About SOLO Southeast

SOLO Southeast at NOC

Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is proud to be the Southeastern home for SOLO Southeast, leaders in wilderness medicine training. Situated at the intersection of the Nantahala River and the Appalachian Trail, NOC is the perfect location to offer specialized training and industry-recognized certification opportunities for outdoor trip leaders, disaster relief workers, military teams, physicians and other medical professionals seeking an exceptional experience.

Our History

SOLO (Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities) is the oldest continuously operated school of Wilderness Medicine in the world. Since 1976, with the opening of the SOLO campus in New Hampshire, SOLO has been the undisputed leader in wilderness medicine. SOLO offers top notch industry recognized courses across the United States and around the world.

Hands-On with SOLO

The SOLO Southeast curriculum is very hands-on and takes advantage of the many outdoor resources available on our 400+ acre campus located in the Western North Carolina mountains. We believe in experienced-based education and strive to provide our students with the best learning opportunities so they can react to unique medical situations they may encounter in the outdoors. Students learn how to assess the scene, organize themselves to best address the situation, take the necessary precautions to ensure they and their group are safe, assess and stabilize the patient(s), doing so using the limited resources and gear they might have with them during a remote backcountry adventure. We alternate between the classroom and outdoor scenarios, utilizing stage make-up and props to simulate injuries, to provide our students with a learning environment to acquire the skills, gain the hands-on practice, and instill the self-confidence needed to perform under the stresses of a backcountry medical situation.

SOLO’s Open-Learning Philosophy

We teach medicine by building a foundation of principles and systems, with an emphasis on anatomy and physiology. Unlike memorizing facts, building a solid base of information gives students the tools to interpret emergencies, apply sound judgment, and confidently make decisions. We believe that medicine is an art as much as it is a science. Learning to interact professionally and compassionately with patients, bystanders, and other emergency medical providers is as important as providing the correct treatment. We teach prevention first, treatment second, and emphasize a wilderness ethic of respect and stewardship.

SOLO strives to provide a physically and psychologically comfortable atmosphere in our classes. We design our curriculum to accommodate a wide range of learning styles by combining lectures with demonstrations and hands-on practice sessions. Our open learning environment encourages group discussion, participatory learning, and exploration. Students and instructors constantly learn from one another. Fundamental to all SOLO programs is our belief that students learn to problem solve through practice and experience.

SOLO Southeast Testimonials

My experience with WFA training this past fall was well organized and a lot of fun. This was my first exposure to wilderness medicine and I found the 2 day course insightful and very helpful. I would highly recommend this entry level course to anyone needing practical skills in a wilderness environment.
— Neal H. Guffey Jr. MD - Medical Director, Red Oak Recovery Program

I have had the pleasure of training with SOLO Southeast for my WFA, my WFR, and my recent WFR Recertification. As the Medical Coordinator for Red Oak Recovery, an outdoor-based addiction recovery program, I need to assure that all our direct care staff are trained to handle any programs that might happen in the outdoors, year round. There was no question that SOLO Southeast would be our trainers. Their expertise, flexibility, the fact that they have trainings frequently throughout the year, and their reputation made them the obvious choice. I Have no doubt that our field staff are the best equipped staff we've ever had, now that we train through SOLO Southeast. Also, when I received my certification as an EMT, my choice to get certified as a Wilderness EMT was SOLO Southeast, of course. I look forward to many years of working together.
— Bob Cummings CSAPC, WEMT - Medical Coordinator, Red Oak Recovery Program

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