How do I prepare for a wilderness medicine course?

Prepare for your wilderness medicine course by reading this FAQ.

Q. How is the course organized?

Wilderness medical courses are a mix of practical hands-on learning, combined with lectures. 

Q. How long does the wilderness medicine courses run each day?

Classes run approximately 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with a break for lunch.

Q. Do I have to attend the whole course?

100% attendance is required to receive certification.

Q. Will I get a confirmation that the wilderness medicine course is going ahead?

Approximately 7-10 days before the course, you will receive an email to confirm details such as classroom location, start time, the instructor’s name and contact information for any last minute issues.

Q. What do I need for the course?

  • Be prepared for note-taking
  • Watch with a second-hand or display for taking vitals
  • Indoor/outdoor clothing and footwear appropriate for any kind of weather
  • Clothing that can get dirty – students will be lying on the ground, and stage makeup is used during simulations

Q. Are there any extras that are “nice to have”?

  • Something to sit or lie on during simulations (eg. light sleeping mat)
  • Old blanket or sleeping bag
  • Gear that you’d have with you in the field – backpack, trekking poles, paddles, climbing rope, etc… so that you can practice with your own gear during scenarios.
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sunscreen, bug dope, sun-hat, sunglasses

Q. Is pre-reading required?

Only two courses require pre-reading. They are:

  • WFR Bridge- Please complete the WAFA to WFR Bridge Pre-Course Study Guide before the first day of your class.
  • WFR Re-Cert- As you instructor will be revieving the content from a full 80hr first responder we strongly reccommend all students thoroughly review the text or lecture notes from your previous course. To ensure you get the most out of the recert. Additionally you might find our Pre Course study guide helpful in reviewing key concepts.

Students registered for either of these will receive an e-mail with topics that should be reviewed before the course.

Q. Can I take the WFR Bridge course or the WFR Re-Cert if my original certification is not with Raven Medical?

Yes – in order to register from a different provider, you must supply your current certification to Raven Rescue upon booking.

Q.  How tough are these courses?

Students can expect full, intense days of instruction that are hard on your brain. Be prepared to focus on the course material, including evening review. It is not possible to engage in any other significant activity (ie: a part-time job or school) while participating in this course. Physically, this course can involve hiking and scrambling through wilderness settings – getting a little banged and bruised is not outside the realm of possibility while you’re in the field during this course.

Q.  What kind of paperwork do I get?

  • A certificate of completion (digital)
  • Healthcare Provider Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification
  • Course texts and manuals

Q.  Do I get a CPR certification during the course?


Upon successful completion of any course, students receive a CPR & AED certificartion for Adults. Child and infant CPR is only included in the WFR (80 hr) course.

Q. How long is my certification valid for?

Certification is valid for three years from date of issue.

Be sure to re-certify before your certification expires, or you may have to re-take the entire course again instead of the shorter re-cert.

Raven wilderness medicine course participants