Expedition health and safety
First aid kit for overseas travel
First aid kit for the outdoors (in the UK)

Expedition health and safety

Having bad health when abroad or on an adventure holiday, and especially in a developing world country, can ruin the entire experience. Here is some travel health advice and some top tips to keep you in good shape.

Pre-expedition
– walk, run, swim, bike – build up and maintain a fair standard of fitness. Take care not to over do it though; train but don’t strain. You should aim to be able to walk for up to 7 hours in one day while carrying your back pack.

On expedition – health
Eat sensibly, drink lots of fluids and take care that what you drink is always pure. Never share water bottles, cutlery or cups. Use sun screen and cover up when trekking.

Travel Injections
Consult your GP at least 14 weeks before travel. Typhoid and hepatitis A are usually recommended to travellers to the developing world. You should also check to ensure that your tetanus, polio and diphtheria boosters are up to date. Other vaccinations such as yellow fever, rabies, and meningitis or Japanese B encephalitis may also be required: check with your GP. It is your responsibility to organise your inoculations. Last of all, when you go to seek advice from your GP, it may be helpful to them to take your itinerary with you.

If you’re travelling to high altitude and Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a risk you should also discuss with your GP the merits of taking with you some Diamox (acetozolamide) as a prophylactic. Beware – not all doctors are aware of how Diamox can be of help in this sense – you may need to kindly ask that they research this option further.

On expedition – security
Don’t look like a rich tourist – dress down – especially when entering unknown urban areas – watch your possessions like a hawk – leave jewellery at home – and use a cheap watch. Keep your money in different locations about your body. Don’t stop to dig through your back pack right in the middle of a public place.

For more detailed information see:

Suggested First Aid Kits

Individual first aid kit for travel overseas

1 x protective gloves
1 x sunscreen
1 x insect repellent
1 x antiseptic cream
2 x sterile dressings
1 x crepe bandage
1 x eye patch
10 x plasters
1 x roll of zinc oxide tape
1 x packet second skin / moleskin
1 x blister kit – eg Compede
1 x triangular bandage
2 x safety pins (nappy ones)
4 x pieces of Melolin
1 x packet of aspirin
1 x packet of ibuprofen
1 x packet of paracetomol
1 x packet throat lozenges
1 x packet Imodium (or equivalent)
1 x packet oral rehydration salts (12 sachets)
4 x Dumbel sutures (steri-strips)
1 x tweezers
1 x needle

Sufficient personal medication – e.g. Ventolin inhaler

Individual first aid kit for day walks in the UK

A key difference here is that exposure to the environment can be the most dangerous factor affecting your health and safety. Also it is presumed here that you will be in a remote environment away from shelter. Note: this is not a leader kit (who would be expected to carry more items than this). First aid training is also advised for anyone that enjoys time in the outdoors.

1 x half roll mat
1 x bivi bag / group shelter
2m of Gaffa tape rolled around a water bottle
1 x mobile phone (kept inside a plastic wallet)
1 x protective gloves
2 x sterile dressings
2 x packs of steri-strips
1 x crepe bandage
1 x sam splint (a sit mat will do a good job too)
10 x plasters
1 x roll of zinc oxide tape
1 x packet second skin / moleskin
1 x blister kit – eg Compede
3 x triangular bandages
1 x packet of ibuprofen
4 x aspirin tablets
1 x packet of paracetomol
1 x pencil and paper
1 x tweezers
1 x scissors
1 x casualty card

It is cheapest to buy these as individual items from the chemists / pharmacy and seal safely in a plastic lunch box. A few online suppliers worth looking at are listed below:

If you don’t think you would know how to deal with an emergency incident whilst out on the hill then maybe this is the time to book one of our outdoor first aid courses.