The medical kit is even bigger than the toolkit and bike spares, which I suppose makes sense really. We have a first aid kit with the usual plasters and antiseptics, including a couple of large pieces of lint for those inevitable scraped knees when meeting the tarmac unexpectedly. We also have a selection of drugs, mostly antibiotics and anti-malarials. These were all prescribed by our doctor in the UK. We also have chlorine and iodine (better but you can't use continuously) tablets for purifiying water, insect repellent and suncream. We sent some vitamin tablets to be picked up in Mongolia to supplement our diet. The book to read is 'Travellers' Health' by Dr Richard Dawood.
We had immunisations against:
We didn't have tick borne encephalitus but we wished we had when we were in
Thanks to Jeanette Kelly for advice in assembling this.
Something we didn't have but wished we did is a malaria testing kit. eg. Rapimal (website: www.tcsbiosciences.co.uk) which you can buy from NOMAD travel shops. It costs about 30UKP and is pretty light weight.
We carried an MSR Mini-works water filter. It is quite good although the pumping can be a bore and the cartridge cracked when it froze in Western Sichuan (mended with epoxy - haven't died yet!). In China and S.E. Asia where we were usually staying in hotels, we boiled all our water using a small "pot-boiler" (This is a heating coil you place in a tin mug or kettle. It is readily available in these countries although probably banned for safety reasons in the west. We had two that developed electrical faults resulting in the tin mug becoming "live").
For quickly purifying water during the day we carried both chlorine and iodine tablets. Chlorine is less effective but iodine makes the water taste bad. BUT, our friends Alistair and Ingrid told us to add a vitamin C tablet to the purified water and this really works to remove the taste. Don't add the vitamin C until the iodine has had time to work.
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