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Sarah Buer

Sarah Buer
Sarah is a Wyoming native, Wilderness First Responder graduate, and former marketing coordinator for NOLS Wilderness Medicine. When she’s offline she enjoys running, singing and playing guitar, and playing in the mountains

Recent Posts

When Your Teammate Becomes Your Patient: My First Aid Training in Action

By Sarah Buer on Feb 16, 2017
Photo from Pexels.

Whether you’re deep in the mountains or just miles from town in your local park, wilderness medicine training can come in handy—and even save a life.

Adam Karst, a NOLS Wilderness First Aid (WFA) graduate from Virginia, was training with a friend for a race at a local park when he noticed his teammate was no longer behind him. As Adam puts it, a scenario that he practiced on his WFA course helped him spring to action.

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Topics: First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Medicine, Stories, Wilderness Medicine Stories

The Big Picture: How I Found My Grit on a Semester in Baja

By Sarah Buer on Jan 25, 2017
Photo courtesy of Tucker Cunningham

Three years ago, as part of a gap year, I took part in a semester-long, eighty-day NOLS course in Baja California.

This course consisted of 15 students and 4 highly-trained instructors embarking on a 100-mile hike from San Juanico to Mulegé, a 120-nautical mile sail on the Sea of Cortez from Loreto to just about south of Puerto Agua Verde, and ending with a 250-mile sea kayaking journey from Puerto Agua Verde to a town called Tecalote. (I also received 16 college credits for my course, ranging from wilderness first aid to Leave No Trace principles).

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Topics: Study Abroad Stories, Semester, NOLS Mexico, Sailing, Skills, Backpacking, Kayaking, NOLS semester, Gap Year, Stories, Student Stories

What to Do If You Get Sick While Camping

By Sarah Buer on Jan 12, 2017
Photo from Pexels

“A cold” can refer to a range of viral, flu-like symptoms like fever, sore throat, sinus infection, cough, stomach bugs, upper respiratory infections, or simply the sniffles. Getting sick and having some combination of these cold symptoms can be common when you’re hiking, camping, or doing another activity outdoors. While having a cold is never fun, being in the backcountry when you get sick can make it that much worse.

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Topics: First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine, illness

Preparing for a Miracle: WFR Training in Family Emergencies

By Sarah Buer on Dec 16, 2016

Two parents tell the story of their family's worst day—and the happy ending that came as a result of being prepared.

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Topics: Wilderness Medicine

Reflecting on the 2016 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

By Sarah Buer on Oct 19, 2016

Working at NOLS, and in the Wilderness Medicine department for that matter, my colleagues and I are not unfamiliar with what can go wrong in the backcountry—that's what we teach our students to respond to, after all. Walking through the Exhibitor Reception the first evening of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) in Salt Lake City, I met and mingled with a lot of folks who were dedicated to that same goal of being a leader in crisis situations, in one way or another.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

Highlights from the 2016 NOLS Wilderness Medicine Staff Meeting

By Sarah Buer on Sep 22, 2016

September 12th kicked off the 2016 NOLS Wilderness Medicine Staff Meeting, our annual gathering at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus in Lander, Wyoming. Read on for some of the week’s highlights!

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Topics: Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus, Wilderness Medicine

Which Wilderness Medicine Course Is Right for You? [Infographic]

By Sarah Buer on Aug 16, 2016

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Topics: infographic, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

6 Reasons Wilderness First Aid Is for Everyone

By Sarah Buer on Jul 29, 2016

I refused to wear anything other than dresses until I was 7 …and even then it was only because my family moved to a small country town in northeast Wyoming and I wanted to fit in.

I’ve been a “girly girl” my entire life, and I had no interest in playing in the backcountry until about three years ago when I transferred to a university in the Black Hills of South Dakota and was lured out by their beauty and the exercise (plus, I got invited to go hiking with an attractive guy who has now been my partner in all adventures and in life for the past three years).

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Topics: Alumni, Leadership Skills, First Aid, education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, snowboarding, Wilderness Medicine

Test Your Medical Skills: Scenario Near Yellowstone Park

By Sarah Buer on Jul 26, 2016

What would you do in this situation? Test your medical knowledge and decision-making skills with this scenario from Tod Schimelpfenig!

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Topics: Leadership Skills, Case Studies, education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

7 Materials That Can Be Used To Improvise a Splint

By Sarah Buer on Jul 18, 2016

An important part of managing emergencies in the backcountry is coming up with first aid solutions using the supplies you have on hand. Knowing how to make a homemade, or improvised, splint to immobilize an injured arm, wrist, finger, or a suspected broken leg is a key wilderness first aid skill.

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Topics: education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

When Urban Environments Go Wild: Wilderness Medicine in the Aftermath of Disaster

By Sarah Buer on Jul 5, 2016

“Wilderness has no handrails, no telephones, and no simple solutions for complex emergency situations. It does have dangers. Some are obvious: rock fall, moving water, stormy weather, avalanches, crevasses, and wild animals. Others are subtle: impure water, dehydration, cold and damp weather, altitude illness, and human judgment.” -Tod Schimelpfenig, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

The importance of wilderness medicine knowledge and protocols in disaster zones is tenfold. When resources are depleted, emergency access is delayed, and safely functioning environments become austere, an urban setting ultimately transforms into a modern-day wilderness.

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Topics: Alumni, Risk Management, education, wilderness, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

10 Ways to Celebrate While in the Backcountry

By Sarah Buer on Jun 30, 2016

Just because you're camping doesn't mean that you can't celebrate any occasion with a little creative and a healthy dollop of fun!

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Topics: Expedition Prep, adventure, backcountry

27 Considerations for a Wilderness First Aid Kit

By Sarah Buer on Jun 3, 2016

There’s no such thing as the perfect first aid kit, so you should consider your needs, including the length of your trip, the size of your group, and where you will be traveling, and then build a kit that meets them.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, WMI, Wilderness First Aid, education, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

It's Getting Hot in Here: The Ps and Qs of Heat Illness

By Sarah Buer on May 23, 2016

Human beings are big bags of water.

No, really—just check this excerpt from NOLS Wilderness Medicine by Tod Schimelpfenig:

“We hear through a medium of water, the brain is cushioned by fluid, and the joints are lubricated by fluid. Blood is 90 percent water, and every biochemical reaction takes place in a medium of water." (p. 253)

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Topics: WMI, education, Wilderness Medicine

NOLS Courses Are So Much Pun!

By Sarah Buer on May 20, 2016

We believe in the value of education—and in having fun.

Get your daily dose of humor with some of our favorite NOLS-related puns:

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Topics: Leadership Skills, adventure, education, backcountry