Staying safe in the wilderness

Having spent many years enjoying the wilderness across 6 continents (hold on Oceania, I’m coming), including wintering over in Antarctica and years of service in mountain rescue, and then gaining the perspective afforded to me by having my own serious wilderness accident, I am very mindful of how we balance the risks and rewards of wilderness adventures.  Greg Hill captures the essence of some very simple but powerful advice for staying safe in this brief video.  Watch and reflect!

Transcribed here in my words:

Greg Hill’s 5 Rules for Staying Safe in the Wilderness

  1. Be afraid – be aware of the risks, and cognitive of the risks.
  2. Be prepared – get educated, find mentors, be guided, get good equipment, take the courses, develop your own mountain sense.
  3. Have a great team – find good partners.
  4. Have a plan – prepare for eventualities, have an escape route
  5. Be vigilant – maintain situational awareness, reassess plans fluidly.

Actually, that sounds like a good set of 5 rules for prehospital emergency medicine, anaesthesia, or any other high-stakes game!

MCSA/ICAR/WSAR Mountain Medicine Workshop 2016 Presentations

As promised, open access to my two talks from the Mountain Medicine Workshop hosted at the MCSA in Cape Town, 2 May 2016.  Please feel free to use for reference, or direct questions to me!

Austere & Confined Space Airway Management:

Practical Wilderness Analgesia:

Kilimanjaro Mountain Medicine Expedition 2016 – Photo teaser

A few photographs from the 2016 WildMedix Kilimanjaro Mountain Medicine Expedition, courtesy of our expedition photographer, Chanel Rossouw (@chanel_r).  More to follow!

Invasive blood pressure monitoring in the aeromedical setting

Presentation for the Red Cross Air Mercy Service (where I am a regular volunteer flight doctor) today.  One of these days I will get around to narrating all these Prezi talks.  My friend a colleague Jo Park-Ross from AMS and #badEM has made a video podcast of the talk – will post the link when it is up and running. 

Travel links – Vancouver & Garibaldi Provincial Park

Nearing sunset at Elfin Lakes in April 2015

I originally made this list to help my family keep track and contact me during the NWAC 2015 Conference at the  Vancouver Convention Centre, but realised they may be useful for anyone visting the area and planning a run or two in Stanley Park (think Central Park, only muuuuuch cooler) or looking for some adventures in the British Columbia wilderness.  Enjoy!

Room with a view at the Fairmont Waterfront
Room with a view at the Fairmont Waterfront

I stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel while in Vancouver, which was fantastic and right across the road from the Convention Centre, albeit somewhat of a stretch for many budgets.  Several good runs, some geocaching and a visit to the Vancouver Acquarium were well worth while.  See:

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For the three days/two nights from 26-28 April I did a backcountry hiking/skiing to the Elfin Lakes Hut in Garibaldi Provincial Park, near Squamish, due North of Vancouver:

Moody weather while out back-country skiing in the Sea-to-Sky mountains
Moody weather while out back-country skiing in the Sea-to-Sky mountains

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Hopefully some more photos to follow here soon, otherwise check my Instagram feed!

Fireworks over the Vancouver Waterfront from the Fairmont
Fireworks over the Vancouver Waterfront from the Fairmont

NWAC 2015 is in New York…are we getting excited already?

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WildMedic Blog: Aesthetic update & more images

I’ve been tweaking the aesthetics of the blog to improve the user interface and make things, well, prettier.  Have a look and tell me what you think!  It is now integrated to include more images, including my Instagram feed.  I am finding Instagram a very handy way of expressing photographic creativity:

Let me know in the comments if you like the new interface and/or images!

Great hiking essay: Carrot Quinn, L2H Trail

“Humans are the most dangerous animals in the world; and in the wilderness there are far fewer of them.”

Definitely worth a read.  I’m currently following Carrot as she hikes the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), after my father recommended her stream-of-consciousness book “Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart” to me, leaving me to consume it in a couple of days.  This essay on The Toast captures the spirit of hiking.

You Think You Have The Time:  Hiking the Lowest to Highest Trail

World Penguin Day!

Seems a bit out of place to be celebrating World Penguin Day as I fly north to the NWAC congress in Vancouver, but any excuse to think of penguins! One of my bucket-list items is seeing every species on Earth in the wild. I’ve done all of these and am about 70% through the list. Check out the infographic or watch this quick video if you are curious about these charismatic birds:

Penguin_infograpic Click here to download this as a printable PDF – thanks, Quark!

 

Midlife Meanders

As must be apparent by now, the Hofmeyr clan is quite fond of the occasional long stroll…if by stroll you mean expedition far and wide in as much wilderness as we can find, preferably carrying our necessities on our backs.  Franelise and I both grew up hiking and camping, albeit in very different environments, and have been able to enjoy some great wildernesses together, culminating in our off-season circuits in the Falklands and Patagonia.  My brother Stephen was well on his way through the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail in the USA when he had to return to SA unexpectedly, and plans to return with his new wife Kristen to complete it.  Now my dad David and step-mom Jane are about to depart to walk the Camino Frances (Camino de Santiago, or Way of St James) across Spain to Santiago de Compostella over the course of the next 6 weeks.  They have started a blog, “Midlife Meanders,” to allow us all to track their progress and read about the experience.  Check it out!

Musings of a wilderness doctor

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