Why Wilderness 1st: Mai-Yan Kwan of Dirty Gourmet

We’re raising awareness about learning important skills to care for yourself or others who may become ill or injured in the outdoors by spotlighting members of our community who have earned their Wilderness First Aid Certification or higher!

Join us November 4-6 to earn your Wilderness First Aid + CPR Certification at historic Sturtevant Camp!

Mai-Yan Kwan, Co-Founder of Dirty Gourmet, Wilderness First Aid

What inspired you to learn Wilderness First Aid? What was your favorite part of the experience?

I was inspired to take the WFA class after a casual hiking group got more serious. Our short hikes became all day hikes, and brought up new challenges like dehydration, foot care, elevation sickness, and navigation skills. I realized that if something went wrong, I didn’t have the skills to address the situation. Introducing people to the outdoors comes with responsibility, and taking the WFA training helped me gain confidence to continue to do that, but with the proper tools to do so. My favorite part of the training was the “live” scenarios where you put into action the procedures WFA teaches you. The scenarios also work your mental side as it’s important to keep your cool to properly assess the situation before making any decisions.

Have you ever used your skills in the field? Tell us about it.

I have used basic skills in the field to help someone who had cut themselves, but luckily, nothing more serious. One skill I do actively use is prevention. I now know that it’s worth killing the momentum of an activity to address potential issues so that they don’t cause bigger problems later on.

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