When I realized that time & cost were the biggest obstacles to wilderness first aid training, I decided to fix that."
Dr. Natalie Bonthius, Survival Med Founder + Emergency & Survival Medicine Physician
Why Students Choose Survival Med
Fits every schedule
Online & self-paced
No long drives, unworkable dates, waitlisted classes or missed work
Go fast or take your time—it's your call
Value & Quality
Unique blend of self-study + 1:1 coaching keeps prices affordable
No travel, hotel or gas costs
Up-to-date clinical best practices taught by working emergency & survival medicine physicians
Top-rated U.S.-based medical faculty & student support
Certifications accepted by NASAR, NPS & others
Member, National Assn for Search & Rescue
Partner, Univ of Utah School of Medicine Wilderness Program
Meets 2021 WFME Distance Learning Standards for Medical Education
How It Works
Online self-study + knowledge checks, quizzes, written activities & more
Hands-on first aid skills submitted via video, photo & Zoom for evaluation
Prompt personalized instructor feedback for hands-on skills & other key activities
Student support from our small but mighty U.S.-based team in CA, IA, TX, FL & IN
Innovative Hands-On First Aid Skills Training
Demonstrate skills using family, friends or coworkers as "volunteer patients."
Submit your hands-on first aid assignments via video, photo &/or Zoom.
Get personalized feedback & coaching points within 48 hours from our medical faculty.
Frank W. | WFR & EMT
"I'm very satisfied with the high quality of instruction at a more than fair price. I have taken the NOLS WFR course in the past, and the only thing I miss is the camaraderie of the in-person class. Other than that, I am happy to get good instruction. I'll spend the money I saved on actually being in the wilderness."
Brittany B. | WFA
"This course was just what I needed! I was nervous about submitting a video of me performing the skills but I actually enjoyed it. I feel more confident in my abilities to help others in a wilderness situation. Thank you!"
Glenn T. | WFA
"This was very thorough. I've had in-person first aid several times and this has a lot more information. I especially like the aspect of improvising materials for splints, etc., as this is probably what you're going to have to do in the backcountry."
Amy A. | WFA
"The course was very detailed and informative. The scenarios were realistic and challenging. I feel better prepared to deal with medical and environmental challenges in the wilderness."
Patrick H. | WFA & WFR
"Very practical, well-run course. I appreciated the learning vs mere testing approach. I've already used some of the skills."
Marie L. | WFA
"Extremely rewarding course. I've learned more than I have in previous WFA courses run by the Red Cross. What made this better for me is the ability to review the material until I could learn it. Having to do the hands-on assessment [videos/photos] really ingrained a muscle/mental memory that cannot be duplicated in an in-person class. There is not enough time during the in-person classes for everyone to have the hands-on experience. Thank you so much."
Helen B. | WFA
"Really enjoyed! At first I was hesitant to do an online course, unsure if I would learn all the necessary skills for WFA. However, after having to demonstrate my skills and receiving thorough feedback, I feel very prepared. Thank you so much!"
Raquel D. | WFA
"Really well set-up course. The ability to do it at your own pace is fantastic. Very informative videos & presentations. The skills demonstrations are concise but detailed. Getting to practice the skills and get feedback on them is also a great way to make sure you're actually prepared to do them. The medical scenarios were varied and interesting and gave good practice at analyzing and deciding how to handle a situation."
David R. | WFA
"A lot of information was provided in this course, some information that was never touched on in my NOLS class. Overall, informative and easy to navigate."
Gary H. | WFA
"Very well done. I happened to have spent my career in trauma and emergency services and now as a trauma program consultant. I learned a lot I didn't know when it comes to wilderness medicine. I spend my free time in the mountains and backcountry fly fishing, camping, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing...In the Emergency Department we have a controlled environment and supplies on hand. In the field—mountains, backcountry, wherever—you're at the mercy of what is on hand and your experience. This course will give you the experience and skills you need to be prepared and have the best outcomes possible. It's extremely affordable, well written and well done."
Delaney H. | WFA
"Incredible resource! I often work outdoors far from hospitals, the general public and cell phone service with a small team of people. This is so much more useful than OSHA training and even general first aid courses. Thank you for providing these lessons!"
Gio C. | WFA
"I was very hesitant at first because my initial thought was: "This is too good to be true!" BUT, it actually is and I must say that I am very pleasantly surprised. Dr. Bonthius covers a great deal of scenarios very effective and thoroughly. I reside in Las Vegas, NV and wilderness courses here are offered only during the Spring and late Fall. I was about to travel out of state, pay room and board as well as pay close to 10 times the amount of this course. This is truly a time saver and money saver. I would HIGHLY recommend this!!! If you're having second thoughts, don't—this is the best decision you'll ever make for a course for Wilderness First Aid training."
