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WILDERNESS
MEDICINE

Overview: What are Wilderness Medicine courses?

Wilderness Medicine courses use hands-on scenarios, interactive activities, real-world examples, and experienced instructors to prepare participants to assess, treat, and prevent common outdoor injuries and illnesses. The courses are divided into both Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) options.

Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

WFA courses are designed for all experience levels and are a good introductory-level fit for those who recreate in outdoor spaces where EMS response can be expected in a timely manner or for those who work at wilderness camps. 

Delivered in a hybrid format, participants of this course can expect 4-8 hours of self-paced, online instruction, followed by a practical hands-on training component at Gearhouse, and a final assessment.

 Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

WFR courses teach participants how to provide emergency care and make crucial evacuation decisions in the wilderness. These wilderness medicine courses are a good fit for those who work or recreate in outdoor spaces where access to medical care is delayed, or communication is unreliable. 

 

Wilderness First Aid courses prepare students for the unexpected in a fun, hands-on way.  They are the industry standard for professional guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, and outdoor recreationists. 

 

Delivered in a hybrid format, participants of this course can expect 40 hours of self-paced, online instruction, followed by a practical hands-on training component at Gearhouse, and a final assessment.

Deciding between Wilderness First Aid vs Wilderness First Responder?

Wilderness First Aid courses provide the skills to treat basic injuries and to assess more serious injuries, while Wilderness First Responder courses provide the ability to mitigate more serious injuries and evacuation decisions in wilderness environments. 

 

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training is a great choice for those that can spare the cost and time. We have designed our WFR offering and ensure that our courses are significantly cheaper and more convenient than other offerings by pricing them at $375 for members (normally $1000 and often far away) and by splitting them across

two weekends.

 

It's also common for people to take WFA one year and then WFR the next. Both courses will leave you better prepared and safer in the outdoors.

Wilderness First Aid

This Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification course is delivered in a hybrid format, with 4-8 hours of self-paced, online instruction, a practical hands-on training component at Gearhouse, and a final assessment.

 

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is the assessment of, and basic treatment given to an ill or injured person in an area where advanced help and access to definitive care is not easily accessible.

A Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is recommended for:

Non-medical recreational users in outdoor areas where advanced help, evacuation, and access to definitive care is generally available.​

Wilderness First Aid Course Details

Objectives


Upon completion of a Wilderness First Aid course, an individual is expected to:

  1. Be able to complete a patient assessment to identify potentially life-threatening problems. (Apply)

  2. Complete the necessary first aid and non-invasive interventions to prevent medical problems and injuries from occurring or progressing. (Apply)

  3. Identify the need for additional resources and higher-level care for patients with life-threatening problems. (Analyze)

  4. Identify the need for and urgency of evacuation for ill or injured patients. (Analyze)

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Cost Comparison

Average cost of WFA courses in Seattle region: $250-$350
Gearhouse Non-member: $220
Gearhouse Member: $125

Wilderness First Responder

A Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is a medical responder trained to provide initial patient assessment and management, risk-benefit analysis, and evacuation decision-making in an area where organized rescue and hospital care is delayed. The WFR has a limited advanced skillset to deal with specific, common issues in wilderness medicine.

A Wilderness First Responder course is recommended for:
  • Non-medical recreational users in outdoor areas where advanced help, evacuation, and access to definitive care is generally unavailable. A WFR's "scope of practice" is generally defined as whenever you are more than 1 hour from contact with trained emergency personnel.

  • Persons involved with organizations operating in remote environments.

  • Outdoor professionals employed or volunteer, such as wilderness guides, outdoor instructors and educators, Search and Rescue members, Mountain Rescue members, ski patrol, medical personnel for adventure races/events, missionaries, and National Park Service members.

  • Adventurers pursuing long trips into the backcountry or on overnight trips.

Wilderness First Responder Course Details

Objectives

 

Upon completion of a Wilderness First Responder course, an individual is expected to:

 

  1. Assess a patient to identify potentially life-threatening problems. (Evaluate)

  2. Complete the necessary non-invasive first aid and basic life support interventions to prevent medical problems and injuries from occurring or progressing. (Apply)

  3. Manage a patient in a remote setting for an extended time (more than 4 hours) while mitigating environmental and terrain risks. (Analyze)

  4. Coordinate patient care as the lead medical provider in the absence of higher-level care providers. (Create)

  5. Determine the need for additional resources and higher-level care for patients with life-threatening problems. (Evaluate)

  6. Determine the need for and urgency of evacuation for ill or injured patients. (Evaluate)

WFR Sign Up
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Cost Comparison

Gearhouse Course Cost with membership: $375 (CPR/AED certification included)

Gearhouse Course Cost w/o membership: $700

Typical Course Cost: $800 - $1000

Can't commit to 5 days? Try out WFA.

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