Gadling gear review: Adventure Medical Kits Smart Travel

Staying healthy while on the go is one of the most important aspects for us to enjoy our travels. Nothing ruins a “trip of a lifetime” more quickly than contracting a stomach ailment or developing nasty blisters on our feet. Anticipating everything we might need to take with us to avoid these issues can be tough however, and invariably we end up leaving home without the one thing we really need.

That’s where Adventure Medical Kits comes in. The company makes a line of medical kits and survival gear that have long been favorites amongst the backpacking and adventure racing crowd. But they also have a fantastic set of med kids designed specifically for travel that offer everything we need for our next trip in one compact, well organized, package.

Take for example their Smart Travel kit, which is designed to support one or two people on an extended trip. The kit is essentially a well stocked medicine cabinet that you can take with you wherever you go. Weighing in at just over a pound, the Smart Travel comes packed with bandages, gauze, a thermometer, tweezers, medical tape, and much more. It also includes medications to treat a variety of stomach ailments, blisters, dehydration, fever, and other minor aches and pains. A comprehensive patient assessment form helps to diagnose exactly what it is that ails you, while a visual communications card allows you to communicate what is wrong, in multiple languages, just by pointing.

But that’s not all. The kit also packs in a handy 200-page pocket edition of a wilderness and travel medicine guide. The book offers tips and advice on how to handle everything from allergic reactions to snake bites. The book is so well organized and filled with great information, that it will come in handy even around the house. But having a compact version that fits snugly into the Smart Travel kit, is a nice addition to an already well stocked product.
Adventure Medical Kits recommends the Smart Travel for adventure travel through both developing and developed countries. They also give it a thumbs up for travelers on cruises or short term missionary tours. Personally, I think the kit is fantastic for just about any trip however and would recommend it whether you’re trekking through the Himalaya or staying in a luxury resort in the Caribbean. It is simply too useful to leave at home, no matter what your destination.

For those travelers who need something a bit more comprehensive, AMK offers the World Travel kit, which is designed to support 1-4 people. It is a bit larger, weighing in at a pound and a half, but comes stocked with even more emergency supplies. They even have a kit designed specifically for women, which was developed to meet their specific needs as well.

No matter which kit you use however, AMK has built them to be modular and easy to restock. That means that as you use it, and supplies begin to dwindle, you can simply order refills directly from the company, keeping your medical kit always ready to go. This is a handy option for those who want a simple way to ensure that they are always prepared for their next adventure, without worrying if they remembered to restock all the things they used on their last excursion.

The Smart Travel runs just $40, which is a small price to pay for staying healthy on your next trip. The woman’s specific kit and World Travel are $60 and $70 respectively, but come with even more medical supplies.

Anyone of these kits would make a great holiday gift for the adventurer on your list.

Adventure travel medical kits

I can think of three times I’ve wished I’d packed more immodium, hydration salts, or an emergency blanket with me but I didn’t. The first was when I ate a bad mango in India and spent two days either on the toilet or in bed. The second was when my friend came down with a stomach bug in rural Thailand and spent the night in the village doctor’s guest room after a shot in the butt and hooked up to an IV (see photo). The third was on my U.S. road trip, where I bundled my pug up in two sweaters under my thin blanket and slept through a cold night in Flagstaff, Arizona; we woke up to find the water frozen in our bottles.
There’s a reason travel kits and accessories exist: for our comfort and survival. That’s why I felt honored to receive a care package from Simon Ashdown at Adventure Medical Kits (a subsidy of Tender Corporation). Inside the package was an assortment of great travel and medical kits. For a travel savvy wanderer like myself, these kits satisfy my travel needs perfectly. The new adventure travel kit series satisfy four different kinds of travel needs:

  • World Travel ($75), for the serious trekker and adventurer (suitable for 1-4 people on a multi-day trip)
  • Smart Travel ($40), for 1-2 adventurers on a week-long exploration abroad
  • Suture Syringe Medic ($22), for real emergencies in places where medical care may be spotty or nonexistent
  • Travel Medic ($10), for everyday travel to places where it’s easy to access more serious medical care; contains materials for stomach, pain, cuts, and hygiene issues

Both the World and Smart Travel kits include a ‘Point and See’ communication card, which can be an important tool to break the language barrier. The Suture Syringe and Travel Medic kits are certified 100% carbon neutral and are made of recycled craft paper laminated onto woven polypropylene. Since I’m a light packer, I think the Travel Medic will suit my needs just fine, but if ever I travel with family, I would opt for the Smart Travel kit.

In addition to these great kits, there are some neat accessories available that are great for travelers too, such as the cool “Heatsheets” sleeping bag, which comes with a cool orange stuff sack. The “no deet” insect repellent wipes and baking soda itch relief would come in handy as well.

Those interested in taking advantage of these cool products should visit the Adventure Medical Kits website. Or feel free to contact Simon directly at sashdown [at] tendercorp [dot] com.