First Aid

A search-and-rescue (SAR) mission to locate a missing or injured person can involve helicopters whirring overhead, boats cruising the ocean, trucks traversing back roads, dogs tracking scents, and hikers risking life and limb in the backcountry. For organizations such as Down East Emergency Medicine Institute (DEEMI), based in Orono, Maine, another tool has become essential: drones. More inexpensively deployed than helicopters, drones can reach remote areas…

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  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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I had my first bout with Lyme disease about a decade ago. This summer I went another round with the unpleasant tick-borne illness. The two experiences highlight several important things everybody should understand about Lyme. How you get Lyme disease First a quick backgrounder. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is…

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A dead tick can’t bite you—and the single-best way to terminate them in the field is to treat your shoes and clothing with permethrin, which will kill ticks rapidly on contact. (Once you’re back home, you can also crisp ticks to death with a quick spin in the dryer.) A variety of permethrin-based products are available…

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Consumer Reports recently released its 2016 sunscreen ratings (subscription required), which tested and ranked 70 lotion, spray, and face varieties. Surprisingly, many of its best sunscreen brands are quite inexpensive. This is especially true if you order through Walmart online, which has markedly better prices on most of these products than Amazon. Here’s the quick…

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» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW   When a Boston medical-supply company introduced The Appalachian Emergency Outfit at $2.50 apiece, circa 1920, initial sales were slow. Manufactured by Boylston Street’s E.F. Mahady Co. specifically for AMC, the backcountry first-aid kit failed to entice club members because, as a 1921 AMC report claimed, “so confident…

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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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