stocking your first aid kit, remember to take care of the
most important person--YOU. Any trip out of the country warrants
investigation of what vaccines are recommended. Don’t
forget about the recommended vaccines in our country, too!
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) can be contacted at 404-332-4559.
They provide you information regarding what vaccines you will
need in particular areas of the country. Here are just a few:
(Tetanus-Diphtheria) every 10 years.
Influenza, one dose annually, usually in the fall.
Hepatitis B, 3 doses.
Hepatitis A, 2 doses.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), if no records are available,
Varicella, 2 doses.
Meningococcal, one dose.
Rabies; if traveling to a rabies infected area, check with
the CDC or your healthcare provider regarding whether or
not you should be vaccinated.
illnesses worth mentioning in foreign travel: Vaccinations
for Yellow fever or typhoid.
Family Health History
Be aware of your family’s health history
as well as your own. Examples include chronic medical conditions,
heart disease, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and recent
an emergency occur, it is very beneficial to have this information
available for the healthcare provider who is treating you,
especially if you need to be evacuated out of an area. No
one ever plans for an emergency situation. Know your family’s
medical history, as well as your own.
Know what medication you are taking including over-the-counter
medication, herbs, supplements and vitamins. Know the dosage
and frequency. Have it written down, preferably in two difference
places. Get prescriptions filled before traveling.
What are you allergic to, including medications, food, environmental
Chest x-ray findings are pertinent, recent labs available,
and most importantly, ECG readings which you can get on small,
wallet-sized cards, are very useful for healthcare providers
when traveling. This may sound like overkill. However, in
an emergency situation, it is an enormous timesaver for the
healthcare provider who has never met you and does not know
your health history.
Leaving for an Extended Trip
must is a second pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
phone numbers of family and healthcare providers available.
#1 cause of death amongst deer hunters and hikers are heart
attacks. Obtain the following:
Fasting cholesterol and triglycerides.
glucose and Hemoglobin A1C.
Blood pressure monitor.
Stop smoking before a trip if possible, especially if hiking
in high altitudes.
applicable, obtain a stress test. If you have a family history
of cardiac disease and any of the above risk factors, this
would be very beneficial, as it would tell you if you are
at higher risk.
is rarely thought of, but can result in enormous financial
savings in the long run. The cost for rescue insurance is
nominal, and in some states is as little as $12 per person,
per weekend. If, for example you travel to Grand Teton and
while hiking, fall and break your leg and need to be evacuated
out of the mountains. A helicopter evacuation alone is generally
over $1,000, not including the hospital bill. Most insurance
will not cover this. Please consider rescue insurance in the
form of a supplemental rider if going on an extended trip.
About Your Family
When your children reach their teenage years, you would like
them to tell you where they are going, with whom they are
going and what time they are expected back. Exercise the same
courtesy. Leave a detailed itinerary with your family, a friend
or neighbor. Your itinerary should include phone numbers,
airline flight information, etc.
Obtain all permits as required, campfire permits,
fishing, hunting, rafting, etc. Many areas do require permits
for boating and starting fires.
everything you can think of. Prepare for environmental extremes
in the area to which you are traveling, heat and cold, for
your first aid kit to meet the needs of all members in your
traveling party. Know the distance you will be from a healthcare
provider. Waterproof containers, Ziploc® bags are a must.
They have many uses, which will be discussed later.
possible build your own first aid kit, as it is much cheaper
than a pre-built kit.