By: Blonde Two

I’ve got an acronym for you. I didn’t just make it up. I promise!


If you haven’t guessed what it means yet, you’ll have to wait until the end of this article to find out.

Acronyms are useful little literary tools that can help us to remember important things. Particularly in times of stress. For example,


BBC – if the adverts on ITV are stressing you out

DIY – if the lounge decor is stressing you out

HMRC – if all those reminder emails are stressing you out

ASBO – if the neighbour’s kids are stressing you out

GCHQ – if not being in bed with James Bond is stressing you out


To be honest, being in bed with James Bond would probably be even more stressful than not!


Acronyms for first aid

Life outdoors is usually very relaxing but when it goes wrong, it can go wrong very quickly, and with unpleasant results. Results that can sometime make remembering important things more difficult.

Which is why having a few acronyms under your belt can be so useful.

If you’ve ever done a first aid course (we do one every three years so that we can run our navigation courses), you’ll have heard of these:


Primary Survey – DRC

Danger (safety for you, the casualty and other people)

Response (try to get one from the casualty)

Catastrophic haemorrhage (because big bleeds need to be stopped asap)


Primary Survey – ABCDE

Airway (object, noises, clear)

Breathing (present, not present, type)

Circulation (pulse, bleeding, colour)

Dysfunction (alertness, coherency, pupils)

Exam (move on to secondary survey)


You might also know that the acronym AVPU can help you check alertness levels, that the acronym SAMPLES can help you with a secondary survey, and that there’s even an acronym ATMIST for information you need to hand over when the professionals arrive.

But that might be a first aid acronym too far.


Acronyms for navigation

If you think you don’t know any navigation acronyms, you’re probably wrong. We all know that you should Never East Shredded Wheat. No matter which direction we’re facing.

You might not however have heard of the 5Ds navigation acronym (I tend to start off with the first four but the other one is also important).


Direction (go the right way)

Distance (work out how far you need to travel)

Duration (use the time to measure how far you’ve gone)

Description (this is your tick list of features)

Danger (avoid unnecessary risks)


Another acronym that might send you over your usage limit (and make you giggle) is DDCRAPS, which helps you pinpoint your location on a map. I’m not going to detail this one here but suffice it to say, it’s not about reading sheep and rabbit poo.


What to do if you can’t remember your acronyms

Acronyms are great if you can remember them. But as someone who’s life stage currently robs me of daily words like ‘pasta’ and ‘telephone’, I’m having a few doubts about my ability to remember emergency acronyms should the need arise. But there’s some good news.

You don’t have to keep your acronyms under your belt.

You could put them in your pocket. Well you could if you had some of the useful cards the team at Shaven Raspberry have just sent us. Shaven Raspberry are on a mission to get the whole world safely navigating out on the hills. They stock all kinds of useful navigation and expedition gear including their excellent collection of navigation and first aid reference cards. Slip the first aid ones into your emergency kit, and the navigation ones into your map case, and you’ll have all the information you need. Exactly when you need it.


So what was that Blonde acronym?

So back to our very own ABCDE. It’s not a first aid acronym, it’s not a navigation acronym. It’s a Blonde acronym.

Are you ready?

All Blondes Can Do Everything! FYI especially WGL in AONBs with PPL who love TGO.