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Auzzee 09-19-2012 02:43 AM

First aid, medical kit
I am considering buying a new medical kit. The one's which can be bought pre-prepared seem to contain a percentage of junk and for an offshore kit, between $700 and $1000 seems extraordinarily expensive.

So, what are your suggestions bearing in mind the leg from Mexico to the French Marquesas will take three weeks minimum?

I have checked out the cost of dressings etc here in Thailand, and it appears it may be a cost effective strategy to buy a lot of the non medicine inclusions here, before I get on the big silver bird.

For the record, I have no allergies, no pre-existing conditions and nothing generally which would suggest that I am going to become ill excluding the usual problems associated with mozzie bites and iffy food from street vendors.

redbopeep 09-19-2012 03:45 AM

we have a thread with a bit of information here

I'll get back with you on our kit--it's extensive and I've been drafting a post about it for our blog so you've given me incentive to get that post done! I'll post the content here shortly.

ParadiseParrot 09-19-2012 10:02 AM

See doctor in mexico and do a kit there.

Coyote 09-19-2012 12:09 PM

I've only ever used the scalpel blade, tweezers, the betadine swabs, and the pain pills. I have no idea if this is typical or just chance random data.

I like pain pills, anti-biotics, tweezers scalpel blades, and betadine for all punctures and scrapes and cuts. Broken bone type injury you need to just quiet the pain and isolate the injury which a sailor can do with what's aboard.

Illness is tough. If you have stuff for diarrhea and other stomach maladies and for fever you might be about as good as you are going to get.

You are not going to catch any virus you didn't leave with. If you can deal with bad food problems, that is a real possibility, though it doesn't happen to me in practice much.

You aren't going to remove your own appendix, or do much real surgery. If your heart stops half way it's prolly over for you, whatever you bring.

A year and a half ago I needed to splint my thumb and used a bottle opener and medical tape. It worked fine. Lots of medical tape in different sizes is good.

You might check out this product:

Auzzee 09-19-2012 01:07 PM

I think there is a lot of sense in what you say. On my last big trip I carried hypodermic needles, lignocaine, sutures and more dressings than I could have used in three weeks in an Indian hospital.

I tend to agree with dressings, saline, antispetics, disinfectants, and pain management a few decent tools: thermometer, scissors, tweezers, scalpal, lance, a few bits of timber, a hammer and a bag of nails......oops.

Eye patches and bath, plenty of swabs, cotton balls, surgical alcohol.

I think, given the sophisticated nature of our communications devices on board these days the need to carry half a hospital is much reduced.

But then again maybe I'm just being a bloke and I'm sure my Mum would disagree with the minimalist approach.

Maidens Voyage 09-19-2012 03:45 PM

Hi Auzzee,
Looks like you have great advice from those who have been there. I have bolded some items that I'd recommend including, since they haven't been mentioned yet:

Have you considered chemical (crackable) ice? Can make a huge difference in pain control and inflammation from sprains and fractures.

First aid kit: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia is a basic link from NIH for first aid. However if you are far out, some other measures may need to be used. As you probably already know, an infection can spread rapidly and should be controlled as soon as possible after a cut/laceration. Sterile water is first poured over the wound to wash bacteria and debris, then closure and cover to protect from invading bacteria. Having "steri-strips" can be very helpful for larger cuts, to hold the sides together. Another good one is dermabond - a kind of glue you can use to seal the wound shut. This is a good article about this: Your Health -

Of course being up on all immunizations is very good - especially tetanus and travel vaccines...depending on where you go. All medicines should be checked for expiry dates and replaced. Those Costco sized bottles are the worst - people use a part of them and they expire before you know it.

One last item can be a life-saver is an epi-pen (epinephrine injection). I know of someone "without any issues and in good health" tasted a new fruit while travelling in a remote area and immediately went into anaphylactic shock from an unknown allergy. He was raced to the hospital just in time.

I hope this helps!

Coyote 09-19-2012 05:16 PM

In our modern world help is usually close to everyone all the time. Based on that, First Aid is designed to stabilize and keep people alive until they can be brought to a hospital. The kits and practices taught are all kinda implicitly designed around that model.

If you are adventuring, though, that might not be your reality. You have whatever you have and know whatever you know.

I have long wanted to take formal training in first aid, I just haven't had the time.

On my last long trip I was the senior medical officer. My qualification was that I was dating an optometrist.

