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Wilderness Medicine

Activity Description

Of all the skill sets hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts may possess, backcountry medical training is perhaps the epitome of value. If you hike and spend time in remote locations outside of the “golden hour” (meaning an hour or more from typical urban medical services), dealing with injury or illness at some point — even if it’s not your own — is likely. Getting the proper training will prepare you for this unwelcome eventuality. And do know this: we strongly encourage preparedness. On this page we are offering multiple certification tiers: WFA (Wilderness First Aid) and WFR (Wilderness First Responder).

Special Information

These Wilderness Medicine courses are different than our typical, completely customizable offerings, in the following ways:

  • » These courses are only available during certain times. Please check our Available Courses (pop-up).
  • » These courses have minimum participant counts (10 or 12) and are subject to signup requirements being met.
  • » The miminium age for the WFA is 12 (with a paying adult) and for the WFR it is 16, no accompaniment needed.
  • » These courses are taught by qualified instructors from the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine.
  • » Custom scheduling may be available to groups of 10 or 12. To secure a private group course at your location, contact us.

Activity Offerings

New Offering!Currently we are offering 16-hour SOLO WFA (Wilderness First Aid) courses and 72-hour SOLO WFR (Wilderness First Responder) courses. The following material is covered.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
Click here to reveal the full list of the topics covered in this comprehensive course.
  • Introduction to WFA.
  • Anatomy of a Wilderness Crisis.
  • Anatomy of the Musculoskeletal System.
  • Asthma.
  • Backcountry Essentials.
  • Cold-Related Injuries.
  • Environmental Emergencies & Survival Skills (including lightning).
  • Heat-Related Injuries.
  • Medical Emergencies & Critical Care.
  • Orthopedics.
  • Patient Assessment System.
  • Patient Lifting & Moving.
  • Principles of Fracture Care.
  • Rescue Plan.
  • Response & Assessment.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries & Medical Emergencies.
  • Spinal Cord Injury Management.
  • Sprains & Strains.
  • Techniques.
  • The Human Animal.
  • Trauma-Musculoskeletal Injuries.
  • Trauma-Soft Tissue Injuries.
  • Universal Precautions.
  • Use of Epinephrine.
  • What is Wilderness First Aid

 
IMPORTANT: CPR/AED certification is not automatically included in the WFA course (but is, however, included in the WFR course at no extra cost). The price for this WFA course add-on is $35 and will be added to your total, if requested.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
Click here to reveal the full list of the topics covered in this comprehensive course.
  • Anatomy & Physiology (A & P) of Respiratory System and Cardiothoracic Region.
  • A & P of the Cardiovascular System.
  • A & P of the Central Nervous System.
  • A & P of the Gastrointestinal System and Genitourinary System.
  • A & P of the Integumentary System.
  • A & P of the Musculoskeletal System.
  • Abdominal Pain.
  • Abdominal Trauma.
  • Allergic Reactions.
  • Altitude-Related Injuries.
  • Automated External Defibrillation (AED).
  • Bites & Stings: Animals & Plants.
  • Bivouac Skills.
  • Bloodborne Pathogens & Infectious Disease.
  • Body Systems: Anatomy & Physiology.
  • Burns.
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  • Changes in Level of Consciousness.
  • Chest Pain.
  • Chest Trauma.
  • Cold-Related Injuries.
  • Common Expedition Problems.
  • CPR Considerations in the Remote Environment.
  • CPR Practical Exam.
  • Diabetic Emergencies.
  • Dislocations & Reduction Techniques.
  • Drowning-Related Injuries.
  • Environmental Emergencies.
  • Fractures & Splinting Techniques.
  • Group Preventative Medicine.
  • Head Trauma.
  • Heat-Related Injuries.
  • History Taking & SAMPLE.
  • Improvising Litters.
  • Leadership in a Backcountry.
  • Emergency Lifting & Moving Techniques.
  • Lightning-Related Injuries.
  • Long-Term Patient Care.
  • Long-Term Management of the Shock Victim.
  • Long-Term Wound Care.
  • Medical Emergencies.
  • Medical Emergencies and Patient Assessment System.
  • Medicolegal Issues
  • Mock Rescue.
  • Organizing the Rescue.
  • PAS in the Extreme Environment.
  • Patient Assessment System (PAS).
  • Poisoning.
  • Primary Survey: “The First Five Minutes.”
  • Prudent Heart Living.
  • Role of the Wilderness First Responder.
  • Secondary Survey & Vital Signs.
  • Shock & Bleeding Control.
  • Shortness of Breath.
  • SOAPnote & Getting Help.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries & Bandaging Skills.
  • Spinal Cord Injury.
  • Spinal Cord Injury Management.
  • Splinting Practice.
  • Sprains & Strains.
  • Techniques of CPR & CPR Skills.
  • The Anatomy of a Backcountry Crisis.
  • The Ten Essentials.
  • Use of Epinephrine (Epi-Pen).
  • Wilderness Stabilization & Bivouac.
  • Wilderness versus Urban First Responder.
  • Wilderness First Responder Practical Exam.
  • Wilderness First Responder Written Exam.
  • What is a Wilderness First Responder.

 
IMPORTANT: Also note that WFR Recertification is required every three years and is an available option during WFA classes. The administration of this service cost an additional sum of $15 and is payable directly to SOLO.

