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.Read More
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.Read More
As it says in the NOLS Wilderness Medicine handbook, “There’s no such thing as the perfect first aid kit, so you should consider your needs and build a kit that meets them.”Read More
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)Read More
“Walk it off.”
“Rub some dirt on it.”
“Get over it.”
Have you ever heard one of these phrases? Chances are you have, and it may have shaped the way you think of “minor” discomforts.Read More
I had been considering taking a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) course for almost three years, but something always came up to prevent it. In October of last year the idea finally became a reality and I found myself driving up a winding dirt road to the picturesque Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus on a sunny fall afternoon. The course offered by WMI combines urban and wilderness medicine while preparing participants to sit for the National Registry exam. I was not sure what the next 25 days had in store for me, but I knew the course would serve me well in the future.Read More
Since spring has arrived, many of us will or already have gotten caught outside unprepared for the sun’s harshness. After last weekend, I came back to the office and several people were either a little bit pink or a couple shades darker. This got me thinking: How much do I really know about sun protection?Read More
Whether it's a two-day Wilderness First Aid training or a month-long Wilderness EMT, courses with NOLS Wilderness Medicine are life-changing. That’s the point, right—to increase your awareness and preparedness for emergencies to happen?Read More
One of NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt’s endearing habits was challenging students to explain their choices and the principles behind their decisions and techniques. He wouldn’t settle on one best way to do something; he sought the practical and effective way.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for students of first aid and pre-hospital medicine to be taught in absolutes; practices that supposedly work all the time, practices framed as being based on solid evidence but in reality often founded on bronze, not gold standard, science.Read More
A dedicated crew of young adult AmeriCorps volunteers serving with Heart of Oregon Corps in Bend, Oregon spent the last six months building trails, restoring habitat, and reducing fire fuels on public land in central Oregon. Along the way, they developed valuable leadership and practical skills to help them pursue careers in conservation and stewardship. Many of the youth sought opportunities to broaden their skill set as their terms of service drew to a close.Read More
Winter is a time for all sorts of amazing activities—skiing, snowshoeing, curling—but cold weather brings its own special hazards.
Frostbite is one of the most common injuries you’ll see when it gets cold, so here’s how to avoid it according to the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Book.
Editor's Note: many of these principles are also helpful for avoiding hypothermia.Read More