First Aid Kit

General Guidelines

  • How many people is the kit for?
  • How long will the trip be?
  • Any activities with unique risks planned?
  • How remote will you be - how far from doctors and pharmacies?
  • Will there be kids on the trip? Take forms of medications appropriate for kids.
  • Any heart disease, diabetes, etc.?
  • Going to a hot environment? Take forms appropriate for heat - capsules and suppositories melt.

Basic Kit:

Analgesics, antipyretics(anti-fever), anti-inflammatory: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin. Skin stuff: Band-Aids (1x3, extra large), antibiotic ointment, Lotrimin for skin fungus. Gauze, non-stick bandages. Tape.
Moleskin for blisters, especially if you are planning on hiking!
GI: antacids (milk-of-magnesia serves for acid or constipation), laxatives (constipation is the most common health problem in travel!), immodium for diarrhea. Antibiotic appropriate for diarrhea.
Eye/Ear: simple eyewash for dust, irritated eyes. "Tobrex" eye drops for either eye infection or in the ear for "swimmers' ear" infection (characterized by pain when you tug on the earlobe).
Antihistamines: diphenhydramine ("Benadryl") for allergies, itchy rash, nausea, or as a sleep aid. "Claritin" - a good long-acting drug for respiratory allergies or hives.
Tools: splinter forceps, 3" ace wrap, scissors.

For More Extensive Trips, Larger Groups

Ask your physician for advice and assistance in preparing this kit.

Skin: steristrips, antibiotics for skin infection ("Duricef" or similar), mid-potency steroid cream such as "Cutivate".
GI: "Tigan" or "Compazine" suppositories for nausea and vomiting, metronidazole for presumed giardia (yellow frothy diarrhea not improved by antibiotics).
Narcotic analgesics: "Vicodin" - a codeine derivative good for pain or cough suppression.
Respiratory: Asthma inhaler such as "Proventil"/"Ventolin" for asthma, asthmatic bronchitis, or exercise-induced asthma.
Female health: Treatment for vaginal yeast infections ("Diflucan" 150mg tablets - 1 tablet = treatment).
Miscellaneous: Diazepam - "Valium" - useful for muscle spasm, anxiety, or a sleep aid.
The above does not include personal first aid items such as personal medications for illnesses or prevention. Consider odd items like an eyeglass repair kit, temporary dental filling kit, etc.

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