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5 Things to Check in Your First Aid Kit

By Tod Schimelpfenig on 6/27/17 8:53 AM

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: wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Leveling Up: From the Operating Room to the Backcountry

By Katy Trahan on 6/21/17 12:46 PM

Editor’s Note: Surgeon Katy Trahan levels up her medical training on a Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals course with NOLS.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Rhode Island: The Final Frontier

By Ben Tettlebaum on 6/7/17 4:27 PM

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
-William Shakespeare

For the first time in our 50-plus years, NOLS set foot in that tiniest and most elusive of states—Rhode Island.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

A First Responder Changes the Conversation about Mental Health

By Jared Apperson on 5/25/17 1:17 PM

Editor’s note: Jared Apperson is a longtime NOLS Wilderness Medicine instructor and former flight paramedic. Here, he talks about the psychological challenges of working in emergency medicine and his mission to raise awareness of post traumatic stress for first responders.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, psychological first aid

The 5 Components of Psychological First Aid

By Laura McGladrey on 5/22/17 8:17 AM

Editor’s note: Adapted from the Spring 2017 issue of The Leader under the title “Psychological First Aid Toolkit—What’s in Yours?”

The common image of a first responder is someone with a snappy set of gloves smoothly bandaging a spurting wound or administering an EpiPen to a patient having an anaphylactic reaction. Injuries, we imagine, are easy to see and easy to fix.

While treating physical wounds seems like the most important way a first responder can help a patient, there’s a lot that we can do to care for a patient’s mental health, especially during and right after a traumatic event.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, psychological first aid

Rescue at Goblin Valley State Park

By Shelli Johnson on 5/10/17 6:21 AM

Editor’s note: Shelli Johnson and her family were on vacation in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park when they found themselves first responders on the scene after a girl took a serious fall from a cliff (story here).

Here, Shelli writes about what it was like for her, her husband, and their three sons to be the first responders (Shelli took NOLS Brooks Range Backpacking - Prime and Wilderness First Responder courses).

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Topics: wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Prevent Minor Trail Injuries with Advice from NOLS Staff

By Molly Herber on 4/25/17 9:30 AM

Before my first NOLS course, I got a lot of advice. For example, my brother told me to “Remember that you always have a way to get warm and dry,” and gave plenty of advice on how to be a good teammate (mainly, don’t complain).

But a lot of the little things I had to learn on my own—like, for example, the fact that your scalp can get sunburned. Ouch.

To help you prepare for the little things (which, in the end, usually aren’t so little, especially when it comes to blisters or the flu), a group of experienced NOLSies shared some of their favorite advice to help you be as prepared as possible before hitting the trail.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

It Takes a Village: WFRs Come Together in the Linville Gorge Wilderness

By Jenny Jenkins on 4/4/17 8:29 AM

It started out like any other fall weekend climbing trip. Driving to North Carolina, my friends and I were excited to explore the Linville Gorge Wilderness and escape our weekday realities for a while. We were cruising down the Blue Ridge Parkway singing to our new favorite song, “Genghis Khan,” and talking about all the cheese fries we would consume after our day of climbing.

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Topics: wilderness medicine

10 Useful Wilderness Medicine Posts To Read Before Your Next Adventure

By Molly Herber on 3/2/17 10:38 AM

Before getting ready for any trip, it’s important to review your wilderness first aid skills.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

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

By Sarah Buer on 2/16/17 8:00 AM

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.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, backcountry, Wilderness Medicine

This Cold Bug Is Bugging Me: How to Handle Flu-Like Illness in the Backcountry

By Sarah Buer on 1/12/17 9:46 AM

Viral, flu-like illnesses like stomach bugs or viral upper respiratory infections (“the flu” or “a cold”) can be common on wilderness expeditions. While having a cold is never fun, being in the backcountry when the bug decides to bug you can make it that much worse.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Real Life Scenario: Helicopter Evacuation on the Bailey Range Traverse

By Arthur Herlitzka on 10/24/16 1:03 PM

NOLS grad Arthur Herlitzkais recalls using his WFR-level training in action.

Three days into guiding a nine-day trip—the Bailey Range Traverse on the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle—my colleagues and I noticed that a 65 year old gentleman was showing more fatigue than we thought normal (even with a heavy pack).

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Topics: wfa, WFR, wilderness medicine, Semester in Patagonia

Any Year Can Be a Gap Year

By Shelby Cranshaw on 9/9/16 6:49 AM

I am not entirely sure what I meant when I claimed to “hate nature” for the majority of my life.

But I said it. Often. My dad used to bribe me up mountains with M&Ms every 100 steps. He threatened to send me on NOLS courses during my high school summers when I complained of boredom.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Patagonia, Semester, wilderness medicine, adventure, Live the Dream, Gap Year, education

ASL-Supported Course Fosters Inclusive Diversity and Growth

By Shari Leach on 9/6/16 8:20 AM

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.

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Topics: wfa, WFR, diversity and inclusion, Wilderness First Responder, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, education, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

Real Life Scenario: A Rescue at Ellison's Cave

By Allen Padgett on 8/26/16 8:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Alumni, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine