Meet the NCOAE Student: Tina Haver Currin, WEMT

Allie Hilbruner

November 20, 2023

Tina Currin’s dance card remains full after completing our 27-day Hybrid Wilderness EMT course this past March. For starters, Tina is currently wrapping up the Triple Crown of American long-distance hiking. In fact, she’s about 1,600 miles into the Continental Divide Trail, which runs the length of the Rockies — from Canada to Mexico.

NCOAE graduate Tina Currin hiking along the Continental Divide Trail

“I should be done in about a month, by which point I’ll have hiked more than 10,000 miles on National Scenic Trails across the USA,” she recently told us. We should note that traversing the Divide isn’t the first of her long-distance backpacking rodeos. Tina’s also tackled the Appalachian & Pacific Crest Trails, as well as major trail systems in Arizona, Florida and throughout New England.

Depending on the season, Tina is a freelance writer, National Park Service (NPS) Ranger, and a long-distance backpacker. She’s worked as a ski liftie, spent a summer season guiding cave tours, and organized large-scale charity events and bike races.

Professionally, Tina has created content for the NPS’ social media accounts and currently contributes articles to She also writes blog posts and conducts product testing for Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Nashville Pack and Equipment Company. And she occasionally contributes what she terms “grainy photographs” to Outside Magazine.

Why Tina Chose NCOAE’s W-EMT Course

So, with a schedule that makes her feel “like a strange assemblage of a zillion somewhat-related skills stuffed inside a hiker’s body,” why did this backcountry wonder carve out a full month of time for NCOAE’s intensive W-EMT training program?

Tina said the reason she signed up for the W-EMT course was to prepare herself for journeys across high mountain ranges, lonesome desert stretches, and long road walks — all offering little or no easy access to medical attention. And since she spends most of that time in the backcountry, usually several hours from the nearest town, her new skills leave her better equipped to help herself or a fellow hiker in need.

NCOAE’s hybrid W-EMT training places an emphasis on scenarios and hands-on activities that include clinicals, patient assessment drills, and real-world simulations in the field. The course features five days of wilderness medicine training, followed by 21 days of intensive EMT training on-site at our campus in Wilmington, N.C.

The program requires students to complete 30 to 50 hours of pre-course study and testing prior to the hands-on training at NCOAE’s campus. Students who complete this training are eligible to sit for both state EMT credentials and the National Registry of EMT’s exam (NREMT).

For more details about the course, visit out Hybrid W-EMT page.

Tina’s Story

Tina said that since becoming a Wilderness EMT, she has worked as a backcountry instructor for the YMCA of Atlanta, serving as the primary medical point of contact for dozens for backcountry program participants on their first weeklong hiking trips. She said that she was not only available to handle myriad medical issues that arise with new-to-backpacking teens, but also able to instill a sense of wonder and confidence in these new backcountry travelers.

Prior to investing a lot of her time in all things outdoors, Tina worked as a consultant to musicians Dave Matthews, Duran Duran, and Mumford and Sons in order to raise $250,000 for LGBTQ rights in North Carolina. Her social-justice-meets-social-media campaigns have been covered by The Atlantic, Washington Post, Forbes, NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, BBC, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Cosmo, and Buzzfeed, to name a few.

These days, Tina says she loves to apply her writing, editing, and social media experience to help social justice, climate-forward, and outdoor brands with product highlights, ideas, or content. You can read more about Tina’s extensive social conscience escapades and writings by visiting her website.

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About the Author: Allie Hilbruner is The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education’s (NCOAE) Admissions Director.

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