Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine

 Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine is written for walkers, backpackers, travellers, climbers, mountaineers, guides and expedition leaders, aid agency workers and volunteers who journey into wilderness, mountain or remote areas worldwide.

11th edition 2012

£9.99 in the UK, and $22.95 in Australia  (plus postage)

Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine covers prevention, planning and survival, and deals with most of the problems encountered in the wilderness ranging from altitude illness to tropical diseases, from accident and emergency response to venomous creatures of land and sea. As well as first aid it also explains how to continue to give care for hours or days after the event. There is a valuable chapter on how to make a diagnosis and a medication chart with the indications, dosage and side effects of the medications mentioned in the text.

It is written in plain English, avoiding medical jargon and, despite its comprehensive coverage and 250 pages, still manages to be pocketsize.

What the experts and reviewers say:

Andrew Walsh, General Manager, Equip Wilderness First Aid Institute (Australia)

"This book is simply the best Australian wilderness first aid book available. Equip refers to the contents of this book on all our
wilderness first aid courses and recommends this book to anyone responsible for the first aid of others in a wilderness environment. This pocket sized book is perfect for our course participants, in that, it is a resource that is compact enough to be taken into the wilderness." Oct 2010

Justin Finn, trekker and adventurer (Canada)

"I picked up a copy of this book while I was in Nepal a few years back and have been so impressed by it that I have carried it in my first aid kit ever since. I have yet to come across a better book during my forays into the world of Wilderness Medicine". Oct 2010

Adventure First Aid (UK)

"As a company that train individuals and groups in remote first aid and wilderness medical intervention, we thoroughly recommend our delegates to carry it with them. We use it as a key text on our Overseas medical intervention course. It is small enough to pack and carry, yet packed with detailed information that other texts do not provide. Excellent."

Doug Scott, mountaineer (UK)

"Every trekker and expedition member should have this first aid manual on the top of their rucksack as there is no aspect of mountain medicine and general first aid omitted.”

Sir Chris Bonington, mountaineer (UK)

“Brilliant book - clear, compact, easy to follow - I'll take it with me all the way up the mountain on every trip!!!!” 

Tim MacCartney Snape, guide and mountaineer (Australia)

"This little book is more important than your first aid kit, its clear instructions give simple guidance to packing the right stuff in your first aid kit and inform you how to use it to best effect. The best book I've used for any serious outdoor activity."

Simon Yates, guide and mountaineer (UK)

"Clear,concise advice for any wilderness medical emergency. Simple and quick to use. The best book of its kind currently on the market."

Wild magazine (Australia)

"Remarkably comprehensive - easy to understand and to follow - good value for money."

Margot Hurell, consultant in outdoor safety (Australia)

"It is a great little book and everyone comments on how useful it is."

Traveller magazine (UK)

"Wild and remote places are wonderful - until you need a doctor. If there isn't one around, a copy of Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine is the next best thing. It's a small guide, but bursting at the seams with sound advice on travel problems from mountain sickness to tropical diseases. Filled with first-aid tips, and comprehensive enough to cope with almost anything, this book is easy to follow and easy to carry."

Dr J Rayner-Klein, consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine (UK)

"A fantastic little booklet!" 

BushcraftUK.com (UK) 

"I've never seen (a first aid book) that suits bushcraft and outdoor pursuits so well. (…) I think this is the only first aid book I have seen that goes on to deal with aftercare and longer-term treatment where necessary.

(…) Other sections not usually found in first aid manuals, but very useful in a wilderness context, include hot and cold weather problems, altitude sickness, water purification, venomous bites, evacuation and even a section on child birth. Highly recommended."

Dylan, Blue Mountains guide (Australia)

"Fantastic little text. I am a guide in the Blue Mountains and nearly all my friends up here have a copy of the book in the first aid kit." 

Spinal injury, Indian Himalayas Helicopter evacuation

The authors

Dr Jim Duff (UK/Australia) has more than 30 years experience of climbing, trekking and teaching wilderness medicine. He was doctor on many Himalayan expeditions and is a keen sailor.

