Wilderness Medicine in the Concrete Jungle?

Posted by: Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin on 3/30/10 9:55 AM

This month, for the first time in NOLS history, a group of stalwart alumni gathered in Brooklyn for two whole days -- in the middle of a huge storm no less -- for a NOLS WMI Wilderness First Aid course More great pics are at 1996 NOLS Alaska Brooks Range River Course Alum John Huntington's Gallery.

DSC_6741 New York City is a new addition to the front country classrooms in which WMI teaches its courses. It is heartening to see that wilderness skills are still desired in the concrete jungle of NYC, where it is probably more common to see a group of people gathering for a 2-day urban self defense class than wilderness first aid. Not that I have anything against urban self defense (after all, that could very well be a switchblade in that student's side, rather than a tent stake), but sitting here in a small town in the Rockies, it's easy to have preconceptions about Big City life. It gives me hope for urban dwellers everywhere that in the hustle and bustle of New York City, where so many distractions can wrest you from nature, NOLS alumni are still holding strong to their values.

Here's a big shout out to our NYC alums. And here's to all of you using those WFA skills in real wild places, and not just in the wild streets of the Big Apple (remember, just call 911 if you're in the City!).

Aparna is a NOLS instructor and has been the PR and Marketing Intern, PR specialist, and the Diversity & Inclusion manager at NOLS. She is a founding partner of The Avarna Group (theavarnagroup.com).