Sunday, June 10, 2012


Yeah, yeah.  It ain't the fanciest sounding title, but I get a chuckle out of it.

Just because we are on motorbikes does not mean that we have all of the space in the world to pack everything we could possibly take on a trip.  More and more of my friends are getting their motorbikes in check, sorting gear, and getting ready to strap the bikes together with all they need for a long distance ride.

George from Riding the USA will be starting from darn near the Atlantic Ocean in Pennsylvania and traveling to Deadhorse, Alaska.

RichardM of Richard's Page will be motating from Fairbanks, Alaska to Santa Cruz, California.

Bobskoot from Riding the Wet Coast and the SonjaM with her intrepid hubby from Find Me On The Road will be cruising from Vancouver, British Columbia to Baker City, Oregon.

The motorbikes are seeing services for oil, brakes, and tires.  Camping gear is being gone through for sturdiness, weatherproofing, and packability.  (Or credit cards are being exercised for 4 star hotel swiping.)

But one thing commonly being collected are "items for the road".  This could be as simple as determining the best snacks to pack in the heat.  Or as complex as the tools required to perform routine maintenance, or for some all out full duty repair jobs.  For others, it is another exercise to limber up the credit card to summon the tow truck.  (Unh Hmhh....that would be me with Roadside Assistance!)

Everyone's list is incorporating a first aid kit or two.  Yes, if there is a big accident of some kind an ace bandage probably won't do the trick.  However, if you happen to snag some delicate skin between the tent poles and have a bleeding mess on your hands, literally, the band aids will come in nicely.

So I figured that I really needed to share this when I wandered across it the other day.  This is geared towards backpacking.  However, I find that it can be useful in everyday first aid kits on bicycles, motorbikes, in the car, for the Multiple Sclerosis ride, and the list goes on.

You wouldn't think a tube of antibiotic ointment would take up that much space.  And it doesn't.  On its own.  But when you add a tube for anti-itch cream for bug bites, and poison ivy cream, that kit is taking up more and more space.  What is the likelihood of needing it on the trip?  What are the chances that the heat it will experience might turn it bad by the end of the trip?

Enter: Single Use Antibiotic Packs.  I found this on Brian's Backpacking Blog, and have actually made my own at home.  Yes, you can purchase single use packs, but they are fairly expensive when broken down, and usually have way more than a single use in them.  You wind up tossing a large amount because it can't be sealed or saved.

So Brian came up with his own single use packs.  Ingenious!

Simple tools:  Straw, lighter, needle nose pliers, scissors, healing balm (mine was anti-itch cream because I didn't want to find the antibiotic stuff.  Anti-itch cream is good for my first aid kit since mosquitos and bugs love me, and this helps.)


Inject cream into the a desired amount.  My straw isn't quite transparent, but holding it up to the light will reveal how much is present.


Then squidgy the contents into the straw a little so the end is accessible to get a good bite with the needle nose pliers and lighter.




Burn the end of the straw up to the pliers, and a good seal is made. 


Cut the other end of the tube.


Seal...  And Voila!!


Single serving, single use, compact, portable, light weight.  I could see these being super useful on a bicycle adventure.  I will be making some for my first aid kit for the Multiple Sclerosis marshaling.  I won't even have qualms about putting them in the small first aid kit on the motorbike, or to keep with the camping gear!

Some people questioned if the heat would ruin the contents.  Some replied that the needle nose pliers acted as heat sink and the contents didn't get hot.  I cut open my first one and the cream was in perfect condition.  No separation or discoloration.

If you intend on packaging multiple ointments or creams consider different colored straws or permanent marker to label.

Hope this might be useful to some of you out there.


  1. I wonder if it would work for Vodka, some times carrying different flavors around is tiresome and I think this would work quite well. Off course it would only be used for medicinal purposes.

    1. You might be on to something here. If you do try sure to seal one end BEFORE adding the vodka. :) I think you might actually be able to get a shot into one straw. Imagine the ease of carrying, and not having to worry about glass breaking.

  2. Very smart. Maybe you should get that patented.

    1. Wish I could take the credit. But I am happy that I discovered this cheat. :)

  3. Love this!
    We're doing a bicycle tour this year, and I can see a number of applications for this.

    +1 for Vodka :)

    1. Kari, I was actually thinking of you when I saw this! Thought it would be great on your bike rides.

      Good to hear from you. I was getting ready to drop you and line to see if you are doing well.

  4. Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing the trick with the pliers, too, to get it to seal.

    1. My pleasure in sharing. I was happy to come across it. It is ingenious, isnt it? Great for packing. I can imagine T putting these in her purse. :)

  5. Lori,
    I owe you several wines when we eventually meet up for that outstanding post! Thanks very much indeed - would never have thought of it. Take no notice of Roger - he's just working on the general principle. As straw clearly won't be enough for his vodka so expect to see a bit of heat-sealed plastic spouting downpipe appear on his bike any day ;-).

    Ahhhh.... road trip season for the Americas - I'm envious!

    1. Hi Geoff, Accepted!! Do I have to drink it out of a straw? Hehe.

      I have to agree with you on Roger. It would take a large pack of straws to hold his imbibing. On the plus side, it might take him a little longer to get drunk.

      After your Australian road trip your envious of these guys? Riding through rough heat and terrain? Be jealous. ;)

  6. I can imagine getting the shaving cream mixed up with the toothpaste and then drinking anti itch cream! Good idea tho'

    1. Add foot powder and vagisil and you could have a very nice cocktail. Just remember...don't drink creams.

  7. Great idea Lori. I know you say you came across someone's else's idea, but you took the time to do it yourself and post it for the rest of us, so for that I thank you.

    It really is a great idea for motoring.

    1. Thanks Trobairitz. I wanted to see how long it would take. Surprisingly fast. Get the first one under your belt and it would only take a couple minutes per piece.

      Hope that you find it useful in your camping.

  8. Just showed this to a co-worker...said this has been around for YEARS.....for transporting small amounts of cocaine! Sometimes I wonder about him.....

    1. ROFL! If his first thoughts go in that direction, I wonder greatly about him too. I naively think ultralight backpacking. But I can see that other use...

  9. Dear Lori:

    I took an accident management safety course, compliments of the BMW Airheads, and you would be amazed at the stuff that advise you carry. My solution to the problem was to get a fairly substantial, though compact, first aid kit for about $65. I carried it for years, and went through it recently. I was amazed to see that several ampoules of stuff had burst inside, probable fermenting in the pannier bag heat. I am amazed at how stuff has to be checked regularly, and replaced or scraped up, from fried containers. This is especially true for those little tubes of rubber cement, which are first aid for tires.

    I think your idea for making little ampoule of stuff is great, though I'd be inclined to use them or scrap them at the end of a season.

    The good news is that the bandages are coming off my legs this month. The bad news is that I will not be cleared to ride for another 5, effectively writing me out of the 2012 season.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads