NOLS Wilderness Advanced First Aid

River guides and other trip leading staff often require a more extensive training program than the Wilderness First Aid course. This five day course focuses on stabilization, treatment and evacuation guidelines of patients in backcountry environments.

NOLS Wilderness Medicine Communicable Disease Disclosure (English)

The WAFA course is designed for trip leaders and those traveling or working in remote areas who need a more extensive training program than the Wilderness First Aid course. This 5-day course focuses on stabilization, treatment and evacuation guidelines for patients in backcountry environments. Emphasis is placed on long term patient care management and specific injury evaluation.

Learning takes place both in the classroom and in outdoor settings regardless of weather conditions. Come prepared for wet, muddy, cold or hot environments.

Course Outline

The 40-hour Wilderness Advanced First Aid course includes many topics that other programs leave out such as reduction of dislocations, focused spine assessment and epinephrine administration.

WAFA Course Outline

Packing List

We try to be outside as much as possible regardless of the weather. Please come prepared so that you are comfortable.

NOLS WFR Gear List

General Information

Course Length

40 hours / 5 days



Certifications Received

NOLS Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification and NOLS Adult & Child CPR certification.

Certifications are current for two years.

Course Length

  • College Credit: (1 hour) for the WFA course is available through the University of Utah using the registration form included in your WFA folder, for an additional fee of $95.
  • This course is pre-approved for 32 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours (CEH) by CAPCE (formerly CECBEMS).
  • This course is approved by the United States Coast Guard to satisfy the first aid and CPR training requirements [46 CFR 11.205(e)(1)(i) &46 CFR 11.205(e)(2)(iv)] for a merchant mariner license.

Course Expectations

The WAFA course is ideal for guides and trip leaders on multiple day outings. This 5-day course gives 40 hours of contact time. Teaching methods include an emphasis on didactic lectures and hands-on, experiential workshops and scenarios. Your rescue gear needs to be packed and ready to go at any moment throughout the course. Please refer to and follow the WFR Rescue Gear List closely, and contact us with any questions you may have.

Bad things happen outdoors and usually in bad weather! So, be prepared for the weather…dress in layers that you can remove indoors or in the sun, and layer up when we go outside. Full rain protection is a necessity, both rain tops and pants. Your comfort and ability to pay attention during this intense course will be helped if you stay well-hydrated and have snacks on hand to munch during class. There is no exam for this course. Certification is based on student participation and instructor observation. WFR Recerts and WEMTs will be required to take a 50 question test and must score 70% or better, and will need to successfully complete a practical exam during the course. The course ends near 5PM on the last day with any required exams, student evaluations of the experience, and graduation. Please do not make travel plans that require an earlier departure or you will have to make alternative testing arrangements at a later course.