Wilderness First AidThis 36-40 hour class is offers a more thorough discussion of a larger variety of topics and more hands-on practice for students than a typical wilderness first aid class. Normally taught over three full days, this course follows the recommended curriculum set forth by the Wilderness Medical Society, and has additional topics added to it which CWS feels are important, such as group leadership and communication.

Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) combines lecture with skills practice and role-playing to teach the response to various medical and trauma situations in locations 60 minutes more from definitive care. Time is the critical element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. Students will learn to prioritize care, treat injuries, and create an evacuation plan.

When help could be an hour or even days away, separated from you by long hikes, long rivers, or miles of asphalt, the task of managing the injured and the ill will require the skills you will learn in this course. Conditions may be harsh, and the equipment needed for treatment and evacuation may have to be improvised. All these things are part of the world of WAFA.


Course Length:
36-40 hours of instruction
Hours incorporate lecture, hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
Course Format:
WAFA is commonly taught over 4 or 5 consecutive days. Please see below.
Courses taught over 4 consecutive days are typically 8 am - 6:30 pm daily (with a 45 min lunch).
Courses taught over 5 consecutive days are typically 8 am - 5 pm daily (with a 1 hour lunch).
 Course Tuition:
$349 - $499
Actual tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, accommodations, etc.
Wilderness Advanced First Aid  (valid 2 yrs)

  Be at least 16 years of age.**
**The minimum age requirement to take WAFA is 16 by the last day of the course, no exceptions.

  Current CPR/AED certification is strongly recommended but NOT required.

Recommended For:

This intermediate wilderness medicine course is recommended for both front- and backcountry guides, canoe and rafting guides, private expedition groups, college/university outdoor education programs, hiking club trip leaders, wilderness therapeutic programs, EMTs and adventure race safety personnel.

This course is strongly recommended for anybody in a position of leadership who may find themselves in a backcountry, remote, or austere environment, where help may be delayed for hours or even days.

Topics offered in this 40-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid course include:

IntroductionPatient Care Documentation
What is Wilderness First AidOrthopedic Injuries
Wilderness First Aid KitsTreatment Principals & Techniques
OTC MedicationsChest Injuries
Patient Assessment SystemAllergies & Anaphylaxis
Vital SignsEpinephrine Auto-Injectors
Practice ScenariosBackcountry & Sudden Illnesses
Shock & ASRHeat-Related Illnesses
CPR in Remote SettingsCold-Related Injuries
Traumatic Brain InjuriesLightning Safety
Suspected Spinal InjuriesAltitude Illnesses
Anatomy of the SpineBites & Stings
Case StudiesSnakebites
Soft Tissue InjuriesTick Safety
Burns & BlistersSubmersion Emergencies

Your Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification may be renewed by taking any Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness Advanced First Aid class taught by Center for Wilderness Safety.

Criteria to Recertify:

  Current WAFA certification (not expired)
  Candidates must successfully pass all practical scenarios and skills tests
  Candidates must successfully pass the written WAFA exam (even if taking a WFA to recertify)

Recertification is offered to anyone who holds a current WAFA certification from one of the following organizations: Center for Wilderness Safety (CWS), NOLS Wilderness Medicine (formerly WMI), Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) or Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO). CWS does not recognize any other organization's "grace periods" for recertification.

Unsure if your WAFA certification is accepted?
Give us a call us at Toll Free (855) 505-1700.

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Sponsor This Course:

If your organization, Scout troop, or group is interested in learning more about sponsoring a Wilderness First Aid course at your location, contact our admissions office at toll free (855) 505-1700. In order to host this course at your location, a minimum of 8-12 participants is required, with maximums typically ranging from 18-30. As a course sponsor, you will be required to provide a teaching space that provides indoor for both lecture and PowerPoint, as well as outdoor accommodations for skills practice, scenarios, and more. 

Get started by clicking the link below to get started.

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NOTICE: Due to the Coronavirus, our offices are CLOSED and our staff are working remotely.
ALL COURSES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED through November 2020. Need to reach us? Email office@wildsafe.org.