Traction Splint

Yesterday was a long day. I left home around 6:30 and headed for Marquette. I had signed up for an all-day Wilderness EMS class. I arrived at the University Center at Northern Michigan University in plenty of time to get registered and find my room. The instructor was a very cool and knowledgeable guy. We spent the morning in the classroom and the afternoon in the woods doing the practical part of the class.

We learned techniques for cleanliness, improvisation, as well as the stuff we should already have known about like splinting, hypothermia, and rescue breathing.

warm.jpgOur instructor convinced an EMS student from the University to be our guinea pig for many of the demonstrations. Emily in this scenario has gotten soaking wet on a cold day is well into the stages of hypothermia. The instructor is showing us how to help Emily get her wet clothes off while maintaining her body heat and modesty. The steps to accomplish this are important, because if the sleeping bag she is going inside of to keep warm gets wet, the whole procedure was for nothing.

traction.jpgWe then learned how to fabricate a traction splint from camping gear and things we could find in the woods. A forked stick of sufficient length was used in this exercise. When I practiced with Emily, I used my hiking staff and was able to come up with a reasonable traction splint too.

Our local television station came out to the site with us and interviewed our instructor Chris for their evening news. I managed to get in several of the shots, and was even interviewed for the piece.

tv6.jpgI don’t think the news anchor interviewed me because of my brilliant views on the subject. I heard her ask several people, and I was the first one that said yes. You can watch the interview HERE

Today I made a batch of chili for the backpacking trip. I started with the tomatoes, garlic, and onions from our garden and then used some vegetarian chili mix. Once made, I measured out 8 cups which will be enough for 2 servings for each of us, and poured that into 4 trays of the dehydrator. It has been drying for about 5 hours so far, and the house is smelling good. Once it is completely dry, I’ll remove it from the racks, crush it up and put it in some ziplock vacuum bags so they’ll be ready for the trip. Out on the trail, we just dump two servings in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes. It is much cheaper than freeze dried, is just as fast to prepare, and tastes better too (IMHO.)

Franco and I also walked out to the sugar shack where we stacked some firewood for next year’s syrup, and threw some sticks. The maple trees are spectacular right now.

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