Wilderness Medicine

Wilderness First Aid (Hybrid)

Ages 15+  |  2 days  |  Starting at $265
NCOAE offers skillful medical first-aid training for outdoor educators looking to professionally certify their emergency preparedness while working in the field.
An NCOAE wilderness first aid student wrapping a bandage around a patient's leg.

Adventure First

The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) offers skillful medical first-aid training for outdoor educators looking to professionally certify their emergency preparedness while working in the field.

The Hybrid Wilderness First Aid training allows individuals to complete a significant part of their training ahead of time through online study and testing, in combination with two-day practical training at an NCOAE campus or other hosted training site.

Unlike standard first aid training and medical courses, which assume locations and resources available in urban environments, trainings in wilderness medicine teach how to manage medical emergencies in remote settings.

During this wilderness medicine course, take a hands-on stance while earning a wilderness first-aid certification and adapt your outdoor survival skills all while learning how to become a better and more effective leader to those around you.

When successfully completed, participants in this course will have the ability — and confidence — to perform first aid on people suffering major and minor traumatic injuries, common environmental illnesses, and medical emergencies that occur in remote or wilderness settings.


  • Wilderness First Aid certification
  • Course topics include: intro to trauma, concussions, bleeding and shock, respiratory distress and arrest, spine and cord injury assessment, treatment of wounds and more.
  • Environmental topics include: dehydration, heat illness, sun exposure, hypothermia and cold injuries, allergies, wilderness toxins and more.
  • Also covered: Infectious diseases; Atherosclerosis, Angina, Heart Attack and Stroke; and additional medical emergencies.

Course Details

2 days
Credit Hours
Register for Course
Skills Acquired

This course is scheduled for 2 days or 36 to 40 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion students will receive certification in Wilderness First Aid. Certification is valid for three years.

Successful WFA certification is based on 100% attendance, passing grades on homework assignments and written quizzes, learned competence of practical skills, and a passing grade on the final written exam.

Please note there is no refund available after course registration due to the nature of this course, including private access of personal information through the external website and testing site, and the books and materials mailed.

Certifications are valid for three years. Upon expiry, students must retake the WFA course or should consider a Wilderness First Responder upgrade.


Academic Credits

Your work during our Hybrid Wilderness First-Aid Training may be eligible for 1 college-level credit through the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Non-UNCW students have to apply as non-degree seeking at UNCW in order to register for the credits and then transfer them back to your home institution. It is up to your home institution to see if they are accepted within their curriculum.

A wilderness medicine instructor treating a patient on a lake shore.


  • Complete and pass a 20-40 hour self-study course beforehand, and complete the hands-on training at the NCOAE campus or other hosted training sites.
  • Given the short duration of this course, NCOAE places an emphasis on scenarios and hands-on activities, to complement classroom lectures.
  • Participants will be involved in patient assessment drills and simulations in the field.
  • This on site component of this training takes place at the NCOAE campus. During the course, students have 24-hour access to our restrooms, shower facilities, kitchenette, wi-fi, and an on-site classroom. Housing options include staying on site with fellow students in a rustic cabin, pitching your own tent, or exploring the wide variety of local rental and hotel options. We’re located just minutes from Carolina Beach!

On the Map

  • NCOAE Wilmington, NC

Talk to Us

Have any further questions about the course location, what you'll learn, or what else to expect? Contact us, we're here to help!





Frequently Asked Questions

How does the your Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course differ from other wilderness first aid training programs of its kind?

Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Training combines home study with a two-day practical session at our training facility in Wilmington, North Carolina (NC). The course is designed for people who have limited time to be away from home, work, or school.

Why is your Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training described as a 'hybrid' program?

Our Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training involves both self-studies (at home) through an online course followed by practical, hands-on skills training at our facility in Wilmington, North Carolina (NC). You acquire the knowledge you need on your own time at your own pace and then have the opportunity to apply that knowledge in a wilderness setting and obtain feedback from qualified trainers. This is described as a “hybrid” program because of the self-study component.

What is the total time commitment required to complete your Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training course?

