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.

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