Wilderness Medicine Courses

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CWS wilderness medicine courses provide curricula that are evidence-based and are approved by our medical advisory board, the Wilderness Medical Society, and meet or exceed applicable national standards and guidelines as well. We focus on realistic, hands-on education taught by passionate, knowledgeable, experienced wilderness and emergency medicine instructors.

Time is the essential element distinguishing wilderness medicine from the urban prehospital care that we’re used to in town. 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 additional skills that you will only learn when taking wilderness medicine courses.

Wilderness Medicine Courses

Wilderness First Aid - WFAWilderness First Aid (WFA)

Wilderness First Aid is by far our most popular course, creating a solid foundation in the basics of backcountry & wilderness medical care. Originally taught as ‘mountain & woods first aid’ in 1975, this was the first course of its kind in the United States, upon which all backcountry medicine courses are now based.

Available Formats: In-Person | Hybrid/Online

Happy KayakerWilderness First Aid Afloat (WFAA)

Our Wilderness First Aid Afloat curriculum includes nearly all the same topics as the regular Wilderness First Aid, while adding topics of special interest to boaters such as marine bites and stings, sea sickness, and other injuries common in marine environments. Practice scenarios will be tailored to be more relevant to paddlers, sailors, and anyone who spends time on or near the water; whether boating, stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking or even whitewater rafting.

Available Formats: In-Person

Wilderness First Responder – WFRWilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)

This 36-hour class is offers a more thorough and larger variety of topics plus far more hands-on practice for students than a typical WFA class. Taught over three full days, this intensive course offers additional topics which CWS feels are important, such as group leadership, communication, and more.

Available Formats: In-Person

Evac + LittersWilderness First Responder (WFR)

This intensive 72-80 hour course is specifically designed for professionals such as outdoor educators, guides, SAR and others who are in a position of leadership in an outdoor setting as well as for those who simply want a higher level of emergency medical training for extended backcountry trips and expeditions.

Available Formats: In-Person | Hybrid/Online

Patient Carry-Out on Stokes LitterWilderness EMT Upgrade (WEMT)

This 5-day intensive course is designed for those holding current EMT certification (state or NR) and is very fast paced. Building upon the advanced knowledge of patient care of the EMT, this course includes wilderness protocols and procedures that are significantly different from those taught in urban settings.

Available Formats: In-Person | Hybrid/Online