2024 Wilderness First Aid Course recap

Every two years the SRK Greenway organizes a Wilderness First Aid course held at Colby-Sawyer College for community members to learn how to stay safe on their outdoor adventures and how to assist others when an accident or illness occurs in the backcountry. Last month, there were 44 students and two instructors that spent two full days learning and discussing how to help someone who is injured, ill, or suffering from an environmental challenge, such as hypothermia.  

It was a great weekend with a lot of real-world examples and field scenarios that gave students a chance to discuss and practice their new skills. The Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is taught by instructors from SOLO based out of Conway, NH who specialize in wilderness emergency medicine courses. 

Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) was started 45 years ago by Dr. Frank Hubbell. In the early 1970’s, Hubbell came to the realization that there needed to be new methods developed in caring for the injured in remote places. There were too many injured skiers, climbers and hikers who were being rescued and brought to the Emergency Room — who could have greatly benefited from better emergency response. 

SOLO offers wilderness emergency medical courses — from the basic level to the very advanced.  The Wilderness First Aid course in New London was the most basic level that they offer. It was an intensive two day (16-hour) workshop that comes with a two-year certification. The course integrated both classroom lectures along with hands-on practical segments and testing. There was quite a bit of role playing and scenarios created where we were given the opportunity to be the “victim” as well as the “first responders”. All with the primary objective of giving us practice and learning from our mistakes.

Learning a system for dealing with a medical emergency in the backwoods is a pretty powerful tool. Thankfully emergencies don’t happen every day; but, when they do the more people that are trained to help the better.

For those of you who may have missed the course, or are looking for additional wilderness trainings, you can visit SOLO’s website at https://soloschools.com

SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course

Hunting Season

Some tips for NH hikers to safely use the woods during Deer Hunting Season

 Know local hunting seasons — Specific dates for hunting seasons vary year to year and also by type of game hunted and weapon. Small-game seasons (turkey, rabbit) stretch from fall through the end of May; large-game seasons (deer, bear, moose) generally occur October through January.

Some dates to keep in mind for hikers in NH:

  • Youth Deer Hunting weekend is Oct 21 – 22, 2023
  • Muzzleloader season is from Oct 28th to Nov 7, 2023
  • Regular firearms for deer is from Nov. 8 to Dec. 3, 2023

Wear blaze orange—Wear a blaze orange hat and vest (and pack cover if backpacking) when hiking in fall, winter and spring. Alternatively, wearing red or other bright colors are a good choice. Avoid wearing brown, grey and green colors – that is asking for trouble. New Hampshire requires hunter education classes prior to issuance of licenses, which has led to a significant decrease in hunting-related accidents. Even though these safeguards have been put in place, both hikers and hunters need to do their part to prevent accidents. In late 2002 and early 2003, two A.T. hikers were shot and seriously injured in separate incidents by hunters who mistook them for deer. Neither hiker was wearing blaze orange, and neither hunter properly identified his target.

If you hike with a dog, it should also wear blaze orange visible from all sides. The SRKG recommends that pets be leashed at all times while hiking.

Avoid wearing colors that could be mistaken for game animals. Avoid white or brown during deer seasons; red or blue during turkey seasons.

Use extra caution at dawn and dusk. Hunting activity may increase at dawn and dusk, when animals are feeding and visibility is poor. Wear reflective vests or use a headlamp or flashlight for extra visibility.

Use extra caution near roads and in valleysBe especially cautious within 1/2-mile of road crossings (both approaching and leaving) and in valley areas.

Be heardMake sure you are heard before you are seen by whistling, singing, talking, etc., while you hike.

Avoid hunter interferenceHikers should be aware that interference or harassment of hunters in the lawful pursuit of game is a violation of law. This includes interference or tampering with dogs used in the pursuit of game where allowed by law. Sportsmen are our partners in conservation—encounters between hunters and hikers are opportunities to raise the awareness of both groups.

Learn more at NH Fish and Game –

NH Hunting Seasons and Dates

NH Fish and Game Hunting page