Deciding what to put in your first aid kit depends on what you will be doing on your mission trip and what medicine will be accessible in your location. If you are traveling to a somewhat developed area where medical supplies are easy to find and a clinic is close, you probably only need to pack the basics. Don’t forget to bring your prescription medicine and emergency medicine, like an epi-pen, if you have them!
*Pro-Tip: Always pack your prescription and emergency medicine in your carry-on luggage (except prohibited liquids). Make sure your prescription medicine is in its original packaging and the name on the bottle matches your personal photo ID. If your checked bags get lost or delayed, you don’t want to be stuck without the necessary medicine!
Basic Mission Trip First Aid Kit:
- Antibiotic ointment (Neosporin)
- Anti-diarrhea (Pepto bismol)
- Antacid (Tums)
- Thermometer and thermometer covers
- Ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen (Remeber not to take Ibuprofen/NSAIDs in areas where Dengue may be present)
- Oversize bandages
- Plastic gloves
- Antihistamine (Benadryl)
- Motion sickness medicine (Dramamine)
If you are going somewhere supplies and medical assistance are not readily available, consider packing a more comprehensive first aid kit. We have some suggestions but only pack what you know how to use and think might be needed on your trip.
Comprehensive Mission Trip First Aid Kit
- Anti-diarrhea medicine (Imodium)
- Mild laxative
- Cold medicine
- Rehydration mix (Pedialyte packets or make your own! DIY: 2T sugar +1/2t salt. Mix with 1qt water)
- Water purification tablets (just for emergencies if bottled water is not available)
- Moleskin (for blisters)
- Gauze pads
- Medical tape
- Ace bandages
- Small scissors
- IV bags and needles
- Disinfectant for Instruments (rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide)
- First aid guide (The American Red Cross published a Remote First Aid guide for quick reference; Where There Is No Doctor by David Werner is a more detailed resource)
*Note: Make sure that you know (and preferably write down in the kit) the correct dosage for every medicine and how to use each supply that you bring. If you don’t know how to use it, it won’t do you any good!