38 days remaining. No clever mathematical symbolism in that number (that I can work out), I’m afraid. As the clock counts down, real life is beginning to behave oddly at the edges, like the period just before the end of a dream, when you feel what you thought to be real coming to an end – giving way gently to a new feeling of the world. This is that. It’s getting stronger and stronger, and will consume me soon, I know. But in the remaining days, there are things that must be done. Plans that remain to be planned. A fundamental part of which is assembling a first aid kit.
After all, nobody ever died from a crappy camera.
What second-degree sunburn in Vietnam and sore feet in Mozambique should have taught me (and up until that point hadn’t) was that a well-stocked first-aid kit and knowledge of how to use it is important. In Vietnam, I had no first-aid kit. In Mozambique, it consisted of a box of sticking plasters and a gauze pad. It was only thanks to far better planning on Hawk’s part that I was able to fix my feet until we returned to a world of antibiotics and proper care.
This time will be different. I completed my level 1 first aid qualification a month and a bit ago. Now, my first aid kit has been assembled. While I guess this counts as a gear to take with post, I would urge other would-be travelers to pay far more attention to this than to camera models and netbooks. After all, nobody ever died from a crappy camera.
Contained in a small, green canvas bag-type thing, the first aid kit for this trip – and the first proper one I have possibly ever carried – holds the following:
- Bandages (50 & 60mm)
- #2 First Aid Dressing
- #3 First Aid Dressing
- Non-allergenic paper tape
- Waterproof plasters
- Fabric plasters of various sorts
- Roll of fabric plaster tape
- Dressing strip
- Triangular bandage
- Alcohol swabs
- Resuscitation aid
- Burn gel dressing
- Rescue blanket
- Gauze pads (7.5 x 7.5cm)
- Safety pins
- Cotton buds
- Povidone ointment
- Wound cleaner
- Rehydrat (Rehydration/electrolyte powder)
- Anthisan (antihistamine cream for treating skin reactions, bites and stings)
- Calamine lotion (for sunburn, rash soothing)
- Immodium (for treatment of diarrhoea)
- Panado (for headaches)
- BC 56 antiseptic cream (for burns, cuts and abrasions)
- Bactroban cream (slightly more hardcore antiseptic cream)
- Plastic splints
Packed all together and then momentarily opened up on the sofa in order to be photographalated, the whole kit looks a lot like this:
So there you go. While I may still get sunburned, hurt my feet or eat something disagreeable, I should be able to cope with it better than anything I’ve yet dealt with on my travels.