First Aid for the Backyardsman

When I first got into this whole prepping / backwoodsman / backyardsman frame of mind, the hardest thing to find was first aid training. I signed up for CERT training and got a little bit of first aid from that, but it was very basic. I wanted more. many hours of looking online didn’t give me what I wanted. A lot of what I found was contradictory. Local Red Cross first aid training was disappointing. It seemed like nothing more than get the casualty breathing, call 911, and wait for the professionals to show up. That doesn’t cut it in the woods, so I kept looking.

A couple weeks ago I found what I’m looking for. The funny thing is it was on a blog that has nothing to do with first aid. One of the posts mentioned something called “WFR training.” My reaction was “WTF is WFR?” so I googled… WFR means Wilderness First Responder. Hmmm, might be related to first aid that’s actually useful to a backwoodsman or backyardsman…

When I searched for “Wilderness First Responder training” I found an outfit called National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). They offer a lot of classes that might be of interest to backwoodsmen and backyardsmen, but the one I’m interested in is their Wilderness First Responder course. It’s a 9 day course that looks really comprehensive. I WANT to take this course. So I have to talk to the wife…

And then a miracle occurs…

I talked her into letting me take the class. Keep in mind the class itself is $800, plus I’ll be away from home for 2 weeks. Oh, and about $1000 for a motel plus gas to get there, meals, etc. So I’m not exaggerating much when I call it a miracle that I’m going with my wife’s blessing. You married guys know what I’m talking about…

The class starts in about 5 weeks. To kind of prime my brain I’m taking a BLS CPR certification class this weekend. As a bonus, the WFR class is being held in my home town. Been meaning to get back for awhile and this gives me a really good reason to go.

Besides the WFR course, NOLS offers a 2 day Wilderness First Aid class and a 26 day Wilderness EMT class. The WFA class might be good for the Backyardsman who doesn’t have 9 days and ~$2000 (total) to burn. The EMT class is a full blown EMT licensing course and is priced accordingly (around $4500, but the tuition includes lodging and meals for the entire 26 days). If I like the WFR class I’ll probably take the EMT course next year. That might be a good job for me to have if I can retire next year.

First Aid for the Backyardsman

I think having first aid skills is important for anyone spending a lot of time off the beaten path. So far I’ve had a hard time finding good first aid training. The NOLS training looks good, and a friend who is a volunteer fireman knows about their program and recommends it. So we’ll see, and I’ll post a full review of the class when I finish it.

Peace out,

Related Links:

NOLS Wilderness Medicine course offerings