Whether I’m hiking in Montana’s backcountry, mountain biking in Iceland, or traveling via buses, trains or boats through Croatia, Ecuador or other parts of the world, I carry a very complete first-aid kit. Some may call my kit overkill but I know things can go wrong when you’re nowhere near a pharmacy, doctor’s office or emergency room. When I was mountain biking for a week in Colorado, a friend lost control on a downhill and lacerated her leg. (I patched her up until we could get her to a physician.) I’d been camping in the Alaskan wilderness when someone in my group mentioned that he was supposed to have the sutures in his arm removed sometime that week. (I easily removed them.) One night in Morocco, I got a knock on my hotel room door and found out that one of my travel partners had a stomach “bug.” (I riffled through my kit and provided her with something to ease her symptoms.) You’re probably wondering where I got my background in first-aid. (I took advanced first-aid, worked in emergency rooms and other hospital units, assisted doctors in their offices and have long also been a health and medical writer.) Here’s what I carry in my first-aid kit:

monster first aid 3
monster first aid 3 by jellyfish_barnacles
  • KytoStat — an ultra-specialized bandage to stop bleeding when you know simply holding a gauze pad won’t work, such as in someone
  • Bonine — to prevent motion sickness
  • Saline eyewash — to wash out debris from your eye
  • Aleve (naproxen) — for pain
  • Aspirin — in case of anything from fever to a heart attack
  • Gly-Oxide — an oral antiseptic cleanser for gum irritation
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Gauze pads and adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Nexcare flexible clear tape
  • ACE bandage — for sprains, strains, pulled muscle
  • Neosporin — topical triple antibiotic ointment
  • Cortizone 10 — stick topical cortisone for itching/rash
  • Safety pins, super glue and duct tape (rolled around a pencil or pen)
  • Oral Benadryl — antihistamine for allergies
  • Caladryl lotion — for itching/rashes
  • Maalox chewable tabs — antacid
  • Sudafed — oral decongestant
  • Afrin nasal spray — nasal decongestant
  • Pepto-Bismol — chewable tabs to prevent traveler’s diarrhea
  • Imodium AD — to treat diarrhea
  • Cipro — a prescription antibiotic for severe diarrhea
  • EpiPen — prescription in case someone has a severe, anaphylactic allergy reaction
  • Digital oral thermometer
  • Sawyer Controlled Release — DEET-based insect repellant
  • Blister kit, including moleskin, Spenco Second Skin, and Band-Aid blister bandages
  • Robitussin liquid gel — cough suppressant
  • Ricola throat lozenges
  • Tweezers
  • Anthelios with Mexoryl SX — UVA/UVB sunscreen
  • Temparin — temporary dental filling kit
  • Steripen — UV device to decontaminate water
  • Monistat cream — for women in case of a vaginal yeast infectio
  • Blistex lip ointment/balm

If I’m taking any prescription drugs, I bring these along as well as extra prescriptions from my doctor in case I lose the meds or need more when on the road. To be on the safe side, you may want to keep the meds in their original containers so you don’t have trouble with airport security.

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Native New Yorker, Jeanine Barone (http://www.jthetravelauthority) is a travel and food writer who writes for a multitude of publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Boston Globe and others. Because she also has a medical background, Jeanine always is prepared for whatever may happen on the road.
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