Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two Weeks and Counting...

"Cruisin" - Inyo National Forest, CA (2006)

The 3rd annual Wilderness Volunteers photo contest is winding down with just two weeks left for you to send in your photos of WV'ers working, hiking, hanging out, and "giving something back!"

Submit up to four photos by June 30th and include the name and date of the project, as well as a brief caption describing the photo (humor appreciated :). Email your entries to Mike Leonard.

First place wins a limited edition Wilderness Volunteers hooded sweatshirt, second place a 27 oz. WV Klean Kanteen, and third place a WV baseball cap.

All pictures will be posted to the Wilderness Volunteers Photo Gallery, and winning pictures will be posted on the blog in July. (Check out past winners here and here.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A chance to give something back to the land

Dave Peters is fascinated by volunteering and by his favorite place to visit, southern Utah. Like most participants on Wilderness Volunteers service projects, he spends a lot of time deciding where he's going to go on his next journey and he gets the most out of "giving something back." Unlike most though, Dave has a unique voice and acumen for the written word -- he's a former staff writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and currently writes web content for Minnesota Public Radio.

After recently participating in the Wilderness Volunteers Beef Basin service project in southeastern Utah, Dave wrote some choice commentary for MPR about his adventure, some of which is posted below. Click here to read the entire piece at MPR.

"It wasn't the broiling desert scene I had envisioned when I headed to the Southwest after a long Minnesota winter.... My group was on a break from trail maintenance in a remote place called Beef Basin in southeast Utah, south of Canyonlands National Park. The nearest pavement was 50 miles of high-clearance dirt, sand and rock roads away. In the words of Wilderness Volunteers, the group that had organized us, we were there to "give something back." And we were working at it. Under the guidance of a Bureau of Land Management ranger, we cleared trails, blocked paths cut by cattle and hikers, tore down illegal fire rings (sometimes built with the hand-hewn rock of former ruins), hauled out old beer cans (in itself an interesting archeological study), fixed barbed-wire gates to keep out cows, and more....I find the place fascinating so I go there as often as I can. You can find your own way to give back, all over the country. Wilderness Volunteers, a nonprofit based in Flagstaff, Ariz., runs trips from Mount Rainier to Maine to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. It's pretty cheap, it gets you into the wilderness and it lets you become part of a constituency of quiet, something the land desperately needs."

Monday, June 06, 2011

First Aid for your iPhone

Okay, first aid on your iPhone...for you!

The Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide app, which is based on the 2011 American Red Cross guidelines, offers quick instructions on how to deal with a variety of emergencies, including CPR, burns, fractures, bites and stings, and more. Simply click on a specific emergency and the app provides a list of step-by-step instructions on how to deal with the issue. It even offers offline access, which is particularly useful in the backcountry - or anywhere else you can't get internet access.

Here's a quick sample of topics:

1. Emergencies: What to Do
2. Fear and Panic
3. Choking - Adult/Child/Infant
4. CPR - Unresponsive Adult/Child/Infant
5. Defibrillators / AED
6. Bleeding, Bruises, Internal Bleeding
7. Heart Attack / Stroke
8. Asthma Attack
9. Burns – First, Second & Third Degree/Chemical/Electrical
10. Shock – incl. Anaphylactic (Allergies)
11. Fractures & Sprains
12. Splinting
13. Back/Neck/Head/Eye Injuries
14. Poisoning
15. Convulsions/Seizures
16. Diabetic Emergencies
17. Fainting
18. Heat Cramp/Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke
19. Cold Emergencies/Frostbite
20. Bites & Stings - Insects/Bees/Spider/Marine/Snake/Animal
21. Dental Injuries
22. Drowning
23. Emergency Births
24. First Aid Kit - Essential Items
25. USA, Canada & International Emergency Numbers

Hopefully you'll never have to use it, but if you do it may be the best 99 cents you'll ever spend.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Wanted: Your Photos!

There's just under one month left in the 3rd annual Wilderness Volunteers photo contest and we want your photos! That's plenty of time to sift through your albums and send us your best shots of folks working, hiking, hanging out - you name it.

Submit up to four photos from any WV trips you've participated in, and include the name and date of the project, as well as a brief caption describing the photo (humor appreciated :). Email your entries to Mike Leonard.

"Ten Gals and a Geezer" - Escalante Grand Staircase, UT (2009)

Prizes will be awarded for the top three submissions (maximum of one prize per entrant). First place wins a newly-issued WV hooded sweatshirt, second place a 27 oz. WV Klean Kanteen, and third place a WV baseball cap. The contest runs until June 30th.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Great Outdoors Month

June is a special time to celebrate America’s Great Outdoors. Presidential recognition of Great Outdoors Week was begun in 1998 by then-President Clinton and has continued ever since. Since 2004, Presidential proclamation of Great Outdoors Month has come annually, celebrating a variety of important events and actions that occur during the month. Great Outdoors Month highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges, and other public lands and waters. Media attention to the proclamation triggers actions by millions of households and prompts public discussion of important issues linked to outdoor recreation, including volunteerism, health, and outdoor ethics.

The Presidential Proclamation

A great way to get outside and dig in is to participate in a Wilderness Volunteers Project. Check out the possibilities at this link.