Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine

Essential for expeditions: mountaineers, hillwalkers and explorers - jungle, desert, ocean and remote areas

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11 Aug 2017
15.5 x 10.0 x 1.4cm

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Written by doctors with a wealth of experience, this book covers the fundamentals of wilderness first aid and medicine. Clearly referenced chapters describe both how to minimise risks (including the preparation of first-aid kits) and how to cope with accident or illness in remote settings, from diving to high altitude and from desert to polar.

11 Aug 2017
15.5 x 10.0 x 1.4cm
  • Overview

    This conveniently sized guide is an invaluable point of reference for all who travel and take part in outdoor, wilderness and mountain activities. Written by doctors with a wealth of experience, it provides a comprehensive summary of wilderness first aid and medicine – that is, managing accident or illness in remote locations without immediate access to help – giving you confidence in your ability to deal with any situation that may arise.

    All topics are clearly referenced and easy to find, with chapters covering preparation, prevention, accident protocol, diagnosis, treatment and evacuation. From life-threatening emergencies to broken bones and sprains, infectious diseases, food poisoning, envenomation and respiratory problems, the book sets out all the crucial protocol and procedures to follow. It covers a wide range of different environments, including high altitude, desert, polar, tropical and marine, dealing with risk management and a variety of different scenarios. In addition, suggestions for first-aid kits and lists of medications and antibiotics (with dosage) can be found in the appendices.

    Minimizing risks is part of the challenge and satisfaction of wilderness travel. Now in its twelfth edition (the third for Cicerone), Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine is an indispensable companion for all outdoor activities and wilderness expeditions.

  • Contents

    Accident and illness protocol
    Acronyms and abbreviations
    Conversion tables
    Read this

    Part 1:    The fundamentals
    1.    Prevention
    2.    Positioning and moving a victim
    3.    Medications – what you need to know
    4.    Pain management

    Part 2:    Accident and illness protocol
    5.    Accident and illness protocol in a wilderness setting
    6.    Primary survey – dealing with life-threatening emergencies
    7.    Primary survey for specific situations
    8.    Shock prevention and stabilization
    9.    Secondary survey – working out what the problem is
    10.    Evacuation

    Part 3:    Problems and their treatment
    11.    Spinal and head injuries
    12.    Burns
    13.    Broken bones, dislocations, sprains and strains
    14.    Wounds
    15.    Bites, stings and nasty plants
    16.    Cold weather problems
    17.    Hot weather problems
    18.    Dehydration
    19.    Diarrhoea and food poisoning
    20.    Abdominal (belly) problems
    21.    Respiratory problems
    22.    Altitude illness – AMS, HACE and HAPE
    23.    Drowning and diving problems
    24.    Infectious diseases
    25.    Eyes, ears and mouth
    26.    Skin problems
    27.    Gender-specific problems and STIs
    28.    Other problems

    Appendix 1    Chart of medications
    Appendix 2    Antibiotics
    Appendix 3    Rescue request form
    Appendix 4    Marine envenomation
    Appendix 5    Altitude illness flowchart
    Appendix 6    Lake Louise Score (LLS)
    Appendix 7    Avalanche rescue flow chart
    Appendix 8    The skeleton and internal organs
    Appendix 9    First aid kits
    Appendix 10    Useful contacts and sources of information

    Index of diagrams
    Basic life support (BLS) in the wilderness


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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews

    “Every trekker and expedition member should have this first aid manual on the top of their rucksack as there is no aspect of mountain medicine and general first aid omitted.”

    Mountaineering legend Doug Scott 



    First aid and pre-hospital care in remote environments presents a serious challenge for even the most experienced outdoor professionals. While there will never be a replacement for training and experience, this recently updated and popular guide provides a wealth of information all collated into one place, and reflects current best practice.

    There are a number of books or guides on the market, but this editions pocket size and plasticised covers make it a handy reference text that can be realistically taken on a trip or expedition. The diagrams are clear, and the language avoids medical jargon for clear easily understood terminology.

    The order and progression of the text works well, and will be familiar to anyone who has undertaken a basic life support or Mountain Rescue casualty care training. The sections on primary and secondary surveys are excellent. There are appendices covering key areas such as avalanches and altitude sickness with algorithms providing a useful aide menoire to instructors and leaders working with groups in remote mountain areas. Information is also included on first aid kit contents and medication for a wide range of illnesses and conditions.

    Mike Margeson, Mountain Rescue

  • Downloads
Duff Jim

Jim Duff

Dr Jim Duff has more than 50 years' experience of climbing in Scotland, Norway, the European Alps, New Zealand, the Himalayas and is still an active sailor. He has taught wilderness medicine, first aid and leadership in the Himalayas, Australia and East Africa.

View Guidebooks by Jim Duff
Anderson A

Ross Anderson

Dr Ross Anderson is a GP and medical consultant for expedition and adventure travel companies. He holds the UIAA Diploma in Mountain Medicine and is a keen outdoor enthusiast with interests including trekking, ski touring and trail running.

View Guidebooks by Ross Anderson