A first aid kit is an essential part of any backpack and one should definitely be stashed away in the car in case you find yourself off-roading hundreds of miles from civilisation. The variety of pre-packed first aids kits available can be overwhelming and it is often a case of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ when the bargain you thought you’d picked up barely helps relieve your nettle sting and certainly would be of no use if you were to actually find yourself needing emergency treatment.
It can often be daunting to pack your own, especially if you have no experience or medical knowledge but it is reassuring to know that if you were to find yourself with a deep gash or a snake bite you have the right remedies and equipment to hand.
This guide aims to help you take what you need and give you the basic knowledge of how and when to use the contents.
The size of your first aid kit will depend on where you are planning to go and how likely you are to encounter difficulty. This guide aims to help you take what you need so you don’t find yourself in a nasty predicament.
- WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS/ LIFESTRAW
- HAND SANITIZER
- ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES
- WATERPROOF PLASTERS
- FOIL BLANKET
- EMERGENCY WHISTLE
- CLING FILM – for burns
- DIGITAL THERMOMETER
Even though you may plan your water supply meticulously, weather conditions may mean you find yourself stranded in a place longer than expected with no fresh water supply, life straws really can be a lifesaver. They filter water as you drink it helping to avoid you picking up any nasty infections. You can pick them up cheaply online or at http://lifestraw.com/products/lifestraw/.
A frequent cause for infection is improperly treated wounds; make sure you’re prepared with the following wound care necessities for cuts and sprains.
- ALCOHOL/ ANTI-SEPTIC SOLUTION
- STERILE GUAZE
- NON-STICKY ADHESIVE DRESSINGS
- TRIANGLE BANDAGE – useful as an arm sling
- SURGICAL TAPE
- DISPOSABLE GLOVES
- SAFETY PINS
Melolin have a variety of sizes of sterile dressings and can be found easily on www.amazon.com
No First Aid kit would be complete without some medication, this list should keep you out of trouble in most eventualities, or at least until you can get proper medical attention.
- PAINKILLERS (paracetamol/Tylenol/codeine)
- ANTI-INFLAMMATORY (ibuprofen/naproxen)
- ANTI-ACID (ranitidine/Pepcid/zantac)
- ANTI-HISTAMINE (chlorphenamine) – For rashes/ allergies
- EPIPEN/ ADRENALINE/EPINEPHRINE – In case of allergic reaction
- REHYDRATION SALTS – For traveller’s diarrhoea
- ANTI-FUNGAL CREAM- For athletes foot
- ANTIBIOTICS – Erythromycin/ Amoxicillin/ Ciprofloxacin (broad spectrum for most common infections)
- HYDROCORTISONE CREAM – Bites/rashes
- ANTI-MALARIALS – Doxycycline/malarone
- ALTITUDE SICKNESS MEDICATION – Diamox/acetazolamide
- TRAVEL SICKNESS TABLETS – Hyoscine/ ginger
- SUCTION EXTRACTOR – Snake bites
- STERILISED SYRINGES, NEEDLES, STITCHES AND SALINE (If trained to use them)