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Wilderness First Aid: Michigan

A mission to promote safety and survival in the outdoors, from physician experts in wilderness medicine and Search and Rescue leaders

Cost: $35

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Taught interactively with live Q&A, or watch a recording.

WFA course includes the live or recorded session, exam, three-year certification, and 40+ hours of wilderness medicine podcasts.

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Interactive Medical and Survival Scenarios:

  • Bears, Wolves, Spiders, Snakes, and insects specific to Michigan

  • Lightning and temperature extremes

  • Hypothermia, surviving winter storms, and ice rescues

  • Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cramps, and hyponatremia

  • Flash floods and rip currents

  • Altitude illness, Frostbite, Trench Foot, and Environmental Medicine

  • Common rescue calls and injuries in the Great Lakes, Isle Royale National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and other parks in Michigan

  • Anaphylaxis and using an Epi Pen

  • Drowning rescues

  • Communicable and waterborne diseases in the Michigan area

  • Cold weather gear and clothing

  • Getting Lost, rescue signaling, finding water, and surviving in many environments

  • Medicolegal topics and liability in MI

Hands-On Instruction:

  • Basic Life Support and patient assessment

  • Dressing wounds, stopping bleeding, and tying tourniquets

  • Creating splints and assessing for bone breaks

  • Hypothermia wraps

  • Improvised neck braces for spinal injuries

If you’d like to participate in the hands-on skills, have the following materials ready:

Sleeping bag ~ Water bottle ~ Tarp or tent ~ ACE bandage or cloth wrap ~ Tree branch or ski pole ~ Flexible splint or magazine ~ Backpack ~ Jacket

Wilderness First Aid Certificate


To earn the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification, you can take a short exam after attending the course or watching a recording, included in the cost.  It is valid for three years.

The certificates do not have a Michigan- specific designation in the “Wilderness First Aid” title.

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When you enroll you receive:

60-day unlimited access to course materials and lessons, including:

 2-hour general Wilderness First Aid course. Attend any of our interactive webinars with live chat or watch the self-paced video class. Watch any or all sessions as often as you wish!

1-hour Michigan Wilderness First Aid video class

1-hour Hands-On Practical Skills video class

Lifetime access to 50+ hours of supplemental podcasts

Certification exam and three-year certificate

Next interactive webinar with live chat:

Tues., Nov. 29, 2022: 7-9 PM ET

Tues., Dec. 6, 2022: 7-9 PM ET

Thurs., Dec. 15, 2022: 7-9 PM ET

Ready to get started?

Frequently Asked Questions

Our innovative curriculum was developed by wilderness and emergency medicine physicians at the University of Utah and Southern California, in response to an international need to improve the accessibility and affordability of outdoor education and wilderness certifications. It is widely accepted, both nationally and internationally, including by the National Association of Search and Rescue, American Canoe Association, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Sierra Club, expedition and guide companies, and many more.

First Aid training requirements vary across organizations.  If you are using this course for employment purposes, we encourage you to check with your employer to see if it will meet your particular training requirements.  We are also happy to provide access to this course for employers to gage if it fits their organization’s needs.

You get 30 days of access to all course materials and lessons.

No.  Our state WFA courses are available to anyone, anywhere.  The state options are designed to offer a wide variety of options for terrain and environment.  The portion of this course that includes the 1-hour Michigan topics is suited for anyone who has a general interest in lake, forest, and cold weather medicine.

No. You only need to attend one Wilderness First Aid class, or watch the recording if you can’t make it.

No. All ages are welcome to take the class and earn the certification.

No. You can watch the WFA course or the recording without having the Zoom app or account.

Yes. This course can be taken from anywhere in the world.

Yes. Many organizations use our course to certify their employees and volunteers. However, individual organizations have varying requirements for first aid and wilderness training, so we advise you to check with your organization to see if it will qualify if you are using it for work or volunteer purposes. You can reach out to us by email if you have any questions or if you have particular requirements for a WFA class. We can adapt the Wilderness First Aid class to fit your organization’s needs for the content, length, and depth of training provided.

Yes. This wilderness first aid course qualifies for SARTECH Level 3 with the National Association for Search and Rescue.

If you are interested in SARTECH Level 2, check out our Wilderness First Responder (WFR) online course.

We have had several NPS branches, state government organizations, guide companies, and more who have offered to cover the cost of this class for their employees. We’re happy to discuss the matter with your employer, and we can offer discounts for large groups.