Note: Our WFR courses will be held at the AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. Meals and lodging are available on-site and if you’re participating in these courses, a discount of 20% is available. Please mention this to the kind folks over in Reservations. Please call 603-466-2727 to book your space.

What to Wear

You should plan to wear or have with you clothing that will be appropriate to the season and location where you will be taking your course. Weather permitting, we will be spending a significant portion of the class time out-of-doors — even on the ground. You will be using your equipment to provide care, build splints, and to keep yourself and others warm. Please note, instructor use moulage (mock injury makeup) throughout the training that can stain some clothing, therefore, you may want to bring older or darker clothing to wear for training scenarios.

  • Think layers. You will want to dress in layers so you can easily adjust and adapt to the requirements of the situation. The layers you choose should probably consist of fast-drying synthetics, or insulating fabrics like wool or fleece. Cotton/denim fabric shouldn’t be used. Moreover, your articles should be durable. Wearing older clothing is advised to prevent damage to your good stuff.
  • Extras in a pack. Since layers in your pack may be used to pad a splint, bring extras for said purpose. And of course this means you’ll need a pack or bag to carry them in. See the gear requirements below.
  • For footwear. In the warmer months you can wear hiking boots or sturdy hiking shoes (no “Five Fingers” shoes please). In the colder months you will want winter-rated hiking boots as a minimum.

Necessary Gear

For these courses, there really is only one gear option available per course type. Click to expand.

WFA Gear Requirements - Open

The following list is to supplement the clothing you will be wearing (see “What To Wear,” above) and is to be considered a minimum. You are free to supplement it with anything else you would normally carry.

Required Items

The following items are required to be packed for each class:

  • Pack to put everything in (1500 cu in or larger) or duffle bag.
  • Rain gear tops and Bottoms (no ponchos, water proof versus water resistant).
  • 1 warm hat (synthetic* or wool).
  • 1 pair warm gloves or mittens (synthetic* or wool).
  • Long underwear tops and bottoms/Base layers (synthetic* or wool).
  • Warm top and bottom layer (synthetic* or wool).
  • 1 pair warm socks (synthetic* or wool).
  • 1 water bottle (1 liter/quart or larger).
  • Notebook with pen/pencil.

*Note: Polyester or polypropylene “wicking” type fabric (Techwick, PolarTech, Capilene, Bergelene, Dri-Clime, etc.). We do not recommend cotton because it loses its ability to hold heat if wet and will not dry quickly.

Recommended Items

The following items are recommended to be packed for each class:

  • Watch with second hand (or digital with seconds).
  • Insect repellent (in season).
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • 4′ x 6′ 4-6 mil plastic tarp (as a ground cloth).
  • Bandanas/cravats of any kind.

WFR Gear Requirements - Open

The following list is to supplement the clothing you will be wearing (see “What To Wear,” above) and is to be considered a minimum. You are free to supplement it with anything else you would normally carry.

Required Items

The following items are required to be packed for each class:

  • Pack to put everything in (2500 cu in or larger) or duffle bag.
  • Rain gear tops and bottoms (no ponchos, water proof versus water resistant).
  • 2 warm hats (synthetic* or wool).
  • 1 pair warm gloves or mittens (synthetic* or wool).
  • Long underwear tops and bottoms/base layers (synthetic* or wool).
  • Warm top and bottom Alayer (synthetic* or wool).
  • 2 pairs warm socks (synthetic* or wool).
  • 2 water bottles (1 liter/quart or larger).
  • Notebook with pen/pencil.

*Note: Polyester or polypropylene “wicking” type fabric (Capilene, Bergelene, Dri-Clime, etc.). We do not recommend cotton because it loses its ability to hold heat if wet and will not dry quickly.

Recommended Items

The following items are recommended to be packed for each class:

  • Watch with second hand (or digital with seconds).
  • Headlamp or Flashlight (don’t forget extra batteries).
  • Pocket knife.
  • Insect repellent (in season).
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • 40-feet small diameter cord (parachute cord is fine).
  • Sleeping pad (Ensolite, Thermaresttm, Ridgerest, etc.).
  • 10′ x 10′ 4-6 mil plastic tarp (for shelter building).
  • Bandanas/cravats of any kind.

Okay… Let’s Do This!

Here is the pricing and other information you’ll probably want to know.

WFA Course Pricing
Per person $149.00
WFR Course Pricing
Per person $549.00
Premium WFA Options
Add CPR/AED Add $35.00/pers.
Add WFR Re-cert. Add $15.00/pers.
Other Information
  • The difficulty of this activity is easy.
  • This activity has a 1:16 instructor/student ratio.
  • The minimum group size is 10 (for WFA) or 12 (for WFR).
  • The maximum group size is 32 with 2 instructors.
  • It’s possible WFR students are asked to join real SAR carry-outs.
  • Have questions? Please contact us for details.

Use the form below to register for these classes — click link for Available Courses

WFA / WFR Registration Form - Click to Begin

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Premium WFA Options...

Adding CPR/AED Training? *

Attention: Please note, adding American Heart Association (AHA) CPR/AED certification will add $35 per person to the total. This add-on is run on Saturday night after the first day of the regular course ends.

Adding WFR Recertification? *

Attention: Please note, adding Wilderness First Responder (WFR) re-certification will add $15 per person to the total. This amount will be payable directly to SOLO and is due during the course period.


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