Plan to spend 20 to 40 hours studying and taking tests at home and two days away from home attending the practical skills training sessions.

After I register and pay for the Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, what can I expect?

After you register and pay for the Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, we will send you two email messages: one to access the online study site and the other to take the test. We recommend that you read and study the material carefully, so you are confident that you have mastered the material prior to taking the test.

What happens if I fail the Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification test? Do I get to retake it?

You will have three (3) attempts to pass your online test with an 80% or better. It’s our strong recommendation that if you fail your WFA online test once, you reach out to your WFA instructor via email to ask for some support. Our instructors are committed to your success and will be willing to schedule a call with you to help you understand where you went wrong and help you better understand medical concepts, diagnosis, current v/s anticipated medical problems.

What is different between the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training? Which training should I take?

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training helps you develop a basic understanding of medical concepts and the skills required to perform first aid on people suffering traumatic injuries, common environmental illnesses, and medical emergencies that occur in wilderness settings and other remote areas. This training is geared for weekend warriors taking one- to three-day trips in the wilderness with access to definitive care and emergency medical services (EMS) transport.

The Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training provides advanced wilderness first aid and medical training for those spending weeks to months in the wilderness on expeditions lasting several days. As with the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, you develop the skills required to perform first aid on people suffering traumatic injuries, common environmental illnesses, and medical emergencies that occur in remote areas and wilderness settings. Lead outdoor educators, military personnel, certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and those involved in search and rescue should take the Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training course.

Does the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training course include CPR training and certification?

No. CPR is not included in the Wilderness First Aid training course. However, our the Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Wilderness EMT (WEMT) course include Wilderness CPR training with a three-year certification. We also offer custom WFA courses for groups, and these custom courses may include CPR training and certification at an additional cost.

After completing the Hybrid Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, do I receive any proof of certification?

Yes. After you successfully complete the WFA course, we present you with a certification card and a WFA patch and sticker. In addition, you or a prospective employer can call or email us at any time to verify your certification. Email your proof of certification request to studentservices@ncoae.org with “WFA Proof of Certification Request” in the subject line. Please include your full name. If we receive the request via email, we will return proof of certification via email. We can also verify certification over the phone or ship proof of certification to a designated mailing address; call us at (910) 399-8090.

How long does my WFA certification remain active?

Your Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification lasts for three (3) years from the date it is issued.

What do I need to do to get recertified?

To get recertified, you must retake the WFA training course (Hybrid). We provide no shortcuts to WFA recertification.

However, if you are a certified Wilderness EMT (WEMT) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR), you can take the Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Recertification course before your certification expires to become recertified. If you let your certification lapse, you must take the entire WEMT or WFR course again to get recertified.

We strongly recommend that you take the full Wilderness EMT or WFR course every six (6) years as a refresher regardless of whether you qualify for recertification.

Can my WFA certification be extended?

No (and no exceptions). However, assuming we have your email address, we will email you a reminder about four months prior to the date on which your WFA certification is set to expire, giving you sufficient time to register for and retake the course. Make sure we have your current email address on file.

I received wilderness first aid training elsewhere. Can I recertify through you?

No. Please provide your WFA proof of certification, including its expiration date, and we can help you schedule the Hybrid WFA training course required to obtain certification through us.

I lost my WFA certification card. What should I do to get a replacement?

To purchase a new WFA certification card, email us at studentservices@ncoae.org and type “lost card” in the subject line. Please include your full name and mailing address, the date and location of your course, and the name of your WFA instructor. Or call us at (910) 399-8090 and be prepared to supply this information over the phone.

Is your Hybrid Wilderness First Aid course accredited?

Yes, all NCOAE Wilderness Medicine training courses are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).


Yes, NCOAE’s Hybrid Wilderness First Aid course is eligible for continuing education credits through our accreditor, CAPCE.

An instructor showing a student a map.

I think the instructors were amazing. Both were very detailed. The course went at a pace that wasn’t too slow or too fast. They were both down to earth and had a sense of humor…

Tess Prestage, Distance Learning Program/Hybrid WFR Graduate North Carolina