While being outdoors can be a lot of fun, it also comes with inherent risks. While we hope for the best, accidents and injury can occur, and out in the wilderness, medical care isn’t always just a phone call away. One of the most important parts of adventure travel is making sure you’re fully prepared. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or are required to spend time out in the backcountry because of your job, taking a wilderness medicine course can be incredibly beneficial and ensure you’re prepared for anything.
Learn Practical Skills
In a Wilderness First Aid course, you’ll learn about injuries and illnesses that you may experience in the great outdoors, how to prevent them, and how to properly treat these issues if they do occur. Some of the topics you’ll learn about include:
- Wilderness First Aid Kit Checklist
- Patient assessment
- Basic life support
- Head injuries
- Heat-related illnesses
- Respiratory and cardiac emergencies
- Altered mental states
- Basic wounds
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Allergic reactions
- Environmental emergencies such as hypothermia, lightning, and drowning
While this knowledge is invaluable out in the wilderness, there’s a good chance you’ll find it will be useful in other situations throughout your life. Once you gain this knowledge, you will have it for life.
Increases Safety for You and Others
Part of wilderness first aid is learning what leads to injury and illness in the first place. Being knowledgeable about medical issues can prevent these injuries from occurring before they even happen making your experience in the outdoors safer. For example, if you understand what leads to heat-related illnesses, you learn how to recognize the symptoms early on and can take precautionary steps to prevent them.
Out in the wilderness far away from civilization, access to professional medical care isn’t always readily available. You may not have cell reception to call for help or sometimes remote areas can make it difficult for help to reach you and prompt medical care can be crucial in certain emergency situations. However, with a wilderness medicine course, you’ll have the knowledge to know how to manage these situations on your own. Possessing the necessary knowledge and skills to address injuries or illness in situations where assistance is delayed or inaccessible, and being adept at improvising with available resources can be vital for survival.
Boost Your Confidence
Confidence comes from having knowledge and experience. Prior to taking a wilderness first aid course, you may have limited knowledge about first aid techniques, which can lead to feelings of panic and uncertainty during emergency situations. However, through hands-on training and practical experience during the course, you’ll acquire the necessary tools and skills needed in the wilderness to prepare you to handle unforeseen situations and provide assistance when needed, instilling a sense of confidence in your abilities.
Learn From Experts
While you may think a wilderness course is unnecessary as Google and other search engines provide so many resources at your fingertips, you may not always have cell reception to look things up and the internet provides a lot of misinformation and poor medical advice that can actually do more harm than good. With a Wilderness First Aid course you’ll train with experts in wilderness medicine who have extensive experience in both wilderness survival and in patient care giving you the highest level of education possible when it comes to wilderness first aid.
Who Should Take a Wilderness Medicine Course?
If you’re wondering if you should take a Wilderness First Aid course, here are some examples of who a course may be beneficial to. However, certain outdoor professions such as hiking guides, camp counselors, search and rescue, forest rangers, and certain outdoor educators may require a Wilderness First Responder certification which is more advanced than a Wilderness First Aid course. Check out this wilderness medicine course guide to see which course may be right for you.
- Scout leaders – Leaders involved in scouting or youth organizations that organize outdoor activities.
- Wilderness Guides – Professional guides who lead individuals or groups on outdoor expeditions.
- Outdoor enthusiasts – Those who frequently engage in activities like hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, or other sports in remote areas.
- Park Rangers and Conservationists – Individuals working in national parks, wilderness areas, or conservation projects where medical help may not be readily available.
- Remote Workers – Individuals whose jobs involve working in remote locations
- Volunteer Search and Rescue Team Members: Individuals involved in search and rescue operations in remote areas.
- Anyone who wants to learn more about common medical topics in the wilderness
- Anyone who enjoys traveling, especially in nature or remote areas.