The general class (over Zoom or recording) is about 2 hours.  The state-specific pre-recording is about 1 hour.  The additional practical skills videos are about 1 hour.  The certification exam is 1 hour. The supplemental textbook and podcasts provide up to 40 hours of additional course content.  Thus, the extent of your learning in this course is entirely up to you.

We teach from the same established WFA Scope of Practice that all providers use. However, most in-person courses are very expensive and require a full weekend of travel and commitment. These are skills that everyone should have, but many people find the virtual offering to be much more accommodating for their schedules and budgets. This option provides the opportunity to learn the material at your own pace and in as much depth as you see fitting for what you do in the outdoors.

*Please note that some outdoor volunteer and paid positions still require an in-person WFA course. If you are using this course for that purpose, send the syllabus to your organization or employer to check if it will qualify for your purposes.

No. The BSA and American Camp Association both still require a 16-hour, in-person class for their high adventure trip leaders. If you need a WFA certificate for the Boy Scouts of America, this class will not count for that. However, we are working to provide the Survival Merit badge to scouts. This will be available soon.

We work with many different organizations to do this. OSHA typically requires a 90-minute CPR certification, face-to-face (or over Zoom) with an instructor. We can help you arrange this in conjunction with this Wilderness First Aid course.


Youngsin Lee
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The class of 3 straight hours was packed with practical and essential knowledge. It’s hard to believe how Dr. Bonthius could give away this high quality class almost free. It’s gotta be love. Thank you. Learned so much and will listen thru the podcasts as well.
Adil Akasha
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I'm designing a rafting trip for underprivileged youth in Colorado. I needed an affordable option for my trip leaders to get some training in wilderness first aid. This was such a great option for them. Many thanks!
Ashley Morano
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I'm planning a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail, so I wanted to take a class that would prepare me for a variety of problems out there. Very glad I did this. It was exceptionally well-done. I attended a live session and also watched the recording to reinforce it all.
Katherine Johanson
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I thought I knew a lot about safety in the wilderness until I took this course! Appreciated the thoroughness, and real-life scenarios. I feel much more prepared now, and will be taking the WFR soon! Thank you for this inexpensive opportunity to learn!
Jeff Warhol
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I am a Navy hospital corpsman veteran, former ski instructor, retired physical therapist, hike leader for the Sierra Club, active Red Cross responder and active CERT member. This is a very worth while and valuable class that I highly recommend.
Sarah Thompson
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The presenter was very knowledgeable and covered a wide variety of wilderness first aid topics. This is my first training of this kind and I cannot wait to learn more from Survival Med!
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Awesome experience! The training was super interactive and engaging and all the information was super helpful. Everybody who likes to be in the wilderness should have all this tips and resources. Thanks so much for making all this golden information available and accessible!
Caryne Edwards
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I was having logging in trouble and it was almost immediately addressed. As an ICU RN, a SAR and mounted search and rescue volunteer, I found this stock full of information, came away with many pearls and also had the benefit to access a new great list of podcasts! Thank you
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I wish everyone would do this course. So useful in AZ. Thank you for all of the wonderful info!
Talia Ronoma
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I've been an RN for 33 years and worked in many different settings- critical care, ICU, and the emergency department. This course provided so much valuable information. Medicine in the wilderness is just not the same as saving a life in the hospital. I highly recommend it whether you have decades of medical experience or none at all.

Course Contributors

Natalie Bonthius, MD

Dr. Natalie Bonthius in a snowy forest
  • Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) Candidate
  • Advanced Wilderness and Expedition Provider (AWEP)
  • Advanced Wilderness Life Support
  • International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) Board Member

Richard Ingebretsen, MD PhD

Dr. Richard Ingebretsen
  • University of Utah School of Medicine clinical instructor
  • Program Director, University of Utah “Wild Med U” Program
  • Medical Director, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue
  • Former Associate Dean of Students Affairs, University of Utah College of Science
  • Founder of the Glen Canyon Institute
  • Vice-Chair of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
  • Founder of Wilderness Medicine of Utah
  • Owner of River Bound Adventures
University of Utah Health

Kevin Grange

Firefighter/EMT Kevin Grange
  • Firefighter/Paramedic, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Grand Teton National Park
  • Award-winning author of Wild Rescues, Lights and Sirens, and Beneath Blossom Rain
  • Graduate of UCLA’S renowned Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program

Robert Scanlon, MD

Dr. Robert Scanlon
  • Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Sleep Medicine
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Owner – Somnopath, LLC-medical science consultant
  • Owner – Medical Media Consulting

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