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'The Wilderness First Aid Field Guide' is a must-have in case of emergencies

Many outdoor activities require education and certification. Scuba divers, for example, must train indoors under an instructor's supervision before hitting the open water. Or to legally drive a motorcycle, riders must pass a driving test and receive a special license.

But there aren't any requirements regarding hiking, camping or heading into the deep wild for sport. Campers don't need a certification or even a license to pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars. At most, some campgrounds require a permit which is more about paying admission than learning the basics.

Novices planning an outdoor excursion may want to bring an emergency field guide that identifies common emergencies and lists procedures to follow.

"The Wilderness First Aid Field Guide" by Alton and Steven Thygerson describes how to signal for help, what essentials to pack, and includes an A to Z list of sudden illnesses and emergencies. The list details when a person should be treated on-site or evacuated immediately.

Published by Jones & Bartlett Publishers, the book lists for $22.95.

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