First Aid Training

In August 2010, AMC Director of Huts and Pinkham James Wrigley received a call that a young hiker was in critical condition after falling hundreds of feet down steep sloping rock. The teen had been hiking on the Huntington Ravine Trail of Mount Washington, one of the most challenging and dangerous trails in the White…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Appalachia Journal. Pam Bales left the firm pavement of the Base Road and stepped onto the snow-covered Jewell Trail to begin her mid-October climb. She planned a six-hour loop hike by herself. She had packed for almost every contingency and intended to walk alone….

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1: Wet leaves, slippery surfaces It is late October and you are descending Bear Mountain (2316’), the tallest peak in Connecticut, on the Undermountain Trail. You are with a small group of friends, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The trail is littered with wet leaves and very slippery. While navigating a tricky…

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Say you take a bad tumble on the trail and end up with a nasty scrape or cut. Even worse, dirt and debris are ground into the wound. To minimize the risk of infection, you need to thoroughly clean the injury site and get all of that debris out of there, especially if you are…

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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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