So now what do you do with the answers to the four important questions? Your head might be swimming with all the criteria and it might feel as if it is impossible to make sense of it all. Let me see if I can walk you through how we’d decide.
To reiterate, the four questions were:
- Where Are you Going?
- How Many People Are In Your Party?
- How Long Will You Be Gone?
- How Will You Tranport the Kit?
Let’s take the questions in order of importance and drill down to the kits we recommend. We believe that the answer to the first question is the most important one of all. There are two possible answers to this question:
- You will be more than 8 hours from critical emergency medical care
- You will be less than 8 hours from critical emergency medical care
What Does It Mean?
Let me take the time here to describe what we mean by “critical emergency medical care.” By this we mean, the kind of emergency room critical care that you would normally find in most U.S.-level trauma centers. If you are more than 8 hours from a good ER, you will have to have enough supplies to treat an illness or injury for at least that long, as you get help for your patient. If you are less than 8 hours from emergency care, you have to carry less with you because the transport time to the hospital is shorter.
If you are traveling to a remote location, it is important to know that emergency medical care varies from country to country and even within regions in countries. Venturing outside of the bounds of “normal” requires that you take with you what isn’t easily found at your destination.
Surprisingly, you can find yourself in extreme locations even in the Lower 48 and Alaska. Kurt has experienced being completely isolated north of the Arctic Circle when weather came in, preventing any planes from coming or going. This would constitute a location “more than 8 hours” from a good ER, even though Alaska has excellent evacuation times, in general.
We will cover our kit recommendations for each either being more or less than 8 hours from a good ER in our next two posts. In the meantime, carefully think about this aspect of your destination.