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[pct-l] Meds on the trail
- Subject: [pct-l] Meds on the trail
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 20:47:48 -0500 (CDT)
Neither Walt or I are big on taking medications, but we realize that hiking
the PCT is a different situation and we try to be prepared for any emergency
that may arise. We have a wonderful family physician and he has always been
involved in our medical needs while we are hiking. Since we are from the
East Coast, he is much less accessible to us. I know, he is just a phone
call away, but it isn't easy to get Merk-Medco to send me a prescription in
the High Sierras or a tiny town without a pharmacy.
For our medical kit we carry the following presciptions that either of us
can take; Doxycycline -- a low spectrum antibiotic (to start taking in case
we get any type of bacterial infections due to cuts or illnesses), Vikadin -
- for pain (careful, this can be habit forming!), Flagyl -- for giardia
(didn't take this year -- maybe we should have!), Nolix -- antihistamin
(great for sinus problems), Tylenol with Codine, and because I am so very
prone to getting leg cramps at night, I have enough Quinine for 5 months --
1 for every night -- hoping I won't need any at all!
In '97 I didn't have the Quinine the first 7 weeks and suffered almost every
night with severe legs cramps. A friend gave me some Vikadin which knocked
me out so I was able to relax my muscles. I used this until my prescription
for Quinine arrived. There were many nights when neither Walt or I could
sleep because the muscles in our legs were so full of blood they ached and
twitched sporatically all night and the bottoms of our feet were so
sensative they hurt just by touching each other. Taking the Tylenol with
Codine helped us to relax and get a good nights sleep. One of the side
effects from this was that we walked in a fog for most of the next morning.
We changed to Tylenol PM -- this has a lower amount of codine than the
prescription Tylenol with Codine. Towns also have their dangers -- all the
rich and fatty food binging can cause havoc with the digestive system.
Coming back on the trail for the first day or two I suffered from diarriah
and Imodium AD saved me many a time. The first year our doctor gave us a
prescription for Flagyl in case we got Giardia -- or any other parasite --
we never used it. I suppose we could have gotten infected and never known
This year we treated our water with the Iodine crystals -- except for one
time before Lone Pine. Among its many uses, duct tape was great for foot
blisters and sore ankles and araches! We take Tea Tree Oil for cuts and
sores, it is an anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial oil. The "Ti Tree"
is a bush similar to a Cranberry bush and only grows in Australia. This oil
was used by the British during the Crimean War in their triage units because
they couldn't get enough antibiotics to meet their needs. The British found
it to be very beneficial for all types of infections. We found it to be
soothing for cracked lips and mouth sores. To brush our teeth we used
peppermint oil -- it side benefits also help to sooth your stomach and
leaves the mouth clean and fresh, we swollowed this instead of spitting it
out! Darrell Fort introduced us to Compede -- worked good but if left on too
long it was very hard to get off or it stuck to our socks and skin too well.
Benadryl in pill form and a stick for relief of bug bites also helped.
Sunscreen was a must -- worse sunburns can come from the snow -- the
underside of your chin and nose can burn very quickly! I carried a tube of
Vaseline Creamy lotion for feet, hands, and face. A little vial of
Citronella mixed in with the lotion was a great anti-bug deterrant -- be
careful and don't get it into your eyes or an open sore as it will burn like
crazy! We also carried a pair of heavy duty nail clippers for trimming our
toe nails -- all the downhill pounding can cause in grown nails -- so very
painful. Walt and I had an extra pair of Superfeet in our drift box and
when we used that pair we bought another pair to send further up the trail -
- they were invaluable!
Happy Trails -- Pat
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