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Supplies to Bring When You Stay in Remote Locations

Humanitarians must often travel to remote locations. That’s because the most vulnerable communities are often those who are hardest to access. And while remote areas can be beautiful, they also pose several risks. That’s why it’s essential to be well prepared before travelling to a remote location on a humanitarian mission.

Pre-departure tips

Before you embark on your mission to a remote location, make sure to do your research. You need to learn as much as possible about the destination. This includes how remote it is and what types of facilities are available. You should also find out how you can get there and what kind of transportation options you have.

On the other hand, there are a few things that you should prepare before the trip. Get your work supplies and materials well organized. Print anything that you might need, as you might not have access once in the field. Basically, prepare to go analog, since electricity may be scarce where you are going!

More importantly, inform others where you are going and learn what methods of communication, you’ll be able to use once there. In addition, get a good health insurance. Pay particular attention to whether or not it includes evacuation and repatriation, as these can be costly from a remote area.

The ultimate humanitarian traveling list

Staying safe in remote location

Once you have arrived, it is essential to stay safe. Of course, this goes for any mission, but in remote locations this is particularly important. That’s because it is likely that you won’t have access to proper medical services.

There are few precautions you can take for your safety. Be careful of accidents and make sure to get all the right vaccines before you go. Take other medical precautions, such as protecting yourself from mosquito bites or contaminated food and water. And always follow locals’ advice when it comes to overall safety.

You should also ensure that you know the area well. Locate your nearest healthcare and police facilities. Learn about the evacuation routes in case of a disaster or other emergency. Finally, try to stay communicated with your organization and inform them of any risks that you may encounter.

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Packing list for remote travel

Your packing list will change depending on the specific destination you are travelling to. But there are a few items that you will likely need in any remote location in the world. Here are some items for your packing list:

1. Bottle with water filter

Safe drinking water is key to keeping you healthy. There are plenty of refillable water bottles out there that come with a built-in filter. Do keep in mind that the safest way to ensure safe drinking water is by boiling it. Note: if you are in an area with high elevation, the boiling point of water is lower.

2. Water purification tablets

If you are not sure what kind of facilities will be available, bring water purification tablets for water safety.

3. Food

It’s a good idea to bring along some foods that don’t require refrigeration. This could be trail mix, granola bars, beef jerky or canned foods. Make sure that you are allowed to bring them across international borders first.

4. First aid kit

This should be an essential on all humanitarian packing lists. For remote locations, make sure to include extra supplies, as even basics may not be available at the destination.

5. Flashlight

Electricity is often a luxury in remote locations. A flashlight can actually keep you safe during a power outage and prevent accidents when walking at night. LuminAID lights are just a perfect fit for humanitarian aid workers as they are solar powered with storage batteries. Additionally, the lights stay nice and bright for well over twenty to thirty hours meaning you can work without worrying about recharging them too often.

6. Emergency blanket

Stay warm if you are caught in cold weather or a storm.

7. Area map

Printed maps are the way to go if you don’t have access to electricity. Seems redundant but can save your life!

8. Medication

If you take prescription medication, bring enough to last you for the whole duration of your trip. Also bring some basics such as pain medication, anti-histamines, sanitizer, etc.

9. Personal items

Insect repellent, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, wet wipes, sunscreen, soap – these are all great to bring along for remote locations.

10. Comfort items

While not a physical necessity, comfort items may be useful for your mental health. Working in remote areas can be a tough and lonely. So having your favorite coffee or snack with you might just be helpful.

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