09 Jul 2014

Medical Concerns for Climbing and Backcountry Travel

Most of our customers understand combat medicine, but do you know how to handle the myriad of injuries and ailments common in the backcountry?

To keep you traveling safely, we are happy to offer this exclusive sneak peek into Dr. Mike Layton’s chapter on Medical Concerns from his newest edition of Climbing Stronger, Faster, Healthier: Beyond the Basics. Geared towards climbers, this medical information applies to all who enjoy the outdoors.

Here’s an excerpt from the Chapter 8 – Medical Concerns:


Before you venture outside and put you, your partner, or potential rescuers at risk, at  least take a first aid and CPR class. Better yet, be responsible and take a Wilderness First  Responder (WFR) class. Too many city slickers and  gym climbers are heading into the hills have no right to put their partner’s lives at risk by not knowing how to handle an  emergency.

If you are knowledgeable but your partner isn’t, then educate them, or make them take a class. If you’re initiating someone into backcountry climbing, then it’s your responsibility to not only teach them about camping and climbing, but about rescue and first aid. Just because an area is popular like the Hulk or Diamond, and doesn’t feel that remote doesn’t mean that it isn’t. In rescue situations, wilderness means an hour from an ambulance ride. It is also your responsibility to alert your partner of any medical conditions you have that could be relevant (severe allergies, seizures, etc.).

Click here to download your free copy: Backcountry Medical Concerns_Chapter 8

secondedition_coverAbout the author:
Michael has been climbing alpine rock and ice routes for twenty years, including many first ascents in Alaska, British Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. He has appeared in Alpinist, Climbing, Rock & Ice, and U.K.’s Climber magazines for his first ascents and climbing accomplishments. He was the recipient of the 2006 Fred Beckey Award for several bold first ascents, including what was called “the most significant climb [in the Pacific Northwest] in the past 50 years,” on the East Face of Mox Peak, just days after completing a Grade 6 first ascent on the other side of the range.

When Michael isn’t climbing, skiing, mountain biking, or running, he has worked at several rehabilitation clinics, at the University of Utah sequencing and analyzing DNA of infectious & esoteric diseases, as an advisor for insurance companies and the Affordable Care Act, and as a mountain guide for Wasatch Mountain Adventures (formerly Exum Utah).

Dr. Layton received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, OR and received his Bachelor’s in Exercise Science from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Michael has also been invited to attend Stony Brook University’s class of 2016 Masters of Science Physician Assistant Program in Long Island, NY. Michael is happily married to his amazing, intelligent, beautiful and favorite climbing partner, Britne.

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