What are the things that you need to plan before the trip?

  1. Up-to-date vaccinations: do not wait until the last minute
    1. See your family doctor a few months before the trip to verify the vaccination record and get any missing shots.
    2. Check you have your yellow fever vaccination card if you have been in a country where yellow fever is endemic.
  1. Check your general health with your physician
    1. If you are currently being treated for a condition:
      1. Make sure you have the needed amount of medication for the length of the trip. Keep a copy of your prescription with the generic name of the drug.
      2. Get the tests requested by your physician to ensure you can complete the trip without incident.
      3. If recently hospitalized, bring and have your hospitalization report in case it is need for any unforeseen medical reasons.
      4. Disclose the relavent details to your Trip Leader.

What are the things that you need to plan during the trip?

  • Optimize your energy right from the start (rest, stress, etc…)
  • Conciously practice public hygiene): frequently wash your hands to avoid any gastrointestinal problems from the beginning!
  • Never set off without water – you can end up by yourself having to make considerable efforts in high tempratures and/or high altitudeputting you at risk for heat stroke and dehydration
  • Monitor your urine output (it must be copious and clear)
  • It is advisable to mix water with an isotonic flavored hydration mix. adding flavoring changes the feeling of thirst and may save your life. Use ORS if hydration mix is not available.
  • In the rare case that you get separated from the group, do not abandon your vehicle unless in imminent danger.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites (by always having strong mosquito repellent with you)
  • Altitude sickness – usually starts with a headache and nausea. Avoid intense physical efforts at altitude until properly acclimated. If your doctor approves and you do not have any known allergies, you can use Diamox (Acetazolamide). Remember that it results in increased urination, so you have to drink additional water to compensate!
  • Know when to stop – talk to the trip leader as soon as fatigue, overheating, thirst or altitude sickness symptoms are felt.
  • When arriving at the rest-stops, you must hydrate – neither beer nor caffeine-based drinks are acceptable hydration. Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which means that they aggravate dehydration.
  • Do not skip meals. Adequate nutrition is important to having a good time on the trip. Keep some emergency calorie-dense rations on your person for emergencies.

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