Should you pack cold medicine in your emergency bag/kit?

Cold medicine in an emergency kit

Reader Jon L emails us to ask: "Should I pack cold medicine in my to emergency bag, or should I solely be focusing on items to help with physical injuries, such as band-aids and bandages?"

Jon, thanks so much for the question. I am a huge fan of the philosophy that when planning a emergency kit, you need to be very strict on what is included. The items in your bag can get very heavy and you may be walking, biking or running for a long time with your bag. Literally, every single ounce matters. You have to sometimes make tough decisions on deciding what items to include in your emergency bag.

When it comes to cold medicine, I view this as an absolutely essential item. I would recommend packing small containers, such as the travel size containers, or 10-50 pill bottles. I would recommend an all in one product vs a specialist product. Usually, if not allergic, Tylenol is my go to. Ibuprofen works as well. It can be used in a variety of ways, but it is important if you suffer physical injuries, tylenol can still help in many ways. I would be wary about carrying NyQuil or medicines that can cause you to be drowsy, because chances are, if you are traveling for days or escaping a bad situation, you want to be as alert and focused. But, Tylenol or any other pain reliever can be an excellent item to include in your emergency bag.

Just remember - pack only the essentials. Scrutinize everything. In an emergency, you go to emergency kit can be your sole source of food or medicine for days, or potentially weeks. 

Use the contact us button to send more questions. Until next time, stay safe - BM.