FAQ's

What makes Unique Expeditions different?

Unlike some expedition courses, we’re not about testing your knowledge in a competitive, pass or fail type fashion.  We’re all about the experience.  We want to truly prepare you for the hardships and excitement of the wilderness in the most enjoyable way possible.  We know you’re doing this because you’re a fun loving, easy going individual, and our courses will let you be just that.  With a relaxed atmosphere leading to the best practical learning you could hope for.

What expedition skills can I expect to learn?

Curriculum is varied depending on the environment and duration of the trip.  Expect a solid foundation in expedition skills, survival instruction and snippets of bushcraft.

General topics include:

- Field skills - navigation, communication, ropework, river crossing etc

- Campcraft - tools, location, wilderness cooking, shelter design & building

- Firecraft - including friction (e.g. fire saws and bow-drills), solar, chemical and piston.

- Water acquisition, purification and hygeine

- Food - hunting skills, tracking, trapping and preparing for a modern expedition

- Travel - specific to environment e.g. snowshoe, raft or snowmachine

- Leadership – preparation and planning, leadership in the field and post-trip procedure

- Medical emergencies and basic first aid

As well as all the helpful tips and inspirational stories from experienced wilderness guides and expedition leaders.

What medical skills can I expect to learn?

Again the curriculum will be varied depending on the environment. Expect a solid foundation in expedition skills (as above) as well as the practical and operational aspects of being responsible for participants and treating conditions specific to that environment.

General topics include:

- How to lead a trip from the back (the medic is usually last in a group) – preparation and planning, leadership in the field and post-trip procedure

- Campcraft – water & hygiene, fire, shelter, food (and sometimes rescue)

- Field skills - navigation, communication, ropework, river crossing etc

- Trauma scenarios

- Tropical and travel medicine overview

- Environment specific conditions e.g. altitude sickness, heat injury, hypothermia, frostbite, snake bites, immersion foot etc

As well as all the helpful tips and inspirational stories from experienced field medics and expedition leaders.

Do I need to be fit to go on expedition?

All our expeditions are physically challenging to various degrees.  You'll need  to have a reasonable level of fitness to be able to participate fully and enjoy the experience.   Before each expedition we'll send you a medical questionnaire and if we have any concerns we'll give you a call.  Your safety is our first concern and we won't take risks with your health.

Do I need any experience to come on expedition?

No prior expedition experience is necessary to join any of our trips, although some are more challenging than others.  See the trip descriptions and example itinerates to give you an idea of what to expect.

Can I do the medical courses if I'm not a doctor?

Yes of course. We don't discriminate based on profession.  Our courses are suitable for doctors with an interest in wilderness and expedition medicine, medical elective students, allied health professionals as well as adventurous souls who want to learn how to look after others.

Can I do this course as part of my split medical elective?

Yes.  Many students choose to spend part of their elective in a hospital placement and the rest practicing expedition medicine in the wilderness.

What equipment will I need to bring?

We will provide you with a full kit list in good time prior to every expedition.  Specialist equipment such as hammocks and harnesses will often be provided.

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Do I need to come early to acclimatise?

There's no obligation to arrive early but if you are coming from a different climate or from low to high altitude we recommend arriving a few days early to give your body time to adjust.  This is the case for jungle as much as mountain expeditions.  Even one day can make a significant difference to your body's reserve.

What is the accommodation like?

 

We tend to start the trip in a spacious and comfy hotel where they aren't too fussy about our kit explosion (it happens every time).  After many days of hard work on the trail we like to treat ourselves to some 4 or 5 star luxury and a well earned celebratory meal.  This is our general pattern, though each trip is tailored to the cohort.

 

Will there be time to relax?

 

Yes.  We are firm believers in the work hard, play hard ethic.  Though some trips are inherently more demanding than others there's always some R&R time built in.  Take a look at the trip pages for example itineraries.

Why are the medical courses cheaper than the survival courses?

A good proportion of participants on medical expeditions are medical students, nurses and junior doctors.  In order to accommodate for student budgets we reduced the price, included self-catering options and moved to a more basic standard of accommodation.  We hope this allows more opportunity for all to learn about expedition medicine.

How do I pay?

Just hit 'Book Now' at the top of the page to put down a small deposit.  The rest is due 3 months prior to departure and can be paid by re-visiting the booking page or logging back onto your account in the top right of the screen.  If departure is within 3 months then then you'll need to pay in full.

How much are the optional extras?

For our survival expeditions and fully-inclusive medical expeditions there are no optional extras!  All activities are included.  If you want to skip a particular activity that's fine but you won't receive a refund. 

 

For self-catered medical expeditions, optional activities e.g. scuba diving can be added in on an ad-hoc basis.

How about visas, vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis? 

 

If needed we'll give you the heads up about these with plenty of notice.  It's your responsibility to make sure you get them sorted before leaving the country.

I'm a doctor, do I need medical indemnity? 

 

No.  For once you're the student and you will not (hopefully) be working with real life casualties.  So kick back, relax and enjoy the experience.

Do you provide the flights?

No.  We're not a travel agent and aren't licenced to book your flights, but we do often give you helpful recommendations for cheap dates and routes.  All in-country transport is included. 

Who runs the courses?

We have an incredible team of specialists forming the perfect collaboration of professionals.  We've ex-armed forces, survival experts and field doctors all, with a passion for adventure and inspiring others.

What about insurance and evacuation cover?

We require all participants to have adequate insurance to cover them for the activities we will be undertaking, trip curtailment and medical repatriation. Your standard holiday travel insurance may not cover you and you should check before leaving the country.  We recommend using BattleFace.com who have proven themselves in the past and are trusted by our own staff.