Hey kid, want a free travel first-aid kit?
It was just after my Great US Road Trip when I received an email asking if I’d like to review a traveler first-aid kit.
This isn’t a terribly unusual thing. When you blog long enough, people start to offer you free shit all of the time.
Sometimes, it’s a weird diet supplement or some sporting memorabilia that has only the most tangential relevance to what I write about.
In this case, a travel first-aid kit was something I was willing to give a go.
There was only one problem…
I never pack a travel first-aid kit
I’m not unbreakable or anything. Far from it.
I spent two hours the other night limping around like a polio sufferer because I had the world’s tiniest splinter in my foot.
Like most men, I’m an absolute fucking sook when I’m hurt or ill.
Thankfully (touch wood), it doesn’t happen often. Aside from a few twisted ankles and cuts, the worst that’s happened to me in my travels has been two melodramatic cases of nasty food-poisoning worsened by my location at the time.
Oh, and the time I fell off a boat and broke my arm in Indonesia.
But you don’t want to read about my body’s predilection for turning solids into fiery, foul-smelling liquids or my inability to stay on a boat.
So, why would a fragile flower such as myself not pack a first-aid kit when he travels?
It’s pretty simple, really: I’m a lazy idiot.
When it came time to pack for my current trip to Asia, I was more worried about cramming in as many books, electronics, Crunchies, tins of Milo, and pairs of shoes as I could into my bags.
Condoms too. Chinese condoms are like wearing too-tight tank-tops on your tackle. No thanks.
It’s some indication of how little I value my own well-being that I very nearly didn’t even pack my free travel first-aid kit.
Not because I didn’t think it was of value, but because short-term desires like “More chocolate” and “More things to read” tend to trump things like “Don’t die bleeding after tumbling from a poorly constructed staircase in a Chinese national park”.
I’d been sent two first-aid kits to review. One, big enough that it would have needed a pack of its own, had to stay behind and I’ll review it some other time. The other, a more travel-friendly size, came along for the ride.
Enough already, review the damned first aid kit!
Okay, okay! I’m getting there!
Cracking open this first-aid kit shows all of the usual essentials.
There are bandages and band-aids, safety pins, splinter probes & tweezers, adhesive tape, gauzes, and other such essentials that you hope you have but never need.
Had I started this review a few days earlier, I’d have been able to overcome the Great Splinter Incident of 2016 with much less pitiful mewling.
First-aid kits really aren’t about saving lives so much as alleviating pain and/or temporarily delaying death until more qualified hands can arrive – so there’s no defibrillator pads, epi pens, or miracle cures in here. What there is, is a handy little first-aid booklet covering the most common travel ailments as well as a CPR card and resuscitation mask.
Hopefully, nobody’s life is ever in my hands – as I’ve made a big enough mess of my own – but it’s a comfort knowing that they’re there should I need them.
In fact, while hiking the Kumano Kodo in November 2017, the band-aids, adhesive tape, and compression bandages in this kit came in super-handy in making sure Adventures Around Asia was able to complete the trek after she sprained her ankle.
What does it include?
The full kit I was sent includes the following:
- 2 x heavy crepe bandages
- 1 x instant ice pack
- 1 x Ticked Off tick removal spoon
- 1 x 50ml antiseptic spray
- 1 x sewing kit
- 1 x Multi-Tool (compass/watch/torch)
- 50 x adhesive dressings
- 4 x antiseptic wipes
- 1 x bandage shears
- 1 x CPR card
- 1 x Emergency blanket
- 2 x eye pads
- 1 x fever scan strip
- 1 x First Aid booklet
- 5 x Hydro gel
- 1 x Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- 2 x nitrile gloves
- 1 x CPR mask
- 3 x non-adherent wound dressings
- 1 x large non-adherent wound dressing
- 3 x plastic bags
- 1 x pressure bandage
- 1 x smart bandage
- 1 x resuscitation kit including mask, gloves, and antiseptic wipe
- 6 x safety pins
- 4 x saline
- 1 x splinter probe
- 1 x triangular bandage
- 1 x tweezers
- 1 x wound closure
- 1 x wound dressings
As you can see, it’s pretty bloody exhaustive, and it’s larger for the fact.
I kind of wish I’d brought the larger kit if only for the electrolyte supplement included, since my most common ailment abroad is being unable to keep food in my stomach.
I guess I can content myself with the old-faithfuls of Eastern medicine: tiger penis, ground rhino horn, and piping hot water.
Is it worth it?
First-aid kits, especially for travel, need to be comprehensive while also being easy to pack, and this one fits the bill on both counts. It’s no bigger than a thick Lonely Planet guidebook but crams in all of the absolute essentials.
With an RRP of $164.95, it might seem a bit steep, but this link has it for a more affordable $109.95.
Is that worth your money? I guess that’s up to you. Mine was free and I can certainly see the value in having it, even if I’ve never owned a first-aid kit before.
Do you take a first-aid kit with you when you travel?
Featured image courtesy of DLG Images.