Dr Peter Gormly (Australia) is the Senior Medical Officer of the Australian Antarctic Division and has been a Ship’s Medical Officer.

Cost & ordering

Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine can be ordered from anywhere in the world. Please contact Treksafe


UK and Europe


US, Canada and other countries

Per Book

£9.99 (plus P&P if outside the UK)

AUS $19.95

(PLUS $5 P&P)

US$23.50 (PLUS P&P)

BUlk Orders

On Inquirey

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Order From


Cicerone Press


ph. 01539 562069





Cicerone Press


ph. 01539 562069













Contents (10th edition)


1. Prevention (hope for the best, plan for the worst)

  • Preparation
  • Keeping healthy
  • Safety in extreme climates
  • Particular situations
  • Care of local people

2. Positioning and moving a victim

  • Positioning a victim
  • Immobilization techniques
  • Ways to move a victim

3. Medications: what you need to know

  • The basics
  • Special considerations
  • At altitude

4. Pain management

  • Painkillers (analgesics)
  • Other medications and techniques for pain relief


5. Accident and illness procedure

6. Primary survey: dealing with life-threatening emergencies

  • Response
  • Airway
  • Breathing
  • CPR or chest compressions

7. Primary survey for specific life-threatening situations

  • Suspected spinal injuries
  • Life-threatening bleeding
  • Choking (blocked airway)
  • Drowning
  • Hypothermic victim
  • Primary survey for children
  • Fainting
  • Triage

8. Shock management

  • Common causes of shock
  • Symptoms and signs of shock
  • Shock prevention and management

9. Secondary survey: working out what the problem is

  • Taking a medical history
  • Carrying out a physical examination
  • Checking the vital signs

10. Evacuation

  • Sending for help
  • Evacuating the victim
  • Helicopter evacuation


11. Spinal and head (skull and brain) injuries

  • General management that applies to all suspected spinal and head injuries
  • Spinal (neck and backbone) injuries
  • Head (skull and brain) injuries

12. Burns

  • Burn management
  • Specific burns

13. Broken bones (fractures) and dislocations

  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Specific broken bones
  • Dislocations
  • Specific dislocations

14. Sprains and strains

  • General treatment of sprains and strains
  • Specific sprains and strains

15. Wounds

  • Wound management
  • Complications
  • Specific wounds

16. Bites, stings and toxins

  • On land
  • At sea

17. Diving problems

  • Problems associated with descent
  • Problems associated with ascent

18. Altitude illness: AMS, HACE and HAPE

  • AMS, HACE and HAPE
  • Treatment of altitude illness
  • Going back up again?

19. Cold weather problems

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostnip and frostbite

20. Hot weather problems

  • Heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke
  • Other hot weather problems

21. Dehydration

22. Diarrhoea and food poisoning

  • Mild diarrhoea
  • Severe diarrhoea
  • Food poisoning

23. Abdominal (belly) problems

  • Common abdominal problems
  • Serious abdominal problems
  • Specific serious abdominal problems

24. Respiratory problems

  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Non-infective respiratory problems

25. Infectious diseases

26. Eyes, ears and mouth

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Mouth and teeth

27. Skin problems

  • Rashes
  • Other skin problems

28. Problems specific to women and men, and STDs

  • Women
  • Men
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) 

29. Other problems

  • Allergy
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy (Grand Mal)
  • Fever (cause unknown)
  • Headache and migraine
  • Blood circulation (vascular) problems
  • Mental problems
  • Insomnia (cannot sleep, poor sleep)

Appendix 1: Chart of medications

Appendix 2: First aid kits

Appendix 3: Lake Louise Score (LLS)

Appendix 4: Altitude illness flowchart

Appendix 5: Rescue request form

Appendix 6: Useful contacts

Appendix 7: Index of diagrams

Adventure Medical Training Courses

First aid courses

Whilst we provide accredited outdoor and expedition first aid courses, the majority of our courses are combined with advanced training for remote overseas locations

more details

Advanced courses

We will take time to discuss your requirements and provide you with bespoke advanced training. This is intended for use overseas where medical help is more than approximately 3 hours away.

more details