Take a Wilderness First Aid Course

One of the last things you consider while preparing for a trip is an accident. After all, who wants to think about something bad? Unfortunately, accidents can happen any where and at any time. In my 40-plus years of four-wheeling, I’ve taken many courses, including those to become a Sworn Wildlife Conservation Officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

One of the more valuable courses I’ve taken is a wilderness first responder course. It’s geared toward folks like me who want to become certified first responders, but it offers a lot of good information for the average driver, as well. In my opinion everyone should take this class. Even if you never expect to be in a wilderness context, it is well worth the effort.

“But, I have a first aid kit in my vehicle,” you say. Great. Do you know how to use all the materials properly? More importantly, do you know how to handle serious injuries, such as:

  1. Serious bleeding
  2. Traumatic brain injury
  3. Possible spine damage
  4. Ankle sprains and strains
  5. Broken bones
  6. Heat exhaustion and stroke
  7. Asthma
  8. Bee sting creating Anaphylaxis

A wilderness first responder class takes a “system of the body approach.” You study cause and effect, and avoid a lot of rote memorization. That’s a much better way to learn.

One part teaches that there are only three things that cause death after any accident or illness. You are taught to focus on them and take appropriate action.

It’s a very intense course requiring a lot of commitment, but the benefit is great. Knowing that you can respond appropriately to nearly any injury allows you to go outdoors with confidence. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in a wilderness area – defined as being more than two hours from definitive care – to face such an emergency.

If you would like to become a Wilderness First Responder, I can recommend two great instructors. Check their schedule because they run courses throughout the Western States.

Southern California
Josh Jackson
Wilderness Leadership Institute
www.wildlead.com
josh@wildlead.com

Colorado
Daz Stokes
Colorado Outside
www.coloradooutside.com
dstokes@rockymountains.net

Safety is no accident, as the old saying goes. Despite the best preparation, accidents can occur outdoors. Sometimes they are serious. If you are serious about being prepared, our wilderness first responder course is for you.

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