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 Now Have TWO Formats to Choose From!
We are proud to announce that we now offer this course in two formats: a two-day in person version, and an online/hybrid version. What’s the difference? While they are both fundamentally the same, the big difference is actually the length of each format.
With our new online/hybrid format, since the course is online and does not have the traditional time constraints of the standard 2 day in-person class (and can be done at at your own pace), this online course includes a significant amount of extra, and often more in-depth coverage of the same topics that are covered in the two-day in-person course. Because of this, the actual length of the online portion of this course is over 16 hours. After the online portion is completed, students must attend either a one-day (in person) hands-on session or the second (full) day of a pre-existing scheduled in-person WFA course.
Our 100% in-person Wilderness First Aid course is roughly 20 hours in length (due to hands-on practical scenarios), and can be completed in a single weekend (typically all day Saturday and Sunday). Those who take the in-person format of this course can have access to the online course materials for an additional fee.
A Scouts BSA Approved Course
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.
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’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.
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.
16 hours of instruction
Actual course is longer, incorporating hands-on scenarios, skills practice & activities.
WFA is 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.
$199 – $249
Actual course tuition may vary depending on course location, logistics, etc.
Wilderness First Aid (valid 2 years)
A digital certificate is available upon successful completion of course.
This certification is accepted by the BSA and is ACA approved.
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 20-hour Wilderness First Aid course includes many advanced topics that other programs leave out such as reduction of dislocations and epinephrine administration. A sample list of topics covered in this course include (but are 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 Substnce 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 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.
- This course meets the American Camp Association 2021 Standards and the 2021 Scouts BSA Wilderness First Aid requirements for BSA High Adventure programs (such as Philmont, etc.)
- This course is approved by the United States Coast Guard to satisfy the first aid and CPR training requirements [46 CFR 11.205(e)(1)(i) &46 CFR 11.205(e)(2)(iv)] for a merchant mariner license.
Currently, 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.