Travel & Medical - Packing
 Medical Kit




Get ready what you need, pack what you can, and prepare to live from your carry-on.


  1. Tension Bandage (Ace Wrap)
  2. Tylenol-3 or Demerol
  3. Topical Lydicain (local freezing agent)
  4. Athlete's Foot Powder
  5. Strip Bandages (cloth)
  6. Triple Anti-biotic Ointment (for cuts)
  7. Hydrocortisone
  8. Salt Pills
  9. Electrolyte (1/person/day)
  10. Gatorade Powder (enough to mix 2 liters/person/day in your water bottle)
  11. Prescription Pills to treat Bacterial Diarrhea (or Imodium)
  12. Handi-wipes (3 wet wipes/person/day to clean hands without water prior to eating)
  13. Steri-Aid Kit (emergency medical IV, sutures etc)
  14. Sun Tan Lotion
  15. Mosquito Repellent ("deet" such as "Deep Woods Off"
  16. Vitamin C (or Multi-Vitamin)
  17. Soap & shampoo
  18. Toilet paper
  19. Aspirin
  20. Iodine pills (for cuts and emergency water treatment)
  21. Cold remedy/antihistamines (Neo Citrin)
  22. Pepto Bismol (1 before each meal, 2-4 after each dubious dining experience)
  23. Pocket pill container
  24. Sleeping pills.  I prefer herbal passion flower with chamomile. (note: high re-sale value to team members who didn't bring any when it is 100 degrees at night, they have not slept in days and their ear lobes are sweating!)


  1. Water bottle & water treatment device
  2. Small clasp knife (to peel fruit)
  3. Extra passport photos (for in-country visa paperwork etc)
  4. $1 US bills (for tipping)
  5. Duct Tape (large roll - repair luggage, act as bathtub plug, seal torn window screen)
  6. Work Gloves
  7. Sun Glasses
  8. Nil Odor (for bathrooms and boots that do!)
  9. Small day pack (to avoid putting belongs down in high risk areas)
  10. Cheap waterproof watch (leave expensive & cheap but good looking ones home)
  11. Travel clock
  12. Camera and film (Slide film best captures 3-D trip experiences, print is better for albums)
  13. Window screen (folds flat in bottom of suitcase and, with a little duct tape, can make an open window bug-proof leading to hours of pleasurable relaxation)
  14. Playing cards
  15. Writing paper & pencils
  16. Bible
  17. Laundry soap
  18. Flashlight with extra non-rechargeable batteries (alkaline last longer)
  19. Small collapsible umbrella
  20. Multi-purpose screw driver (bits in handle
  21. inch screws (a bunch plus an assortment of others)
  22. Key bolts and screws for making bush pump (at least 2 sets if new program)
  23. Credit card & Travelers cheques (note: do not depend on them - may not be accepted or may take weeks to be cashed!)
  24. Optional: Pepper spray (for self-defense - do not pack in carry-on luggage)
  25. Optional: Small, self-supporting tent (even set-up in room with many open windows). Smaller and more flexible than mosquito net
  26. Laptop computer.  Check for ease of leaving the country with your device.
  27. Cellular phones are not always compatible between countries.  Check on availability and legality.

Gift Ideas

  1. Shirts (t-shirts and short-sleeve cotton button working shirts)
  2. Watches
  3. Work gloves
  4. Hard candy (good for motivating kids to haul water)
  5. Calculators
  6. Rubber boots/work boots
  7. Cover alls
  8. Drip irrigation systems
  9. Sun glasses
  10. Pocket bibles
  11. Medical supplies (re-hydration salts, antibiotics etc)


  1. Hat
  2. Sandals
  3. Work boots
  4. House/plane slippers
  5. Underwear, socks
  6. Sweater (it can be surprisingly cold at altitude or at night during the rainy season)
  7. Bathing suit & towel
  8. Rain coat
  9. Women: Nice dress (with sleeves), cotton blouses & skirts
  10. Men: Cotton shirts, 1 pr shorts (big pockets), 1 pr work pants (long legs), tie, 1 pr dress pants, dress shirt, sport coat (not to hot country)
  11. Option: purchase native dress (women) or dress shirt (men) in-country. You probably want to buy one to bring back anyhow, they are cool and are cheap
  12. Eye blind (for sleeping on plane or in Arctic night-time sun)
  13. Ear plugs (when billeted near a disco)

Preventative (Before You Go)

  1. Immunization Shots (some start 3 months prior to departure!)
  2. First Aid Training
  3. Dentist check-up
  4. Blood Type team members (direct donations in medical emergency)
  5. Physical exam
  6. Leave important numbers at home (include traveler check numbers, photocopy of passport, embassy & team members home phone, fax & email numbers)
  7. Write key numbers on in-side of your belt (bandits rarely want your shorts!)
  8. If required, wire large amounts cash to contact person in-country (rather than carry it in)

The packing list is developed from Lifewater Canada information:

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