I began working on this article on wilderness first aid basics after receiving a few emails from our readers. They asked if I would be willing to present wilderness first aid basics so that people will be more aware of what to expect when exploring the great outdoors. I will try to put some emphasis on the most common first aid scenarios that could happen to all of us.
This request came from a group of dedicated hikers who volunteered their time and talents when I organized some trips two years ago. This is an opportunity for me to “give a little back,” which hopefully would help someone else.
I once took for granted what others taught and showed me when discovering the great outdoors. Although it was hard to put into this article information that would only touch the wilderness first aid basics, I hope it will challenge our readers to enroll in an accredited first aid course.
Wilderness first aid also means that basic medical equipment found in many homes would be, in some cases, nonexistent when and where an emergency would be likely to occur.
Why should you learn the wilderness first aid basics?
Most campers, hikers, and outdoors enthusiasts I met during my journeys, had almost no idea how to take care of themselves or others, in case of a medical emergency. All had high hopes that they will return back home without any unpleasant incidents.
As I’ve always said, you don’t have to be a survival expert to enjoy nature. However, you should be a careful hiker or camper. Being able to survive in the wilderness is mostly a matter of knowledge and preparation, about the things you can achieve without a struggle.
Unfortunately, most hikers and campers treat their nature escape like a walk in the park, and it ends up costing them more than what they envisioned.
People don’t watch their step, they climb over all sorts of obstacles without taking into account what’s on the other side, and they grab everything in sight. People make all sorts of mistakes without even realizing when exploring the backwoods. I while ago, I wrote about these mistakes and what you should do to avoid them. I recommend reading this article for more information.
Once you realize that accidents can happen and they occur rather easily, you will understand why learning wilderness first aid basics should be mandatory.
Why don’t people bother learning about wilderness first aid basics?
Due to our human nature, only a few would enroll in a course covering the wilderness first aid basics. We lack the time, interest, and the common feeling that an accident cannot happen to us rules over common sense.
Just reading the accredited first aid course offered by the American Red Cross, will give you an advantage when facing Mother Nature.
In my opinion, wilderness first aid basics and first aid, in general, should be a part of every school’s elementary and high school program. I believe that our school boards and educational system are sleeping on this one. We forgot how to get close to nature, and most people get their outdoors experiences through a TV or mobile screen.
The following is what I and most of my fellow outdoors enthusiasts, feel is important and basic knowledge everyone should have concerning the Disorder, Prevention, Signs & Symptoms, Field Treatment & Concerns.
Wilderness first aid basics you should cover:
An injury to this part of your body should be considered serious in the field. A serious blow can affect the delicate structure within. The brain and its blood supply.
As the name implies, this is a break in a bone of the head. In general, the skull bones are strong and properly protective of the structures under them, most fractures as from fall are usually simple ones.
Since the bone of the head is only cracked and not punched through the skin, bacteria, and dirt from the outer layer of the skin will not find its way inside. However, an open or depressed fracture is a much more dangerous situation since the broken bones can cut blood vessels. These will lead to a blood leak.
When a blood leak occurs, the result is usually an increased pressure on the brain. This is called an epidural or subdural hemorrhage.
There is not a lot you can do in the wilderness except to be sure of the surface to be walked on. You need to walk slowly when in unfamiliar territory. Step carefully, where there are logs, vines, and stones that can make you trip.
Signs & Symptoms:
This is a tricky one to spot since an injury that may appear only as a bump on the head may be serious. On the other hand, one that looks bad due to blood loss may not have caused damage to the brain.
Any signs of a skull fracture could he a deformity of a bone at or around the injury site. The patient may have black eyes caused by torn vessels and, therefore, blood collecting in an area under the skin or blood and/or clear watery, fluid better known as cerebrospinal fluid leaking from the nose, mouth, and/or ears.
Often times, the pupils or the black center of the eyes of the patient are of different sizes.
Being knocked unconscious and combined with the signs listed above are a serious development. The victim should be taken to a hospital immediately. This may very well be the start of a deadly hemorrhage.
As far as wilderness first aid basics go, there is nothing a first aider can do here except to keep the victim quiet. Make sure to keep the head of the patient flat and slightly turned away from the injured side.
This is usually done to possibly relieve some pressure to that area. It is important to get the injured person to a medical facility as soon as possible.
This is a condition associated with brief unconsciousness following an injury with the head or neck involved.
In most cases, there is no other damage than the disturbance in the electrical activity to the brain, which caused the loss of consciousness. However, due to the dangers of head injuries, call your doctor for further assistance.
Signs & Symptoms:
Lack of memory and confusion are the usual symptoms. Also, blurred vision and vomiting may occur.
In most cases, the victim comes out of it without any apparent problems. However, for the first 24 hours, bed rest, and constant observation for drowsiness and other symptoms as above are important.
An obvious sign that the nose is broken is a noticeable deformity. Other than that, only an X-ray may tell if the nose is broken or not. If intense pain is present, you need to go to a hospital. It is important that during transportation, cold packs or snow should be put on the injury to decrease the swelling.
In the wilderness, eye injuries are quite common here, especially when in the woods or dealing with thick brush. Things can get even worse when traveling during nighttime without a proper light source. when it is dark.
When I go hunting, I usually wear yellow or clear shooting glasses in low light for protection. During my initial wilderness first aid basics course, the teacher showed us some photos with patients he had to deal with. It’s incredible how easy you can injure your eyes and how damaging improper first aid can be.
I’ve developed the habit of wearing protective eyewear during my travels, and it saved me a lot of trouble over the years.
When hiking or camping during the cold season and there is a lot of snow, it is mandatory to wear sunglasses. The snow, in conjunction with the bright sunlight, can cause snow blindness. Wearing sunglasses will not only help you cut down on glare, but it will also protect your eyes from windburn.
Foreign body in the eye
This is a common occurrence, and most people make things worse. One thing you should learn in a wilderness first aid basics course is to control your impulses. This will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Whatever you do, do not rub the eye. Rubbing your eyes when dealing with a foreign object may push the fragment of whatever into the soft tissue. It may also lead to scratching the eye’s surface or cornea.
To remove a foreign body, first, have someone inspect your eye to identify the nature of the foreign body. And second, ask them to use the top of a wet handkerchief to gently remove it if there’s no risk of cuts or abrasions.
Scratching of the surface or cornea of the eye
In this case, it is mandatory to go to a hospital. If something is still present in the eye, hold a handkerchief lightly over the injured eye to prevent movement. Wilderness first aid basics won’t cover all the procedures to heal your eye, and it’s impossible without proper medication.
An ophthalmologist will probably give you antibiotic eye drops to prevent the possibility of a bacterial infection during the healing process. An eye infection could lead to corneal ulceration, and this may ultimately progress to blindness.
When exploring the great outdoors, you will know when and if your eye has been scratched.
The most common to happen that can cause this injury is walking straight into a twig. It happened to me once an hour before daylight on the one day I forgot my glasses. I had to stop my camping trip and rush to the hospital.
As I said before, in a wilderness first aid basics course, you should also learn how to control your emotions. Remember, Use pressure when dealing with a bleeding wound and do not panic.
To stop bleeding cuts, apply constant pressure over the wound. Applying constant pressure will prevent blood loss and, eventually, help stop the bleeding or slow it down if it’s a minor cut.
If you are dealing with a major cut, again apply pressure until you are able to reach medical aid. You probably will not have all the needed bandages with you, so if you have a handkerchief, it could do the trick. Use that or any other piece of clothing even if they are not the cleanest.
When dealing with bleeding wounds, the immediate concern is to stop the bleeding. You will need to worry about infection later. If you have no piece of cloth with you, then use your open hand to apply pressure over the wound.
When dealing with bleeding wounds, one of the main wilderness first aid basics is to establish how dangerous the wound is.
How to establish if an artery or vein has been cut?
Wilderness first aid basics teach us that blood from a vein is bluish red and will simply flow or ooze out. The blood from an artery will be bright red and will spurt out since its pressure is from the beating heart. It takes about seven minutes for the blood to clot, which will slow or stop the bleeding. Of course, this may depend on what was cut and how severe. In case you are dealing with a bad cut, you are going to need to be sutured.
Our close friend wrote a comprehensive guide on how to deal with various wounds and stop the bleeding. You can check the source.
You may wonder what does bullet wounds have to do with wilderness first aid basics since no one would shoot at you when hiking. In fact, this is a serious trouble, and hunting accidents happen all the time. You may end up a target by accidents. You will need to take care of yourself till you get professional medical help.
