Wilderness Medicine: Let’s Talk

Bridget Blake // October 28

There are infinite experiences in the outdoors. These may be long or short in duration. They can be enjoyed alone, with loved ones, or complete strangers. Perhaps you fancy the outdoors as a side hobby or maybe you dedicate your life to it. Whatever your outdoor situation is, there is a level of preparedness. It is less of a “nice-to-have,” and more of a “need-to-have.” Enter: wilderness medicine. 

I am not here to catastrophize. But, let’s face it: I’ve taken plenty of steps and still manage to trip sometimes. Even the most experienced outdoorsman should have the skills needed to quickly circumvent hazards and/or jump confidently into action, if the need arises.

With more people than ever engaging in potentially hazardous activities, wilderness medicine is extremely important. This type of medicine specializes in the prioritization, and initial treatment of a variety of medical issues that occur in not-so-medically accessible areas.

By land or by sea, adventure medicine teaches its participants everything from risk assessment to treatment of common and acute illnesses in different remote settings. From dive medicine, thermias (hypo & hyper) to wound medicine, you will understand what and why the body is acting and how it is (pathophysiology) and respond accordingly. 

I haven’t even shared the two best parts yet. Drumroll please…you do NOT have to be medical personnel to get wilderness med training. Although it is a formal medical specialty with certification and fellowship programs (a quick Google search to see the formal requirements), which means that, you get Continuing Education hours. You heard it here first, folks.

A totally legit way to play outside while fulfilling my license requirements. Yes, please! PLUS, you’re not sitting on a Zoom call or in an augmented reality situation learning. No, no, this is real life and that means you’re doing it all wrapped up in a sweet little vacation. 

As a medical personnel and lover of adventures, the specialty of wilderness medicine gives me warm fuzzies. I love to know that I can mix a duck-hunting trip or hiking trip with learning from top-notch professionals, making new friends, and feeling accomplished.

Plus, being able to bring my medical and non-medical friends alike and sharing that with them are even better. Check out wildmedadventures.com or other great organizations for a variety of different trip options catered to every type of outdoor adventurer. Safaris in Kenya, wellness retreats in Kentucky, Amazon fishing – maybe pick all three! Immersive experiences with the additional bonus of a team of experts provide the perfect opportunity to choose an experience you have wanted to try or learn more about.

Life is full of failures and we will feel better if we are armed with the wilderness medicine knowledge to quickly resolve them ASAP so we can get back to our adventures. Safety and fun all rolled into one!

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About the Author

Bridget Blake

Bridget Blake is a Nurse Practitioner and business consultant based out of Florida. With a life goal of a wasteLESS wilderness, she is a proponent of sustainability, natural living, and making sure her two kiddos grow up as free-range as possible. Although new to hunting, she is passionate about learning new skills and sharing them with those who also want to learn. Bridget is dedicated to becoming a wilderness expert and teaching others how to coexist with the world around them.