Be Prepared for Your Trip of a Lifetime! ~Diane Hassinger

All of my life I have been allergic to bee stings, five years ago that intensified to the point that I now carry 2 epi-pens with me at all times.  This is especially important when I am hunting and fishing, far away from any medical care, and in closer proximity to bee habitat.  Recently I experienced a sting and promptly administered my epi-pen.  This very well may have saved my life.  I was able to buy enough time to make it to the hospital and receive the further needed treatment.

One of the remote camps I have hunted from. Being prepared can make sure your trip is a trip of a lifetime! Photo: Diane Hassinger

One of the remote camps I have hunted from. Being prepared can make sure your trip is a trip of a lifetime!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Because of that, I take being prepared seriously! Everyone should know any medical issues that may affect them in the field.  You should consult with your medical doctor about any concerns pertaining both to yourself and the area that you are traveling to.   Many hunting areas are several hours, or more, from any type of medical assistance.  You need to plan ahead for possible emergencies.  If you are traveling to a remote area for your hunt, you need to take with you the proper medical treatments and first aid supplies and be prepared to avoid unsanitary water and potential diseases.

The Aquamira Water Bottle with Filter removes over 99% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia; the two leading causes of waterborne illnesses.  Photo: Diane Hassinger

The Aquamira Water Bottle with Filter removes over 99% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia; the two leading causes of waterborne illnesses.
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Everyone needs to be extra cautious when they are eating and drinking in remote areas, due to water and food borne parasites and bacteria.  Try to limit your water consumption to only bottled water or use a water filtration bottle, like the Aquamira Water Bottle and Capsule Filter. These filter out chlorine, odors, bad tastes and over 99.9% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia. You can avoid some serious discomfort and intestinal problems with these simple to use bottles, and they treat up to 100 gallons. You could also use the Aquamira water treatment drops; these would work great on longer trips.  Another great product that would treat up to 99.9% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia is the Frontier Emergency Filter. This straw like water filter would easily tuck into any daypack or backpack. You simply drink through the straw and the attached filter eliminates the threat of these issues. There are many diseases that are transmitted through water, these include; giardia, botulism, cholera, E. coli, dysentery, and typhoid fever to name a few.  Diseases passed through food would include salmonella, botulism, hepatitis A, and norovirus.  Making sure foods are fully cooked, and kept in proper refrigeration can prevent a lot of the food borne problems. Traveler’s diarrhea is a common complaint, and can be cured if you discuss it in advance with your Doctor, and get a prescription for the proper medications.

Read up on the types of diseases that are common in the countries that you will be visiting/hunting. Many diseases may be curable or non-existent in the United States, but they are serious concerns for your health in third world countries.   I have been immunized against yellow fever, tetanus, hepatitis b, hepatitis a, typhus and of course influenza and pneumonia.  I carry with my passport an International Certificate of Vaccination.  This is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides a listing of immunizations, allergies, medications and emergency contact information.

Consult your physician and get the necessary vaccinations or medications prior to your departure.  Some

The International Certificate of Immunization put out by the World Health Organization (WHO). Photo: WHO

The International Certificate of Immunization put out by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Photo: WHO

immunizations take 2 months to get the proper protection, so plan well ahead.   Update all immunizations, or get specific immunizations for the area you will be traveling in.  If you are traveling to a Malaria hotspot, plan ahead early. Drugs to treat Malaria need to be started prior to your leaving, and continue after you return home. Health advisories for travel to any country in the world are available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/, and also information tips on how to prevent common diseases.  This website also informs you of any natural or man made dangers that could affect your travel plans.

Don’t overlook what dangerous animals, snakes, spiders, bees or insects may infest the area you will be in, or what poisonous plants are local to the area.  Learn to identify anything that could be dangerous or poisonous, and what the treatment would be if you come in contact with them.

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Customize your first aid supplies to reflect you and your surroundings. Here Diane has epi-pens, an inhaler and general first aid kit.
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Typically when I am traveling and hunting, I carry a personalized first aid kit.  In mine I have the normal band aids, Neosporin, moleskin, cortisone, ace bandage, gauze and tape.  In addition to that I also carry super glue and duct tape, these are helpful if you are many miles from help and suffer a cut, or a break on your body or equipment.  I also have my water treatment drops, epi-pens, prednisone, Benadryl, rescue inhaler and my regular prescriptions.  After consulting with my doctor, I may add anti-malaria medications or antibiotics for a multitude of issues.

While hunting in the field, at home or away, add a photocopy of your health insurance card and driver’s license or passport to be carried with your hunting license.  This way if you need medical attention, you would have the necessary information with you, without carrying the originals, check the laws where you are hunting first, some places require you to carry a photo id with you at all time while hunting.

Equipment and clothing also need to be addressed to be properly prepared. Prior to your packing process,

McNett Gear Patches and ReviveX saved my rain bibs from the trash can! Photo: Diane Hassinger

McNett Gear Patches and ReviveX saved my rain bibs from the trash can!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

go over you equipment; checking zippers, seams, waterproofness and buckles. McNett Tactical has a Field Fix kit that covers repairs that need to be done in the field of these various issues and also sewing and patching. Gear Patches are a wise addition to any pack. These can be used on rips and tears on your clothing, packs and even waders; they are available in a selection of camo designs, and feature an ultra-strong adhesive that will stick to almost any surface. On a recent trip to Northern Saskatchewan, I realized my trusty rain gear had finally reached the point of leaking through the seams. I was able to refresh it using ReviveX, and save my trip. Plus when I managed to snag my rain bibs on a nail, the Gear Patches took care of that problem with ease. With the proper treatment, you can extend the life of your expensive rain gear and don’t let the weather affect your plans.

Remember; Plan ahead, consult your Doctor, and get needed immunizations or medications. Carry some type of water treatment and use it to stay safe. Keep your equipment in tip top shape, but have the ability to make fixes in the field.  These few steps can help save a lot of grief later. The best defense against injuries, illnesses and equipment failure is being prepared.  A little bit of forethought can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime, and finding yourself unable to enjoy your vacation.

For More Information Visit:

Travel Advisories       http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/

McNett Aquamira      https://www.mcnett.com/aquamira

McNett Gear Aid        https://www.mcnett.com/gearaid

McNett Tactical         https://www.mcnett.com/tactical

Epi pen                     https://www.epipen.com/

 

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