NOLS Blog

Browse by Category

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.

Read More

Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, backcountry, Wilderness Medicine

What to Do If You Get Sick While Camping

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

“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

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

27 Considerations for a Wilderness First Aid Kit

By Sarah Buer on 6/3/16 8:52 AM

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

Topics: education, first aid, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

It's Getting Hot in Here: The Ps and Qs of Heat Illness

By Sarah Buer on 5/23/16 8:25 AM

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

Topics: education, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

Self-Care in the Backcountry: Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore

By Sarah Buer on 4/28/16 2:15 PM

“Walk it off.”

“Toughen up!”

“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

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

Keep Calm and Medic On: How a WEMT Course Can Transform Your Backcountry Experience

By Hadley Warner on 4/19/16 8:05 AM

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

Topics: education, Educators Notebook, instructor, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, WEMT, wilderness medicine, WMI

Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun

By Sarah Zimmerman on 4/15/16 12:17 PM
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.

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

Topics: adventure, backcountry, Backpacking, paddling, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

NOLS in Solidarity with the Bomberos of Honduras

By Kevin Wilson on 4/13/16 8:34 AM

NOLS instructors partner with Honduran firefighters to expand medical training in areas with limited resources.

Read More

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

WMI Employee to Wilderness First Responder

By Sarah Buer on 4/5/16 11:29 AM
Photo by Teddy Kelley.
Read More

Topics: education, leadership, Wilderness First Responder, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

The Adventure Rolls On: Thriving through Adversity with Eric Thompson

By Sarah Buer on 3/25/16 9:45 AM
Photo courtesy of Eric Thompson.
Read More

Topics: Alumni, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Tolerance for Adversity, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

15 Signs You've Taken a Wilderness Medicine Course

By Sarah Buer on 3/11/16 1:40 PM

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

Topics: Alumni, backcountry, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

Debunking Myths: What Should You Do If Someone has Hypothermia?

By Sarah Buer on 3/2/16 10:14 AM

When your core temperature drops below normal, with heat loss exceeding heat gain, hypothermia can result. It may be caused by winter weather, cold water immersion, or wind, rain and hail in summer.

Read More

Topics: risk management, video, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

Using Wilderness Medicine Training as a Recipe for Decision-Making

By Tod Schimelpfenig on 1/14/16 2:00 PM

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

Topics: leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, WMI

Future Outdoor Leaders Grow Using AmeriCorps Awards

By Molly Herber on 12/11/15 11:28 AM

 

An outdoor class during the WFR course. Photo courtesy of Opal Creek.
 

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

Topics: Alumni, AmeriCorps, Behind the Scenes, education, leadership, wilderness medicine, WMI

How to Prevent Frostbite

By Molly Herber on 12/9/15 11:11 AM

Winter is a time for all sorts of amazing activities—skiing, snowshoeing, curling—but cold weather brings its own special hazards. One of the most common first aid situations you’ll see when it gets cold is frostbite.

Read More

Topics: backcountry, leadership, wilderness medicine, Wilderness Medicine, winter camping, WMI