Wilderness First Responder

Course Materials + Downloads

Wilderness Medicine: What to do when you can't call 911 (paperback)

Thank you for registering for an upcoming Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course through Center for Wilderness Safety. Below, we have provided you with the course materials that you should become familiar with prior to your course. Please note that many of these downloads you will receive in class, so it may not be necessary to print these out.

Please note that the following MUST be completed no later than 48 hours prior to your Wilderness First Responder course in order to be permitted to attend the course: Participant Medical Form and Participant Liability Waiver.

Complete them Early! Don’t procrastinate!

Required Forms

— Due 48 Hours Before Your Course —



What to Bring

We recommend that you bring the following items as many of these items will be useful for scenarios and will be discussed in detail throughout the course. As these are recommendations, please do not go out and buy any of these items just for the course!


YOU WILL SPEND A MOST OF EACH DAY OUTSIDE REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER. Wear and/or bring Appropriate Clothing to go outside each day of your course, as we will be outside each day, no matter what the weather conditions may be like (barring lightning or unsafe conditions, of course)!

Bring a day or Backpacking Pack, packed for an overnight or day hike. Pack it with whatever you might bring with you if you were out camping for the weekend. You may use some of the stuff you bring to improvise splints and other first aid interventions.

Bring Water! Definitely bring a water bottle, Nalgene, or CamelBak to stay hydrated – regardless of the weather!

Bring a First Aid Kit. That said, we do NOT expect you to have a full first aid kit, however if you have one that you use when you’re out enjoying Mother Nature, please bring it as you’ll have the opportunity to go through it in class and find out what’s good to use, and what’s expired. DO NOT PURCHASE ONE JUST FOR CLASS!!

Be sure to bring a Sleeping Pad (like a Foam Pad or Yoga Mat) with you to class each day, as we are constantly outside doing patient assessment & scenario practice, and this is really a true NECESSITY and we strongly encourage you to bring one. Instructors may have 1 or 2 extra to share with students.

Bring Paper and Pen! Guaranteed, you will need to take notes; and chances are, a lot of them! There’s a LOT of information in a relatively short period of time!

Please bring your own Snacks! We do our best to offer coffee (and sometimes tea), but ask that students bring THEIR OWN snacks (especially due to COVID). Also, please Bring Your Own Mug if you’re interested in coffee or tea!

On the last day of your course, please bring clothing that can get Ripped, Torn, or at least get Super Dirty as we will be using moulage (realistic looking fake blood and injuries) as we practice first aid skills. Our goal is to “train like it’s real”. We typically only use these clothes on the last day of class.

If you decide to bring a Light Source (it tends to get dark out around 4:30 PM in the winter months), we highly recommend a Headlamp over a flashlight, because you will be outdoors with gloves on and you will want both of your hands free to take care of patients in our late-afternoon scenarios! Please don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a headlamp just for this course.

Bring money. Depending upon the course location, there are often restaurants and grocery stores nearby in case you didn’t bring your own food or are staying overnight and are preparing meals. Please check with the course sponsor regarding your specific course options.

Before Class

In order to allow us to “hit the ground running” when you get to class, we require all participants to read the Pre-Class Reading Assignment as well as watch this ten minute video (below) about the Patient Assessment System prior to your class. Please feel free to FOLLOW ALONG with our Patient Assessment System Handout. You will receive a hard copy of this in class as well.

Adobe PDF Icon   Pre-Class Reading Assignment (Patient Assessment System)


Additional Resources

Recommended Reading

Your Wilderness First Responder course encompasses a ton of information, so in order to get the most out of class (and do as much hands-on practice as possible), we ask that participants read the first two chapters of the course text (provided below) PRIOR to class. It’s not required – but we highly recommend it! Don’t fret – it’s only the first two chapters of the course textbook which discuss the basic principles of wilderness medicine, and legal aspects of being a Wilderness First Responder. This is OPTIONAL, however STRONGLY RECOMMENDED (by previous students)!

Over the years, we’ve had numerous requests for a downloadable document that students can download and print, which has larger sketches of relevant anatomy, as well as the most important key takeaway points about each topic. We strongly recommend that you download and print a copy of the Participant Workbook if you would like. This workbook is OPTIONAL , however many students have found it to be very helpful both in, and outside of class! Your instructor may have a hard copy of the workbook, but only limited copies.

Adobe PDF Icon   Pre-Class Reading Assignment (from the course textbook)
Adobe PDF Icon   WFR Participant Workbook (7th Edition)

Additional Resources

The following are additional (optional) resources; many of which will be handed out in hard copy in class. Please don’t feel that you need to download and print any of these, however they are here for you to use as desired. Have a great class! Resources marked with ** will be handed out in class.

Adobe PDF Icon   Wilderness Medicine Vocabulary Cheat-Sheet **
Adobe PDF Icon   Patient Assessment Guide **
Adobe PDF Icon   Patient Care SOAP Note — version 1 **
Adobe PDF Icon   Patient Care SOAP Note — version 2
Adobe PDF Icon   CWS Guide to Common OTC Medications **
Adobe PDF Icon   Common Causes of Decreased Brain Function (STOP-EATS) — Article
Adobe PDF Icon   Altitude Sickness — Article
Adobe PDF Icon   Suspected Venomous Snakebites — Care Sheet
Adobe PDF Icon   CWS Course Evaluation Form **