Wildernesstech 09-19-2012 08:33 PM


I worked out of the back of an ambulance for 12 years, and when I started cruising I brought everything uder the sun with me. Luckily, I have used very little of it. I posted just as you have seeking the advice of the more experienced before my departure, and got varied answers... Some of the best advice that I remember was to carry Lemons, Limes, and Vinegar. These are useful for many things one runs across at sea! I have taught "Wilderness Medicine" for many years in many different venues, and I preach about "sterile dressings"! It is the hardest thing to find and make in a remote environment.

General use, otherwise called wide spectrum antibiotics will require a prescription, but are good to have. The same goes for something for pain! Don't forget a kit to address tooth pain!!! Triple antibiotic ointment should go along. Over-the-counter meds to address vomiting, diahhrea, constipation, etceteras are good things. Over-the-counter pain meds such as Tylenol (APAP), Advil (Ibuprophen), should of course go. A local topical pain reliever may also require a prescription, but can make a bad situation bearable. A corticosteroidal cream and Benadryl (Dyphenhydramine) are also good to have.

Pick a physician (or use Mexico's over-the-counter system) to get what you think you may need, but don't try to go overboard... While it is certainly better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, common sense should apply.

Foot injuries are the number one injury on a boat! Ice and heat packs help along with the forementioned bandages. I could write a detailed post if you wish, but I have read your posts for years, and I am not really worried about you.

Have a way to make or get potable water...

As silly as it may seem, Medical Training will get you farther without much in the way of supplies over many supplies without medical training...


Coyote 09-19-2012 10:06 PM


You are probably exactly the guy to write about this topic. I'd read and even print out anything you care to write. I bet I'm not alone. That field experience in medicine combined with a history of going remote makes you kinda rare and valuable.

Unless I can seduce (and keep) a nurse, I'm pretty much on my own as are a lot of us.

I know if it's a cut, you get it clean and keep it clean and apply antibiotics and again at the first sign of infection.

Burns I don't really know. Breaks and dislocations I know you have to be careful not to do more damage than you fix. Allergies we have Benadryl and epi-pen, though I would be hesitant to use the latter.

I agree about the training and wish I had some. A mechanic without tools is more useful than tools without a mechanic.

Auzzee 09-20-2012 02:13 AM

Hi Wildernesstech and Maiden's Voyage, thanks for the great tips. Preparing a medical kit is, I think, an evolutionary thing. As each day goes by, the list changes. Items are removed and added and I am sure as time goes on the ideal kit for my own use will become apparent. Each link I am given provides yet more good information and while it will be difficult to cover all possible eventualities, the development of a first class kit is going to be the best researched resource on my boat.

Red is in the process of putting a list together for posting and, knowing her careful planning, forethought and wisdom in all areas of shipboard life, I eagerly await its publication.

Please keep this thread in mind. We all need good first aid skills and the associated dressings and medicines. I can see this becoming a very valuable resource for all sailors whether cruising or just puttering along a coastline.

Coyote, I am particularly interested in the optometrist did that work out for you?

Coyote 09-20-2012 03:43 AM

Eventually, and wisely she left me. Then it was a dentist. Then a pacemaker installer. There was a lawyer in there somewhere, but that adds no value at all. All, wisely, moved on to better things.

I'm going to claim some residual wisdom clung to me, but I'm clearly blowing smoke up your, um, transom.

Hansulrich 09-21-2012 12:50 AM

Apart from the usual bandages and dressing material, all you need is mms.
You will have to inform yourself.
Jim Humble in Mexico
MMS 4 Africa
African Online Health Shop
might give you some ideas.

It's inexpensive and very versatile. It also purifies drinking water.

Because nobody can make big money from it, you will have to invest time and inform yourself.

Auzzee 09-21-2012 01:46 AM

Hi Hansulrich, thanks for the tips. I'm sure there is some benefit to be found from using the product which you promote, however I feel the reliance on, when one is alone and a long, long way from traditional medical help, on a product whose claims are shrouded in controversy and the benefits of which are formally unproven scientifically or empirically, could be a little foolhardy. Space on a cruising yacht is always at a premium and allocating space to what I am sure is a worthwhile concept, over proven medical science is simply not an option.

I am not judging the product so much as putting faith in the people who are charged by the public with ensuring all medicines and preparations are viable and effective.

Thanks again.

