Wilderness Medicine

Wilderness First Responder (Hybrid)

5  |  Starting at $815
NCOAE offers the industry-standard wilderness medicine course that provides hands-on medical training combined with skills in outdoor leadership and critical thinking for professionals in remote and wilderness settings.
A wilderness medicine personnel examining a patient in a field.

Adventure First

The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) offers a Hybrid Wilderness First Responder training (Hybrid WFR), the industry-standard wilderness medicine course providing hands-on medical training, combined with skills in outdoor leadership, and critical thinking for professionals in remote and wilderness settings.

For professionals in outdoor education, wilderness guiding, search and rescue, and more, the Hybrid WFR from NCOAE offers a unique alternative to the traditional WFR course. The Hybrid WFR training requires 30-50 hours of independent study and successful completion of three online exams, prior to the five-day practical training at an NCOAE campus or other hosted training site.

The Hybrid WFR curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential medical foundation combined with required skills for accessing and managing medical issues in remote and wilderness environments. This course best suited for those who want to earn their Wilderness First Responder certification and become a better leader.

When successfully completed, participants in this course will have the ability — and confidence — to respond to people suffering major and minor traumatic injuries, common environmental illnesses, and medical emergencies in a remote area or wilderness setting.


  • Wilderness First-Responder certification, valid for three years.
  • Adult and Child Wilderness CPR and AED certification, valid for two years.
  • This NCOAE-sponsored training exceeds the Wilderness First Responder & WEMT Scope of Practice requirements endorsed by the Wilderness Medical Society.
  • Course topics include: The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic environmental and medical mechanisms of injury. This includes, but is not limited to wound cleaning, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, CPR in remote settings, anaphylaxis, and asthma.

Course Details

5 days
Credit Hours
Register for Course
Skills Acquired

This training includes a foundation of wildness medicine philosophy, with an emphasis on preventing and identifying medical emergencies, using appropriate technology, and understanding risk management.

The Hybrid WFR replaces eight traditional days of instruction with a combined independent study and five-day on-site format. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Wilderness First Responder certification and certification of CPR taught to an equivalent health care provider level. Certifications are valid for three years.


Academic Credits

Your work during our Hybrid Wilderness First-Responder Training may be eligible for up to 3 college-level credits 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.


  • With the Hybrid WFR, you prepare for the practical session using the Standard WFR training materials and an interactive website supported by video, audio, and animations that comprehensively address the lecture material.
  • Given the short duration of this course, NCOAE places an emphasis on scenarios and hands-on activities, to complement classroom lectures.
    There will be daily homework requirement expectations during the on-site course.
  • 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 is the Hybrid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) different from other WFR courses?

The hybrid training is unique in that it requires you to be away from home, work or school for only five days instead of the nine-day program required with traditional Wilderness First Responder training.

What exactly makes your Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training ‘Hybrid’?

Our Hybrid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) training requires you to spend 30 to 50 hours with at-home study and testing prior to attending the five-day practical skills training. After registering and paying for your training, we will send you two emails. The first will be to access the online study site; the second will be for taking the test online. You need to make sure you give yourself enough time to thoroughly read the information on the website in order to properly prepare for testing.

As a certified Wilderness First Responder (from your organization), how do I replace a missing WFR certification card?

You can contact us at studentservices@ncoae.org and write “lost card” in the subject line to purchase a new card. When seeking to buy a new card, please include your full name, mailing address, date and location of your course, and the name of your WFR instructor. Or if you prefer, you can call us at (910) 399-8090.

What do certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR) graduates receive after completing the course?

Grads receive a certification card, a WFR patch and a sticker. Graduates or potential employers can call or email us at any time to verify your certification. For those who contact us online, we will happily send them proof of certification by return email. Proof of Certification requests should be sent to studentservices@ncoae.org with “WFR Proof of Certification Request” in the subject line.

How many years is my Wilderness First Responder certification in effect? And how do I get recertified?

Your Wilderness First Responder certification expires three (3) years from the date the certification was issued, but Wilderness EMT and WFR grads can become recertified by taking a standard or hybrid course. Students who let their certification lapse must take the entire course again. But even with current certification, we strongly suggest you take the full course every six (6) years as a refresher.

Can I get an extension on my Wilderness First Responder certification?

There are no exceptions here — Wilderness First Responder certifications cannot be extended beyond the expiration date listed on your WFR certification card. And being late by one day past that expiration date makes for a sad story, but there is no grace period. It’s advisable to recertify before the expiration date, which requires only a minimum of planning on your part. That’s why we send out an e-mail reminder to graduates about four months prior to their expiration date. To assure you receive your email reminder to renew your Wilderness First Responder, please make sure your current e-mail address is on file with our office.

What if I received my certification elsewhere? Can I recertify with you?

With a current WFR certification card that is not expired, you can recertify through our Hybrid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Recertification course. We’ll need you to provide your card with its expiration date. And, as mentioned above, if your card has expired, you must take the entire course again until you successfully pass our recertification course.

Will I receive CPR training and certification along with my Wilderness First Responder certification?

You will receive a three-year certification in Wilderness CPR (WCPR). Our WCPR training follows the guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA).


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

Is your Hybrid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) eligible for EMT continuing education credits?

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

An instructor showing a student a map.

This course was absolutely amazing.
I learned more than I ever expected.. not only the wilderness medicine material but also about myself, others and the world around me. I met really wonderful people and made some bonds that will stay with me forever. This week was more than I could have ever hoped for and I will never forget it… I also officially have my Wilderness First Responder certification!

Tess Abigal, WFR Graduate, Oswego IL

The Instructors were very professional, fun and considerate for the students
They made learning difficult concepts very easy and engaging. They had great lecture materials and time management skills. I liked that the majority of the course was hands-on- real life scenarios rather then a lecture based scenarios.

Kathleen Kiger, Wilderness First Responder Graduate

I loved the DLP WFR format. Going into class having already read the textbook was extremely helpful. The Wilderness Medicine Concepts were explained really well, while not going into too much detail, and using plenty…

Ellie Bolster, Distance Learning Program/Hybrid WFR Graduate North Carolina