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I'm not selling any of these products, this is only a collection of impressions about some of the things I have traveled with, or plan to travel with. As I use them, I will add updates. Remember that not all items are appropriate for all travels, and the importance of packing light cannot be overstated: when in doubt, leave it out! Where practical, I have added links to manufacturers or retailers for anyone who wants more information. Text in GREEN has been added since my latest trip.



Jet Lag Homeopathic Remedy


Lots of people swear by these for easing the transition to new time zones...I can only say that I used them myself and did not experience any major difficulty adjusting to Italy time. They're homeopathic, so no side effects to worry about, either. On this last trip, I amazed my host by adjusting nearly seamlessly from San Francisco to London time -- but I think a good part of my secret is not sleeping at all the night before departure.


Grapefruit Seed Extract Pills


To read their web site, you'd think they had discovered a miracle cure-all (or at least cure-most). While the claims may be optimistic, it seems clear that this grapefruit seed extract does have anti-bacterial properties that could prove useful on the road. Fortunately for me, I never got sick enough to use these on the last trip. Well, there's always next time...



Jarrow Formulas

We're all very familiar with antibiotics, but what's a PRObiotic? Well, its a supplement to increase the "good" bacteria in your system... according to the company, they've been shown to " stimulate immune response and suppress intestinal pathogens... [and] help reduce spoilage caused by undesirable bacteria in cultured dairy products." What this means is they could be a help to a digestive system overtaxed by unfamiliar (and possibly unclean) food. Didn't need these on my last trip, fortunately.


Traveler's Friend


Just three little drops promise to do away with water-borne bacteria and parasites, as well as offer protection against food-borne illness. While not a guarantee I won't get sick, it does provide some insurance in problem areas. I used this a few times in my drinking water, and it left quite a bitter taste. Did it protect me from some terrible fate? Without a double-blind test with a control group, it's impossible to say. Where the risk is relatively low, I think there's no harm done. Where the risk is higher, I'd use the time-tested, proven treatment: iodine tablets.



Nature's Way

I know these are great for preventing motion sickness (my kayak instructors and friends all swear by them). I've also read that ginger is good for the immune and digestive systems. It's best to take them before you need them... if you're hung over on a tour bus on winding Scottish backroads, it's probably too late for anything except rolling down the window.


Motion Sickness Tablets

These are the big guns, if gentler ginger pills fail to provide adequate relief. I was very glad to have these on my 19-1/2 hour exodus from Ireland to France on the ferry.


Sore Muscle Relief

Tiger Balm

This eucalyptus-intensive ointment is nice to have when the rigors of travel take their toll on my hard working body. The manufacturers claim it relieves not only muscle soreness, but also itching from mosquito bites, pain from tension headaches, and flatulence. Packed away in my medical kit, I rarely thought to use it, although I was often quite sore from so much walking.


Homeopathic Muscle Soreness Relief


This remedy came highly recommended for natural relief of muscle pain and soreness from overexertion. As far as I could tell, these had no effect when I used them to relieve muscle soreness, but I'd be very glad to know if anyone has had more success with this, or any other, muscle pain relief aid.


Skin Ointment

Bag Balm

I haven't found anything more effective for cracked, dry skin, especially on hands and feet, and a little goes a long way.


Antifungal Cream


Men's Health magazine says this is the only thing that really works against athlete's foot fungus. Shared showers are a great place to pick up these unpleasant beasties, so I pack a small tube for insurance.


Dental Wax

Butler Gum

For the emergency dental kit, it can be used to cover the jagged edge of a broken tooth.


Toothache Medicine

Red Cross

Oil of cloves, cotton pellets and a little tweezers, all I will need for emergency treatment of pain from a broken tooth or lost filling. There seems to be some controversy about use of clove oil, and the possibility of resulting nerve damage... check with your dentist before you pack this.


Emergency Dental Filling

Dentemp O.S.

Temporarily replace lost fillings or secure loose crowns...the tiny vial is cheap and easy insurance in case of dental disasters.


 Saline Spray


But a shot of this feels nice and refreshing, and helps keep those germs at bay.


 Saline Gel


Anyone who flies knows that plane air is dry air, and spending much time in the air dries out one's nose. This is a problem not just because it's uncomfortable, but also because when nasal membranes dry out, they're less able to fend off airborne infectious agents that cheerfully re-circulate throughout the cabin. Similar to saline spray, but more compact and concentrated, this gel dries out less quickly. This is good for people who don't want to be spraying something up their nose every half hour or so. Duck behind your in-flight magazine, dab a little inside each nostril, and breathe more comfortably for hours.


 Cold Preventative


I first saw this in Italy, where globetrotting backpackers were swearing by it for preventing colds from germ-laden re circulated air on planes. It contains a megadose of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins, minerals and herbs to support immune functions.




Staying healthy on the road is a top priority. Emer'gen-C comes in handy little single-serving packets that you mix with water, and delivers a potent dose of C and other good things.


Disposable Thermometers


Flight regulations prohibit mercury thermometers (did you know this--I didn't know this) and glass and mercury are not the best things to carry around anyway. So enter the amazing technology of these tiny, light and apparently accurate and easy to read disposable thermometers.


First Aid Kit

Atwater Carey

The Wilderness Medicine Pro 1.0 model is a good basic choice, but I will be adding a few things (like an oral thermometer) and subtracting some of the things (latex gloves, large bandages) I hope I won't need when I'm in mostly first-world conditions.


Suture & Syringe Kit

Adventure Medical Kits

Suture/Syringe Medic, something I can take to developing countries where sterile suplies might not be available. Not needed on my Europe leg, but will be going with me to some more rustic areas.


Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Dirk G. Schroeder

Recommended reference material for all the scary diseases that it's possible to contract. This book will make you paranoid.






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