Hansulrich 09-21-2012 05:03 PM

Hi, Well, I am not really promoting mms. I am using it and it works every time. The mineral salts are known for over 100 years. All the details are known. But because it is old and well known, it can not be patented and therefore no big money can be made. Thats the reason that the industry is fighting mms with nail and teeth.

The industry relies on uninformed people like you who rather spend money than learn something new.

How do you keep the drinking water in the boats tanks clean?

How do you heal Malaria and how long will it take and how much cost?

How to you heal burns? (very frequent on boats)

what if you are bitten by a sting ray?

Food poisoning, incl. Cholera?

Well, it's your choice. I spread the information and then it's up to you to make use of it of to let it slip by.

Yes, and I am waiting for a useful medical kit for boat use!


Auzzee 09-22-2012 02:35 AM

"The industry relies on uninformed people like you who rather spend money than learn something new".

Hansulrich, I said the copncept may be worthwhile and may have benefits. I am not uninformed! When anyone suggests something which may be of personal benefit, I look at it carefully. I will not however, blindly accept the affirmations of a single voice on a forum.

I note that as far as MMS is concerned, most of the testimonials and claims of it curing malaria, cholera and in one case, even cancer are produced by vested interests. There appears to be a few so called 'independent reviews', but these are again marred by the fact they are posted by the same vested interests. There appears to be no positive reviews produced or supported by credible independent bodies.

If treatment with these salts is so profoundly good, there will be good people involved in medicine and science who will shout the benefits to the rooftops. They appear to be conspicuous in their absence. I am concerned about side effects and of course reliance on what may or may not be, snake oil products. It was not long ago that National Geographic and Reader's Digest magazines were promoting tobacco as having health benefits for endurance athletes. Then, science got involved.

The product could be patented as a medicine irrespective of it's history just as long as it could satisfy the requirements of the medical patent process. This simply means that a medicine must have a scientific, medically proven worth as a medicine before it can be patented. MMS exhibits no repreatedly provable positive medical outcomes. This is the sole reason why it's promoters will not submit it to the patent process.

I did not decry MMS as worthless. I merely believe that as it cannot be proven to have benefits, prudent mariners who venture well offshore would be better off to put their trust in products which are known to be beneficial and more important which have either no, or at least predictable side effects.

I accept you believe the product is invaluable and I would not try to dissuade you from that thought. I hope you will give my opinion equal respect. If MMS is subsequently proven to be the beneficial medicine which you claim it to be, I will buy it, use it and promote it. Such would be the worth of a previously unavailable, universal panacea.

Auzzee 09-22-2012 03:09 AM

Further research suggests MMS may be dangerous as it is simply an industrial bleach.
Miracle Mineral Supplement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Another Fraud Of Alternative Medicine: M.M.S.

Again I am not trying to upset Hansulrich. Indeed, I apologise if you feel I bear you any personal ill will. But it becomes clear as I look further into the claims of Jim Humble and Adam Abraham that the product is not one which should be used without specialist knowledge. Malaria, herpes, HIV, cancer and cholera are not known to be cured with the application of industrial bleach.

The side effects of using such a harsh, poisonous and corrosive chemical could be life threatening especially where someone is alone on an ocean, hundreds of miles away from medical assistance.

Endurance 09-22-2012 07:48 AM

I'm with you on this one Auzzee.

Always the nagging thought that we may be missing out on a true elixir, but the risks are too great until proven.

I had a wonderful medical kit put together by a GP on my last solo outing (91 days at sea) and used nothing more than a Nurofen! The safety net was in place though and it needs to be looked at as an insurance policy......hope I don't use it but got to have it.


Coyote 09-22-2012 08:26 AM

A little bit of "Miracle Mercury Supplement" in your water tank after a dodgy fillup might work out OK, but I would never consider putting that into my body.

Even for that I would rather use regular bleach as it is cheap, widely available, chemically consistent, measures nicely, and is proven to work.

I'll be leaving that one out of my kit, too.

Hansulrich 09-22-2012 04:24 PM

Dear Auzzee,

Thanks for the offer of fair play. The mere fact that you refer to chlorine dioxide as a bleach demonstrates your lack of information. Add to this the 'vested interest' and you are done.

Everybody, given a few basic instructions, can produce mms-1 and mms-2. I am one of those. Most people are a bit lazy and if they want to use the products, they buy it. It is true that it heals Malaria within a few hours and the treatment costs only a few cents. Because Malaria is a parasite, the result can be simply confirmed by a lab test.

