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The Backstage Pass

Building a Travel First-Aid Kit for Your Fly Fishing Trip

June 01, 23


Click here to listen to a podcast version of this article!

Things go wrong; it’s a fact of life. And when you’re on the road, there’s not always a friendly neighbor drugstore to run into for basic medical supplies.

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Yellow Dog team members always carry basic first-aid equipment with us in the field. Here are some things we won’t travel without:

  • any prescription meds
  • malaria meds, if applicable
  • antibiotics (prescribed by a doctor)
  • over-the-counter meds
    • antidiarrheal
    • antihistamine
    • decongestant / cold relief medicine
    • pain or fever meds (acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
    • cough drops
    • motion sickness meds, if applicable
    • antibacterial cream
    • anti-fungal cream
    • hydrocortisone cream
  • suture kit
  • quick-clot sponge
  • blister kit
  • bandages (band-aids)
  • butterfly closures
  • gauze
  • ace bandage
  • antiseptic wipes and ointment
  • medical adhesive tape (can wind on itself to a smaller size)
  • scissors/tweezers
  • swabs
  • safety pins
  • sterile gloves, at least one pair
  • thermometer
  • electrolyte packets / tabs

If you prefer to buy a pre-made kit, Adventure Medical Kits offers a solid selection of varied medical kits designed to suit a designated amount of days and number of people.

It’s also worth bringing along water purification tablets or your favorite water purification system (we like the lightweight bottles from Grayl). Store your supplies in a waterproof bag (gallon zip-lock bags work great, as you can squeeze out excess air to save space, and it’s easy for airport officials to see what you’re carrying).

If you travel frequently, it’s worth taking a first-aid course to ensure you can make the most of whatever situation may arise. Take a few minutes to learn about the area where you’re going — saltwater can macerate and infect open wounds quickly, for example — and be familiar with how you yourself interact with certain medications. A bit of preparation can make all the difference in the field, and allow you to make the most out of any trip!

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