By Maggie LaCoste
Regardless of whether you rent or take your own bicycle overseas, you need to bring your own first aid kit. This is different from the emergency bike repair that I wrote about several months ago. This personal first aid kit should provide the basic medical supplies you may need on the road. There are many extras you can add to the list, but the following is what I take and all the items fit into a quart-size zip lock bag.
1. Assortment of band aids in all sizes, especially the larger sizes for elbows and knees. I usually take about 2 dozen assorted. Word to the wise: don’t try to save money on band aids, by the best ones you can, if possible, buy waterproof.
2. Several large gauze sterile pads, at least 3 x 3
3. A small roll of gauze tape to wrap over a wound
4. Roll of athletic tape
5. Antibiotic cream
6. Small tube of aloe vera gel
7. Small tube of hydrocortisone cream or other anti-itch cream
8. Disposable medical rubber gloves
9. Ace bandage
10. Small bottle of sterile solution for wound cleaning, or disposable sterile cloth
11. Disposable wet wipes or throw away small washcloth squares
12. Small sissors or pocket knife
13. Tylenol or Advil or other type of pain reliever
14. Small tube of non-petroleum jelly
15. A stop bleeding product like QuikClot
16. Instant cold compress like Arctic Ease Cryotherapy Pads or Icy Cold
If you’re in a rush and don’t want to take the time to put your own kit together, REI has a kit called “Backpacker Plus Extended First Aid Kit” which has most of the mentioned ingredients for $47.50, and it comes in its own carrying case.
If you have a favorite emergency kit supply that I didn’t mention, please send it along to me as it may be something that I want to add!