Wilderness medicine courses do an excellent job of preparing outdoor leaders to respond to the unexpected but there are some important limitations. Remember all of those scenarios? They tested your assessment skills and helped you hone your treatments while letting you practice evacuation decision-making in a low stakes environment.Read More
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.Read More
You’ve taken your WFA, WFR, or WEMT and learned about PAS, ABCDE, and MOI. So many abbreviations, so little time!
Whether you’re filling out a SOAP note for a real-life patient or reviewing your skills with a NOLS case study, wilderness medicine’s plethora of abbreviations and acronyms can be a lot to remember.Read More
“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.Read More
I've just exited the mountains: 12 days with rain and wind and existing trails turned into rivers. Any unmarked terrain had turned into swampy, waterlogged areas; boulder fields had turned into a Russian roulette for injuries; and the higher alpine areas were completely in fog. It was difficult to climb higher without losing orientation and visibility.Read More
First, we have to remind ourselves there is no perfect first aid kit. We need to preplan and consider the environment, the terrain, the climate, the skill set of companions, the number of days, number of people, and remoteness of our expedition.
Then, we can get down to figuring out what we actually need to bring.Read More
This course was by far the most diverse NOLS Wilderness Medicine course I've ever taught.
There was geographic diversity, with students from as far away as Slovakia, Puerto Rico and Florida, as well as those just a few miles down the road.Read More
Four experienced cavers were traversing Ellison’s Cave (one of the deepest caves in the lower 48 States) when, in the middle of the mountain, one of the party slipped and fell about 30 to 40 feet down a hole. When his buddies got no response after calling down to their friend, one left to get help while the other two stayed behind.Read More
“Bee stings cause more anaphylaxis than do the stings of any other insect. Multiple stings … can be life-threatening.” -NOLS Wilderness Medicine
My friend Pedro de Toledo Piza and I were riding on a trail access to Medicine Hill in Paraibuna, Brazil when we decided to leave our ATVs to hike up to a lookout.
On the walk back from the lookout, we were attacked by a large swarm of Africanized bees.
The buzz of the colony was deafening as we began to suffer stings all over our bodies. Knowing that Pedro was allergic to bees, I put myself in front of him in order to divert attention from the swarm—despite my efforts, the bees still seemed to have focused more on Pedro than me.Read More