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Stepping into Action: First Aid on the Appalachian Trail

By Kimberly Blazzard on Feb 27, 2020
Kimberly stops to examine her map on the Appalachian Trail. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Blazzard.

The young man lay there, shivering. The aluminum blanket his trip leader haphazardly tossed on him wasn’t helping him warm up from the rain storm. Why wasn’t his group paying attention to their friend? Why did his leader let him lie so far from the fire?

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Topics: first-aid, wilderness-medicine, Wilderness First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, wm-stories

A Can of Calm: Applying Wilderness Medicine in Disaster Zones

By NOLS on Dec 19, 2019
A ShelterBox tent lit up with solar lights on the island of Barbuda after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean. Photo by Ned Morris.

NOLS Wilderness First Responder grad Ned Morris is a volunteer ShelterBox Response Team member (SRT). SRT members deploy to areas of natural disaster or conflict-based migration, and help families who have lost everything due to natural disaster or violence. ShelterBox provides shelter solutions, including tents or house repair kits, as well as water purification systems, solar lighting, cooking sets, and much more. There are just over 100 active Response Team members in the world; less than 40 in the U.S. Read the following Q&A to learn more about Ned's humanitarian work with ShelterBox and how his WFR helped prepare him for this role.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, first-aid, wilderness-medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, wm-stories

Climbing for More Than the Summit

By Ben Lerman on Apr 5, 2018
>Ahlqvist on an acclimatization climb in the Himalaya. Photo courtesy of Carina Ahlqvist.

“I am driven to do my part for a better world, not just reach the summit and get an adrenaline kick.”

At 27,824 ft. (8,481 m), Makalu is the fifth highest mountain on earth. For Carina Ahlqvist, who in the spring of 2018 will attempt to become the first Scandinavian woman to reach its summit, the peak is far from the only objective.

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Topics: Himalayan climbing, WFR, environment, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Wilderness First Responder, research, mountaineering, stewardship, stories, wm-stories

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.

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Topics: first-aid, wilderness-medicine, Wilderness First Aid, stories, wm-stories

Lynn Hill on Mitigating Risk with Wilderness Medicine

By Jared Steinman on Feb 8, 2018
Hill climbing in Riglos, Spain in November 2017

“To my knowledge, none of the climbers I was with were formally trained in the way of wilderness medicine and with only a medical kit and no radio communication, I felt very out there. I knew that if anything went wrong or if someone needed help, we couldn’t do much of anything.”

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Topics: WFR, Wilderness First Responder, first-aid, wilderness-medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, stories, wm-stories