What WMT says
Expedition Skills is a world-class camping based multi-disciplinary 7-day collaborative training event delivered by WMT and Woodsmoke at their stunning base in the heart of the Lake District. Our aim is to deliver a solid base of expedition-proven skills ranging from bushcraft and expedition preparation to bush mechanic training, personal security and GPS navigation and concluding with WMT medical skills training – Expedition Medic. The course is delivered by the UK’s leading training providers in these respective fields. It starts mid-day on Monday and concludes at 4pm on Sunday. No previous camping or expedition experience is required. Expedition Skills was a ground breaking course when we started running it in 2005 and it’s never been copied. It’s an immersive, detailed and fun camping based and sociable experience. This in-depth course is ideal for expedition leaders, aspiring expedition medics, film crews, conservationist, teachers, soldiers, doctors, overland drivers and anyone planning an adventurous expedition, especially if it’s vehicle based. Expeditions Skills could also be your ticket to building your CV with a view to working professionally in the ecotourism, expedition and adventure travel industry. Alternatively, you’re welcome to join us for an exciting “working” holiday to extend your wilderness knowledge! Expedition Medic – the final weekend module – can be booked on its own.
What students say
Great – all of it. Lots of humour, real examples.
An excellent, informative and useful course. Thank you v. much!
Relaxed and informative – never boring!
Excellent in presenting a lot of content in an interesting way.
Was glad of lots of [teaching] styles.
Superb – good humour & clear instructions.
Handled questions well – good demos.
Loved every minute of it.
Who can attend?
No prior experience is required and anyone without any prior expedition, driving or remote medical training is welcome to attend. Expedition Skills represents a rare opportunity to learn a valuable combination of skills from world-class experts on one, seamless course.
What’s broadly covered on Expedition Skills?
The course days are divided as follows:
– Woodsmoke forest and jungle training & expedition preparation – first 2.5 days (arrive noon)
– Bush mechanic training, GPS Navigation and personal security training – days 4-5
– WMT Expedition Medic module – days 6-7 (close at 4pm)
The Expedition Skills Team
It takes a big team of experts to deliver a course of this breadth and calibre. Woodsmoke’s Ben McNutt will lead the first part of the course and their team will manage the camp and cooking for the duration. Ben is a brilliant instructor with an impressive expedition CV. The vehicle maintenance, navigation and security components of the course is directed by our seasoned freelance colleagues. The final medical module is delivered by WMT’s instructors led by Medical Director Dr. Harvey Pynn. The breadth of the course is matched by the seamlessness in the manner in which it’s delivered.
Module 1 – Woodsmoke training – first 2.5 days
Campcraft: pitching a light weight expedition style base camp
• Camp-site selection
• Base-camp equipment selection
• Establishing base camp
• Building group latrines
• Minimum impact toilet protocols
• Health hygiene & sanitation
• Camp routines and protocols
• Water & fuel storage
• Stoves & lanterns
• Expedition kitchen set-up
Expedition shelters: personal/group shelters, rope-work, environmental considerations
• Rope types
• Rope coiling and storage
• Rope throwing
• Essential knots
• Tensioning systems and rope pulleys
• Group shelters – parachutes, tarps, shade nets
• Personal shelter systems – Bashas, bivies, hammocks & tents
• Personal equipment selection
Fire: safety considerations, environmental impact, expedition considerations
• Fire safety – choosing a fire site, extinguishing & clearing fire sites
• Principles of wood selection
• Burning properties of different woods
• Fire starting
• Establishing a fire & fire lays
• Environmentally specific techniques & low impact considerations
• Butchering a fish/small mammal/bird
• Fire management for cooking
• Food considerations for the trail/base camp/vehicle
• The body’s reliance on water & avoiding dehydration
• Finding Water – environmental considerations
• Selection of source – environmental considerations
• Water indicators – environmental considerations
• Collecting and transporting water – environmental considerations
• Potential dangers in water supplies
• Water purification strategy
• Water purification
Module 2 – Bush mechanic vehicle maintenance, Personal Security & GPS Navigation – days 4-5
Vehicle maintenance is kept at a basic and very accessible level in response to past course feedback. We have a purpose built stripped down vehicle chassis on site that enables students to really get hands on with improvised “bush mechanic” field repairs. Our instructor Stuart and his “machine” gets rave reviews every course and this is an incredibly fun and useful part of the week.
Learn about the mysteries of map datums, waypoints, tracks and routes in the practical GPS session. Our military security expert will teach you some very useful things to help make yourself more aware and safe in foreign, hostile situations.
Module 3 – Expedition Medic – days 6-7
Due to high demand from doctors and healthcare professionals, WMT added this Expedition Medic module which runs in parallel to Far From Help for the laypeople on the course. Since this development, Expedition Skills has proved very popular with medics as it provides an intensive and broad expedition skills platform from which to pursue an expedition role. Expedition Medic combines essential medical content together with other useful “field skills”. Expedition Medic was completely revised in 2014 to combine the most essential topics and skill training from our Mountain Medicine and Jungle Medicine 2-day courses.
Doctors of all grades, nurses, medical students, paramedics and OHPs are welcome to attend. No prior camping or expedition experience is required. Whether you are flirting with the idea of accompanying a team up Kilimanjaro, jungle trekking, pimping your expedition CV or simply want a fun, inspiring educational course, Expedition Medic will satisfy your aims and open your eyes to expedition medicine and the possibilities for travel using your medical skills.
What’s covered on Expedition Medic?
This is a busy two days with loads of practical sessions, group work, lectures and case discussions. See the detailed outline programme below and the note on what’s covered in the course manual you’ll receive. To avoid repetition, full week delegates will receive master-class sessions instead of some of the practical Expedition Medic sessions.
Medic course manual – what’s covered?
We issue the same comprehensive Medic course manual on ALL WMT Medic courses so there is a lot of “bonus” material in addition to what is specifically covered on any particular course syllabus. For example, there are extensive notes on diverse topics such as cold/heat injury, altitude sickness, tropical medicine, expedition dentistry, diving medicine, swift water rescue and other topics that might not be covered on a weekend WMT course.
Important scene setting topics
• Introduction, aims & legal considerations
• What is expedition medicine?
• Expedition medical planning – imms/antimalarials
• Pre-existing medical cases – group work
Hot and wet environments
• Tropical fevers
• Heat injury
• Bites and stings
• Snake bite management
Field skills & camp craft
• GPS navigation
• Camping fundamentals: site selection, hygiene, field toilets
• Kit selection, packing & waterproofing
• The safe use of machetes
• Setting up tarps & hammocks (bashas)
High and cold environments
• Altitude illness/ portable altitude chambers
• Hypothermia, frostbite and immersion
• Fractures and dislocations
Rescue & related skills
• Satellite communications, SPOT, trackers
• Security on steep ground – belays and simple rope use
• Mountain safety equipment – group shelters, walking rope, blizzard bags
• Water safety
• Medical kit discussion
• Expedition opportunities
Final questions / certificates / feedback & farewell by 4pm
We estimate that Expedition Medic is valid for approximately 12 CPD credits and the full course for 30 CPD credits.
In 2017 WMT’s Medical Director Dr Harvey Pynn will be the Expedition Medic course director. Harvey is an Emergency Medicine Consultant who holds the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (UIAA) and the Diploma in Tropical Medicine. Read more about Harvey here.
The course fee is fully inclusive of meals, camping and materials, use of specialist group equipment, course notes/manuals and all instruction. VAT is also included. Personal camping equipment (sleeping bags and tent etc) is required but not included.