Outdoors and Wilderness First Aid Overview

Make sure you keep those smiles on when out and about! Nothing can be a downer on a trip like an injury – no matter how big or small. This short guide is meant to serve as a starting point to learn more about outdoors and wilderness first aid and is by no means meant to replace common sense nor is it an exhaustive resource. If you have the presence of mind to be researching first aid for outdoors and wilderness settings, most likely you won’t be applying the knowledge and resources on yourself, but on those you are traveling with or those you encounter on your journey. Be sure to read the fine print located at the links in the footer of the webpage and consult with a medical professional in the event of an injury occurring.

Recommended Items for Shorter Outings Closer to a Town/City

  1. Basic First Aid Kit or Day Tripper First Aid Kit
  2. Safety Whistle

Recommended Items for Longer, Remote, and/or Overnight Outings

  1. Comprehensive First Aid Kit
  2. CPR Mask and/or Respirator Shield
  3. Portable AED (particularly with larger and/or older groups)
  4. Safety Whistle
  5. Pocket Knife and/or Multi-Tool
  6. Bandana or other multi-use fabric that could be used to tie-off an extremity in the event of cut, bite, or other emergency event where restriction of blood flow is recommended or a make-shift splint is required.

Outdoors and Wilderness First Aid Courses

For those interested in learning more, check out your local REI or other outdoors outfitter for upcoming courses on the topic. Alternately, the National Outdoors Leadership School (NOLS) has a variety of courses for all desired levels of learning – whether for personal enrichment or for professional-level certifications. There are a number of NOLS courses hosted at locations in Arizona each year.

It is also recommended that you become CPR certified, just in case!

Further Reading for Outdoors and Wilderness First Aid

Wilderness Medicine – Latest Edition – National Outdoor Leadership Council (NOLS) – Tod Schimelpfenig

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival