This two-day wilderness first aid course teaches participants the assessment of, and treatment given to an ill or injured person in a remote or sometimes austere environment. In this type of setting, access to definitive care such as a hospital or clinic, as well as emergency transport may delayed for hours or even days. Course participants will learn how to assess, treat, and when possible, prevent medical and traumatic emergencies within the scope of their training.


Wilderness First Aid Hands-On Practice
 BSA Recognized Certification We are proud to announce that the CWS Wilderness First Aid certification is now recognized and accepted by the Boy Scouts of America for all camping and High Adventure programs such as Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base, Lenhok'sin, Maine High Adventure, Swamp Base, Bechtel Summit (Jamboree) and more!


CWS is an American Camp Association approved provider of wilderness medicine programs.


Why Take Wilderness First Aid?

Time is the essential element distinguishing wilderness first aid from standard first aid. When calling 911 is not an immediate option, or when help could be an hour or even days away, the task of managing the injured and the ill will challenge you beyond basic first-aid knowledge, and require the skills you will learn in this course.

Long hikes, extended lengths of rivers, large expanses of ocean, and miles of asphalt may separate the patient from a medical facility. You may have to endure heat or cold, rain, wind, or darkness.

The equipment needed for treatment and evacuation may have to be improvised from what is available, and communication with the “outside world” may be limited or nonexistent. Remote locations and harsh environments may require creative treatments. All these things may be a part of the world of wilderness first aid.


What to Expect

This course is an intensive course which offers a lot of hands-on practice through scenarios, case studies and simulations. Students will constantly be both indoors and outdoors for simulations and practice, regardless of the weather, barring severe inclement weather. Come to class prepared for the weather, as we spend a lot of time outdoors training.


Course Length:
16 hours of instruction
Actual course is longer, incorporating hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
Course Format:
Typically taught over two consecutive days (typically a weekend; 8am to 7pm both days).
This course may also be taught over three consecutive days and weekdays upon request.
Course Tuition:
$199 – $249
Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics and options.
Wilderness First Aid   (Center for Wilderness Safety; valid 2 years)
A digital certificate is available upon successful completion of course.
This certification is accepted by the BSA and is ACA approved.

  Be at least 14 years of age.**
**The minimum age requirement to take Wilderness First Aid is 14 by the last day of the course, however younger participants may be allowed to take the course on a case-by-case basis.

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

  Complete the Two Required Forms (waiver & medical forms) prior to class.**
**All Prerequisites MUST be completed at least 24 Hours prior to your course start date (if a course starts on Saturday, they are due the Thursday before at Midnight). Failure to do so will result in not being permitted to attend the course with no refunds. NOTE: Access to these forms is granted once enrollment is complete.
Recommended For:

This introductory wilderness medicine course is recommended for everyone age 14 and up. It is strongly recommended for anyone who spends any amount of time in the great outdoors, including "weekend warriors" Scouting and youth program leaders, teachers leading school trips, backcountry guides, canoe & rafting trip guides, private expedition groups, college/university outdoor education programs, hiking club trip leaders, wilderness therapeutic programs, and adventure race safety personnel.

The 16 to 22-hour Wilderness First Aid course includes many advanced topics that other programs leave out such as reduction of dislocations and epinephrine administration. The curriculum meets and exceeds the National Practice Guidelines set forth by the Wilderness Medical Society.

Allergies + AnaphylaxisLife-Threatening Conditions
Altitude IllnessesLightning Safety
Anatomy + PhysiologyNorth American Snakebites
Backcountry + Sudden IllnessesOrthopedic Injuries + Dislocations
Bites + StingsPatient Assessment System
Burns + BlistersPatient Care Documentation
Case Study DiscussionsRisk Management
Chest InjuriesScene Leadership + Control
Cold-Related InjuriesShock + ASR
Common OTC MedicationsSoft Tissue Injuries
CPR in Remote SettingsSubmersion Emergencies
Epinephrine Auto-InjectorsSuspected Spinal Injuries
Evacuation ConsiderationsTick Safety
Hands-On Practical ScenariosTraumatic Brain Injuries
Heat-Related IllnessesVenomous Spider Bites
Improvisation/MacGyveringVital Signs
Introduction to Wilderness MedicineWilderness First Aid Kits


Valid for two years, our Wilderness First Aid certification is nationally-recognized by the American Camp Association, Boy Scouts of America, and many other organizations across the United States and Canada. The certificate earned by taking this course is accepted by Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier, Florida Sea Base, Bechtel Summit, and all other Scouting programs.


Your Wilderness First Aid certification can only be renewed by taking another Wilderness First Aid course. Because wilderness medicine is constantly changing as science and medical research make greater and greater strides, there is no "refresher" course for Wilderness First Aid.

Center for Wilderness Safety's Wilderness First Aid course curriculum changes every several years, as new and improved techniques and science move forward to offer better ways of providing patient care.

View Upcoming Wilderness First Aid CoursesWFA Student Login

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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3 thoughts on “Wilderness First Aid”

  • This was the BEST wilderness first aid class I’ve ever taken. I took one with NOLS which was pretty good, then took one with some outfit in Alexandria (wfa dot net?); they were absolutely horrible… Then I took it with you all. I’ll be sticking with you guys for my next class. The instructor was passionate, funny, really knew his stuff, and obviously had experience in the field. Great program – would recommend to all Scout leaders and outdoorsy folks! Thanks again!

  • I loved this course. I learned some really great skills that will help me keep my scouts alive in the event of an emergency out there in the woods. I recommend this course for anyone spending time out hiking, fishing, or camping.

  • The Center for Wilderness Safety is the best place to learn wilderness first aid in the mid-Atlantic region. Not only does the staff know everything about the most recent protocols in wilderness safety, they also know how to teach and teach well (the ratio of lecture to skills practice is superb!). The staff’s enthusiasm and dedication to making sure you leave their course with the toolbox of knowledge and confidence to act is second to none. I would, with no hesitation, recommend CWS to anyone looking to advance their skills in wilderness safety (and have already done so!).

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