I have treated myself for burns, spider bite, septic wounds, swine flu, a cancerous growth on the head and athletes foot. I have given information to others who overcame tuberculosis, pneumonia, permanent headaches etc.

mms does nothing else than eliminate pathogens. It therefore supports the immune system. It is an oxidant. To call it a bleach demonstrated the ignorance of the speaker.

mms is not a silver bullet. It's just a substance. You need information to put it to good use.

Well, let me put it again. You will need at least ten hours of research and study to until you start to understand the complex. My contribution was to make a website which might help others.

Nobody has answered any of my questions, by the way.

Jim Humble is also in Mexico, on Yucatan.

Another question: How many people die each year from direct side effects of medication?


Hansulrich 09-22-2012 04:59 PM

Credit to Auzzee for his resolve to investigate further. He is right to say that we should not accept new information without digging deeper. I am looking forward to his further contribution.

This is in stark contrast to Coyote, who is placing his money on bleach, which is a choice as bad as it gets.

Did you know that most drinking water in the States is purified using chlorine dioxide? With no traces of chemicals in the water. You drink it daily. Thats mms.

Any doctor who is associated with mms is automatically banned. So are scientists. Believe me, the industry is very thorough. They are also in control of the controlling bodies. At stake is their billion dollar industry. Medical doctors have been reduced to drug pushers.

It has never been proven that vaccination helps. It is just an assumption.

Find you!

Here again my website, which has all the other links

mms4africa home page

and my boating website: Sailing catamaran and lifestyle

Coyote 09-22-2012 06:36 PM

Yes, Auzzee's politeness is in fairly stark contrast to my almost not quite calling you a quack. So you are calling vaccination an "assumption" but mms a "miracle cure?" I don't think you are going to convince anybody here, but by all means keep talking to yourself.

Hansulrich 09-22-2012 06:48 PM

Hi Coyote,

mms is not a miracle cure. It just happens to eliminate pathogens at low cost and with great efficiency. Google 'chlorine dioxide' for info.

Selective quoting will not bring you very far. Just please find a science paper that proves that vaccination works (only one paper).

A quack I would say is somebody who puts bleach in the tank of his own boat.

ParadiseParrot 09-22-2012 08:35 PM

Can we stick to the subject and ignore snake oil.
Some of us would like to hear from those that have gone before.
What was useful and what wasn't.

Lexx 09-22-2012 11:46 PM

Hansulrich ... if you are not really promoting MMS as you say then why are you defending it so hard ???

To answer your questions ...

How do you keep the drinking water in the boats tanks clean? ... I use a reverse osmosis filter on drinking and cooking water. I may if I feel it is warranted use Puri tabs in the water tanks.

How do you heal Malaria and how long will it take and how much cost? ... There are many 'treatments' for malaria and preventative medications but no 100% proven 'cure. I personally don't worry about it much.

How to you heal burns? (very frequent on boats) ... For the most part we don't 'heal' burns ... our bodies naturally heal burns, we simply take steps to prevent infection while our body heals its self.

what if you are bitten by a sting ray? ... Stingrays don't bite ... they sting through a barb on their tail. Stingray stings are caused by the sharp barb that transmits a protein-based venom. The best treatment to date is to soak the sting area in hot water as stingray venoms are composed of heat-labile proteins and soaking in hot water alters the tertiary structure of the polypeptide protein molecule by denaturing and thereby deactivating the poison.

Food poisoning, incl. Cholera? ... The chances of getting cholera from food poisoning is about 0.34 per 100,000 population and with a mortality rate of 0.01 per 100,000 population ... (World Health Organisation Health facts 2009) ... The body generally purges its self in most cases of food poisoning so I am not concerned about this at all and if we use proper food hygiene there won't be anything to really be concerned about.

Question ...also why are you waiting for a suitable medical kit for boats ... I mean you already have your mms don't you.

As to mms ... snake oils and magic elixir ... you know what you can do with them ... I am sure you don't need my advice there ....

Just my 20 (inflation) cents worth ...


Lexx 09-22-2012 11:55 PM

Now that I have had my little rant ... I agree lets get back to the topic at hand ... first aid kits for cruising ...

I am quite interested in others opinions and will try to make a list of what I keep in my kit as time permits as I am about to update my kit.


redbopeep 09-23-2012 06:24 AM

My goodness fellas, I leave you alone for a couple days and you're bickering about something completely unworthy of us bickering about. :huh:

There are loads of ah...hem..."different" remedies which people swear by and which manage to make folks feel pretty confident about medical outcomes. We certainly don't want to go down the path of fighting about all these things.

I do like wikipedia as a source of information since it is contributed to by many people and the info is constantly updated. I'd suggest that anyone interested in MMS keep up with the wikpedia entry on it here

About that first aid kit--sorry guys I've been booked up with other things on my plate and I've been out of pocket. I see other wonderful people have stepped up to the plate with good info: wildernesstech has given us some great insights. I'm off and running with other things for the next couple days but will return here with a bit to add to the topic!

Fair winds,

Hansulrich 09-23-2012 06:30 PM

Sorry, I don't defend mms. I just try to promote facts.

It's not easy, because that wiki entry about Miracle Mineral Supplement is a list of blatant lies. It's an anonymous forum that is misused to spread, yes, again, misinformation.

While it can be quite refreshing to read contributions by sailors who are not inhibited by a burden of knowledge, it does not lead us very far.

My list for a kit:

100 ml Sodiumchlorite Solution 28% and 100 ml Citric Acid 50%
1 bottle of 100 capsules #3 of Calciumhypochlorite
1 bottle of 100 g Chilly powder (Cayenne Peffer)
1 bottle of 100 ml DMSO
1 empty spray bottle ca. 125 ml
1 tube of Baby rash salve (Zinc oxide)
1 vial of Pain killer
Plaster, bandages, tape of various sizes
Important: A Field guide with information

About burns. Lexx is right. The question is how to avoid infection without further damage to the tissue. That's where chlorine dioxide come in. Live and learn.

Lexx 09-23-2012 11:30 PM


Originally Posted by Hansulrich (Post 35508)
Sorry, I don't defend mms. I just try to promote facts.

About burns. Lexx is right. The question is how to avoid infection without further damage to the tissue. That's where chlorine dioxide come in. Live and learn.

Dude you really are dangerous To promote the facts ... first you need to know them.

I checked out chlorine dioxide , came across several sites pushing mms and also came across way more sites, including several government ones warning of the dangers of exposure to chlorine dioxide ...

Don't believe me ...

Check out just one ...


Auzzee 09-24-2012 01:38 AM

Redbopeep says :"My goodness fellas, I leave you alone for a couple days and you're bickering about something completely unworthy of us bickering about. :huh:"
Sorry mother...won't happen again:lol:!

Meanwhile, Hansulrish is correct in that I will continue to research until I am fully convinced. Conspracy theories notwithstanding, I can only weigh the facts against one another. The only positive testimonials I can find for MMS come from sources which have an interest in promoting the preparation from a viewpoint which finds its origins in opposition to big business and an 'us-and-them' emotional stance.

However the negative spotlight falls from lofty heights indeed. There appears to be no support for the preparation from virtually any recognised technical, scientific or medical organisation. Claims of it curing cancers, malaria, herpes HIV and so on cannot be backed up by anything more than anecdotal evidence supplied from unverifiable and questionable sources.

Given the above, and I reiterate the vulnerable position offshore yotties are in when alone on an ocean, days away from medical help, I can only recommend MMS be kept ashore and even then, its use should be shunned unless it is under the direct supervision of a capable and certified medical professional.

Unfortunately, MMS has somewhat hijacked this very important thread. Medical kits are a lifeline to continued good health on the ocean and to dilute th issue through big business/political conspiracies and unproven remedies is unhelpful and confusing to those who merely seek sound, worthwhile and proven medical inclusions to help protect their health and fitness welfare.

BJSmith 09-24-2012 09:17 AM

Bring Silvedene it is used on skin burns etc.. It is amazing stuff. You might need a prescription for it. Buy lots if you are in Mexico as you might have to assist some one on a remote atoll. If you do you will have friends for life.

Hansulrich 09-25-2012 05:21 PM

I know this document, it is about occupational health. This tactic of spreading slight misinformation is well known. You are the one who is not informed and who does not know what he is talking about.

ClO2 in the form of MMS (Master Mineral) is dissolved in water. The standard dose of 3 drops is 45 mg ClO2 taken with 100 mg water. This is a dilution of 500:1 and a very tiny amount of the dissolved gas.

It is a fact that mms heals cancer, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors etc.

