Wilderness First Responder

This 72 hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is tailored for individuals seeking an in-depth understanding of wilderness medicine. It is ideal for professional outdoor guides and enthusiasts who desire comprehensive knowledge and skills to address common injuries and illnesses encountered in remote outdoor settings.

Beyond certifications, the course empowers individuals with the confidence and skills needed to respond effectively to medical emergencies in remote wilderness settings, enhancing safety for both themselves and others. Additionally, the curriculum is continually reviewed to ensure it aligns with the most current guidelines, providing participants with up-to-date knowledge and best practices in wilderness medicine.

AdventureMed Student Eligibility Criteria


The curriculum not only covers medical knowledge but also fosters critical decision-making skills essential for effective backcountry medical management. 

Core Topics
  • Patient Assessment: Scene Survey, Primary Survey, Secondary Survey
  • CPR/BLS (a basic life support equivalent)
  • Bleeding and Shock
  • Wound and Burn Management
  • Fractures & Dislocations
  • Chest Injuries
  • Abdominal Injuries
  • Head and Spine Injuries
  • Near Drowning
  • Lightning
  • Heat-Related Illness
  • Hypothermia & Cold-Related Illness/Injury
  • Genitourinary Emergencies
  • Psychology in the Wilderness
  • Neurological Emergencies
  • Intro to Diving Medicine
  • Altitude Illness
  • Avalanche Risk and Avoidance
  • Law and the Wilderness
  • Poisoning Emergencies
  • Evacuation Guidelines
  • Improvised Litters & Carries
  • Skin, Wilderness Dentistry, Illness & Injury of the Eyes
Course Format

This course blends theoretical learning with practical application and can be conducted in various settings, including in-person classrooms, outdoor training facilities, and online platforms. Practical components often take place in simulated wilderness environments to provide realistic training scenarios.

This course is offered in two main formats:

  • Hybrid: This option includes 40+ hours of online learning, followed by a minimum of 3 in-person class days.
  • Traditional: This option consists of 6-8 days of in-person training.

Regardless of which course type a student chooses, the in-person days involve a combination of didactic lectures, small group discussions, practical skills sessions, and live-scenario training. 

Sample Schedule

WFR Recertification

Participants are able to re-certify their WFR certificate within 3 years of class completion. This abridged course refreshes essential topics and skills covered in the full class. Proof of current certification required. While there is no governing body for a WFR certificate, AdventureMed accepts organziation that follow WMS guidelines. Learn more on our FAQ page.

Course Format

This class is offered in both the hybrid and traditional format. 

  • Hybrid: 20+ hours of online coursework and a minimum of 2 days in-person
  • Traditional: a minimum of 3 days in-person

Certification and Credits

To earn the following certifications, students must complete the minimum time requirement for a WFR class, 72 hours. Additionally, both a proctored written and practical examination must be successfully completed.

Upon completion of this course, students are eligible for:

  • WFR certificate, valid for two years (with a one year grace period)
  • CPR/BLS plus AED certificate, valid for two years
    • This certification is provided by AdventureMed
  • Epinephrine auto-injector certificate, valid for two years (upon request)
  • Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) credit
    • To learn more about FAWM, please visit wms.org
    • The WFR recertification course is NOT accredited for FAWM

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor professional or an adventurous enthusiast, the Wilderness First Responder course offers essential training to handle medical emergencies in challenging environments, fostering a safer outdoor experience for all.

Upcoming Wilderness First Responder Courses

View All WFR Courses