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Dr Mike Townend's Favourite Piece of Kit

There are lots of things that I like to carry with me, but one of my favourite bits of kit is my little plastic dropper bottle of 2.5% tincture of iodine. Iodine usually comes in a glass bottle, but I decant it into the kind of plastic bottle that eye or ear drops come in (after washing and drying it first, of course). 4 to 6 drops added to a litre of water (after filtering out any floating gunge through a clean handkerchief, T-shirt etc) and left for 20 minutes kills most of the bugs and makes it fit to drink. I usually take away the iodine taste by adding soluble vitamin C tablets or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice if available. Iodine is also a useful antiseptic for superficial wounds and grazes, and a drop or two on a leech soon makes it lose interest and drop off, and you can then use it as an antiseptic on the leech bite. I like small things that are easy to carry and fulfil several functions, and my little bottle of iodine ticks all those boxes.


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