View Full Version : Bodiaks' pharmacy....what do you carry?

2006-10-22, 21:18
Here's what I carry on any trip into the interior lasting 3 days or more. While I'm home, I very rarely get sick, and when I do, I tend not to take any medication unless I really need it. But out in the wilds, there are different considerations. One cannot afford to be incapacitated, especially if you're occasionaly a solo hiker like myself, so I think it's important to be able to take care of the symptoms of as many different types of injury or illness as is reaonably possible. Of course there's no "right" set of medications to bring.....for example, one consideration is location. I only hike in northern temperate climates, so obviously I don't need anti-malarial drugs. I keep an eye on the expiry dates, so I won't be stuck with ineffective medicine .
Of course with any well stocked first-aid kit, there's bound to be narcotics, and therefore the potential for abuse after a couple of days stormbound in the tent, but if you'rte susceptable to that sort of temptation, bring safe alternatives. I hear a good 12yr old scotch works in a pinch.............. Actually, the only time I drink is when I'm camping, and that's just a few of the little bottles they give you on airplanes (plastic ones). I prefer something a little lighter for sitting around the campfire:bandit:

2006-10-22, 22:01

That looks like a killer pill kit, I would ditch the ketorolac/toradol, there are better ANSAIDS available, the oral form of toradol only works when an adequate serum level is obtained with the injectable form first. Plain ol' Vit M (motrin) works for me. You can take the ibuprofen with the tylenol III's as they are metabolized in different locations (tylenol-liver, ibuprofen-kidney).
If that combo doesn't work you need to be launching a flare. If you can obtain diphenoxalate (lomotil) it works better than the loperamide, it is also a tiny pill and stores better than those capsules. As for an antibiotic, I would take ciprofloxin, it'll handle pneumonia if your are injured and stranded, it also works well on soft-tissue infections IE, deep severe cut or compound fracture.

2006-10-22, 22:57
Thanks for that info, I'll certainly take it under consideration. Wonder why Toradol is prescribed by dentists up here when they haven't injected any first? I haven't used it myself, the wife did though and wasn't terribly happy with it's effectiveness, maybe it's for the reason you stated

2006-10-22, 22:58
Morphine and T3's for simple "do all everyday cures" A couple rocks of decent cocaine for anything more serious. Umm ... for obvious reasons, this is not the kind of kit to support, endorse or otherwise try and rationalize to "granola hikers". Those that know, will agree. Those that disagree, probablly do so strongly. Thats fine too. I am sure some of the military folks may have actual experience. When SHTF, a burst of adrenaline, super human stamina and acute mental clarity could save your life.
Alternatively ... a couple T3's and mug of good scotch can sure make the hammock feel like silk sheets on a waterbed.
As bodiak so readily pointed out ... self regulation is everything.


woh. p.s. - almost forgot. There will never be a substitute for rolaids!! Gotta have'em. And besides they
are just too darn delicious.

2006-10-23, 00:13
Jeez.. now I'm feeling inadequate on the drugs.
I carry aspirin (plain old acetylsalicylic acid) - pain
Salt - diarrhea, sore throat
Baking soda - diarrhea, sore throat, upset stomach, tooth cleanser
Sugar - diarrhea
Cider vinegar - diarrhea, sore throat, upset stomach, sanitizer, fever, skin irritations (bites, cuts, rashes, burns, fungal, etc.)
Orange drink - diarrhea, fever
Allergy meds

2006-10-23, 07:35
Diarrhea relief (stoppers).
Diarrhea prevention (capsules containing Bifidobacterium Longum & Enterococcus Faecium).
Acetylsalicylic acid (fever releif).
Iboprophene (Muscle & joint problems and headace).
Paracetamol (Inflamation & to combine with above).
Acid releaf (stomac problems).

We very rarely use painkillers on hikes - In general pain is natures way of telling you something is wrong.
We carry it all in a little plastic box, that has seperate rooms for each type of medicine and we have marked each type very clearly. We only bring what could be needed not all the bottles. Then the bottles are VERY good for storing sugar, salt ect. that we are also bringing along.