The medical industry has been covering up the real information for these conditions. It is known since 1911 that MS is nothing else then Lyme disease. It is known since the 1930 what causes cancer and how it can be healed.

The misinformation about vaccines is now also coming to light.

So the question is, who do you defend the indefensible?

You seem to be a doctor, which would explain everything. How are you going to cook your foot after a ray sting?

Hansulrich 09-25-2012 05:27 PM

I notice that I am still the only one with a suggestion of a medical kit on a boat. There are even no constructive questions. E.g. what is the Chilly good for?

haiqu 09-25-2012 11:40 PM

I don't have a lot to contribute here, but since I've had dental issues most of my life I can recommend Clove Oil as a simple and cheap remedy for tooth pain. Unlike painkillers it won't leave you drowsy, an important issue when trying to run a boat.

Tastes like crap, but that's another issue entirely.

haiqu 09-25-2012 11:52 PM


You make some good points above. While I have no idea about the efficacy of MMS I would not rely on either the medical industry or Wikipedia to be unbiased in making a decision about it.

Case in point is my struggle to give up smoking. I have been a smoker for 45 years, and consumed about 60 a day until recently. I've tried all the usual recommendations from government-approved sources with no results.

Last week I bought some e-cigarettes off the internet, and since they arrived my intake has dropped to 10 a day. This is BEFORE the nicotine juice has arrived from the USA. Evidently most of my person habit revolves around the ritual of sucking on a cigarette, not physical addiction. None of the "approved" remedies take this into account.

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration issues dire warnings about e-cigs and regards them as so dangerous they warn anyone who even sees them to call the police. Nicotine for personal inhalers was recently shifted from Schedule 2 to Schedule 7 (Dangerous Poison) in the Poisons List. Wow, some vested interests sure are getting upset.

Interestingly what they contain is almost exactly the same stuff that's inside Nicorette Inhalers, which can be bought at the chemist without a script. It's a mixture of food flavourings, vegetable glycerine and/or propylene glycol, and optionally nicotine. But nobody controls it and this drives government sources pretty insane.

So, your MMS may or may not be safe and effective but I sure wouldn't take what any government source says as being unbiased.


Auzzee 09-26-2012 08:50 AM

If you wish to debate the relative worth of alternative medicines, please start a new thread along those lines. Your evangelistic viewpoints, conspirational theories and refusal to consider mainstream medicine are derailing a thread which is of sincere interest to those of us who place our trust in proven medicines.

On a separate thread, you can expound your theories as you wish and draw comment specific to your area of interest. Indeed, I will be happy to give my honest view of MMS in any thread you choose to open for that purpose.

Meanwhile, please allow those of us who are a bit too stupid and unenlightened to appreciate the supposed benefits of the crap you are peddaling, to follow our own beliefs as we try to determine the best, proper medicines to carry on our boats in our quest for continued good health.

Lexx 09-26-2012 09:01 AM

Ditto what Auzzee said ....


Hansulrich 09-26-2012 05:55 PM

Straight to the topic. The question was what to include in a medical kit for a boat.

I have answered this question straight forward and as far as I have seen, I am the only one with a full kit.

It is not my fault that others are seeing red about the composition of my kit.

Why are you not just coming forward with your version of a on-board kit? We would then be in a position to compare the various suggestions and maybe even come to a consensus about what such a kit should include by default.

Clove oil is very good to have on board of you have tooth ache. I would add it as an option.

Auzzee 09-27-2012 03:07 AM

Thanks for that. I don't blame you, for getting the thread off track. As I said it was hijacked by the MMS subject, not the person. There are many good suggestions already put forward (including the previous mention of clove oil) among the dozen other treatments which have been put forward.

With broad input, I hope we may be able to identify a range of dressings, treatments, medicines and tools which we can classify under the headings of Vital, Desirable, Useful (where space permits), and special items for specific geographic regions.

Subsets (such as clove oil vs ibuprofen for toothache and other pain management medicines) may evolve and in time, I would hope we can provide not just me, but all prospective voyagers with a list put together with practical application rather than profitability in mind.
Best wishes.

Lance Gettler 09-30-2012 10:18 AM

I'm a newb but I'll give my 2 cents. When we circumnavigated we carried 2 reference books onboard "The Onboard Medical handbook" and "Advanced First Aid Afloat" neither of which i have any affiliation with or could tell you who even wrote them. They covered every scenerio and one of them, I forget which it's been so long, gave a very comprehensive list for a 1st aid kit. I'd give anything if they'd make these available as computer downloads. Every time I pack my bags I think I should throw them in but never do because I'm always overweight anyway.

