Health and Safety

If left to our own devices, the Wolf would head South with nothing but duck tape, iodine and some water, and I would have a 20kg first aid kit with every first-aid flavoured item I could find on Both being designers, we’ve adopted a scenario based approach to help us balance our differences, avoid overloading on “just-in-case” extras, and agree on what we really need to take.

M_Device_comparison2Let’s start with the worst case. We will need a way to call the cavalry if the shit hits the fan. The options we found included: Spot, Delorme inReach and the ACR ResQLink PLB. There are plenty of detailed reviews and comparisons to be found, but this is what it boils down to: the first two enable you to send “We’re OK” messages to a list of folks (great!) but they operate on slightly inferior networks, require additional subscription fees and according to many reviews often fail unexpectedly (yikes!) In contrast, the ResQLink PLB can only do one thing: send a distress signal. It works on three levels of integrated signal technology – GPS positioning, a powerful 406 MHz signal, and 121.5 MHz homing capability offering the most reliable way to be found when you really need it. Here’s a video for tech nerds who want to know more. As much as we (especially me) would love to send the “We’re OK” messages, we felt that setting an expectation for these messages with loved ones, only to have the device unexpectedly die, would be far more worrying than just operating on a “no news is good news” policy. We have therefore opted for the ACR ResQLink plus so we can be sure our call for help is heard. For family and loved ones reading, we’ll check in whenever we find wi-fi. 

Next up is health insurance. This is a complicated messy world made up of circuitous, confusing sites promising you the world and endless pages of terms and conditions in 6pt type. I’m still trying to find my way through it all, but the guys at have a very helpful page on the topic. I’ll post here when I figure out what I’m doing. 

“The solution to pollution is dilution” – ER Doctor stitching up the Zebra’s elbow, August 2013
This is apparently the wound care wisdom taught to medical students in the emergency dept.

Finally, we have our first aid kit which is going to have to help us fix most things that happen along the way. We took lots of inspiration from Molly‘s amazon list here, keeping things minimal and multi purpose where possible.


SteriPENWe hope to not have to purify water from the wild, but more to use this for ensuring water in restaurants and such will not make us sick, so we opted for the steripen over larger, more manual filtering systems. $37.46Amazon
Water Purification TabletsTo purify drinking water, but also for irrigating large wounds using a very dilute solution in order to avoid killing tissue. It's a back up for the steripen and a way to irrigate wounds.$7.99Amazon
Pepto-Bismol CapletsIn addition to obvious uses, can be used to as prophylaxis - if you suspect you have consumed something that will make you sick, this will keep you from absorbing as much into your system.$7.09Amazon
Burn jelFor burns!$14.19Amazon
Shears; EMT 7.5"For cutting! This is one item that cannot be improvised. cut leathers along the seams.$7.79Amazon
Benadryl For allergies$6.74Amazon
Apple PectinThis will help keep bowels regular if needed, also when you suspect you have consumed something contaminated this will help absorb it and get it out of you quicker.$7.95Amazon
QuickClot SpongeFor large cuts that bleed excessively$14.99Amazon
Wound care kitYou must apply a betadine solution on the edges or it will just fall off.$4.00NOLS Store
CiprofloxacinBroad spectrum antibiotic?
Sports TapeStrong, fabric tape for binding or taping almost anything. Already own
Hand sanitizerSmall containersAlready own
Cortizone creamFor bites and irritationsAlready own
TweezersAlready own
Loperamide HydrochlorideAnti diarrheal: the last resort. when you must take that 12 hour bus ride. Do not take this if you have a fever. Already own
BandagesAlready own
Iodine For cleaning wounds Already own
SteristripsFor closing small woundsAlready own

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