Wilderness Life Support® (WLS), also known as Wilderness First Aid (WFA), is 16-hour course designed for laypersons with no formal medical background or training, and is an outstanding introduction to wilderness medicine. Usually held over a full weekend (Saturday & Sunday), this course will better prepare you for wilderness emergencies. This program is accredited by the Wilderness Medical Society and the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Multiple practice workshops and scenarios are also included in the curriculum. These hands-on workshops are often done while on small hikes as a class to get more realistic practice. Most of our practice scenarios are based on real-life incidents that our instructors have managed as professional rescuers or encountered in their own backcountry adventures.
The Wilderness First Aid course is designed to meet the needs of groups of people that may not be able to commit to the length of the Basic Wilderness Life Support (BWLS®)/Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course, but still are interested learning about wilderness emergencies.
After taking this course you will be familiar with some of the most common backcountry problems. You’ll have some practice in evaluating, treating, and evacuating injured persons in wilderness settings. You’ll start to get a feel for what situations require medical assistance.
No previous first aid training is required. Current CPR certification is highly desirable.
Two-year certification is provided through University of Utah School of Medicine.
• 16 hours of lectures, scenarios, and hands-on training.
• Familiarity with a broad range of basic medical techniques.
• Improvisation with standard outdoor recreation equipment.
• Accredited by the University of Utah School of Medicine
View a sample Course Schedule HERE.
Our curriculum meets or exceeds criteria for:
• Wilderness Medical Society Guidelines and Scope of Practice for Wilderness First Aid
• Red Cross Wilderness First Aid
• Boy Scouts of America Wilderness First Aid training requirement for Northern Tier Expeditions, Philmont Treks, and Seabase Adventures.
• American Camp Association 2012 Standards
The cost is $250 per person.
*Remote/Onsite courses may incur additional charges for lodging and round-trip mileage at the standard IRS rate, depending on location.
Upcoming WFA Courses:
All in-person courses are limited due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Please check back here for updated course schedule information.