Tips for surviving wounds and illnesses related to animals and bugs.

Quiz: Could You Survive a Bear Mauling?

A few weeks ago, Kenneth Steck, of Juneau, Alaska, was charged and mauled by a brown bear in Yakutat, Alaska. In the video below, he tells his story—fortunate to be alive. If you were in [...]

By | June 28th, 2016|Critters, Other Wounds, Skin|3 Comments

Father’s Day Roundup: Posts to Help You Survive the Weekend

Happy Father’s Day (almost). Do you have outdoor plans for the weekend? I’ve culled some choice posts to help get you prepped to survive. Before we get to that, I want to thank you for [...]

By | June 14th, 2016|Critters, Hot, Weather|Comments Off on Father’s Day Roundup: Posts to Help You Survive the Weekend

How to Identify a Venomous Snake By Its Bite

You’re camping and need to start a fire, so you go looking for wood. You pick up a branch and feel a sharp pain in your hand. A snake slithers away into tall grass. You [...]

By | May 24th, 2016|Critters|7 Comments

The Best Mosquito Repellents: Which One’s Right for You?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Last week, we talked about how to prevent mosquito bites. Today, we’ll delve into the vast array of mosquito repellents to help you decide which option is best for you. All four of the main repellents mentioned in this post work. Some work better on some people than others, so finding the best repellent for you can be just a trial and error thing. But with each one, there are some tips you’ll want to consider. First, the main tip … […]

By | April 26th, 2016|Critters|2 Comments

Yes, Mosquitoes Do Prefer Certain People. And You Could Be One.

An insecticide-treated net is rolled up above a bed in Kumi, Uganda. At night, unfurled, it protects the sleeper from disease-carrying mosquitoes.  by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I have a good friend who claims he rarely gets bitten by mosquitoes. While others around him are swatting and scratching, he sits in comfort enjoying the great outdoors. How can that be? And what mosquito-bite prevention techniques can we mere mortals use to keep these bloodsuckers—and sometimes disease carriers—at bay? […]

By | April 19th, 2016|Critters|19 Comments

Beyond the Headlines: Going In-Depth About the Zika Virus

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of two types of mosquito that could spread the Zika virus in the United States. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Zika virus is in the news. It’s an infection you get from certain types of mosquitoes, and it’s linked to a sometimes devastating birth defect called microcephaly. More on that later. Here are the latest facts on the disease and why you should care. […]

By | April 12th, 2016|Critters, Infectious Disease|3 Comments

Day After Disaster: 4 Scenarios to Test Your Basic Survival Medicine Skills

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I thought I’d have a little fun today and walk you through what to do in some scenarios to test your basic survival medicine skills. […]

By | August 18th, 2014|Cold, Critters, Other Wounds|22 Comments

When a Scorpion Sting Turns Deadly

The bark scorpion likes to live in trees (bark) and hide in woodpiles, under fallen trees, or under your camping bedding. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Scorpions make me think of Westerns. Some cowboy is riding a horse in the desert and they cut to a single scorpion in the sand. It symbolizes that this land is rough, rugged, and dangerous. One sting, and you’re dead. Cut to real life. While you will find most scorpions in the desert, you may also come across them in many Southeastern and Midwestern states. In all but one species in the U.S., the scorpion sting is similar to a bee sting. Yes, you can be allergic, and the reaction can result in death. (See my bee stings post for signs and treatment of this anaphylactic reaction.) Usually, though, the scorpion sting just hurts. But there is one scorpion here that causes more problems than others: the bark scorpion. Its sting can affect your brain and nerves. Some people are more vulnerable to a bad outcome than others, but there are things you can do if you see the reaction. […]

By | April 11th, 2013|Critters|17 Comments

Spring Survival Quiz, Part II: Bites and Stings

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH We humans are not the only ones who become more active in the spring. This second of my two-part, true/false quiz on surviving the spring is all about bites and stings. The answers are quotes from past posts. It has been said that repetition is the mother of all learning, so why not go back and read the linked posts to refresh your memory.   […]

By | April 9th, 2013|Critters|3 Comments

6 Home Remedies for Fire Ant Bites

If you disturb fire ants, they don’t mess around. They attack. Technically they bite and sting. When they bite, they clamp to your skin with their two strong pincers. Because of this it takes a lot of vigorous brushing to get them off. After biting, they sting by swinging their tail to and fro. One biting fire ant can sting you six to eight times. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Having grown up in the South, I’ve been bitten enough times by fire ants to pretty well know what’s going on before I see them. I know when I feel that distinctive sting (it’s like being touched with a hot match head … for a long time), I’m going to find a lot of creepy, crawling dots. […]

By | April 2nd, 2013|Critters|150 Comments