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Lightning Strike Treatment

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013



Excerpt from A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine, by Eric A. Weiss, M.D.

Lightning kills more people every year in the United States than all other natural disasters combined. Read our post on minimizing risk of lightning strike to prevent injury.


Lightning Safety

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

lightning strike 3

Incidences of lightning strikes are more common in the Midwest, Gulf Coast, and Atlantic regions of the United States because these regions have thunderstorms more frequently than the rest of the country, as shown in the image below.¹ An estimated 400 lightning injuries occur annually based on data averaged over the last decade.² Lightning danger is no joke or freak accident. The Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Journal has some safety recommendations that can help minimize your risk of a strike if you find yourself outside in a thunderstorm.


Know the warning signs for thunderstorms:

  • Building Cumulonimbus clouds (pictured below)

Dr. Weiss’s Tips for Treating Head Injuries

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Excerpt from A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine, by Dr. Eric A. Weiss.

Wilderness_Travel-Medicine-book-STRTHead trauma and brain injury can result from direct impact or from the shearing forces produced by rapid deceleration. When your head hits a hard object such as a boulder, the impact can fracture the skull, bruise the brain, or cause severe bleeding inside the brain from damaged blood vessels. Shearing forces from sudden deceleration of the brain against the inside of the skull can also tear blood vessels on the surface of the brain, leading to an expanding blood clot and pressure on the brain (intracranial pressure).

“Seriously, You Guys Saved Our Lives”

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Read below climber Paul Warman’s first-person account on how Adventure Medical Kits’ Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy helped save his life and that of a friend, after the two had become stranded near the summit of British Columbia’s Bugaboo Spire.


I would like to take a moment to give a heartfelt thanks to you guys. If it wasn’t for your HeatSheets Emergency Bivvy, we would not be here today.

Paul Warman on Bugaboo

Click image to view video of climber Paul Warman’s rescue near summit of Bugaboo Spire.

Winter Dehydration by Adam Swisher at NOLS

Monday, February 25th, 2013



Whether you’re cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding at a resort, or spending multiple days in the backcountry on a hut trip, there is no doubt that winter sports are fun and exhilarating. Many of these gravity-infused activities require a good deal of physical exertion similar to their summertime counterparts, and to that end dehydration remains a concern.

The threat of dehydration in the winter is compounded by the fact that it is cold outside and the air is typically much drier—the cold temperatures drawing moisture out of the atmosphere.


Danny Walton on Cold Feet

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013


A couple thousand days on the mountain might explain why I get cold feet.  My feet are always cold.  I am not that person who busts out the flip flops on the first 45 degree sunny day after skiing.  But now things are about to change now that HealthiFeet® has come in to life.


HealthiFeet is a product from Adventure Medical Kits. HealthiFeet is a podiatrist-recommended topical cream clinically proven to relieve foot discomfort associated with cold feet. HealthiFeet contains L-Arginine, a naturally occurring amino acid, which helps restore temperature to cold feet, keeping them warm and comfortable. Improved warmth relieves numbness and discomfort, leaving your feet feeling relaxed and restored. The patent-pending formula penetrates skin to provide warmth exactly where you need it. American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Approval.

Danny Walton Backcountry Bag

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Thin Ice: Recognizing and Reacting

Friday, February 8th, 2013

As much emphasis should be placed on avalanche safety, there’s another danger, sometimes unpredictable, to consider during winter expeditions. Ice varies a great deal in strength; accordingly, so too should your choice to cross it.

A number of factors affect the stability of ice. Consider them, and avoid dangerous crossings first and foremost.

·           If you think the water is deep enough to submerse you, or moving fast enough to sweep you underneath it, don’t cross.

·           Snow-covered ice may be thin, as snow insulates the water’s surface, limiting freezing.

Ouch! Burns

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

burn 2Burns unfortunately can be a common injury anywhere from an isolated wilderness campsite to in your comfortable kitchen at home. Yet whether outdoors or at home, to distinguish a minor burn from a serious burn, the three classifications of either first-degree, second-degree or third-degree burn will help determine the appropriate emergency care.


The least serious burns are those in which only the outer layer of skin is burned, but not all the way through.

  • The skin is usually red
  • Often there is swelling
  • Pain sometimes is present

Emergency Snow Shelters – Part 2 Snow Coffin

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Our friends at NOLS have put together a great safety tip for snow activities. Casey Pikla has demonstrated to us how to make a snow trench if you get caught unexpectedly outside and need to bunker down for a while.

Walking, skiing, or snowshoeing in a winter wonderland can provide some of the most serene and enjoyable of backcountry ventures. But what happens when that leisurely outing turns into an unexpected night out?

Luckily, the winter environment comes with its own building material: snow! Here’s the quick and easy on a few emergency snow shelters that can protect you from old man winter in a pinch.