Wilderness First Aid

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.


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 (weekend) days; 8:00 am - 6:30 or 7 pm 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.
  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 current CPR/AED certification is strongly recommended but NOT required.
  Complete the Two Required Forms (waiver + medical form) at least 24 hours prior to class.**
**All Prerequisites MUST be Completed At Least 24 Hours Prior to the Course Start Date (if a course starts on Saturday, they are due the Thursday before at Midnight). Failure to do so may result in not being permitted to attend, and no refunds will be given. ACCESS TO THESE WILL BE GRANTED IN YOUR CONFIRMATION EMAIL UPON REGISTRATION.
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.

Introduction Patient Care Documentation
What is Wilderness First Aid? Orthopedic Injuries
Wilderness First Aid Kits Treatment Principals & Techniques
OTC Medications Chest Injuries
Patient Assessment System Allergies & Anaphylaxis
Vital Signs Epinephrine Auto-Injectors
Practice Scenarios Backcountry & Sudden Illnesses
Shock & ASR Heat-Related Illnesses
CPR in Remote Settings Cold-Related Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries Lightning Safety
Suspected Spinal Injuries Altitude Illnesses
Anatomy of the Spine Bites & Stings
Case Studies Snakebites
Soft Tissue Injuries Tick Safety
Burns & Blisters Submersion Emergencies

Our Wilderness First Aid course curriculum is similar to that of the American Red Cross, however exceeds it by including many topics that the ARC deems 'optional' and are therefore taught as often left-out electives. Our curriculum is based upon the Wilderness Medical Society's National Practice Guidelines for Wilderness Emergency Care and is based upon the findings of published research studies, current accepted practices and practical (not just theoretical) medicine.

  • This course is approved by the United States Coast Guard to satisfy the first aid training requirements [46 CFR 11.205(e)(1)(i) &46 CFR 11.205(e)(2)(iv)] for a merchant mariner license.

View Upcoming Wilderness First Aid Courses WFA Student Login


Host this Course:

If your organization, Troop, or crew 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. The maximum may depend on location, typically ranging from 18-30.

Sponsor a Wilderness First Aid Course


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