Outdoor First Aid

Improvised Carry


Unfortunately most first aid courses just don’t prepare you for an accident in the hills. You can’t just call an ambulance, and help will take hours not minutes to arrive. On this course you will be taught both basic and advanced first aid skills, and gain the confidence to use them effectively. 

This course is designed to equally suitable for both professional outdoor instructors and individuals just wanting to be able to look after their friends in the outdoors. We also run courses for groups such as mountaineering clubs, outdoor centres, the Army and many University Outdoor Clubs.

Our students tell us that we run probably the most comprehensive, effective, and enjoyable outdoor first aid course in the UK and return again and again to renew! 

Why is it run mostly indoors not outdoors?

Many outdoor first aid courses take you outside for most of the course. You end out taking a basic first aid course but without the classroom. Unfortunately basic teaching theory* confirms that you also don’t remember much when you are cold and wet - you remember when you are warm and comfortable! We therefore use a combination of classroom skill sessions and video scenarios to bring the outdoors indoors. Where appropriate we also run suitable outdoor scenarios to allow you to practice skills learned indoors in a more realistic environment.

We tell you why you do things!

We believe that it is important to understand why you are doing things since if you understand why you will remember what to do! Unfortunately most others just give you protocols to follow by rote. Our students often tell us that this is one of the best things about our course - that they are told why - and not treated like idiots!

Advanced Skills to keep people alive

When help is delayed you often need more advanced skills than taught on basic first aid courses - the skills a paramedic or doctor might use when they arrive. Many providers will teach you basic first aid applied to an outdoor environment. Whilst we will teach you basic first aid skills we will also teach you important critical advanced skills e.g. traction splinting a broken femur. These advanced skills help keep people alive!

Plenty of Resources

During our courses we have a mannikin to student ration of 1 per 2 students so you get plenty of practice. We also give our course participants access to a huge range of equipment that may be relevant to their needs.

For example one major competitor teaches splinting only using rolled up sleeping mats. We teach this plus; inflatable splints, improvised splints, Prosplints and the excellent mouldable SAM splint. One participant on an outdoor first aid course recently told us that after years of outdoor first aid courses they had never seen a SAM splint. This is because they are an expensive consumable. We do no skimp on these consumables since their use prepares you better for both purchasing relevant equipment and using it in the outdoors.

Correct spinal immobilisation

Basic first aid courses now teach you to roll everyone into a recovery position - including those with a spinal injury. Most outdoor first aid courses teach you the same ! Instead we work to Mountain Rescue protocols and will immobilise a spinal injury where found if possible, only rolling the patient over if their airway is compromised or if we need to fetch help.  

Comprehensive Full Colour Course Manual

Every participant is provided with a comprehensive full colour 100 page Outdoor Activities first aid manual, which means that you can sit back and learn the important skills rather than writing notes! The manual also provides an excellent resource after the course since it covers everything you were taught. It also contains patient record sheets that can be used on the hill to remind you what to do and to record patient details and treatments given.

Medically Correct Information

We are often astonished when students tell us what they have been told to do on other courses! Our course follows the latest medical advice and advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). We also have a medical advisor with whom we consult to ensure that our courses provide you with accurate information.

Typical examples of problem from other courses are the advice on plasters and medications. Students often tell us that previous courses have advised them not to use plasters on children. This is just an urban myth. The HSE have also issued clear guidance on this issue. Most courses also advise a first aider never to issue medications e.g. paracetamol. Again there is clear guidance from the HSE on this issue stating that it is "perfectly ok to give basic medications". This advice can be extended to carry a basic medications kit which of course can be invaluable if you are miles from the nearest pharmacy! If you would like further information on these issues please contact us. However be assured that by attending one one of our courses you will learn the most up to date information at all times.

Time (hours): 
Suitable for: 

Anyone in the outdoors away from medical help.

  • HSE "Appointed Person"
  • Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority
  • Moor & Fell Walking Award
  • BCU & RYA
  • PADI & NCA
  • BHPA




Course Contents: 
  • search and rescue
  • first-aider safety & personal hygiene
  • communication and delegation
  • primary survey
  • unconscious, non-trauma casualty
  • recovery position
  • unconscious, trauma casualty
  • the "chain of survival"
  • rescue breathing
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • choking management
  • first aid kits
  • controlling bleeding
  • shock
  • burns and scalds
  • secondary surveys - injury/illness
  • typical injuries
  • moving injured patients
  • effects of heat and cold
  • response to high altitude
  • typical illnesses
  • scenario practice
  • the accident book
  • reporting of accidents at work