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Gypsy badge requirement 9: Help keep troop first aid kit ready to use. Know what to do if you cut or burn yourself.

According to the Solo School of Wilderness Medicine, I’m officially certified in wilderness first aid, which, in theory, means I’m qualified to treat people injured in the backcountry. But I have to say that in practical terms I think all it means is that I now have this nifty card to put in my wallet and take out at parties when I run out of things to talk about.

The two-day course covered such a vast amount of material, it was hard enough just to follow along let alone commit all of it to memory. The plethora of emergency first aid was taught through a combination of classroom lectures and hands-on experience in the field, where we took turns portraying injured hikers and their rescuers, like an odd, medical version of charades. Read More