Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

SOLO Wilderness First Responder (WFR) courses are the recognized industry standard for backcountry trip leaders, camp counselors, river guides, ski patrollers, and students in outdoor recreation programs. The WFR is a nine-day comprehensive course that covers all aspects of backcountry medicine. Students will gain knowledge, skills, and confidence in areas including musculoskeletal injuries, soft tissue injuries, environmental emergencies, survival skills, and other medical emergencies. SOLO Southeast’s WFR courses place an emphasis on leadership, prevention, and decision-making, giving you the tools to make critical decisions in remote wilderness locations. Skills are gained in traditional classroom sessions as well as through participation in practical skills scenarios.

All WFR classes include night scenarios and an adventure day.  During rafting season, the adventure day is spent doing training on the Nantahala River.  Through the winter or when rafting is not available, the scenario day is hiking-based.

We also offer a WFA-WFR Bridge Course for those who hold a current WFA/AWFA Certification and would like course that provides in-depth information on medical and environmental emergencies alongside the hands-on practice of backcountry first aid skills, building upon current skills.

Bryson City Lodging: Available through NOC
Bryson City Meals: Available through NOC’s Restaurants

Recommended For: Backcountry Trip Leaders, Camp Counselors, River Guides, Ski Patrollers, students in Outdoor Recreation Programs

Certifications Received:
• 3-Year Wilderness First Responder Certification
• CPR Certification

For Financial Aid Resources, click here.


Courses Dates

Wilderness First Responder Oct 14th - 22nd, 2023 Bryson City, NC $810
Wilderness First Responder Nov 11th - 19th, 2023 Bryson City, NC $810
Wilderness First Responder Dec 9th - 17th, 2023 Bryson City, NC $810

SOLO Southeast Reviews

"I've been a participant and a host of WFA and WFR classes for 20 years, and SOLO Southeast is by far the best company to work with. The teachers are confident and knowledgeable, and the administrators are kind and easy to work with." -Kyndra Luce, Famous Adventures

"Randy is an absolutely phenomenal instructor, his passion for teaching is evident and translated in the quality of his instruction." - Former WFR Student

"Good mix between scenarios and classroom instruction. Great organization of class materials and great interaction with students." - Former SOLO Student

"This was my second full WFR and I was glad to have done the full course. The instructors made the course both engaging and relevant. Whenever questions came up they were able to pull from a wealth of knowledge and bring real-life context to their answers. I particularly appreciated how nuanced many of their answers were. They rarely spoke in absolutes and balanced their responses with references to the changing understanding in the industry." - Russell Hobart, Assistant Director of Climbing Programs, UNC Chapel Hill


Course Outline


Course Topics

  • Anatomy & Physiology of Respiratory
  • System and Cardiothoracic Region
  • A & P of the Cardiovascular System
  • A & P of the Central Nervous System
  • A & P of the Gastrointestinal System & Genitourinary System
  • A & P of the Integumentary System
  • A & P of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Abdominal Trauma
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Altitude-Related Injuries
  • Automated External Defibrillation (AED)
  • Bites & Stings: Animals & Plants
  • Bivouac Skills
  • Bloodborne Pathogens & Infectious Disease
  • Body Systems: Anatomy & Physiology
  • Burns
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Changes in Level of Conciousness
  • Chest Pain
  • Chest Trauma
  • Cold-Related Injuries
  • Common Expedition Problems
  • CPR Considerations in the Remove Environment
  • CPR Practical Exam
  • Diabetic Emergencies
  • Dislocations & Reduction Techniques
  • Drowning-Related Injuries
  • Environmental Emergencies
  • Fractures & Splinting Techniques
  • Group Preventative Medicine
  • Head Trauma
  • Heat-Related Injuries
  • History taking & SAMPLE
  • Improvising Litters
  • Leadership in a Backcountry
  • Emergency Lifting & Moving Techniques
  • Lightning-Related Injuries
  • Long-Term Patient Care
  • Long-Term Management of the Shock Victim
  • Long-Term Wound Care
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Medical Emergencies and Patient Assessment
  • Medicolegal Issues
  • Mock Rescue
  • Organizing the Rescue
  • PAS in the Extreme Environment
  • Patient Assessment System (PAS)
  • Poisoning
  • Primary Survey: "The First Five Minutes"
  • Prudent Heart Living
  • Role of the Wilderness First Responder
  • Secondary Survey & Vital Signs
  • Shock & Bleeding Control
  • Shortness of Breath
  • SOAPnote & Getting Help
  • Soft Tissue Injuries & Bandaging Skills
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury Management
  • Splinting Practice
  • Sprains & Strains
  • Techniques of CPR & CPR Skills
  • The Anatomy of a Backcountry Crisis
  • The Ten Essentials
  • Use of Epinephrine
  • Wilderness Stabilization & Bivouac
  • Wilderness versus Urban First Responder
  • Wilderness First Responder Practical Exam
  • Wilderness First Responder Written Exam

Course Notes:

The WFR provides full feedback and instruction while covering topics from anatomy & physiology to wilderness survival skills. Hands-on course labs, scenarios, and repetition ensure students are engaged and learning for the duration of the course. A favorite for many in the course is the on-site river scenario and night scenario to practiced learned skills.



Course In Action Photos


Packing List


Print the course packing list by clicking on the print icon to the right. 

You should plan to have clothing appropriate to the season in which you will be taking the class, as you will spend a significant amount of time outside. The following list is to SUPPLEMENT the clothing you will be wearing. If you have trouble locating some of these items please call us as we have a limited amount for loan.

Necessary items (for all classes)

  • Backpack to put everything in (medium to large)
  • Rain gear (tops and bottoms)
  • Layers of clothing (for splinting exercises and to keep yourself warm during scenarios)
  • Warm hat or sun hat
  • Water bottles (at least 1 qt/litre)
  • Some snacks
  • Pen and notepad
  • Wrist Watch (cell phone is not sufficient)
  • Foot wear appropriate to the terrain (closed toes, no flip flops)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen

Additional items

(Optional for WFA, Required for AWFA, WFR, WEMT, WEMT Module)

  • Old Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Footwear you don't mind getting wet
  • Knife
  • Plastic tarp or groundsheet (min 6’X6’)
  • Head light
  • Sleeping pad (ensolite or thermarest)
  • Personal first aid kit (Band-Aids etc)
  • Trekking poles (useful but not required)

Connect With Us

Request Information

Newsletter Sign Up