Wilderness First Aid


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

Taught over ZOOM, or watch a recording.

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

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Interactive Medical and Survival Scenarios:

  • Bears, Mountain Lions, Snakes, Scorpions, and animals specific to certain regions

  • Lightning and temperature extremes

  • Flash floods and canyoneering

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

  • Anaphylaxis and using an Epi Pen

  • Drowning rescues

  • Communicable diseases

  • Getting Lost and Rescue Signaling

  • Finding appropriate water and treating it

  • Medicolegal topics and liability

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Hands-On Instruction:

  • Basic Life Support and patient assessment

  • CPR and choking

  • 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 to use:

Water bottle ~ Tarp or Tent ~ Backpack ~ Sleeping Bag or Blanket ~ ACE bandage or cloth wrap ~ Tree Branch or Ski Pole ~ Jacket ~ Flexible Splint or rolled up magazine

To earn the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification, you can take a short exam after the attending the course or watching a recording, included in the cost. No prior medical training is needed.  It is valid for three years.

When you enroll you receive:

  • 2 hour General Wilderness First Aid course:  You can attend a live class to actively participate in the scenarios and ask questions, or watch the recording on your own time.  This part of the course teaches about a wide variety of environments and conditions. 
  • 1 hour of additional state-specific information of your choosing.  Pick one that you live in or visit, or one environment you’re interested in learning more about. 
  • 1 hour of additional practical skills instructional videos.
  • 50+ hours of wilderness medicine podcasts
  • Certification exam and WFA certificate, valid for 3 years

View State-Specific WFA Courses:


Upcoming Dates for Live General Course:

Tuesday, September 27: 8-10 pm ET

October, October 5: 7-9 pm ET

Taught over Zoom.  Also available as a self-paced recording. 

Access to the live course options and all recordings is valid for 30 days beyond purchase.  You can attend a live course or watch the recording at any point during that time.  Recordings can be viewed multiple times.  Access to the podcasts is permanent.

Frequently Asked Questions

This WFA certification is widely recognized by outdoor organizations, both nationally and internationally.  It is accepted by the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR), American Canoe Association (ACA), National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and many more for the purpose of training their employees.

You do not need to live in any of the states listed in order to take this course.  The topics in the class cover a variety of environments and are not limited to one area.  The state-specific options are merely designed to offer you many terrains and environments to choose from for the supplemental hour of material. 

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.

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 for your 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.

The General Wilderness First Aid class (over Zoom or recording) is 2 hours.  The state-specific content is 1 hour.  The supplemental practical skill videos are 1 hour. The certification exam is 1 hour, and the supplemental textbook and podcasts provide more than 40 hours of additional course content.  Thus, the extent of your learning 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.

No. The BSA and American Camp Association both currently require a 16-hour, in-person class. 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.
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.
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.
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!

Course Contributors

Portrait of a woman on snowy forest

Natalie Bonthius, MD

  • Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) Certificate
  • Advanced Wilderness and Expedition Provider (AWEP)
  • Advanced Wilderness Life Support
  • International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) Board Member
Portrait of a man speaking on a meeting
University of Utah Health

Richard Ingebretsen, MD PhD

  • 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
Portrait of a firefighter

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
Portrait of a man in suit

Robert Scanlon, MD

  • 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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