NOLS Wilderness Medicine
by Tod Schimelpfenig,
©2006 by NOLS, published by Stackpole Books
Review by Will Barkan
Wilderness Medicine is the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS’ most recent publication containing the cumulative knowledge and years of experience in first hand application of medicine in the backcountry. From altitude sickness to sports injuries to legal concepts in wilderness medicine, this book is the outdoor educator’s compendium for medical emergencies and routine precautions. The author, Tod Schimelpfenig, has over 30 years of experience as an outdoor educator, works extensively in the field of search and rescue and urban emergency medicine, and is the founder of the Wilderness Risk Managers Committee.
This comprehensive, lightweight paperback reference is ideal for any expedition or permanent camp. It contains exhaustive information for the treatment and assessment of injuries and ailments as well as detailed and informative diagrams. As the fourth edition, this book also includes the newest changes in protocol and techniques, common non-urgent medical problems, and legal issues. There is a quick index at the beginning that makes it an ideal field resource of on-the-spot treatment and assessment, designed for novice and veteran responders. NOLS Wilderness Medicine was published in previous editions as NOLS Wilderness First Aid.
Climbing Self-Rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations
by Andy Tyson and Molly Loomis
©2006 by Tyson and Loomis, published by The Mountaineers Books
Review by Jim Sherwin
I am not a climber. Anyone who has seen me cling to holds, curse gravity, scream for help, and thrash at the end of a line knows that I am not a climber. I am a weak, uncoordinated mess.
The only detail I share with climbers is a commitment to safety. It’s important to take precautions and prepare for minor setbacks and major problems. Conducting a mental list of possible disasters while perched on a cliff is not the healthiest of habits, but writing off threats is foolish.
Rather than ignore or underestimate the inherent risks of climbing, longtime NOLS instructors Andy Tyson and Molly Loomis acknowledge the dangers in their new book, Climbing Self-Rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations. All climbers, regardless of skill, need to practice safety, so Tyson and Loomis wrote their book in a style that even I can follow. Each chapter builds on the last in a succession that is both natural and comprehensible. From tying a clove hitch to counterbalance rappelling, the elements of climbing safety receive thorough explanation.
You don’t need to be a great climber to enjoy climbing. But unless you want to put yourself and your climbing partners in serious danger, it’s imperative you spend as much time preparing for accidents as you do tempting them.