Pack-And -Go First Aid Kit For The Gypset Traveler
Lin and I made an impromptu month long trip traveling the Pacific Northwest on a motorcycle recently. We have been back for a little over two weeks ago and I am still adjusting to traveling on 4 wheels again. HA! But seriously.
When I returned and while on the trek, I got a lot of questions about safety on the road. And health care?! Visiting so many different places and traveling everyday...people were wondering how I avoid getting sick? What happens if we do get sick? What happens if we have a fall on the bike or hiking in one of the cities we have visited?
So honestly we both just sorta fly by the seat of our pants and have never really traveled with too much of a first aid kit. You get such limited space on that motorcycle and I have always been the girl that would rather pack an extra jacket instead of medical supplies.
This month long trip made me realize that a first aid kit is an ESSENTIAL piece of equipment on this type of adventure.
We pushed ourselves almost everyday on long 7 to 9 hour rides...taking a beating from the panhandle wind, rough Oregon roads, stop and go traffic on The Pacific Coast Highway, and a ton of majorly complicated scenic routes with very dangerous elevation and curves where you have to engage every muscle in your body to keep completely still and relaxed. My body was so sore. My shoulders, my back, my inner thighs ached most nights.My ears hurt. The elevation made me feel nauseous sometimes and very depleted in energy. We also had a minor fall one day in Montana. It scared me half to death. Luckily my gear protected me but Lin's knee was scraped. I also fell hard on foot in San Fransisco. (Big surprise there...those hills are intense, especially while navigating a phone GPS) My knee was terribly injured....bleeding and raw. I didn't think I was going to be able to ride the next day. The wound was horrible. The thought of putting that knee in a knee pad for a ten hour trek literally made me cry. Lin also got ill with a cough and sore throat towards the end of the trip. Ohhh and let's not forget all the blisters from walking around everywhere---OUCH!
We spent so much time going to pharmacy's and stores for medicine, bandages, and so on....where had we just been prepared...this could have really prevented a lot of time and money wasted.
When I returned from the trip, I did a ton of research and now have a few trusty first aid kits...one in my car and one in our motorcycle pack. I also packed one for the house too that can easily be grabbed to throw in a hiking pack. I have a feeling it will evolve over time too but am happy with the progress!
Of course you can run out and purchase a commercially available emergency first aid kit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these packs at all; in fact they are excellent and in a pinch I would still recommend them to any gypset traveler. However, it's way more fun to build your own kit to reflect what you will use out on the road.
So what items should you include?
Here are my picks !!!
It goes without saying that these are an absolute essential in any first aid kit. The most common form of minor injury is a cut or scrape so it is always a good idea to carry a handful of bandages in a variety of sizes. (The pharmacy we went to in SF when I hurt my knee only had small bandages...well that wouldn't even cover my wound) The bandages will also be good for the blisters you encounter along the way.
Gauze is the medical jack-of-all-trades. I will never carry a first aid kit without a supply of gauze in it. It can be used to apply pressure to a wound, clean an injury, soak up blood, help stop bleeding, and even form part of a basic dressing for small-to-medium wounds.The best type of gauze to carry in a first aid kit is individually wrapped sterile squares. This eliminates the need to cut them to size when you need them quickly and obviously makes it easier to keep the wound clean and sterile. This was a miracle for my knee when I injured it in San Fran.
These come standard in any commercially available first aid kit (although you can buy them separately too) and are obviously useful for trimming gauze or bandages to size. Just be careful if you do carry scissors to ensure that your first aid kit goes in your checked bag when you are in transit or else airline security will take them off you if you plan on flying for your adventures.
Tweezers are another item that often come standard in most first aid kits and can be useful for pulling out splinters, getting out little bits of stone or dirt when cleaning a wound, or any number of other practical uses. These will come in so handy for removing ticks too on those forest hikes.
Don't overlook these babies because antiseptic wipes are an absolute essential in any good first aid kit. No one wants a cut or wound to get infected, and antiseptic wipes are perfect for cleaning it before applying a dressing.
Pain relief medication & allergy medication
A small pack of basic acetaminophen or any of the associated brand names is usually sufficient, but ibuprofen or other similar medications are fine too. It doesn’t have to be fancy — basically whatever you normally take for pain relief when you have a headache or minor pain. Allergy medication is essential too. You never know when you are going to experience an allergy attack in a different climate. Santa Fe gets me every single time.
It happens to all of us on our travels: we get bitten by some form of insect and end up with a painfully itchy bump or rash. Don’t worry, the absolute majority of the time the bumps and stings aren’t anything to worry about at all, but they are soooo annoying. This is why a good antihistamine cream is a useful addition to help control the itching and swelling.
It’s also a good idea to carry antibacterial creams like Neosporin for any cuts and scrapes you get. This will help heal them faster as well as prevent any possible infections.
I have also added two amazing produtcs to my first aid kit and am highly recommending you add them to yours!
The Epsom Salt Rub is a concentrated spot treatment gel uniquely formulated with Aloe Vera and essential oils to soothe muscle tension, aches and pains.Whether you’re suffering from overexertion or a demanding workout, PROcure’s new Epsom Salt Rub helps improve recovery by allowing you to apply the trusted remedy of Epsom Salt directly where it hurts most – without a bath. Rejuvenate and nourish those aches and pains away.
I so needed this on the month long trek....there were so many hotels that we stayed at where a bath was not available. This would have been perfect for those long rides and amazing for those long hikes.
FYI: The curative properties of Epsom Salt were discovered in the spa waters near Epsom, England in the 1600s. Magnesium assists the body in reducing inflammation and helping muscle and nerve function. Sulfates help to improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and improve blood flow. Together, they form a powerhouse knockout for sore muscles and body aches. And the Aloe plant has been used medicinally since ancient times as a multipurpose skin treatment. Known for its soothing effects, Aloe contains 9 of the 10 minerals essential for muscle health and recovery. Aloe also penetrates the skin 4x better than water alone, allowing the restorative powers of Epsom Salt to reach painful areas quicker.
I mean..talk about a bottle of healing magic!!!
Excited to use this after my intense indoor cycling classes too!!!! (and also why I added this to the blog's FITNESS category.)
The PROcure Bruise Remedy Gel is a unique topical gel that dramatically helps improve skin discoloration due to bruising and spider veins on the foot and ankle. A must-have for the first aid kit. Use this gem immediately after a bump or fall - even before a bruise appears. (I bruise so easily so this is a dream come true) Bruises are the result of blood from damaged cells collecting near the skin's surface that can take weeks to disappear PROcure’s new Bruise Remedy Gel, containing Arnica and MSM, dramatically improves the appearance of bruises in a fraction of the time! Rub a little in and encourage your body's natural healing power.
And the fact that we can also help spider veins too...OMG!!!!!
I just cannot stop raving about PROcure. They believe that natural healing is better healing. Their line of First Aid products brings together the wonders of nature and the wisdom of science. They've combed the world over to find the best botanicals that complement proven ingredients from modern medicine. There’s centuries of knowledge inside every box.
I just love that First Aid products do not need (and shouldn't necessarily be) all of the harsh chemicals that have been prevalent in products thus far. PROcure is a brand that can be trusted because the products are safe (guilt-free ingredients) and will actually work (fast-acting, feel good, work well).
The price points are fantastic too!! And you can grab them at Walmart in the First Aide Aisle, or online at Amazon. And because I love you all...I am sharing a $2 off coupon......
Check it out here.
Now you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind and be safe in the knowledge that you are prepared!!!!!
I am feeling like such an adult over here!!!
What are your must haves in your first-aid kits?!!!!