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Appalachian Trail First Aid and Pharmacy

My first aid and pharmacy kit for the hike. A little more bloated than I wanted, but as I perused the Walmart shelves I kept seeing items that reminded of all the lovely pains one can accrue in the wilderness. Maybe after few days I'll ditch some of the pills, but at least this is how I'll begin. From left to right:

  • Moleskin, for blisters.
  • Hand sanitizer, for the obvious.
  • Stomach relief, pepto-bismol, bismuth tablets. I can't recall using them on a hike before but they've always come in handy traveling to strange lands so they'll get a spot in coach. Likely candidates for abandonment. (Fun Fact: my auto-correct is dying to change this to pesto-mismol, which I am totally willing to try)
  • Vaseline, for moisturizer, lubrication, chafing relief, and occasionally kick-starting a fire. I wanted plain but all they had in baby size was what I can only assume is peach flavor.
  • Goldbond, if your feet get soggy.
  • Campho-phenique. No idea what this is, but it looked like a good idea to have a strong pain and itch reliever for insect bites, skin irritation, and burns—all of which I've experienced abundantly. Campho-phenique won my selection by coming in a small, travel-sized bottle. A cursory google search appears to indicate efficacy. I'll let you know.
  • Merthiolate, antiseptic. Another mystery selection. Google reviews said that farmers use it and it burns like hell so it must be good. Also chosen for conveniently sized bottle.
  • Red pills, ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory and pain relief. In a cute little nalgene bottle that an REI representive upsold me hard on.
  • Hydrocortisone, more anti-itch stuff. Last time I did a big section hike I put a plant in a very tender location (my butt) and discovered new worlds of discomfort. So this might be redundant, but gosh I'll let it tag along a little while.
  • Blue pills, diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 25mg tablets. Antihistamine and sleep aid. Why would you need a sleep aid on the trail? Have you ever heard some of these mountain men snore? And of course the antihistamine is for allergy relief.
  • Antibiotic ointment, so I don't die of an embarrassingly small cut. Fights infection.
  • Bandages of many sizes and shapes. Pleased with the variety, especially the itty bitty blister-sized babies. Might ditch some of the larger ones.
And it all fits nicely in a zip-lock: 

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