Wilderness First Aid
This is a relatively new area within first aid training. Wilderness first aid training is being offered now in many areas all over the country. In fact, there are classes offered through universities, through the Red Cross and even through camping and outfitter-type stores like REI.
It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that wilderness first aid is necessary given the number of people who enjoy outdoor activities - and the increase in prepper-related individuals who are taking to the wilderness to create private retreats.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to receive training in medical skills is indeed valuable in any setting, but especially for anyone who is going to be in a remote location. I have been trained in First Aid and CPR for infants, children and adults and it was a great blessing to me. I hope I never need to use any of the skills I learned, but if something does arise where I need to utilize any of the information I learned, I will be able to respond immediately.
Having that certification doesn't mean I am going to know everything in an emergency, but it is an assurance that I have first aid training and a general skill set that I can call on to make good decisions if a medical emergency arises.
The same holds true for anyone who receives this certification. Having this training provides some solid practice in fast-paced, hands-on situations where decisions have to be made in a timely manner.
It is stressful, but it is effective at developing the right skills for building confidence in making those good decisions when timing is critical and situations are tough.
I haven't gone through wilderness first aid training yet, but it is something I hope to do. There are many places that offer it now that it is becoming so popular - and so important.
Some of the things you might learn in a Wilderness First Aid Course
- basic human anatomy
- patient assessment
- heat related injuries
- sprains and strains
- bone fractures and splinting
- ticks and tick removal
- asthma and inhaler use
- allergens and how to use an Epi pen
- soft tissue injuries
- neck injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- frostbite and hypothermia
- drowning or near drowning and responses
- spider bites and treatment
- ligthning injuries
That is a lot to potentially cover. That is why most classes cover two days. There are other certifications you can get even beyond the basic Wilderness First Aid course. One is Wilderness First Responder and another is Remote EMT.
Overall, I think these kinds of programs have a lot to offer people who are interested in helping themselves and others when they know they are going to be in remote outdoor locations. One thing to consider is that these classes often last 2 days and the cost reflects that - meaning upwards of $200 in many cases.
Still, the benefits are tremendous if a life is ever saved.