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“You’re go­ing to need an ex­ten­sive med­i­cal kit if you’re go­ing to ven­ture out there,” reck­ons Dr Chap­man. “You also need to know how to use it all. It should in­clude Be­ta­dine, nee­dles for re­mov­ing urchins, ster­ile gauze, and a ba­sic su­ture kit with lo­cal anaes­thetic, tweez­ers, ba­sic dress­ings, crepe ban­dage and some sim­ple anal­ge­sia. Skin glue is also a good idea if you can’t get su­tur­ing equip­ment.”

Dr Chap­man doesn’t be­lieve in skimp­ing if you’re go­ing feral.

“Some other things to re­mem­ber are eardrops, eye drops, an­ti­his­tamines, elec­trolyte sa­chets and an­tibi­otics for a skin in­fec­tion. You’ll need some de­cent pain re­lief. If you have any­thing re­motely strong make sure your name is on the pre­scrip­tion and carry a doc­tor’s let­ter for it and any an­tibi­otics to avoid any has­sles with im­mi­gra­tion. If you’re not on pro­phy­laxis, then a treat­ment dose of Malarone is a good idea.”

He also rec­om­mends a broad-spec­trum an­tibi­otic like Doxy­cy­cline for wound in­fec­tions, es­pe­cially ma­rine con­tam­i­nated wounds as well as a gas­tro kit that can as­sist with trav­ellers’ di­ar­rhoea.

No mat­ter what pro­tec­tion you take, you are go­ing to get bit­ten by in­sects, es­pe­cially if you’re in the trop­ics, so an­ti­his­tamines will help.

“Don’t for­get the ba­sics, like sun­screen, mos­quito re­pel­lent and some al­co­hol wipes,” adds Dr Chap­man. “A dis­in­fec­tant like Bac­troban, or any an­tibi­otic bar­rier cream is al­ways go­ing to come in handy, along the Leuko­plast tape to cover the wounds.”

Let’s not for­get that you might be in the jun­gles of Java where all sorts of strange in­fec­tions lurk.

“A com­bi­na­tion anti-fun­gal/steroid cream can be handy for those weird jun­gle rashes,” reck­ons Chap­man. “Get one of those rashes on your junk while in the jun­gle, and you’re go­ing to need to sort it out quickly, or you’re go­ing to be weep­ing.”

If some­thing goes wrong, and it of­ten does, at least you’ll have the equip­ment to deal with ba­sic first aid pro­ce­dures.

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