Alcohol (ruhm, whisky ect.) we either buy something in a plastic bottle or we pour it into a nalgene bottle and discard the glas properly. Glas is heavy and can severly damage equipment if it breaks in the pack.

bird dog
2006-10-23, 07:49
My kit is closer to Rock's. I carry 8 Immodium's, 24 Tylenol Xtra Strength, 24 Vitamin I, and a tube of Neosporin. BD

2006-10-23, 08:42
Add a few aspirin, for blood thinning properties/stroke heart attack, for your self or another...? Also, how about an antihistamine for alergic reaction (Urticaria) or anyphalactic type issues...?

2006-10-23, 08:54
Bodiak, my guess on the Toradol thing (I haven't researched this) is it has adequate pharmacokinetics in the oral area when given in a by mouth form. Pharmakokinetics is a ten dollar word that means drug movement. Different drugs achieve different levels in different parts of the body. Septra achieves high drug levels in the kidney and bladder, hence it is used for infections in those areas. The mouth is very vascular, some areas where orthopedic pain originates are not, IE joint capsules. Sometime this is made worse by swelling which can compromise circulation. BD, unless you weigh way over 200# I would replace the 500mg tylenol with 325mg, tylenol is REALLY hard on your liver. If you need more pain relief than regular tylenol take OTC ibuprofen 2-200mg tabs in addition to the regular tylenol, alternate them every two hours, IE 2-325 tylenols at 12, 2-200mg ibuprofen at 2.

2006-10-23, 08:59
Iceman, you bring up a good point about anaphylaxis and antihistamines. If you have a full anaphylactic reaction, only epinephrine will save your life, the benadryl just helps with the aftermath. If you have a known insect-sting allergic reaction you should never be without both. What is scary is many people are walking around sensitized from prior stings and will have "the big one" with the next sting.

2006-10-23, 20:07
Add a few aspirin, for blood thinning properties/stroke heart attack, for your self or another...?

Hadn't thought of that...they'll be added
Of course everybody will bring what they're comfortable with, and I'm not saying mine is the "proper" set of pills, but given the experienced hikers on this site, I'm a bit surprised at what seems to me to be totaly inadequate kits. Here's the thing. If you don't hike often, or hike relatively close to civilisation, then sure, why not play the odds, chances are you'll never be in serious medical distress. But if you hike a lot, or if you're a solo hiker 50 miles from trailhead, (no, not THAT kind of trailhead!) you need to think of the "what if's". There is an increased chance that somewhere, somehow, you could suffer a serious illness or injury. You only get one chance to make it right! Morality, principle,or worrys about the long-term effects of certain drugs becomes moot. And this is no time to be trying gramas' home cures. I think you should have powerful resouces available. This is a one-time only necessity to turn something debillitating into something manageable, so you can function well enough to get out.... alive, in the one extreme, or even just not have your trip ruined by excessive pain or discomfort. I've seen a tough guy crying while doubled over with pain on the side of the trail with constipation. He wasn't carrying anything for that possibility, and if he'd been alone, it would have been a serious situation That's when I started bringing the suppositories (drawing the line at self-treatment....sorry, buddy). Also, infection is a serious issue in the wilds, so I think it's vital to bring one mega dose of antibiotics.

2006-10-23, 20:24
Bodiak, that is a good point about needing antibiotics if you are really back in the bush, you are a Canadian and probably travel to more remote areas than most of us here at Hiking HQ. The AT is really wild in a few places, but even there it isn't more than a day's walk to a paved road. I've personally never known anyone to get constipated in the bush, except some of the idiots I served in the infantry in Alaska with who wouldn't drop trou and squat at -40 for days at a time. Diarrhea is a more common problem. I agree a short course of antibiotics can prevent incapcitation if they are used correctly. The reccommended course of treatment for traveler's diarrhea is Cipro 500mg twice a day for three days, if it hasn't improved by then you probably have a protozoal infection (Giardia or worse) and need your stool examined. The cipro also works for penetrating injury. The military has started using a 3rd generation cephalosporin immeadiately post injury for penetrating trauma, I forget the exact drug, it has been a while since I've worked as a medic.

