How to stash Drugs! Ok Medications sounds better!

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February 11, 2008

Now that I really have your attention, let me say that no, this isn’t how to hide things from law enforcement officers! But how many of us take medications daily? Most of us in the “mature” age bracket would have to raise our hands. I always say I can’t be too unhealthy, I only take two colors of pills! But trying to be serious (I always tell my kids I am at least as funny as any comedian, they don’t laugh either), do you know how to take care of your medications when you are camping?

I find most people don’t know how to take care of medications. First off, medications are required to have on the label (or if a prescription printed on the information sheet) what temperature they should be stored at. Often the range is about 40 to 88 degrees, but it can vary widely. But your camper medicine cabinet is often a bad place. Your bathroom is often little and stuffy, prone to overheating in the summer with the door closed or with hot showers and high humidity. Your refrigerator is too cold for some. Some Medications can handle more heat or colder temperatures. But all have limits. Often the best place is the refrigerator as most medications do better in cold than warm. One very good example of this is Nitroglycerin which many heart patients carry. If you have Nitro pills or similar pills, the best place you can keep them in is the fridge in a sealed plastic bag or container.

If your pills won’t take the cold of the refrigerator, often the best thing for your pills is in a plastic bag in a small cooler in a low cabinet with a bottle of water inside. The small cooler with the bottle of water will help stop temperature extremes; the low cabinet is to also protect against temperature extremes. Higher cabinets often overheat in the summer and floor cabinets can be too hot or too cold. Also what ever the medications are in they need to be waterproof or sealed in waterproof bags or containers as liquids and humidity are as damaging as heat.

The best medication carrier I ever saw was one of the 12-volt plug-in coolers about the size of a six pack for your favorite liquid beverage. It can be set to either warm or cool and uses very little energy to do it.

Now, as you are moving your medications to a better place, please also look at them and weed out the outdated medications and throw them away. Make sure to replace them with new medications and count them to make sure you have enough to last you during your trip! You may need your Doctor to write out extra scripts for you to take along if you are going on long trips, and don’t forget a script for oxygen if you need that too. Better safe than sorry!

Now is also the time to think about how they look, yes it is a sad fact of life that some people will try to steal medications. A Plain storage container that doesn’t have Drugs written all over it or is easily seen through and can be easily hidden from plain sight will be safer from the casual thief. Nothing will stop the determined thief but, if he can’t find them easily, he might move on to someone that is less prepared!

Now, when you leave on your trip, you will have fresh, properly stored medications to help guard your health.

Your obedient servant,

Gary C. Smith, Jr.

Leave a Reply


  1. RJ

    I’m not sure if this is good or bad…but my pills are double what I would normally take and I cut them in half (some pills you can’t do this with). What that does for me? I can get a two month prescription and use it for four. Neat.

  2. Don T.

    Rather than put all of my prescription in one bottle, I count out what I plan on needing and keep them in a prior emptied prescription bottle with the labels still on them for my RV. I also copy my prescriptions and keep a copy in my RV for reference.

  3. Hello Bob,

    First thing I would do is check with your Doctor and Insurance company and see how long they can write scripts for. Often they can do several months at a time and just ship you more. That being said if they can’t do that I agree with Tom that you should contact the shipper and see if they can do a over night delivery to a camp ground or a general delivery to a post office. The main thing to do is communicate with everyone and see what can be worked out. Usually with a little bit of luck and a lot of determination you can find away all of you can agree on a workable solution.

    Hope this helps,
    Gary Smith, Jr.

  4. Tom

    We have to use a mail order prescription place as my wife takes some drugs that are not carried by most pharmacies. We get a month at a time. I call and set a delivery date and either pick them up at the local UPS office (they have to be signed for) or UPS will deliver to a campground if we know in advance where we’ll be.

  5. Mike

    Walgreens is great for filling RXs on the road. You get on line and find a Walgreens a couple of days ahead, trigger a refill through the Walgreens internet site and list the location you plan to pick them up at and the date. Works great!

    Sorry, this doesn’t cover the mail order requirement..haven’t had to deal with that.

  6. Bob

    Your message was very timely for us. We are planning our first long trip of over three months on the road. Our first like this. Your ideas have a lot of merit and I think I will invest in one of the coolers to help store our RX’s. One thing you didn’t mention and I haven’t got it figured out is, how to have refills of RX’s filled while we are away so long. Most of the RX’s will only dispense a two months supply and our insurance says we must have them filled thru a mailorder supplyer. They would ship to an alternate location if we knew when and where that would be and right now we don’t. Maybe a follow up article might give us your ideas on this?