What is the proper way to carry a fellow human being when they are incapacitated? I usually go for high altitude hikes and I find I need to be ready for an emergency. Which muscles would do better work? Should I carry in my arms or on my back?

  • I'd recommend taking a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. If you really want to know to care for, stabilize, and transport patients.
    – Eric
    Jul 18, 2017 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


You should look into the fireman carry. As the name suggests, it's how firemen choose to ideally carry a person.

Relying on arms alone probably won't get you far, but the fireman carry utilizes the stabilization potential of your entire core and legs, by carrying the person slumped over your shoulders. The weight stays close to your core for maximum stability, and spreads it over a larger area to prevent a single muscle-group from fatiguing long before all others.

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  • opposite direction of person will also work right, I mean face front and legs back
    – murmansk
    Jul 17, 2017 at 8:49
  • One of the benefits of the fireman carry is that you wrap your arm around their legs, and use your hand to hold their wrist, to lock the position. See right image. With legs back and head forward, you lose this capability, and there's a higher chance of the person sliding off.
    – Alec
    Jul 17, 2017 at 9:38

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