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The essentials. (Handgun Hunting).

Prior to my first trip to never-never-land I have personal medical sources who research the area for any particular prevalent diseases and prescribe appropriate medication to take along. In many areas of Africa, tick fever is prevalent. It's similar to Lyme disease and not to be trifled with. A small, quality first aid kit can literally be a lifesaver. I missed my only chance to stitch up a doctor friend in Australia because he forgot the sutures. Bummer, sometimes I like sewing, but butterfly bandages had to do. Everyday medication should be in a very strong container with the prescription attached for the local custom's officer's convenience. And do not forget eyewash.

Before leaving clip all finger and toenails short and take the clipper with you. A small personal flashlight, like an AA Maglight for around the camp use, is handy. Another to carry -- for extended night work -- is one of the SureFire-type compact lights. Include a filter that shows blood brightly. Their new AVAITOR model with LED, combined with a bright light, looks like it might do both jobs. Take enough batteries. A small lightweight pocketknife is essential too. Currently, I carry a very light Beretta with a serrated 2" blade.

In most places sunscreen is essential. It's not sissy -- use it. Sunglasses should be considered. Extra prescription glasses in a strong case are a must. Carry moleskin for those blisters as soon as they begin to be noticeable. A couple aspirin in your pocket can make a day much more enjoyable, as headaches are common in the sun and outdoors. Ditto a Band-Aid or two. Baby wipes and Campho-Phenique go a long way toward making raw spots more comfortable.

Travel, jet lag, sore muscles, over-tiredness and uncomfortable sleeping conditions play hell with the ability to sleep for some people. Prescription sleeping pills should be taken and used if necessary. Individuals without adequate sleep become zombies in a few days -- not fun. A cheap, luminous dial or illuminated watch with large numbers is quite handy. Leave your rings, expensive watches and six-pound gold neck chains at home.

In some countries a wash cloth and towel are considered personal items and you must furnish them yourself. In some places, desirable goods are highly preferred to $$$ for tips. Your outfitter can advise you on this.

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Author:Jones, J.D.
Publication:American Handgunner
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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