Wilderness First Aid: Learn the basics at the American Alpine Club

Whether your sport is backpacking, climbing, kayaking, skiing, or even just camping, if you're going into the backcountry, it's best to prepared. That includes knowing basic first aid procedures. While dramatic backcountry rescues often make the news, you can't always count on timely response from rescuers to find you if you or someone in your party is injured. Self-rescue is still the best option. If you don't know the basics yet, head over to the
American Alpine Club this weekend for a three-day session.

The class is actually a refresher for certified Wildness First Responders. However, if you haven't taken WFR yet, you can still take the class, which is being taught by First Lead. The course does certify you in Adult CPR, but also teaches important items like scene assessment, scene safety, patient assessment, the ABCs, basic trauma management including spinal cord injuries, treatment for heat and cold injuries, and possible evacuation measures.

The course includes the book Mountaineering First Aid and recommendations on putting together a basic first aid kit. If you don't have the time to devote to a full Wilderness First Responder or Outdoor Emergency Care class, this is a good intensive course in the basics that may just keep you or your partner alive in an wilderness emergency.

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Candace Horgan