Our mom worked in a hospital and got a doctor to give us every single thing on that list and it covered the entire salon when laid out. We never used a piece of it but it was nice to have onboard. We were better equipped than the hospitals in most places we visited.

We now regularly fly in to move boats for people and largely rely on their onboard first aid kits but we do always carry sutures, lidocaine, a dermabond pen, a sat phone and the phone# for my close friend who will answer my phone calls 24hrs per day and is a top surgeon.

I've made the passage to the Marquesas twice plus multiple 50 day plus passages and the thing you need to remember is there is no help there. You're just too far away. I believe, if I remember right, that enroute from Galapagos to Marquesas you pass over the spot furthest from land anywhere plus it's not a big shipping route and the US Coast Guard is nowhere to be found there. We went over 14 days on one of those passages without ever spotting a ship or even a pice of floating debris. I must say the lack of garbage on that route is nice.

The books I listed cover almost ever scenerio including amputations, but long drunken conversations with my friend the surgeon have made it apparent that there are things you can prepare for and other that you can't. We were discussing scenarios and remedies. I thought I'd covered them all with my books and kit. He informed we in the very unlikely event one of us broke our femur that was pretty much it. At the 1/2 way point between San Cristobal and hiva Oua you're just too far away without the ability to do what's necessary to save yourself. My advice - don't break your femur.

We also carried an emergency filling pen in the unlikely event of a lost filling, cap or a toothache but i've heard from many old time sailors that they used Marinetex as fillings and it worked just fine. For that very reason I've always bought white marinetex instead of grey - just in case.

Remember too that unless you're singlehanding you need to carry a medical power of attorney for every member of the crew.

Have a great passage. FWIW Cornell's right on the routing and you really need to pay attention to the currents. Find the favorable current and stay in it - that will knock 2 days off that passage.

Wildernesstech 10-03-2012 11:35 AM


Well said sir! I apologize that I haven't been able to allocate the time yet to post a comprehensive list, but it is in the plans, and I suspect that Redbopeep is working on it also.

The object will be to get it attached to our WIki, so that you shall be able to download it onto a tablet or laptop and maybe help with your request (partially) to have some of that info available to take with you without packing books...

I am currently considering some other options for this material, as I believe that a "list" by itself has such a small value!


Auzzee 01-11-2013 04:15 AM

Take a gander at the attached medical kit as distributed to the US military. It is less than $140 from Amazon and seems to be a really good starter. Any comments, especially from medical types, will be warmly welcomed.
FA110 M17 Medic Bag -

Lexx 01-11-2013 07:46 AM

Seems like a damn good kit to begin with ..add a few local items and it could be a great first aid kit... we are each different so our needs are also different but this kit seems to me to be a great starter kit for sure...thumbs up...


Bigrock 01-12-2013 06:38 AM


Originally Posted by Auzzee (Post 37065)
Take a gander at the attached medical kit as distributed to the US military. It is less than $140 from Amazon and seems to be a really good starter. Any comments, especially from medical types, will be warmly welcomed.
FA110 M17 Medic Bag -

I just took a look at that medical bag. There seems to be lots of different medical supplies for a great value. Even the size of the pack is decent. You might want to put the supplies in a water tight container rather then the pack sac. But other then that it looks like a great buy. Thanks for the link. Living Aboard Boats


Auzzee 01-12-2013 08:04 AM

Thanks Curtis. The medical supplies in the above are packed for field work. Certainly, I will use plastic bags to seal some of the components, but I feel that to put all the supplies in a watertight container rather defeats the purpose of the design of the bag and may be a handicap when searching for appropriate items during an emergency. Perhaps the trick will be to put the entire, packed bag, into a garden waste plastic bag.

Auzzee 11-18-2015 02:43 PM

Every now and again, when I am in need of a little light entertainment, I go for a wander through the past on Cruiser Log. I couldn't resist bumping this subject. It is still important. But more than that we uncovered a man who was just a hair's breadth away from being able to walk on water. Very entertaining.

haiqu 11-19-2015 12:29 AM

Walking on water isn't such a big deal. Edward Hargraves (the well-known adventurer and gold rush publicist) walked across Rushcutters Bay for a bet once.

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