Injuries and illnesses that may be a quick fix in the city become much more complicated in the wilderness. If you currently spend a lot of time outside, or are considering getting outside more in the future, it’s worth taking a wilderness first aid class.
Originally this post was title “should you take a wilderness first aid class?” but honestly I couldn’t think of a single reason why the answer would be “no”.
So instead, in this post I’m going to help you choose which wilderness medicine course is right for you.
What is a wilderness first aid class?
In a wilderness first aid class, students learn about standard and emergency first aid in the wild. Students are meant to learn how to respond to an emergency in the field and when to evacuate someone.
I’ve used some wilderness medical professional jargon here: “in the field” is the term medical professionals use when they’re out in the wilderness. “Evacuate” means getting someone out of the field and into the care of an Emergency Response Team.
What you learn in a wilderness first aid class is applicable to the majority of environments you will find yourself in. During the course you’ll run medical scenarios as if you were in the wilderness.
For example, scenarios might involve paddling accidents, mountain biking crashes, climbing falls, illness while hiking and much more. I’ve done all my training through The Wilderness Medical Associates (also known as WildMed).
They have several levels of courses depending on the extent of training you require. WildMed is an industry leader on wilderness medicine and the most universally recognized course provider.
What are the different types of wilderness first aid classes?
The main difference between wilderness medicine courses is how long the course is. They all teach the basics, but with a longer course you’ll learn about more types of illnesses and injuries, practice more scenarios and recieve a higher level of certification.
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