Amazon – Medical Kit

Medical kit

After much research, planning and advice, my medical kit is finally complete.

In the remotest section of the upcoming Amazon expedition, my two local teammates and I will be some 4 weeks away from the nearest medical centre. Being too remote for emergency evacuation (we’re out of helicopter range) I need to be able to manage any potential traumas, both minor and severe.

It breaks down as follows (from right to left in the pic above):

  • Day boxes for foot treatment, malaria prophylaxis, painkillers, plasters, body washing
  • Thermometer and antibiotics covering infections of digestive system, skin, lungs, throat, ears, eyes (neatly stored in urine sample tubes)
  • Allergy and anaphylactic shock treatment (with pre-filled adrenaline shot)
  • Pain management pills
  • Bag of dressings for any woundcare
  • Creams for burns, fungal infections, bites
  • 350 alcohol wipes for cleaning wounds (you end up using plenty in the jungle)

Just waiting on a mini dental kit and iodine bottle for washing wounds.

It’s great to know your med kit inside out. Hopefully I won’t need to use 90% of it. It doesn’t come cheap (especially malarone). Total bill just under £600. But can’t put a price on safety.

Thank you to the awesome Doctor Russell Hearn for his invaluable advice and help in the design and procurement of the above. The highlight was practising self-injection into the buttocks… no better way of curing a fear of needles!

Bring on the jungle!

Amazon expedition

Amazing Lakes

A team of eight Year 10 students were pushed to the limit in the Lake District last week.

Helvellyn

Day 1 saw the team attempt Helvellyn (925m) and turn around 100 metres below the summit. Exposure, rain and fog were too much for the team’s nerves on the famous ‘Swirral Edge’ ridge.

Helvellyn

Humbled by the experience, the team regrouped and got themselves ready for an ascent of Bowfell (910m). Choosing a wild camp in the stunning Langdale valley, meals were cooked on fires, the sun came out and river bathing was a go.

Bowfell

Day 3 the team successfully ascended the majestic Bowfell, the icing on the cake for this amazing trip.

Thank you to Teacher Andy for his excellent support.

North Ealing to Snowdon

Snowdonia

Blessed with glorious spring conditions, eight students from North Ealing made a successful ascent of their first ever mountain in stunning North Wales.

Snowdonia

Snowdonia

Our base camp was a farmer’s field by the foot of the mountain, where we cooked our suppers on open fires.

Snowdonia

The students performed excellently and a big thank you to teachers Andy and Chiara for their support.   

Snowdonia

Amazon – Creepy Crawlies

With a 3-month expedition in the Amazon rainforest on the horizon, thoughts of bugs have been on my mind.

Spider

A potential threat we’ll face in the upper reaches of the Rio Mapuera will come from overhanging branches.

Nicholas Guppy, the last Westerner to explore the Mapuera in 1958, had an interesting experience:

‘The branch of a tree swept us, and a saucer-sized tarantula leapt from it on to me, scrambled about on my head and chest’ (Nicholas Guppy, Wai-Wai)

I only a saw a handful of tarantulas on my Exploration Guyana expedition 6 years ago.

Spider hunting

Spider

Hopefully my Amerindian teammates and I won’t suffer the same fate as Mr. Guppy on our upcoming source to mouth descent of the Rio Mapuera this September!

Mini Ski Adventure

Glencoe

Slogging up a munro and skiing down has to be one of my favourite things!

Our objective, the mountain on the horizon in the photo above, was looking glorious.

Glencoe

Renting skis from the Glencoe ski centre, this was a spontaneous hike up and ski down of Stob Coire Sgreamhach (1,072m).

It was my friend’s first ski descent of a Scottish munro.

Glencoe

Terrible snow conditions up top, due to the recent storms, but we had a blast!

Mountain Weekend

Glencoe

With a high pressure system passing over Scotland, we were in for a weekend of blue skies and glorious sunshine… huge stroke of luck!

A group of 8, we ascended Glencoe’s stunning Stob Coire nan Lochan (top left summit in the photo above), a baptism of fire for the team’s less experienced members!

Glencoe

An ascent of one of its gullies proved to be a challenging side objective for myself and two friends.

Glencoe

The past month has been brutal in Glencoe, with frequent storm force winds scouring the summit ridges.

The results are windslab snow on the ridges and giant cornices overhanging the North aspect slopes (due to the predominant South-Westerly winds).

Glencoe

The following day was spent walking across Aonach Mor, by Ben Nevis, enjoying massive views over all the great Highland ranges.

Aonach Mor

An inspiring and physical weekend in one of Britain’s most pristine wilderness areas!

Aonach Mor