This 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

Why Take Wilderness Advanced First Aid?

Patient Assessment Demonstration

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.

Wilderness Advanced 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.

The equipment needed for treatment and evacuation may have to be improvised from what’s available, and communication with the “outside world” may be limited—or even nonexistent. Remote locations and harsh environments may require creative treatments. All of this comes into play being a Wilderness Advanced First Aider.


Course Length:
36–40 hours of instruction
Actual course times may vary, and incorporate hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
Course Format:
Typically taught over 4 or 5 consecutive days.
Class times may vary; 8AM–6:30PM or 8AM–5PM daily.
Course Tuition:
$349 – $499
Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, accommodations, etc.
Wilderness Advanced First Aid (valid 2 years)
A digital certificate is available upon successful completion of course.
CPR/AED is *NOT* taught with this course.
– Be at least 16 years of age.

– Current adult + pediatric CPR/AED certification is NOT required, but is strongly recommended.

– Complete the waiver & medical forms prior to class.**

Access to these forms is granted once enrollment is complete.

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.

The 36 to 40-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid course incorporates many in-depth topics, including (but not limited to):


Allergies + Anaphylaxis Life-Threatening Conditions
Altitude Illnesses Lightning Safety
Anatomy + Physiology North American Snakebites
Backcountry + Sudden Illnesses Orthopedic Injuries + Dislocations
Bites + Stings Patient Assessment System
Body Substance Isolation Patient Care Documentation
Burns + Blisters Risk Management
Chest Injuries Scene Leadership + Control
Cold Related Injuries Shock + ASR
Common OTC Medications Soft Tissue Injuries
CPR in Remote Settings Submersion Emergencies
Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Suspected Spinal Injuries
Evacuation Considerations Tick Safety
Hands-On Practical Simulations Traumatic Brain Injuries
Heat Related Illnesses Venomous Spider Bites
Improvisation / MacGyvering Vital Signs
Introduction to Wilderness Medicine Wilderness First Aid Kits



Valid for two years, our Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification is nationally-recognized by the American Camp Association, Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America), U.S. Coast Guard, JCC 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.


Currently, your Wilderness First Aid certification can only be renewed by either taking another Wilderness Advanced First Aid course -OR- any standard Wilderness First Aid course, taught by CWS. Because wilderness medicine is constantly changing as science and medical research make greater and greater strides, there is no “refresher” course for Wilderness Advanced First Aid.


Center for Wilderness Safety’s Wilderness Advanced 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.

Find a Course Near You        Sponsor a Wilderness Medicine Course at Your Location


If your group or organization is interested in sponsoring a Wilderness Advanced First Aid course at your location, simply click the link above.

Wilderness Advanced First Aid