Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Desperate Times Call for Leave No Trace Measures


Four Leave No Trace Musts for the Government Shutdown

You've read the disturbing stories reported from our national parks, now that the partial government shutdown has moved into January. The situation is serious—wildlife picking through bins piled high with trash, latrines overflowing with waste and unfettered off-roading in fragile ecosystems. With 85% of National Park Service employees furloughed, rescue services are limited and maintenance continues to be deferred. 

Please consider these recommendations for the duration of the shutdown from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

1. Develop a Plan B: Choose an alternative to national parks and other federal lands if it is at all possible. The country has many vast and sweeping state parks and municipal lands, many adjacent or nearby. So if you can, give our national lands a breather. 

2. Pack Out ALL Trash: Plan ahead and prepare takes on an elevated meaning during the shutdown. Make sure that you equip yourself with extra bags for any potential trash that you generate and plan to remove all of it from the park. Pack out trash left behind by others to lessen potential impacts on wildlife and waterways, and the environment in general. 

3. It's Time To Try: Given that many restroom facilities on federal lands are closed or already compromised, the use of biodegradable, disposable toilet-in-a-bag-type products is essential. 

Even if it has never been in your repertory, this is a tremendously important commitment you must make to protect wildlife, water sources, and fellow users. 

Contact your local outdoor retailer and ask if they have Restop, Clean Waste or comparable products so you can pack out your human waste. 

4. Share Well With Others: With a lack of critical personnel on site are areas, many visitors will not receive important Leave No Trace information they would otherwise absorb from rangers. 

Share Leave No Trace principles far and wide with those around you. You may find that people are very receptive to hearing from you during the shutdown. 

Most importantly, if you are enjoying federal lands, do so with a gentle touch. All of us hope, for the sake of our beloved outdoors, that the shutdown ends soon. If it continues, we will share more information with you about efforts to help by our thousands of passionate members and partners. 

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics supplies dome of the best information to help you make good decisions about enjoying our shared lands responsibly during this precarious time.


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

LNT Saving The Natural World


Want to be a part of the movement? Become a Leave No Trace member today to show your support of the outdoors.

Go to: www.lnt.org

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Reflecting On Happiness


For many people, December can often be a big month for reflection. What goals have you achieved in 2018? What can you do at the close of the year that you couldn’t do at the start of it? How have you made a difference to others? Have you been happy in your work and your life?

Here are four suggestions for enjoying a little more happiness at the end of the year and into 2019:

1. Let go of the rules you have for happiness and success.

You don’t have to be perfect, work hard, go it alone or suffer to earn happiness or be successful. Happiness does not come wrapped in a box, it comes when you enjoy the gift inside every moment.

2. Fuel your passion and do what inspires and delights you.

Ask yourself “when am I at my happiest?” and do more of those things you enjoy. Start by being kind to yourself and indulge in your personal version of happiness, success, and joy.

3. Enjoy the simple pleasures.

Laughter, fun, and dancing to your favourite music costs nothing, yet can be priceless. Play a game, read a book, or go for a walk and try and spot all the colours of a rainbow. What is on your list of simple pleasures?

4. Make time for love and friendship. 

Don’t be so busy with others that you neglect your most important relationships at work and in your life. Who would you like to spend more time with, be more loving with, and have more fun with?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Camas Centre, Ross of Mull


In the summer of 1989 I took my  first steps down the track to Camas Tuath, they were not my last either, and part of me has never left. Being at the Camas Centre, and on Iona, that summer transformed my view of the world as a young man and those initial experiences continue to shape my approach to outdoor learning, even now.

It was in these places I discovered the joy of working in remote settings, and real community living. I was able to reflect upon ways my faith could grow and was equipped with the means to understand my own spirituality as I progressed in life. These experiences and subsequent times spent at Camas inspired my career choices to become an outdoor educator.

The Camas Centre plays a crucial role in the lives of the young people and adults that visit the centre, by offering them the opportunity to see core-values being lived out on a daily basis via the resident team, thus enabling them to manage any future tides of change in a positive way, by modelling what they experience at the centre.

And regardless of how we use it to promote aspects of social learning, being at Camas also helps us all embrace good environmental stewardship to preserve what there is to enjoy by simply being there. The sense of connection with nature that is achieved by working on the land, exploring on the water and the shared enjoyment of Camas is both powerful and transformative.

I firmly believe that participating in a week of community living at Camas can act as a catalyst for change within an individual by creating a sense of connection with and an awareness of others as well as the environment in which we live together.

Go to: The Camas Centre

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

WMS Cold Card Guide In the Assessment and Care of Cold-Exposed Patients


The Wilderness Medical Society has published a free ‘cut out and keep’ style double sided card, summarising the key elements of hypothermia evaluation and field care for laypersons, rescuers, and first responders. 

The full-text paper explains its design and evolution, alongside high-resolution printable images of the card.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Wilderness First Responder Badge from NOLS Wilderness Medicine 

Wilderness first responder training courses focus on teaching the students to assess a situation, improvise solutions using available resources to stabilize the patient and identify the best way to get the patient to definitive medical treatment.


Go to: www.nols.edu

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Adrenaline in Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening emergency and is one of the most stressful medical conditions that an expedition medic could face. Fortunately, the condition is reversible with prompt administration of adrenaline by intramuscular injection.

Because the onset of anaphylaxis can be very fast, an adrenaline auto-injector can be very useful upon witnessing the first signs of a severe reaction.

Signs of a severe reaction include:

• Swelling in the throat (altered voice, difficulty swallowing or breathing)

• Wheezing

• Dizziness, feeling faint, tiredness (symptoms of low blood pressure)

The most commonly seen auto-injectors are still EpiPen®. Certainly, this brand is most commonly carried by children and adults in the UK setting. Therefore it may be that some participants on expeditions may carry these.

Figure 1 - EpiPen® Auto-Injector



All auto-injectors should be injected into the muscle of the outer thigh.

There has been a recent slight change in the guidance for administration for EpiPen®.

There is no change to the device or the drug (adrenaline); the change is in the instructions for use as outlined below:

    • Reduced injection time from 10 seconds down to 3 seconds – this is based on research confirming delivery of adrenaline for 3 seconds is sufficient.

    • Removal of the massage step after the injection – this step has been removed to simplify the process of administering EpiPen®.

The changes above are aimed to improve patient compliance.

Remember that anyone who uses an auto-injector must have had training in its use (as they are all slightly different). However, it is a drug that can be administered by a non-health care professional in the UK setting if required to treat a patient with anaphylaxis.

It is hoped that the manufacturers of the other auto-injectors (Jext and Emerade) available in the UK will also change their guidelines to match those of EpiPen®.

Wilderness Medical Training recommends the use of Emerade as the autoinjector of choice as each one contains 0.5mg adrenaline (Resus Council UK guideline dose) rather than the 0.3mg adrenaline dose in the EpiPen®.

The guidance for the Emerade auto-injector remains to hold the autoinjector against the thigh for 5 seconds.

Figure 2 - Technique for use of the Emerade Auto-injector