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  1. #1
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Wilderness First Aid

    Ok, I stayed in a hotel and not a hammock, but I still wanted to share. First aid (specifically the wilderness variety) has long been an interest. This past weekend I finally had the opportunity to take a Wilderness First Aid course and had a great time.

    We're all outdoor types. If you read about the course at my blog I hope you'll be encouraged to add first aid/CPR to your skillset before your next trip if you haven't done so already.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
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    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Doctari's Avatar
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    I second Kudzu's suggestion: At minimum a Red Cross first aid class. Take the Advanced class if offered!
    If that is not available, get a CURRENT book on first aid & read / study that. Please note that older versions of first aid manuals include the use of tourniquets for almost any injuries, that is NOT a good idea. a tourniquet is a LAST RESORT item.

    IF you can, even if you will never use the training as intended, take a EMT course (Emergency Medical Technician: aka "Ambulance driver") and add the above mentioned Wilderness First aid class to round out your skills.
    30 years ago, in a class of 25, there were 3 people in my class that had no intention of even taking the final Cert test, "I just want the knowledge".

    Stepping off my soap box now.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  3. #3
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Good advice guys. Got to hike with a professional EMT this spring and inquired about what he carries in his first aid kit when hiking. He explained that what he carries works for him, because he's trained and it wouldn't necessarily work for an untrained person like me. Didn't like that answer but it actually made lots of sense.

    Would like to pass along one gem I learned from him. I asked about stoping major bleeding when most people only carry small bandages. He reminded me of what we were taught in Scouts long ago...direct pressure. He said the best thing to stop bleeding is your hand applying direct pressure to the wound. Apply pressure for 10-15 minutes and no peeking. After that it's all about keeping the wound clean and protected. Final note, pack some latex or nitrile gloves in your kit so whoever provides assistance is protected.
    Knotty
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  4. #4
    Senior Member The RidgeRunner's Avatar
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    I just signed up for the course in our council being held In October. It's being run by a medic from our council that works at philmont during the summer.

    There is a minimum of 10, with a max of 18. Hopefully there are 9 other scout leaders interested.
    Experts are the ones who think they know everything. Geniuses are the ones who know they don't.

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    kindle all that is within you with a warm and cheerful spirit.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    Good advice guys. Got to hike with a professional EMT this spring and inquired about what he carries in his first aid kit when hiking. He explained that what he carries works for him, because he's trained and it wouldn't necessarily work for an untrained person like me. Didn't like that answer but it actually made lots of sense.
    Very true. When we got to chest/lung stuff someone asked about a tension pneumothorax. I asked if they taught how to relieve it at the Wilderness EMT level and was told no. I was taught how to do a needle decompression in a trauma course so I figured an EMT would probably know. Of course I suppose there's still a risk of puncturing a lung w/o a x-ray if they don't really have the condition so they probably frown against it in the backcountry. So what I'm trying to say is that carrying a 14-16 ga needle for this wouldn't be of much use if you don't know how to use it.

    That's one problem with people buying some of the larger fix-it-all first aid kits. I wonder if they'll know how to use most of the stuff. It's pretty amazing what you can do with a few triangular bandages, some gauze, and your brain.

    Final note, pack some latex or nitrile gloves in your kit so whoever provides assistance is protected.
    I hadn't thought about it but our instructor mentioned that many people of latex allergies and recommended nitrile but said they're not as strong so have a couple of pairs.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

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