Data-based selection of medical supplies for wilderness travel

Timothy P. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to provide data-driven recommendations for the contents of a wilderness medical kit. Many similar recommendations in the current literature pertain to specialized pursuits or expeditions and are based solely on the opinions of the authors. By studying a relatively homogeneous group of 565 participants in a summer trek program in the New York Adirondack State Park, we were able to analyze 3955 person-days of actual exposure. All incidents were coded by ICD-9 criteria, and actual utilization of first-aid supplies for these incidents was quantified. These supplies were supplemented by items recommended by current practice guidelines for treatment of the observed incidents. The findings were used to generate data-based recommendations for the contents of a first-aid kit which would be adequate to meet the needs of such groups, which probably resemble much of the wilderness use in the United States today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-151
Number of pages4
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Backpacking
  • First aid
  • Injuries
  • Supplies
  • Wilderness travel

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