Sabrina W. | WFR
"Loved the course, more than the in-person one I did two years go. Mainly because I could go at my own pace and really digest the information and internalize it rather than overwhelm and cram in a shorter period of time. The videos, lectures and podcasts were great and drove the topics home."
Lawrence T. | WFR
"What a great opportunity it has been to receive training from current working ER doctors with a passion for Wilderness Medicine. I've certified in WFR probably 5 times and WFA countless times, in spite of familiarity with the material I still walked away better informed and better prepared than when I started. Easily the best value in emergency training for the layperson. The live sessions are an added bonus and not to be missed. Great program!"
John F. | WFA
"Very informative and easy to follow. Our company does a lot of field work in the Mojave Desert, in remote areas including BLM wilderness, often without cell service. We bring a Garmin inReach, a first aid kit and off-road recovery equipment, but now we have the one important thing missing from our field tool kit, wilderness first aid training."
Kathleen R. | WFR
"I had been given a last-minute directive to have WFR within a month or lose a seasonal job. I was about to pay MUCH more with the additional expense of lodging for a NOLS course when I found this course. It was engaging, stimulating, and appreciated being able to do it at home and at my own speed. Dr. Bonthius was attentive and answered my questions quickly. It was a great mix of online learning and the "personal" practical demonstration of skills."
Scott R. | WFR
"The NOLS course was too much info, too fast. This course, being self-paced, was the ticket for me. Natalie was always available to help with questions, and the lectures were well organized. I filled out the study guide as I went through the lectures and used that during the exam. As an alternative to the much more expensive 8-day courses, I would highly recommend this online course."
Caryne E. | WFR
"I was having trouble logging in and it was almost immediately addressed. As an ICU RN, SAR and mounted search and rescue volunteer, I found this stock full of information, and came away with many [clinical] pearls. Thank you!"
Maddy P. | WFR
"I appreciated the flexibility of doing it online and having videos and images to help with visualizing what I needed to do. I also was super impressed with the SOAP notes grading - I was expecting a week or more but my last few were graded in a day! I really enjoyed this class."
Benjamin P. | WFR
"The flexibility of being able to do the course on my time over a period of several months if needed [worked well]. The feedback on SOAP notes and videos were always very helpful and insightful as to what I got right or wrong. Also it never took more than a day for me to get things graded! All in all I was very pleased with this course. I've been needing to get my WFR certification for several years but finding a time when I could travel somewhere that offered it has always been an obstacle. This course was very helpful. Having to submit pictures, videos and SOAP notes makes sure you are absorbing the material. Would recommend to anyone looking to get WFR certified!"
Kevin F. | WFR
"The online curriculum was one of the biggest advantages of this course. I enrolled at the beginning of a slow fire season working for the Division of Forestry in Fairbanks, AK. Even when we got busy I was still able to log in and work at my pace. I really appreciated the unique feedback. Improvised medicine is a topic that's difficult to comprehend without actually performing these things or learning o nthe job. The real world scenarios challenged me and gave me insight to techniques I wasn't aware of. I spent a long time searching for a course like this. Since gaining my EMT I've wanted to take a class that [related to] austere environments. Not having to travel or spend potentially $800+ on a course made me delighted when I found out about Survival Med. Thank you!"
Keith F. | WFA
"As usual, Student Support was very fast and my questions were answered thoroughly."
Danielle Z. | WFR
"I so appreciate the thoughtfulness and care with which your team replies every time. So many customer service interactions these days come across as cut-and-paste and inhuman, but you all keep surprising me with responses that are warm, engaged, and caring about both the medical side and the human side of this training."
Gillian G. | WFR
"Wow, great customer support! Quick answer and so helpful. Above and beyond. The organization and most of all the STUDY GUIDE helped me get more out of this course than any continuing education I've done in this field. It kept me engaged and listening for answers and I'm certain that increased my retention. I also will always have it to reference and brush up. I'm certain this course will save lives and help patients. I'm better equipped to teach and serve having had this course. Very well put together. Very worth the time and money. Highly recommend."
Widely-Accepted WFA & WFR Certifications
Accepted by National Park Service, National Association for Search & Rescue, USDA Forest Service, local Sierra Club chapters & Boy Scout troops and many other governments, non-profits, organizations & businesses.
NOTE: As a matter of policy, federal & state agencies do not endorse specific wilderness medicine schools or programs.
Group, Military & SAR/First Responder Discounts
Survival Med University
Discounts & fundraising tools for businesses, organizations, teams, clubs & non-profits
Military Discount Program
For active-duty, retired, veteran & reserve members of the armed forces & their families & friends
No Barriers Program
State, regional & local SAR teams & Community Response & Preparedness Teams