Archive for March 2012

A Walk (or Race) in the Woods

A Walk (or Race) in the Woods

Today was the third annual running of Raccongaine, an orienteering competition at Raccoon Creek State Park, presented by Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club based in Indiana, Pennsylvania. This is not an easy course, to put it mildly.  Raccoon Creek has one of the roughest terrains of any of the local state parks, with lots of ravines and dense vegetation.  Plus, depending on whether a team or individual chose to run either the 3 or 6 hour course, one could easily log ten to twenty-five miles during the day. While it was a great day to be navigating in the woods, what made it especially fun was the diverse group of people who registered.  While some participants were hardcore adventure racers and ultra runners, most were just everyday people with varying degrees of navigating experience – many just enjoying nature with their children. If you want to practice your navigating skills, please […]

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A Lesson Learned from Pittsburgh EMS

A Lesson Learned from Pittsburgh EMS

Thanks to the generosity of Pittsburgh EMS, I enjoyed a memorable day riding along with the crew of “Medic 4” as they worked another busy shift on the North Side. My goal was to develop a better understanding of front-country emergency medicine.  Despite my experience in wilderness medicine courses over the years, I wanted the chance to see the front lines of medical care and to see some of the best medics around in action.  Crew Chief Jim Sabo and his paramedics, J.D. and Dalbey did not disappoint.  Not only did they provide great medical care to all of their patients, but they were wonderfully caring and patient too. I learned much today, but one lesson in particular stands out.  While protocols and procedures are certainly important in providing quality emergency medical care, so is the ability to remain flexible and adaptable to whatever the particular set of circumstances happens […]

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Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

Trust me, whether it is piece of equipment, a course, or an individual, I don’t make a recommendation unless I truly believe in doing so.  And books are no exception.  So, if you want to enjoy an amazing read and learn a piece of world history that you won’t find in the average history text book – not to mention gaining a unique perspective about wilderness survival – then consider picking up The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. While most American Presidents retire into comfortable and secure life, Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 decided that in order to exercise a few personal demons that he needed to endure the toughest physical challenge possible.  His choice?  To explore an unchartered tributary of the Amazon, and its adjoining regions, about which so little was know, that contemporary maps of the country simply showed huge blank spots.  Even the […]

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