2006-10-23, 23:16
Takeaknee, I carry any epipen in my kit, always around snakes and bees, and make a killer seafood feast every year during our annual hunt, so you never know when someone is going to go into A-shock.

Bodiak, I have always carried more than needed, in the vehicle and on my pack, because there is always some dufus who is unprepared, and I do not want to be the guy who would not share and care for the stupid....

Not sure if you hike near biters/stingers, and I know not a medicine, but a sawyer extractor is an awesome addition to a medical kit, beats other snake bite kits by a mile... we have spoken about them somewhere on this site, search Sawyer...

2006-10-24, 05:56
I used to carry a snake bite kit when I was young. Don't know what happened to it, but I've heard that our government, in it's infinite wisdom and ability to know what's best for me, decided to ban the sale of them. Maybe they thought I'd hurt myself with that little blade. Now when I see a Massasauga rattler I just kill it instead of playing with it (just read where you advise those kits were useless, maybe that's why they were banned) I don't think our Canadian Wal-marts sell the sawyer kit, but I suppose I could get one on E-bay. I'll check it out

2006-10-24, 20:20
I used to carry more drugs, but decided it was a waste of time and effort. I'm usually not more than two days from either a base camp or civilization, and while I could worry about medical problems and carry a lot of "in case ofs", I choose not to.

I've only experienced bad constipation once in my life, and that was after being run over by a car (I think my body wanted all the nutrients it could get - after a week I passed a rock hard golf ball, and then it returned to normal).

Besides constipation should be cured by drinking more water, eating more fiber, exercising more, and possibly cutting out processed oils for a time (vegetable oil).
-I've also read that cider vinegar is good for this.

I've had diarrhea many times and my doctor told me to drink a combination of salt and sugar mixed with water as a cure.
-I've also read that cider vinegar is good for this.

For sore throat I've been gargling with salt/soda/aspirin water ever since I was a kid. This works. My mother got this from her doctor many years ago.
I've found that if I do this when I feel a tickle in my throat I head off many illnesses.
-I've also read that cider vinegar is good for this.

I carry allergy meds because I have hay fever.

I know from personal experience that cider vinegar is good for skin irritations and low grade burns. It is also a disinfectant.

As far as big pain meds go, I've thought about carrying some, but haven't ever approached a doctor about getting any. Besides I know where my pain threshold is (I once burnt all the skin off my foot and calf) and I know that I can continue to operate untill I start passing out.

I do carry a back and 2 ankle braces with me, as these injuries have happened to me more than once and I think they are the most likely problems I might encounter.

2006-10-24, 22:13
I'll vouch for the cider vinegar cure for sore throats. I mix it with a largish amount of salt and gargle for a minute or until I gag, whichever comes first.

It has headed off many sore throats IMO.

I might try adding in the aspirin for really bad sore throats. It makes sense.

2006-10-24, 22:21
Dropkick, looking back through these posts I think you listed the most important ingredient anyone can have in a med kit- neosporin. One of the first SF teams I was assigned to had an officer that was a prior SF medic, he was big into fitness, survival skills, and bush medicine. The fact that he'd been left on the ground at Desert One in Iran and had to WALK OUT probably had something to do with that. One little snippet from his team SOP was "Treat all wounds, however minor". Anyone who ever went to Ranger School (not me) saw a lot of people wash out before Florida because of cellulitis, usually from a minor wound that wasn't properly cleaned and dressed initially. The fact that they are starving and sleep deprived doesn't help either. I had a friend wash out of SFAS 'cause he did some "rope- climbing practice" in shorts the day before he started SFAS and got a small rope burn on his ankle, two weeks later, after passing most of the tough events, he came down with cellulitis and couldn't walk without a limp, the medic dropped him from the course. I asked him if he treated it and he said he put big bandaids on it and kept it dry. I winced when he said that, if he'd put some neosporin on it he'd probably have been fine. Some good bandage material and good tape are worth their weight, unless you are a Gossamer Gear puke, you can just get cellulitis. Small pieces of Tegaderm, which is something like Goretex tape (they use them to cover IV sites) can be placed over a cleaned and prepared wound and left for several days. Those Bandaid Advanced Healing Gel bandages work in a simalar fashion. If a wound is dry-wet it (with something clean). If a wound is wet (poison ivy)- dry it.

