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OUCH!!! That Hurt - A Lot!!!

First-aid kits: To be ignored or not to be ignored. That is the question.

Know Safety... No Inury, No Safety... Know Injury Photo by hilarywh

Know Safety... No Inury, No Safety... Know Injury Photo by hilarywh

Welcome to the Travel Unravelled Q&A Series. To find the rules of the game, please check the link to your left or the revised General Talk thread.

None of us expect to be injured while on our adventures. But, I can attest to the fact they happen.

Though this question was quite a simple one, I was surprised at the lack of responses considering how many members actually do travel. Injuries, from cuts and scraps to broken bones do happen to even the most cautious among us. Maybe it's just me or that my former employment encompassed several years in the medical field. None of us expect to be injured while on our adventures. But, I can attest to the fact they happen. (Think being hit in the chin by a dive boat's ladder, tossed a good 10 feet out as a 5 foot swell hit and trying to clear my head enough to find the boat for my ride back to the shore. Then, there's always the torn facial artery from a rafting accident going over a set of falls - person in front of me hit me with the back of her head. Walked around aimlessly for several hours after being knocked 'senseless'. We both blame the waterfalls.)

HK - Salt bath Photo by Sam I Am

HK - Salt bath Photo by Sam I Am

Anyway, many of us wear our scars as 'war wounds' of our experiences - but are first aid kits not something we should consider as an essential no matter how we travel? So, I asked the following:


What is in your medical/first-aid kit? Well, first of all, do you carry a first-aid kit? If so, what's in it? Are there some uncommon items that have proven useful?

Rebecca Branshaw (bex76)

I'm quite slack when it comes to taking a first- aid kit. I always take plasters and normally some loperamide/immodium (depending on where I'm travelling to) but that's about it. I might consider taking some antibiotics with me, again depending on where I'm going.


What's in my first aid kit are basic medicines for basic and common ailments like headache, colds, cough, hyperacidity, and gastrointestinal ailments. If I have other ailments or other health concerns, I bring medicines for them, too. I also bring with me alcohol, band aid/bandage, cotton swabs, and other stuff that could help heal or relieve minor wounds.

Nikki Leigh (Rraven)

We always bring a basic first aid kit, mostly a walking/hikers one...

We always bring a basic first aid kit, mostly a walking/hikers one - so plasters, cooling gels, bandages etc because we're 'walking' disasters (sorry for the pun ) with our feet. Other then that, its just the usual headache/fever tablets and anti bite creams, nothing too special and most of the time the only thing used is the antibite creams - mosquitos can be pesky.

Allen Parker (allenparker)

Your first aid kit should be accessible and portable. I used to carry the below said items:
- Bandages/band-aids of different sizes
- Gauze
- Small roll of tape, enough to tape a skinned knee and a little more
- Small tube of antibacterial gel
- Antifungal cream
- Insect repellent
- Thermometer
- Antiseptic

Abby D. (aboo10)

We have kids, so most importantly we carry children's paracetamol plus a syringe. Next up we carry antiseptic cream, band aids (preferably with pictures of Lightning McQueen or Dora) and bandages.

Because being sick parents is no fun at all, we also carry adult paracetamol, and usually something a bit stronger like Nurofen Plus (or Panadeine Forte) and Immodium (or similar).

Sunscreen, insect repellent and hand sanitizer, of course.


I have two two kits.

I have two two kits. One for tape, bandages, plasters of various sizes, ear plugs, seasickness bands, scissors. The 2nd for Imodium, dehydration powders, sea sickness tablets, headache tablets, thermometer, antihistamine cream for bites and Vaseline.
In addition, dependent on where I travel, Malarone for malaria, supplements, omega 3, glucosamine, vit D, insect repellent, and safe hands.

Gretchen L. Wilson-Kalav (Isadora)

Our kit contains some odd things since we dive and snorkel. We carry the basics of ibuprofen, band-aids, antiseptic scrub, antibiotic cream, antihistamines (capsules and cream), decongestants and the other wound/insect bite related items. I also take along anti-gas gel capsules, a small container of generic Metamucil/Benefiber (works for both constipation and diarrhea), a small ear wax removal solution kit (lost my hearing completely after a couple of dives once), tweezers, saline eye drops, an OTC 'pink eye' treatment (works well with styes or other inflammations of the eyelids), and a small container of aloe vera gel for sunburn. I take a small sewing kit too in case a button falls off or something is torn. But, I also look at it as a way to close a wound until medical help can be reached. (Don't recommend it to everyone but it's one of my precautionary items - surgical background.)

I also take my prescription medications and a copy of those prescriptions but, they go in my carry-on bag or my purse. Being my age and a diver, I get a doctor's letter of health if I plan to dive during my journeys. (Learned my lesson there... At 45, the dive center's consent form had several health questions. I answered honestly - should have lied. Took 2 days to get a letter of health faxed from my doc. I'm now 58 and don't leave home with out that letter if diving is involved. I do mark no to all the questions (bad me) but also hand the dive center my letter.)


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Posted by Isadora 11:26

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I like this question but I have to elaborate further on the question first. My first question to accurately answer this question or give my input is what type of traveling are you referring? Are we going to be backpacking through The Rocky Mountains? Or are we going on a family vacation? These questions are important to determine what type of first aid kit should you bring and what is it designed for. Your first aid kit should mirror the vacation and its contents should vary. First, what type of injuries could be sustained? Let’s take the backpacking example. In addition to general first aid, you need to think about trauma and/or mobility injuries.
Most likely, the things I have used the most are the most common items…..
Antibacterial cream, antifungal cream, insect repellent, Antiseptic, and medicine to treat diarrhea or other stomach ailments ex Imodium, charcoal etc.
If you are going to Disney land with the kids… I would recommend medicine for your stomachs, allergies etc. Any medicine you take that is prescription and just common everyday stuff like what is mentioned above. Chances are unless you are backpacking you will have access to most common medical supplies.
Just make sure you review each situation and vacation and pack accordingly. Be prepared and be safe.

by AdamURE

I broke an ankle in Thailand. I have fallen on simple trails in Switzerland where I should have never fallen. I even tripped on steps and slide on the pavement in front of the Pompidou center and split my palm open. It doesn't always happen on adventurous backpacker explorations. I agree with you. It's best to be prepared. But I never seem to be.

by littlesam1

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