A Hunting Tour Starts at the Pharmacy
There are many things to take care of when you are travelling abroad to hunt. Equipment, clothes, money, creditcards, permits, weapons, ammunition and, not least, all the paperwork. It can seem quite overwhelming, and often actually is. This can result in you setting off a vital part of your luggage. But what really is the most vital thing you should bring with you? Many might say their weapons, ammunition or permits. Others will say clothes and boots. But are they actually the most important? You can nearly always hire or buy weapons and ammunition at your destination. In our modern high tech communication society it is, as a rule, always possible to get hold of a copy or replacement of any forgotten permits or other paperwork, just as you can usually find replacement clothing or footwear. Perhaps you might lose one hunting day, but on the other hand you will be able to enjoy the rest of your hunting tour without any further problems. But there is a part of your baggage, that cannot be easily replaced, and in a worst case scenario it might cost you your whole hunting tour… Namely your toilet bag, or rather that part of its contents you bought at the pharmacy.
Sickness Can Put a Stop to Everything
Here in Scandinavia, and the rest of north western Europe, we have the strictest rule governing food hygiene in the world. In practice this means as soon as we leave this part of the world, our extraordinarily “sterile” stomachs will be exposed to a significantly wider range of bacteria than we are used to at home. The result of this is that we are particularly vulnerable to travel diarrhoea. While this is rarely actually dangerous, it often causes side effects such as dehydration and cramping, and you will nearly always experience a significant feeling of loss of energy because of this . A serious case of travel diarrhoea can easily cause the loss of a couple of days hunting, and the feeling of energy loss will clearly affect your ability to hunt and its level of success, especially if you are taking part in a physically demanding hunt.
Good Advice: the medicine IMODIUM can be bought over the counter in pharmacists and many other shops everywhere at home, and it has the almost magical effect of quirky stopping diarrhoea, sometimes even within an hour. This means that you can easily continue your hunt while your stomach adjusts to foreign bacteria. And as you can stop diarrhoea, you will not experience the dehydration that leads to the feeling of loss of energy. In other words an inexpensive medicine you can simply buy over the counter can save your hunting tour, one you have perhaps been saving up towards for years. It is, however, important to emphasise that while IMODIUM will stop the effects of diarrhoea, it does not prevent its cause. But you are affected by normal travel diarrhoea, which usually lasts for only a day or two, IMODIUM can solve the problem.
Malaria and Medicine
In many of the parts of the world where we really like to hunt, there is the risk of malaria. Therefore you should of course protect yourself with the appropriate prophylactic medications. Malaria medicines are not like vitamin pills, they can gave a serious affect on your body. How an individual will react to a specific malaria treatment can vary greatly, so once you have found a specific medicine that works for you, remember its name for the next time you travel. The side effects of of malaria medicines can vary greatly. Again suffering diarrhoea for a day or so is very common, can this can be helped by using IMODIUM. In worse cases you can experience nausea and dizziness, which can only be helped by resting. In extreme cases you can experience an allergic reaction, leading to vomiting and cramps, but luckily this is very rare as it really can ruin your hunting tour.
Good Advice: If you have not taken malaria medicine before, or have to change to a new medicine, then talk to your doctor to see is you can start the course of treatment 8-10 days before departure? Normally you will need to start taking the tablets a few days before departure, so that the medicine has time to thoroughly work through your body, but by starting an extra week earlier, you will have time to get over any diarrhoea and/or nausea it might cause before leaving home, and thus feeling fit and ready to hunt when you arrive.
Ticks, Mosquitos and Mites
Over recent years, many of the destination where we enjoy hunting, have seen a drastic increase in the number of ticks. As ticks also will be present in the fur/skins of the animals in shoot and prepare in the field, hunters are particularly venerable to them. Therefore it is particularly important that you thoroughly protect yourself against these pests, as the consequences of developing Borrelia, which in a worst case scenario can be passed on by a tick bite, can be very dramatic. Good Advise: There are many types of oils and sprays that can help keep ticks, mosquitos and mites at a safe distance. Many often claim that medicines bought locally at your destination are much better than those you can buy here at home, and there might be some truth in this. The most effective substance used to keep away ticks and mosquitos is ”DEET”. Unfortunately its use is also not very healthy for humans, which is why that here in Denmark it has be illegal to sell it for over 20 years. However it is still possible to buy it in most countries of the world, including in our neighbouring lands. Luckily there are other compounds that are as nearly as good as DEET, but without the harmful effect on humans, in particular the product known as ”Autan”. Whether one choose one preparation over the other is largely down to personal preference.
Generally When Travelling
1) Always remember to bring along a roll of toilet paper! –In can be very annoying to run out of this necessity when hunting or at your hotel.
2) Bring baby wipes! –they clean and disinfect, and you can use them on your hands, small cuts and other items..
3) Drink alcohol sparingly! In almost 70% of all injuries suffered by tourists abroad, alcohol is involved in one way or another.
4) Remember Lip balm! Perhaps you always remember to bring sun lotion, but what about your sensitive lips?