2006-10-25, 06:07
Right TAK, Neosporinis a must-have. I also like to carry Second Skin for small cuts, and a tiny tube of Krazy Glue for closing up wounds that might need a stitch or two. Never used it yet except for a badly broken nail, but it would sure beat self-surgery! I do carry dental floss as emergency string, and I'd sew myself up with that if necessary

2006-10-25, 15:28
"Neosporin" is a brand name , Triple Antibiotic cream is the generic name, cheaper. I keep a tube "Triple Antibiotic Cream" at home by my bed and treat any new skin break/rash before sleep. Also a tube in my car for use when out. It speed healing by a good 50% or more. IMO Good call !

At the risk of being off topic, this is first aid. FYI, Around the home.... When you burn yourself to stop the pain pour "liquid bleach" over area. Rinse with water. Pain is gone instantly. I've done this every time I've burned myself since I've learned this (+15 yrs ago) and am amased every time. Never tried with sunburn though. Haven't had the chance. :captain: sailingsoul

2006-10-25, 21:05
This question comes up a lot, so I dug my kit out of the pack. Here's what I carried on my last trip:

Ace bandage (I read recently that something over 90% of 'rescues' are sprained/twisted ankles)

A small camp mirror (probably Coughlin's from Walmart, about 3" square) 'cause you can't see that peice of bark in your eye without it:argh:

A roll of gauze (sealed & sterile - about the size of the Ace bandage)

What's left of a roll of tape - a yard or two. The tape and gauze are enough to go around the leg a few times if need be.

Epipen and chewable Benadryl - I'm allergic:afraid:

A few sterile pads and about 20 assorted band-aids and butterfly bandages

Bactine wipes - great to clean up minor wounds, since bandaids will still stick after you use Bactine.

A small assortment of a half dozen or so little packets of lotion or wet wipes. Handy for lots of things, including for when :bootyshak gets irritated

Neosporin or generic equivalent, also good for :bootyshak irritation

Ibuprofen, Aspirin, tums


Also carried: small bottles of purell hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol (for the feet), and Betadyne (for all sorts of things, including washing the feet), dental floss and chapstick. Sometimes a little Gold Bond powder, too. Whole kit weighs about 6-8 ounces depending on exact quantities - damn Epipen is heavy, but necessary.

In my usual haunts, I'm rarely more than a day's hike from a road. If I was further, I think I'd add Immodium and a broad-spectum antibiotic.

Most of the kit gets tossed at the end of the year since it never got used and now it's expired. Hope that trend continues!:adore:

2006-10-25, 23:12
Pharmakokinetics is a ten dollar word that means drug movement. Different drugs achieve different levels in different parts of the body.

so, if a guy takes a midol, what happens? does it go around looking for something to do, just go to the lower back and relieve pain there, or immediately look for an exit? :D

2006-10-26, 06:19
Originally Posted by Take-a-knee View Post
Pharmakokinetics is a ten dollar word that means drug movement. Different drugs achieve different levels in different parts of the body.so, if a guy takes a midol, what happens? does it go around looking for something to do, just go to the lower back and relieve pain there, or immediately look for an exit? :D

My understanding is that if you take Midol you get wild mood swings and exhibit psychotic behavior, at least that's the way it is with all the women I know...... or wait.... maybe I have this backwards..... maybe it's the psychotic behavior and then the Midol... or..... Ummm...... I didn't mean to suggest women are psychotic...
They're the beauty and light of the world..... Ummm... if that didn't work the only thing I can say is my name is Iceman and I apologize

2006-10-26, 09:07
Good answer.....works for me.....:beer:

(I have maintained my marriage of 20 years by kissing alot of butt, when necessary...) (hers) (but not literally) nevermind...:afraid:

bird dog
2006-10-26, 17:15
Yea, do what Iceman says. I once suggested to my FIRST wife that she try some...Learned my lesson; havent made the same recommendation to my second wife...Wish I could have blamed that one on Iceman...Help me out here Pappy. BD