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Big Bend National Park: Wilderness First Aid Courses

A regularly used, half beaten up green first aid bag

When we think of outdoor survival and first-aid, Bear Grylls may spring to mind. As fun and interesting as his tv shows are, we encourage people to take their wilderness survival skills to the next level with a hands-on approach, without the tv cameras.

Why is taking a wilderness first aid course important?

Our wilderness first aid courses are designed for outdoor guides and enthusiasts to gain expert knowledge on general medical concepts and basic life support skills. From weekend family trekking trips in the mountains to the more adventurous who go weeks exploring the backcountry wilderness, you’ll gain the knowledge, the confidence, and the skills to prepare you for a variety of emergency situations. Become proficient in providing effective treatment for common injuries and illnesses in the outdoors, study how to manage environmental emergencies, learn how to make emergency evacuation decisions, and much more. The skills that you will learn in our courses (CPR, how to dress a wound, etc) are 100% transferable to everyday life too, it doesn’t just have to be used in the great outdoors.

Who will teach the courses?

All of our wilderness courses are taught by fully-qualified Emergency Medical Technicians who have been taking these types of courses since 2000. They have an incredible wealth of knowledge in wilderness first aid and medicine, as well as years of teaching experience —the only people you want to be learning from!

So let’s break down the course options:

Wilderness First Aid

Prepare for the unexpected with this fun, hands-on introduction to wilderness medicine. This course is designed for those who enjoy short trips, family outdoor activities, or outdoor sports hobbies and who stay fairly close to medical resources (hospitals, mountain rescue centers, etc).

What you’ll learn:

  • Patient Assessment System (an in-depth tried and trusted method of assessing medical problems in the field)
  • How to provide effective first aid treatments for injuries and illnesses common in the outdoors
  • How to manage environmental emergencies
  • How to make appropriate evacuation decisions.

You will spend half your time practicing the newly developed skills and the other half participating in realistic scenarios.

Successful course completion will earn the following NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Wilderness Medicine certifications:

  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Epinephrine Auto-Injector

Click here to view the Wilderness First Aid course

Wilderness Advanced First Aid

Are you an explorer of the wild and the extreme? Are rivers and mountains your second home? Then this course is for you. It’s designed for anyone who enjoys spending time in the backcountry and understands the inherent risks that come with exploring that setting. This 40-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) curriculum emphasizes long-term care and includes more practice time than an introductory level Wilderness First Aid course.

The course includes:

  • A range of assessments; trauma, environmental, and medical topics
  • Practical scenarios, case studies, and skills practice sessions
  • An up-to-date wilderness medicine curriculum delivered in an intensive, hands-on format
  • Building confidence to make treatment and evacuation decisions for your clients, friends, or family members

And upon successful completion of this course, you will receive the following NOLS Wilderness Medicine certifications:

  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid
  • Adult, and Child CPR & Airway Management
  • Epinephrine Auto-Injector

Click here to view the Wilderness Advanced First Aid

If one of these courses interests you, check out the links below each section for more information or contact us if you have any further questions. And don’t worry about where to stay, we have that covered too! Our casitas are cozy, comfortable, and the best place to relax after an intensive day of wilderness first aid and medicine training!

– Greg