Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wilderness First Responders!

The first two weeks of September found Abigail and Karin sleeping on marginally comfortable dorm beds in New Hampshire, while our dogs were frolicking at “camp mom” in ohio. Now, if you know us well, you might find yourselves asking “why weren’t you sleeping in a TENT somewhere awesome?” Well, the answer to that was because we had traveled to SOLO Schools in New Hampshire in order to earn our Wilderness First Responder certification.

Splinting a humerus fracture!
Wilderness First Responder is a two week, 70-80 hour intensive wilderness first aid class, meant to prepare trip leaders, counselors and guides for anything they might come across in the wilderness.   Half the course was spent in the classroom, and the other half was spent outdoors on the 300+ acres the school owns practicing and applying skills in life-like scenarios.  We learned to assess patients, and then scenarios built upon this vital skill as we learned to manage and treat when possible: musculoskeletal trauma, medical emergencies, environmental emergencies, soft tissues injuries and anything else the wilderness might throw our way. Over the two weeks we all got ample experience in acting as an injured patient. Here you can see Abigail modeling a splint for a humerus fracture made only out of the materials found in a backpacking bag.

You might still be a bit confused about why we would go to New Hampshire for two weeks without our dogs to take an intense, but seemingly unrelated trip.   Although we got fed amazing meals for two weeks, this was not the sole purpose.  This certification allows us to pursue offering something we have been considering for a while now. We have always wanted to be able to offer people the opportunity to go on backpacking and adventure trips with their dogs. Now, with this certification, as well as a veterinarian on staff, we are able to start the process of being able to safely take people and their dogs into the backcountry for adventures.

Look for these trips in either spring or fall 2014. We would love to have you and your canine companion join us!