Wilderness medicine expert Carl Weil can't be there to treat every twisted ankle or accidental burn sustained in the backcountry. That's why he created Quick Reference Backcountry Medical Care, 4th Edition. The durable, pocket-sized book is designed to deliver a dose of wisdom and medical know-how just when adventurers need it most.
Weil's experience with backcountry medicine makes for an impressive resume. He has worked extensively in the field, was the first Master Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, and served as an EMT and emergency room technician before that. Weil has traveled to more than forty states and several foreign countries, teaching others the skills and techniques for surviving a medical emergency far from civilization. Helping people is his passion.
Asked what inspired him to write the book, Weil cites the library at Wilderness Medicine Outfitters, the school he directs from a 130-acre land trust in Elizabeth, Colorado. "We have many books of all kinds, and plenty of them that tell you how to prepare for an emergency," he says. But he doesn't find them to be practical for the backwoods, since "they're all either newspaper pages or tomes--nothing for your pocket or pack." Weil decided that "people need an 'oh no' book, one you can pull out when you're already in an emergency to help fix what you're looking at right now."
With those 'oh no' situations in mind, he formulated the book to be simple to use, even when panic and stress kick in. It is printed in large type on waterproof, tear-resistant pages. Headings guide readers to the relevant page, and two recordkeeping pages provide a space to record crucial information. The book includes line drawings to demonstrate the trickier techniques, while step-by-step instructions help readers identify and treat issues large and small, including open wounds, stings, bites, bone breaks, breathing problems, seizures, diabetes complications, and much more.