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Wilderness First Aid class?
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Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Wilderness First Aid class? on 09/24/2012 10:23:02 MDT Print View


Has anyone done this class with REI/Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS ?

Is it worthwhile?



Stephan Doyle
Re: Wilderness First Aid class? on 09/24/2012 11:40:20 MDT Print View

WFA is very worthwhile as a certification.

If you'll be leading groups, WFR is great.

will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Re: Wilderness First Aid class on 09/24/2012 12:24:47 MDT Print View

WMI of NOLS is the best place to learn wilderness medicine. I'm taking a WFR course with them this coming spring. I would say WFA is definitely worth it, a bit of money and time in exchange for so much. Leading group trips, piece of mind for your family when you are in the backcountry, potentially saving your or a friend's life...

Logan Bowling
(bowlingl25) - F

Locale: Almost Heaven
WFR on 09/24/2012 13:49:07 MDT Print View

I have not personally taken the classes but have worked with a number of different people who have. The course is quite costly and is somewhere between 5-9 days long, but in my opinion well worth it if you work in the outdoor industry or take a lot of personal trips. I plan on taking this course within the next year or so.

Leigh Baker

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
Wilderness First Aid class on 09/24/2012 16:31:44 MDT Print View

Yes, I've taken the NOLS class and I agree, it's very much worth it. I took the mini cards and laminated them and they stay in my FAK...I had to use them this weekend on the trail.

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Clarification on 09/24/2012 18:05:12 MDT Print View

I was referring to the two day course:


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Wilderness First Aid class on 09/24/2012 18:25:59 MDT Print View

That's the Wilderness First Aid course (WFA for short). You really don't need the longer Wilderness First Responder course some of the posts mention unless you expect to lead groups. WFR might be nice to have, but it involves a considerably bigger commitment of time and money and (because there are fewer courses offered) travel.

WFA is an intense 16 hours and well worth the time and money. While the classes are pretty standardized, I'd still recommend NOLS above all others. REI started partnering with NOLS a couple of years ago to offer these classes at REI stores throughout the country, and IMHO it's one of the best things they've ever done.

The most important component of a backpacker's first aid kit, IMHO, is between his/her ears, and this class will give you the knowledge you need.

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/24/2012 18:28:01 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Wilderness First Aid class? on 09/24/2012 20:42:07 MDT Print View

In addition to teaching a few thousand standard first aid and CPR students, I taught a few 50-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid classes through the Berkeley Red Cross. It carried their standard Advanced First Aid certification but we were clear we were making it harder so it self-selected for the ski patrollers, Scoutmasters, and aspiring round-the-world sailors who wanted the best prep they could get for cheap.

Like any course, it hinges hugely on who the instructors are and how well they teach. From afar, the quickest assessment I would suggest is to look at the schedule and the more practical sessions they have scheduled, the better. Better yet, are practical half-day sessions where they bring in volunteers in make-up and with a script that you have assess and treat cold turkey.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Wilderness First Aid class? on 09/24/2012 23:26:25 MDT Print View