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Wilderness First Aid: 5 Steps of a Scene Size-up

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Aug 19, 2019

Photo by Jared Steinman.

You’re out for a hike, enjoying a beautiful day in the mountains. Pausing to take a sip from your water bottle, you survey your surroundings—and suddenly notice the fallen hiker up ahead. You put your water bottle away and start walking toward the crumpled figure beside the trail.

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Topics: patient assessment, first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Why You Should Take a Wilderness First Aid Course

By Ben Lerman on Mar 21, 2019
NOLS Wilderness Medicine student practices caring for a patient in the outdoors. Photo by Jared Steinman.
 

You love the outdoors. The beauty. The adventure. The chance to unplug. The quality time with family and friends, or even by yourself. Whether you choose to explore the wilds by hiking, on the water, with a fishing rod in hand, or up a mountain road with your camper, the remoteness and rawness of it all is likely part of the appeal.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Medicine

Quiz: Sprains, Strains, and Athletic Injuries

By Ben Lerman on Sep 26, 2018
 
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, quiz

Case Study: Finding a Sick Person High in the Mountains

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Aug 15, 2018
Photo by Ashley Wise.
 

Recertify

The Setting

You are a Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer working with a team to sweep a trail in the central Rocky Mountains in response to a vague cell phone report of an ill person somewhere on the trail. Eight miles from the trailhead at 8,800 ft. (2,680 m) you find the patient sitting on a log. After introducing yourselves, and with the patient's permission, you and the SAR team members begin an assessment.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, altitude illness, case study

Quiz: Managing Altitude Illness

By Ben Lerman on Aug 8, 2018
 
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, altitude illness, quiz

7 Fishing First Aid Hazards (and What to Do)

By Ben Lerman on Jul 18, 2018


Photo from NOLS Alaska

You’re enjoying a beautiful day at your local fishing spot. Fish are rising everywhere and you’ve hooked three big brook trout already. But your day can easily take a turn if you accidentally walk through a patch of poison oak. Or get stung by a wasp. Or slip on the rocky shore.
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, fishing

Quiz: Treating Heat Illness and Dehydration

By Ben Lerman on Jun 13, 2018
 
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, quiz, heat illness

Stay or Go? Making Evacuation Decisions [Infographic]

By Aidalicia Swertfeger on Jun 11, 2018
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, infographic

Using Your Wilderness Medicine Skills to Treat Pets

By Ben Lerman on Mar 21, 2018


Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

“Wound care is wound care, regardless of the type of mammal. I find that knowing the patient assessment system and other treatment principles is helpful, even with a dog. Pup has diarrhea? Palpate the abdomen to see if there’s specific tenderness. Dog is lethargic? Consider ‘ins and outs’ and if that’s affecting energy level. Reluctant to use an extremity? Try a usability test.” - Missy White, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid

What to Do When You Hook Yourself: Removing a Fishhook

By Ben Lerman on Mar 14, 2018


Photo by Brad Christensen.

It's the first fair-weather Saturday of the month. Most people are sleeping in—but not you. It’s time to fish!

Typically, you fish a barbless fly because you know it's easier to get the hook out of the fish’s mouth, but today you and your buddy are trying to catch your limit for a fish-fry later. You choose an obnoxiously large streamer with the biggest, nastiest, barb you have in your fly-box.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, fishing

Case Study: What to Do about Snakebites

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Feb 26, 2018

The Setting

You and a friend have been rock climbing at the local limestone climbing area outside of Lander, Wyoming. While walking along the base of the cliff, your partner drops a piece of climbing gear and reaches to retrieve it. You hear a buzzing noise, a cry of surprise, and then your partner falls backward and tumbles down the sloped hill.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, case study

Quiz: Winter Injury and Illness

By NOLS on Nov 16, 2017
 
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, winter, quiz, hypothermia, frostbite

Kids on Outdoor Trips: First Aid Recommendations

By Ben Lerman on Nov 8, 2017

Photo from Pxhere.
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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Medicine, kids

Case Study: BASE Jumping Accident

By Jake Blackwelder on Oct 24, 2017

Editor’s note: This case study is based on a real-life incident responded to by NOLS Wilderness Medicine Instructor Jake Blackwelder.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, case study, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

5 Things to Check in Your First Aid Kit

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Jun 27, 2017

Be honest—when was the last time you looked inside your first aid kit? Was it just last week, or was it long enough ago that you couldn’t confirm whether a family of packrats had made a home in it or not?

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine