Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wilderness First Aid

I spent the weekend doing a two-day Wilderness First Aid course taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS on Cal campus. I generally have a very strong aversion to paying for anything having to do with the outdoors, and I've gone to great lengths to avoid getting a guide to lead me on any backpacking trips (except for Kilimanjaro, where it's completely unavoidable and probably guarded by AK-47-wielding Tanzanian police, and even then we still hiked so fast our porter couldn't catch up, but I digress). I was actually worried that the course would be full of people that didn't know the first thing about first aid, but in fact, I was probably one of the least-informed people there, as a good portion of the class was using it to re-certify as a Wilderness First Responder. And as far as the material went, I did learn a few symptoms or methods of treatment that I didn't really know, but mostly it was good to learn a systematic approach (full of lots of acronyms) to assessing what's wrong with somebody so that I can be reasonably sure I don't miss something. And my fellow classmates were all very cool; all very outdoorsy people often involved with outdoor education programs. So other than the fact that the weekend painfully reminded me that I am a completely gutless wuss when it comes to asking for girls' phone numbers, I had a great time. And it made me slightly re-think my aversion to paying to learn anything about the outdoors. I'd still totally hate to pay anyone to take me backpacking, and I'm still slightly opposed to paying somebody to teach me to climb, but I think I'd love to pay somebody to teach me to sea kayak or sail.


  1. Maybe you could make some stickers with your name and number and blog on them and then when you meet a cute girl you could stick them on their travel coffee mug / glass mason jar / stainless steel drinking bottle / Yerba Mate gourd and then they'd see it one day and remember you. That's one option. -Mark

  2. I took a course like that at UVA for this wilderness rescue club they had that I only did one thing for. It was a really valuable course. They taught us why all CPR on TV looks fake, something other CPR courses hadn't taught.