Some gunshot wounds are almost instantly fatal, some actually require very little, if any, treatment, and still others are borderline for survivability.
As the projectile strikes tissue, it compresses and then tears the tissue. This forms what is referred to as the permanent cavity. It is accepted that this tissue is destroyed. Again, apply pressure over the wound.
If you identified a big hole in the arm or leg, you would have to use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. If you don’t have one in your first aid kit, you could improvise by using be a bandage, shirt or belt tightened above the wound. You will need professional medical help since gunshot wounds may be far worse than they seem.!
In most cases, pressure or a tourniquet will stop the bleeding. However, you will need to stay with the person and check his vital signs. Blood loss will push the victim into another bad and potentially deadly situation known as shock.
When you use a tourniquet to control bleeding, you have essentially written the limb off as un-salvageable. Mark a large ‘I’ on the patient’s forehead, as well as the time the tourniquet was applied. No pen? Use the patient’s blood.
As far as preventive measures go for hunting accidents is not to have them occur in the first place. For the most responsible hunter, Hunter Education Classes, combined with common sense, could take care of this category. Unfortunately, it may not always help since people are often careless.
For a more comprehensive guide on gunshot wound management, I recommend you read this article.
These are also common injuries in the wilderness. Most of these wounds are accidentally self-inflicted by being careless with a pointed object or knife. One of the main things wilderness first aid basics teach us is that you usually should not remove the penetrating object as you risk creating more damage.
If you are dealing with a penetrating wound, you have to use a bulky dressing from available materials to stabilize the object and watch for a shock. What to do here is a judgment call in the field with considerations such as:
- What is injured, and by what?
- How severe and where is the victim?
- Can the victim be transported?
Again, a wilderness first aid basics class will give you the knowledge to make a correct call on this one.
Any penetration wound should be treated as any severe wound, and you need medical assistance to deal with it properly
In wilderness first aid basics, a priority of stabilization is to identify and treat the condition commonly known as shock. Primarily, shock involves a decrease of circulating blood volume caused by blood loss, dehydration, fright, pain, poisons, and infections. I will only cover the information on the hemorrhagic shock, the type most likely encountered in the wilderness.
Shock is best defined as inadequate perfusion of the vital organs — brain, heart, kidneys. etc. If these organs do not receive sufficient blood, they will not receive sufficient oxygen, and they will be damaged or die.
Hemorrhagic shock can be caused by cuts or even a blunt trauma that results in internal bleeding. A ruptured liver or fractured bone which revered an artery or whatever can cause serious internal bleeding. Wilderness first aid basics teach us the development of hemorrhagic shock: blood loss — collapse — coma — death.
As said before, you need to use pressure to stop or slow the blood loss from the wound.
Clammy and cold skin, rapid, shallow breathing, weakness, sweating, pupils of the eye become large or dilate are the most common symptoms. Also, the pulse is weak and rapid, and the victim may be very thirsty and could faint.
What you cannot check without equipment is the blood pressure, which becomes very low due to the loss of blood.
As with prevention, stop the bleeding!
You will need to make sure the mouth is clear of anything that could interfere with breathing. Let the patient lay down and keep him warm until you get help. You will require professional medical assistance
These are caused by partial tearing of a ligament around a joint or injury to the joint’s capsule. A sprain is the result of a sudden and not anticipated movement. It occurs mostly because people don’t watch their step when crossing over obstacles or they use improper support (like holding onto branches) when traversing rough terrain.
The victim will experience immediate pain in the area injured, and noticeable swelling can be observed.
If available, you can apply snow or cold water to the injured area. It is also important to elevate or rest the area, and no weight should be applied to it.
NEVER USE HEAT on sprains! Its use would be similar to putting out fire with fire.
You will need to check with your doctor to establish if there could be any chance of the sprain really being a fracture. One rule of wilderness first aid basics when dealing with sprains is “When in doubt, treat it as a fracture.”
There’s no way to distinguish between the two without an X-Ray. In both, the area above the injury will usually become black and blue, bruised. This discoloration is caused by blood leaking into the tissue after the injury.
Be careful when applying bandages! If too tight, it will act as a tourniquet and will compress the blood vessels. This will greatly restrict the blood flow to the affected area.
If you sprained your ankle, you should not put a bandage completely over the toes because they should be visible. You need to observe changes in the color of the tips since it will be a clear indication that the bandages are too tight.
Usually, a bone breaks across its width.
There are two types of fractures:
- Open fractures (also known as compound) – In this case, a piece of bone usually sticks through the skin.
- Closed fractures (often called simple fractures) – In the case of simple fractures, broken bones are kept within the skin. Because of less movement of the broken part and no puncture wound, less tissue is damaged. When dealing with a closed fracture, the chance of infection is greatly reduced since the skin is intact and prevents bacteria from reaching the tissue.
You should avoid putting the bone back if dealing with a compound fracture. Chances are, you won’t manage to put it back without causing more damage. Immobilizing the extremity of a fracture should be your main priority, as you will prevent further injury. You will need to get the victim to the hospital for further care.
You should make sure you do NOT move or put pressure on an injured area. This is critical since you could cause nerve and tissue damage.
If you are dealing with spinal injury, which is usually in the neck area, things are much more complicated. The first thing you should remember, DO NOT MOVE the victim! Keep the patient warm and get help since he should be moved only by professionals. A golden rule in wilderness first aid basics is to avoid doing more damage when trying to help.
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Wilderness first aid basics show us that people suffering a heart attack in the wilderness can be classified in a certain category.
These are unfit people that are not used to dealing with intense physical, and they push themselves too much when hiking. Improper water and food intake combined with intense heat can lead to disaster for them.
The smart way to prevent a possible disaster when in the outdoors would be to recognize the changes and never sign up for an adventure you’re not fit for.
Risk factors to consider are the following:
- Diabetes. Check this guide on how to survive with Diabetes when SHTF.
- Hyperlipidemia or a cholesterol problem.
- High blood pressure that can be caused by stress or other medical conditions
- Lack of physical activity.
- Family history of heart disease.
- High effort and cold weather (associated with hunting seasons).
- Suffering from a medical condition (heart condition) and not taking medicine.
Someone with a heart attack usually dies due to a type of heartbeat called VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION. Its uncoordinated beating and, therefore, pumping action does not allow the heart, which is a muscular pump, to circulate blood. This condition can be controlled only in the hospital with drugs and electrical defibrillation.
Therefore, medical evacuation is mandatory without scaring the patent to death if he or she is conscious. Once again, you need to stay calm and call for help!
If the heart has stopped beating, then you have to perform CPR. Now is not the time to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and if you don’t know how to apply CPR, the victim will probably die. This is why wilderness first aid basics should be in your knowledge bag.
Signs & Symptoms:
General definitions in someone suffering a heart attack could be the following:
- severe pain in the chest,
- cannot breathe properly,
- anxiety or simply being afraid,
- stomach sickness and even vomit,
- abundant sweating may occur
- the patient may even become unconscious.
We have to understand that nature doesn’t exist solely for our pleasure, and the native you find out there has an important role in the entire eco-system. Unfortunately, to the uneducated, these toxic dangers are well-hidden or totally unknown. This creates potential problems for hikers, hunters, and any outdoors person.
Signs & Symptoms:
Generally speaking, the signs of poisoning can be quite different, depending on what plant or animal has provided the toxic substance. Since there are various ways you can get poisoned in the wilderness, it’s better to establish the symptoms for each case.
Venomous or poisonous animals
A direct strike from various venomous snakes ave diverse effects on the human body, depending on the species. You can feel intense pain in the bite area, it can cause nausea and vomiting, but it can also lead to extreme symptoms. The toxic substances in the snake venom can cause numbness of the limbs and drop in blood pressure.
The two main spider groups you should avoid are the recluse and widow varieties. The venom of a black widow is known to cause intense pain. The toxic compounds in the venom, more precisely the neurotoxin, is 15 times greater than a rattlesnake’s.
The venom of a black widow attacks the nervous system, causing nausea, vomiting, headaches, and hypertension.
On the other hand, the toxic compounds found in the venom of the brown recluse, destroy tissue, and causes cutaneous injuries. Both bites can and should be treated with antivenin to counteract the toxic compounds.
Deadly vegetation can be separated into two distinct categories. The first category is the danger of ingesting a poisonous plant, while the other is your body’s reaction to touching or even brushing up against a plant’s parts (leaves, stem, and flowers).
Picking and eating the wrong plants can be highly detrimental, causing various dangerous symptoms such as cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and hallucinations. However, that’s not all, and there can also be symptoms such as depressed heartbeat and respiration, unconsciousness, coma, and even death.
Here there is a lot to write about, but the main thing you should know is not to bother any animal or insect that can cause you harm. There’s no point in trying to catch a snake unless you are starving, and it’s the only meal available.
The same goes for plants and mushrooms. It takes years for some to become a good forager, and most of them learned the hard way how to stay away from certain plants. If you can’t recognize an edible plant and if you’re not sure it’s safe to be eaten, leave it be!
If you eat a toxic plant, you need to get the poison out of your system as quickly as possible. Try to induce vomiting by tickling the back of your throat. This will remove most of the poison from your mouth and stomach.
Wilderness first aid basics provide another alternative, such as drinking as much clean water as possible to dilute and flush out the poisons. If successful, your body should then be able to handle the remaining poison, and you should feel better soon after.
Chances are you brushed against a plant with a toxic self-defense mechanism, and your skin will burn or become itchy and red. Rinse your skin with cool, soapy water within half an hour of contact. This will help remove some of the toxic oils that touched your skin. You will also need to apply cortisone lotion to calm the stinging pain.
You should avoid at all costs scratching the skin because you will only help spread the toxic oils. Within two or three weeks, you should soak your skin in an oatmeal-based product bath to get the desired relief.
One of the most common survival myths portrayed in movies is to suck out the poison when you get bitten by a venomous snake. Please don’t!
If you do so, it will only spread the venom to your mouth and face. Also, don’t cut the wound, ice it, or apply a tourniquet. Instead, try to remain calm and step away from the snake to avoid another bite.
Sit down and try to relax to reduce the chances of fainting. Remove all tight clothing and jewelry since the venom will cause the bite area to swell. The next thing you need to do is get help and antivenin. One of the wilderness first aid basics is to carry a snake bite kit if you happen to travel in areas where venomous spiders can be found.
The problem with toxic mushrooms is that no improvised or home remedy can help reduce or nullify the mushroom’s poison. Wilderness first aid basics teach us that there’s nothing much you can do in the wilderness rather than seeking immediate medical attention.
Some people decide to wait it out, and by doing so, they will just allow the toxins to spread and damage vital organs. The sooner you get professional help, the greater your chances of survival.
Hypothermia or Dangers from the cold
Hypothermia occurs when the body of a person loses heat more rapidly than it can replace it. People falsely assume that it can only occur during extremely cold weather. Your body functions such as blood flow and heartbeat are affected when you are exposed to cold, but you need to figure out when your organs are in real danger.
The human body is designed to operate best at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When it goes under 95 degrees F, that’s when you enter hypothermia territory.
Careful, since the belief that to get caught in this situation, you have to be lost in a wilderness area where the temperature is below zero, is false. Hypothermia can occur in any state where outdoor activities take place. Even people traveling trough the jungle can suffer from hypothermia.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that one needs to stay warm, dry, and hydrated in order to keep hypothermia at bay. Wear proper clothing and use multiple layers. Your shoes or boots should also be designed to withstand the elements.
An important aspect to consider is that one needs to maintain body temperature while traveling during the cold season. Keep in mind that your body burns more calories faster when the climate is colder. You need to keep your energy levels high.
Remember to stay hydrated and eat foods with high caloric intake. Make sure you add or remove layers of clothing to maintain proper body temperature. Sweating in cold environments should be avoided at any cost.
Also, be particularly careful around water since when wet, the body loses heat fast. Even water that does not appear to be that cold as 65 degrees, it will draw heat from that 98.6-degree body and, therefore, over time, lower the temperature.
Signs & Symptoms:
The first thing you will learn from wilderness first aid basics is that there are different levels of hypothermia. You should learn how to identify, as shown below:
- Level 1: you will notice some shivering and hypotension
- Level 2: body shivering intensifies, and you will notice paleness of the skin. Body extremities are starting to get affected, and bluing of lips, ears, fingers, and toes are common signs. Confusion may appear.
- Level 3: difficulty in speaking and thinking and low blood pressure. Slowed breathing becomes a problem, and the patient acts irrationally. This is a critical level, and you need to act to save yourself.
Later on, you want to sleep, which due to freezing, maybe one rest you will not awaken from.
Although most people say that treating hypothermia and other cold-related health emergencies is a simple task, most of the time, the environment you are in dictates the course of action.
It may seem like a no-brainer to get out of the elements as quickly as possible, but if you are stranded, things can get complicated. You will need to find a shelter or build one as soon as possible. The next step would be to make the right type of fire for your environment and shelter design.
If you’re wet, you have to get dry as fast as possible. Bundle up under clothes or blankets without direct contact with the ground. Sharing body heat with other persons is also indicated, and you need to consume warm, non-alcoholic, and non-caffeinated drinks.
Applying hot water bottles on your body during moderate cases of hypothermia will greatly increase your chances of recuperation. Severe cases require warm fluids to be administrated to the patient intravenously.
Wet socks and shoes worn in very cold environments can cause frostbites, which can result in major tissue destruction. They will also appear when the skin and other tissue is exposed to very cold conditions, usually 31 degrees F.
PREVENTION obviously consists of covering exposed areas when in very cold temperatures.
Signs & Symptoms:
Frostbite usually affects areas like the hands, feet, ears, nose, and lips, but can affect any part of the body. Symptoms of frostbite often start with pain from the cold, pins and needles, and numbness.
Later on, from the vessels constricting and therefore reducing the amount of blood to the tissue, gangrene is a possibility.
When you’re in the field, if you notice the symptoms of frostbite, you should get to a warm environment as soon as possible. Once you get to such shelter, you should commence warming up the affected area carefully. You should keep the affected area elevated to reduce swelling. Remove all constrictive clothes because they may block the blood flow.
Drink, warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids. You should not warm the area if it is exposed to cold again. This may cause further tissue damage. Do not rub the area since you will damage the tissue. Depending on the gravity of the frostbite, you should seek medical attention.
A glass or cup of alcohol only conveys a false sense of warmth. This is a survival myth, and it should be left with the movies. I’ve shown my readers that there are several survival myths that will kill you, and this is one of them when it comes to wilderness first aid basics. If you want to find out more about dangerous survival myths, you should read this article.
Commercial first aid kids and wilderness first aid basics
Wilderness first aid basics can help you survive when exploring the great outdoors, but you will need a proper medical kit to make your life easier. You can find all sorts of wilderness first aid kits on the market, and it’s a good starting point for anyone that loves spending time in the wilderness.
If you decide to buy a mountain first aid kit, you should make sure you know how to use it properly. The contents of such a kit should have no secrets, and you should be able to identify each item without thinking twice about it.
Although you can find some very good alternatives on the market, I also encourage you to make your own first aid kit. By doing so, you can customize it based on your needs, you can figure out what items you would need more during your adventure, and you will gain a better understanding of its use.
A while ago, I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to make your own first aid kit. You should check it out.
Avoidance before treatment
To avoid a situation where you will have to use wilderness first aid basics, the logical thing would be to circumvent getting into such a situation. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, exploring the great outdoors requires thorough planning and preparation, but also certain conduct to be followed.
However, I can tell you from experience that no matter how well prepared you are, things can always take a turn for the worse, and you can’t predict the unknown factor. In such a situation, the best thing you can do is avoid making things worse. Wilderness first aid basics can only help you so much, and the truth is that most people will panic rather than applying what they learned. Even though that managed to apply the wilderness first aid basics they master, will sooner or later require professional medical aid.
Now comes the hardest part, and since medical evacuation may not always be available, you will need to reach your camp or any sign of civilization on your own.
To avoid getting lost, you should learn how to use a map and compass so you can get back to your camp or your car. By being properly prepared for low temperatures, you can avoid deadly situations as hypothermia. Navigating in the wilderness is not easy, and you should get familiar with how to get around in unfamiliar territories, always have a mean to contact help, and make sure you are able to track your way back to camp.
Wilderness first aid basics become a must if you like to spend a lot of time in the outdoors. You owe it to yourself and those depending on you to learn how to take care of yourself and get back home in one piece. Things get even more complicated if you are part of a party that has poor knowledge of first aid, and you need to do everything yourself.
Mother Nature doesn’t give second chances, and it’s all up to you and your preparation to outsmart her. Enjoy the great outdoors and stay safe!