First Aid Training

  For those who prefer the warmer weather, it’s coming – really! And longer days mean more time to play outside. In addition to trading in your snowshoes for hiking boots, why not dust off your wilderness first aid knowledge too? Below are a couple of scenarios to help: Playtime in the park It’s a…

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We’ve all been there: You’re opening a can of baked beans when—bam—you cut your finger. Fortunately, a good backcountry first-aid kit comes stocked with the necessary supplies to treat a small cut or abrasion: adhesive bandages, occlusive dressing, gauze, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly, tweezers, a syringe, and nonlatex gloves. By knowing how to…

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Given their trailside access in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), AMC’s high-mountain huts staff are often the first responders to backcountry emergencies. Along with cooking, cleaning, and providing trail information, hut croo also serve as volunteers in search-and-rescue incidents. Virtually all AMC backcountry staff—hut croo, caretakers, and trail crew members—are certified in Wilderness First…

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Maybe its been some time since your wilderness medicine training? Test your memory and apply your knowledge to these wilderness medicine scenarios. Day Hike Damage You and your friend are on a 11.6 mile hike of Avery Peak and West Peak in the Bigelow Range in Franklin, County Maine. The route includes nearly 3000 feet…

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If you’re a paddler with a yen for fast-moving water, chances are you’re familiar with a throw bag. But do you know how to use one correctly? Here’s how to help ensure a successful whitewater rescue, should you or a companion go for an unexpected swim. What You Need Knowing your gear is critical to…

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Whether you’ve been outside for five minutes or the whole day, frostbite—which occurs when blood flow is restricted due to severe cold and can cause tissue damage if untreated—has little sympathy for the body. Those parts of your body farthest from your heart, such as your fingers, toes, and face, are especially at risk. Frostbite…

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Are you prepared to handle a survival situation in the backcountry? You may think so. You probably even carry some basic survival gear. It’s likely, however, that you are also packing some significant misconceptions about what a survival scenario actually looks like. THE DEADLY DISCONNECT Here’s the fundamental thing to understand: Survival situations typically occur…

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AMC Outdoors, November/December 2015 While working in the White Mountain National Forest and assisting on search and rescue (SAR) missions, I quickly learned an invaluable lesson: Keep your cell phone on at all times. When officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the lead agency in charge of SAR in the state, initiate…

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Carrying a first-aid kit is more than just a good idea. It’s one of the 10 essential items for safe backcountry travel. All kinds of prepackaged options are available, but do they really contain what you need? To better evaluate ready-made kits or to assemble your own, consider the following supplies. Common Injuries The majority…

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We’ve all done it: felt that first inkling of discomfort—a growing warmth on our heel or at the base of our toes—and kept right on hiking. “It’s nothing,” we tell ourselves. “It won’t get much worse.” Distracted by the trail ahead and the promise of future vistas, we trek on, ignoring our tender skin until…

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