Treksafe - mountain safety Portable Altitude Chamber| First Aid Book | Altitude Travel Advice | Links | Homepage



Authors | Cost & Ordering | Content

Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine is written for trekkers, climbers, sailors, drivers, guides and leaders, walkers, backpackers, travellers, aid agency and disaster relief workers, and anyone who find themselves in areas where medical care is not immediately available.

11th edition 2014

$27.50 plus postage (Australian Dollars)

                                                                                         How to Order


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.


Written in plain English, it avoids medical jargon and, despite its comprehensive coverage and 250 pages, still manages to be pocketsize.



Spinal injury Helicopter Evacution
Spinal injury, Indian Himalayas Helicopter evacuation

About 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) was an orthopaedic surgeon, mountaineer, a Senior Medical Officer of the Australian Antarctic Division and a Ship’s Medical Officer. Peter died in 2012.



Cost & ordering

In Australia

Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine book costs $27.50 plus $5 postage (Australian Dollars). Order here.


Treksafe offers discounts on bulk orders. Want to buy 10 copies or more? Contact us for a quote here



Not in Australia? 

Order from one of our stockists


UK & Europe customers: order through Cicerone 


USA & North America customers order through Mid Point Trade or Alpenbooks


Everywhere else or if our international stockists are out of stock, please contact us for a quote



What the experts and reviewers say


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."

Dr Edi Albert and Sean Rothwell (

"If you are after something to fit in your back pocket, or to recommend to non-medical folk, then Pocket Wilderness Medicine and First Aid by Jim Duff and Peter Gormly is probably the pick of the bunch."


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."

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!" (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."



Contents (11th edition)


1. Prevention

Preparation (hope for the best, plan for the worst)

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 protocol summary

6. Primary survey - dealing with life-threatening emergencies




CPR or chest compressions

7. Primary survey for specific situations

Suspected spinal injuries

Life-threatening bleeding

Choking (blocked airway)

Near-drowning (submersion)

Hypothermic victim

Primary survey for children



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 injuries

General management of spinal and head injuries

Spinal (neck and backbone) injuries

Head (skull and brain) injuries

12. Burns

Burn management

Specific burns

13. Broken bones and dislocations

General management of broken bones (fractures)

Specific broken bones

General management of dislocations

Specific dislocations

14. Sprains and strains

General management of sprains and strains

Specific sprains and strains

15. Wounds

General management of wounds


Specific wounds

16. Bites, stings and toxins

On land

At sea

17. Near-drowning and diving problems

Near-drowning (submersion)


18. Altitude illness - AMS, HACE and HAPE


Treatment of altitude illness

Going back up again?
Treatment of altitude illness (table)

19. Cold weather problems


Frostnip and frostbite

20. Hot weather problems

Heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Other hot weather problems

21. Dehydration

Type of dehydration
Amount of rehydration liquid
Rate of rehydration

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      



Mouth and teeth     

27. Skin problems         


Other skin problems          

28. Gender-specific problems and STDs



Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)    


29. Other problems         



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 forms

Appendix 6: Useful contacts and sources of information

Appendix 7: Index of diagrams



Authors | Cost & Ordering | Content

  pocket first aid and wilderness medicine
Treksafe - mountain safety

PO Box 84 Bonville, NSW 2450, Australia
Mobile +61 0417 333 934

Website design Dynamic Web Solutions