Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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Wilderness Medicine 6th Edition

Wilderness Medicine Sixth EditionI’m thrilled to let you know that the 6th edition of the textbook Wilderness Medicine, for which I serve as Editor, is now available. The book is the culmination of more than three years’ work, and the publisher (Elsevier) has done a terrific job with the layout. The book contains 114 chapters, including a tremendous amount of information new to this edition.

This is the big reference book for medical and rescue professionals, educators, scientists, explorers, and others with wilderness medicine interests and activities. The depth of topic coverage underlies much of my other writing. The contributors have gone the extra mile to update their previous work, make new contributions, and do their best to create a comprehensive, encyclopedic work. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to mold this edition, and am particularly pleased that the publisher allowed me to add chapters on matters related to wilderness preservation. I hope you find it an informative, useful, and fascinating book.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

PART 1 - Mountain Medicine

  • High-Altitude Medicine and Physiology
  • Avalanches
  • Lightning Injuries

PART 2 - Cold and Heat

  • Thermoregulation
  • Accidental Hypothermia
  • Immersion Into Cold Water
  • Nonfreezing Cold-Induced Injuries
  • Frostbite
  • Polar Medicine
  • Pathophysiology of Heat-Related Illnesses
  • Clinical Management of Heat-Related Illnesses

PART 3 - Burns, Fire, and Radiation

  • Wildland Fires: Dangers and Survival
  • Emergency Care of the Burned Victim
  • Exposure to Radiation From the Sun
  • Volcanic Eruptions, Hazards, and Mitigation

PART 4 - Injuries and Medical Interventions

  • Injury Prevention: Decision Making, Safety, and Accident Avoidance
  • Principles of Pain Management
  • Taping and Bandaging
  • Splints and Slings
  • Emergency Airway Management
  • Wilderness Trauma and Surgical Emergencies
  • Wound Management
  • Improvised Medicine in the Wilderness
  • Hunting and Fishing Injuries
  • Tactical Medicine
  • Combat and Casualty Care
  • Wilderness Orthopedics
  • The Eye in the Wilderness
  • Foot Problems and Care
  • Wilderness Dentistry
  • Management of Facial Injuries
  • Wilderness Cardiology
  • Wilderness Neurology
  • Chronic Diseases and Wilderness Activities
  • Mental Health in the Wilderness

PART 5 - Rescue and Survival

  • Wilderness Emergency Medical Services and Response Systems
  • Search and Rescue
  • Technical Rescue, Self-Rescue, and Evacuation
  • Litters and Carries
  • Helicopter Rescue and Aeromedical Transport
  • Essentials of Wilderness Survival
  • Principles of Meteorology and Weather Prediction
  • Jungle Travel and Survival
  • Desert Travel and Survival
  • Whitewater Medicine and Rescue
  • Caving and Cave Rescue

PART 6 - Animals, Insects, and Zoonoses

  • Protection from Blood-Feeding Arthropods
  • Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Diseases
  • Malaria
  • Arthropod Envenomation and Parasitism
  • Tick-Borne Diseases
  • Spider Bites
  • Scorpion Envenomation
  • Bites by Venomous Reptiles in Canada, the United States, and Mexico
  • Envenoming and Injuries by Venomous and Nonvenomous Reptiles Worldwide
  • Bites and Injuries Inflicted by Wild and Domestic Animals
  • Bear Behavior and Attacks
  • Alligator and Crocodile Attacks
  • Wilderness-Acquired Zoonoses
  • Rabies
  • Emergency Veterinary Medicine

PART 7 - Plants

  • Seasonal and Acute Allergic Reactions
  • Plant-Induced Dermatitis
  • Toxic Plant Ingestions
  • Toxic Mushroom Ingestions
  • Ethnobotany: Plant-Derived Medical Therapy

PART 8 - Food and Water

  • Field Water Disinfection
  • Infectious Diarrhea From Wilderness and Foreign Travel
  • Nutrition, Malnutrition, and Starvation
  • Dehydration, Rehydration, and Hyperhydration
  • Living Off the Land
  • Seafood Toxidromes
  • Seafood Allergies

PART 9 - Marine Medicine

  • A Brief Introduction to Oceanography
  • Submersion Injuries and Drowning
  • Emergency Oxygen Administration
  • Diving Medicine
  • Hyperbaric Medicine
  • Injuries From Nonvenomous Aquatic Animals
  • Envenomation by Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Envenomation by Aquatic Vertebrates
  • Aquatic Skin Disorders
  • Safety and Survival at Sea

PART 10 - Travel, Environmental Hazards, and Disasters

  • Travel Medicine
  • Non-North American Travel and Exotic Diseases
  • Natural Disaster Management
  • Expedition Medicine
  • Global Humanitarian Medicine and Disaster Relief
  • Natural and Human-Made Hazards: Disaster Risk Management Issues

PART 11 - Equipment and Special Knowledge

  • Global Crimes, Incarceration, and Quarantine
  • Wilderness Preparation, Equipment, and Medical Supplies
  • Ultrasound and Telemedicine in the Wilderness
  • Outdoor Clothing for the Wilderness Professional
  • Nonmedical Backcountry Equipment for Wilderness Professionals
  • Ropes and Knot Tying
  • Wilderness Navigation Techniques and Communication Methods

PART 12 - Special Populations and Considerations

  • Training for Wilderness Adventure
  • Exercise, Conditioning, and Performance Training
  • Children in the Wilderness
  • Women in the Wilderness
  • Elders in the Wilderness
  • Persons With Special Needs and Disabilities
  • Wilderness and Endurance Events
  • Ranch and Rodeo Medicine
  • Wilderness Medicine Education
  • Medical Liability and Wilderness Emergencies
  • The Ethics of Wilderness Medicine
  • Native American Healing

PART 13 - The Wilderness

  • The Changing Environment
  • Biodiversity and Human Health
  • Health Implications of Environmental Change
  • Wilderness Management and Preservation
  • Leave No Trace
  • Space Medicine: The New Frontier
  • Appendix - Drug Stability in the Wilderness


There is also an associated website, with additional illustrations, videos, and links. At the current time, the book is most economically ordered from the Elsevier website:

It will also soon be available for purchase in an electronic reader format. The hard copy book and e-reader versions both come with access to Elsevier’s

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.