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Wilderness First Aid Training: Now at an REI Near You

I've spent years trying to explain what wilderness medicine is and what it isn't.

In its simplest form, wilderness medicine is simply medicine performed in specific circumstances often involving extended patient contact, challenging environmental conditions and limited supplies. It does not include radical medical techniques performed on the side of K2 or understanding of how to use indigenous plants as medical therapies. It is much simpler than that. A broken bone is a broken bone whether you are in New York City or Adirondack State Park, however the complexities of stabilizing the patient and the journey to hospital are very different.

Ultimately, wilderness medicine is about developing the confidence to handle emergency situations, big and small, which can happen when you step off the concrete and onto the trail.

For 20 years the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS (WMI) has been training people to respond to emergencies. Each year half of our 12,000 students are certified through our two-day Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course.

This spring WMI and REI partnered to launch the first in a series of WMI WFA courses hosted at REI stores. This hands-on course covers a wide range of topics including: patient assessment; spine and head injuries, wound management, orthopedic and environmental injuries and medical emergencies. It is our hope to make this critical training convenient and accessible for REI members.

Courses are taught by trained WMI faculty, some of whom are also REI employees. To find out about classes near you visit the WMI Master Schedule, the REI Outdoor School, or your local REI store.

Even if you don't plan on responding to emergencies on a regular basis, I encourage you to consider a Wilderness First Aid course. When the need arises, you'll surprise yourself at how quickly your training kicks in. You might consider packing a lightweight superhero cape for the occasion, though I believe they're only available by special order.

Shana Tarter
Assistant Director, Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS
Chair, Wilderness Risk Management Conference Steering Committee

Posted on at 11:49 AM

Tagged: NOLS, WMI, backcountry, first aid, wilderness medical institute and wilderness medicine

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AbelAbbot

I found this activity fun and thought it was very interring to learn. This can occur in diabetics who take too much insulin, or do not eat enough to keep their blood sugar at normal levels. It does not include radical medical techniques performed on the side of K2 or understanding of how to use indigenous plants as medical therapies. It is much simpler than that. A broken bone is a broken bone whether you are in New York City or Adirondack State Park; however the complexities of stabilizing the patient and the journey to hospital are very different. Thanks for sharing with us.

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AbelAbbot

Great blog! I truly love how it's easy on my eyes and the details are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. It is much simpler than that. A broken bone is a broken bone whether you are in New York City or Adirondack State Park; however the complexities of stabilizing the patient and the journey to hospital are very different. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. Thanks for sharing with us.

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