Packing your First-Aid Kit
For most of our overseas treks a small, personal first-aid kit is an essential item. Here, we explain why this is the case, and what you need to put in yours.
Disclaimer: you are not expected to administer first-aid to anyone during your challenge. Your guides are fully trained and will be responsible for dealing with emergencies. Your first-aid kit is for personal use for minor cuts, scrapes, headaches etc.
This all said, it pays to be prepared for the minor issues that can occur during your challenge.
Your trekking days will be much more enjoyable if you can avoid blisters, or if you can keep altitude sickness at bay with some painkillers whilst you walk.
What to pack in your first-aid kit:
1. Blister plasters
Hopefully it's obvious why you'll need blister plasters for your trip. You've got several days of trekking ahead of you, and having feet full of blisters is a sure-fire way to ruin your week!
Be sure to check out our Walking Boots 101 post for tips on how to pick the right boots - and hopefully avoid blisters altogether!
2. Rehydration sachets
When you're at altitude and trekking all day, it's very easy to get dehydrated. You should be drinking several (at least 4-5) litres of water per day whilst trekking. If you do find yourself suffering from the affects of acute mountain sickness (AMS), you're probably dehydrated.
Rehydration sachets contain a powder which you mix with your water, which will help your body rehydrate faster. These really can be a miracle cure for that headache that's been plaguing you all day!
Antihistamines feature on this list for two reasons. Firstly, because they can help combat any of the affects of allergens which you may come into contact with during your trek (especially helpful if you are a hay fever sufferer!).
Secondly, one of the ways AMS sometimes plays with your body is to cause insomnia. Antihistamines can have the side effect of making you drowsy, so taking them can have the happy effect of helping you drift off to sleep when the altitude is keeping you awake.
Hopefully another relatively obvious entry to the list. With diarrhoea another potential symptom of the altitude, you do not want to get caught short whilst trekking - so better safe than sorry!
It's always a good idea to keep painkillers with you whilst you're travelling, just in case. You can use painkillers for any number of things whilst trekking - the effects of altitude, sore limbs, and minor injuries are all reasons you might need painkillers on your trek.
Again, a given. For any superficial cuts and scrapes you pick up on your route, you will want to over these over and allow your skin to heal, as well as protecting the wound from bacteria.
It's a good idea to have a wide range of sizes of plaster with you - just to be on the safe side!
7. Wet wipes
These are key. Wet wipes have far too many uses to list. Use them to wash yourself, clean your hands, wipe down your clothes or boots if they get muddy, clean up spillages - you name it, your wet wipes have it covered.
It's worth getting antibacterial wipes for this. You never know when you might need them!
8. Antibacterial hand gel
In a similar vein, antibacterial hand gel is another must for your first-aid kit. Keep at least one or two travel gels with you throughout the trip - you will use them a lot.
Use your hand gel for washing your hands after toilet stops, before meals, and anywhere in between. Remember - depending on your trip - you're going to have little to no access to running water to wash your hands with throughout the trek!
9. Sun cream & SPF lip balm
This is essential. You don't want to be caught out without sun cream or lip balm on your trek. Each of our treks is exposed to the elements - both the wind and sun, so you will need to protect yourself.
Don't leave home without these!
You're going to need to visit your GP ahead of your trek anyway - so it's a good idea to chat to them about what they recommend to bring with you, and see if there are any extra items not listed above that would be useful to you.
If you want to be particularly prepared, you could bring dressing or bandages, micropore tape, antiseptic skin cream, safety pins etc. - and remember you can always purchase travel first-aid kits pre-packed from lots of chemists and supermarkets!
As ever, if you have any questions about what you need to pack, just pop us an email!