Wilderness First Aid - WFA

This two-day introductory Wilderness First Aid course teaches participants the assessment of, and treatment given to an ill or injured person in the backcountry. 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.


We are proud to announce that we now offer Wilderness First Aid in two formats: a two-day 100% in person format, as well as a new hybrid/online format. So what’s the difference? While they are both fundamentally the same, the big difference is actually the length of each format and how each is setup. If you learn better in a relaxed setting, then perhaps the hybrid format is best for you. If you have no time whatsoever and want to cram it all into one weekend and be done with it, then the in-person format may be better for you. The amount of hands-on practice is nearly identical for both formats.


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Hybrid/Online Course

Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts of America)

Center for Wilderness Safety is a nationally-recognized provider of wilderness medicine programs, and is an approved provider of Wilderness First Aid by Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America). This Wilderness First Aid course meets the requirements set forth for all BSA High Adventure programs, such as Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, Summit (including the National Jamboree), Goshen’s Len’Hoksin program, Maine High Adventure, and more.

Philmont Scout Ranch (Tooth of Time)

Why Take Wilderness First Aid?

Wilderness First Aid students during a scenario

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’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 first aider.

Wilderness First Aid students discussing a lesson outdoorsWhat 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 length may vary due to hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.


Course Format:

WFA is typically taught over two consecutive days (please see below).

The 2-day in person format typically occurs over a weekend; 8am to 7pm both days.
This course may also be taught over three consecutive days and weekdays upon request.


Course Tuition:

$225 – $299

Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, meals, lodging options, etc.



    ‣ Wilderness First Aid (valid 2 years)*

*A digital certificate is also available upon successful completion of this course.
This certification is accepted by the BSA and is ACA approved.



CWS requires all Wilderness First Aid participants to:

  •     • Be at least 14 years of age.*

  •     • Current Adult + Pediatric CPR/AED certification is *NOT* required, however is strongly recommended.

  •     • Complete the two required forms (waiver & medical forms) prior to class.**

* 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.
** All Prerequisites MUST be completed at least 48 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.



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.