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Getting ready for life on the road, or in the desert, or in a forest…

Posted by on October 18, 2011

On this trip, We plan to get a bit off the beaten path. In fact, if we see too much of that path we will be a little disappointed. A lot of the reason we are doing this is to see how other people live their lives, and hopefully to see it first hand and understand it. so a lot of this means getting out into the bush. And to do that safely, we want to be prepared.

As we’ve made quite a few long haul trips previously, we are already well sorted on all the yucky jabs that we needed to get. Rabies is not much fun, and neither is Malaria. or a whole bunch of things that can really spoil your day. So, to handle this means getting along to your local tropical medicine center or doctor, and telling them where your going and what your doing. They will lead you through the rest of it.

But that’s not quite enough. We decided to do a wilderness first aid course, which is a first aid course that is tuned for people who are in the wilderness, or at the very least, more than 3 hours away from a hospital. Many first aid practices are designed to keep you alive until a medical professional gets to see you WITHIN 3 HOURS, but in the Sahara desert, or many places where the road and communication network may not be up to what we Europeans are used to, that’s not enough. That’s where the Wilderness part comes in. We did this course with RMI, Remote Medicine Ireland and found it superb, just what we needed.

We decided to go a step further and do a bushcraft course, and that was superb fun, as well as teaching some pretty handy skills. This is a 2 day residential course (residential, if you have a tent….) held in Co. Kerry here in Ireland. it is run over a weekend, and they do an advanced course over another weekend.  Our instructor, Aebhric O’Kelly and his team were superb. Anyone need a fire lit in under 5 minutes without matches? with wet wood? If so, do the course! How to collect water where there is none? and what do to with it?  Aebhric made it all very clear as to what’s important, explained it all clearly and he made it fun to do. And Anna who showed us what leaves, flowers and roots we could eat. And we did!  I cannot say I enjoyed gutting my own fish for dinner but now that I’ve done it, I’d definitely do it again. And eat roasted dandelion roots. I could not recommend this course highly enough to anyone who likes to spend time outdoors. Even how we will do our regular camping has improved!

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