shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Medical Kit

December 1, 2014

The following is an excerpt from My Boat Lists. It and all my books (electronic and paper versions) are on sale until 9:00 p.m. tonight. For paper versions, use this code at checkout: FB2YQCHZ. Thanks for the support.

Before we left the dock in 2002, we had pages of notes on how to build your own medical kit. It is possible to buy a "complete" kit, but they are surprisingly incomplete. Since you will be adding to it anyway, it is more economical to build your own. I spoke with our family doctor who gave me catalogs for bandages, scissors, eyewash, and various other first aid supplies. I showed her the list of prescription medications I thought we would need from my reading, and we discussed their uses and alternatives. The following is a list of our completed medical kit, though we continue to add some items and not replace others as they expire. The colors correspond to my code for the contents of the kit. Because there are so many Ziploc bags in the large duffel bag that is our medical kit and because we may need these items in an emergency, I labeled each bag with its contents on colored paper corresponding to its use: blue for cuts and sprains, green for internal medications, white for dental, red for burns, yellow for skin problems, and pink for feminine issues. In addition to these color-coded lists, we keep a record of the prescriptions on board in the event that customs ever asks for one. We also maintain a medical log in which we note any medications we take, the date, amount, its effectiveness, and the general outcome. Our doctor was careful to prescribe only medications that anyone on board can take, keeping our allergies in mind, thus eliminating someone accidentally taking the wrong medication. All drugs are kept in their original bottles, and the kit is stored within easy reach. We have needed it during several "emergencies" of varying degrees and have decided that if we use an item more than once a year, it should be moved to the head locker for easier access.

Nice, small package

bacitracin antibiotic ointment (moved to the head locker within weeks)
3 inch square gauze pad
sports tape
eye patches
veterinarian wrap
finger splits
butterfly bandages
wound irrigation wash
wrist braces for both wrists
a sling added when Nicholas dislocated his shoulder
rubber gloves
old-fashioned maxi pads for large cuts
triangle bandages that we made from old sheets
Until we realized the difficulty of keeping instant cold compresses from self activating, we carried several. Now we don't waste the money.

A view of some of the contents

All the following have since been moved to the head locker:
adult and children's vitamins
Charco Caps
cough suppressant
ammonia inhalants
ipecac syrup
All the following are prescription medications:
neomycin--an antibiotic used to treat ear infections
erythromycin--for pink eye
Levaquin--for UTI
amoxicillin--an antibiotic
promethazine--for seasickness
co-Tylenol--for pain
Aralen phosphate--a malaria prophylactic

a topical anesthetic
several dental instruments
Cavit--temporary filling
dental sponges

Silvaden cream
2nd Skin-- a sterile pad for burns
aloe vera gel
3 inch gauze pads
sports tape
burn spray

hydrocortisone cream
zinc oxide
clotrimazole--an anti-fungal cream
lice shampoo, gel, and spray
EpiPen--moved to the head locker
methylprednisolone--for allergic reactions
triamcinolone--for an itchy rash
nystatin cream--for fungal infections
vitamin A and D ointment
Bag Balm--a petroleum and lanolin based moisturizer found in feed stores

miconazole nitrate

Loose in the medical kit we also have a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, ear scope, and two large bottles of Pedialyte. The first aid reference book once stored there is now on the bookshelf.

MONDAY we'll share our version of "three's a crowd." And no, we're not talking people.

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