Wilderness First Aid (WFA) provides and introduction to general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures.
The Mazamas Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, provided in collaboration with Base Medical, will teach students critical skills for providing basic first aid in the backcountry. Students will learn the foundations of determining scene safety, patient assessment, and identifying common injuries and illness. The course will develop basic first aid knowledge and skills, with a focus on stabilizing and managing a patient in a wilderness setting, where higher levels of care are often hours away.
The WFA is presented as a hybrid model, combining self-paced online learning with an in-person skills day at the MMC. Registered students will be provided with access to online content 3 weeks prior to their skills day and are expected to complete this 48 hours before their practical date. This video based material will allow students to review content at home, where they are encouraged to practice techniques with friends or family. The skills day will allow students to demonstrate their skills learned at home through scenarios and hands on learning. A final online exam must be completed and passed with a score of 80% or higher within seven days of completing the in-person practical portion of the course.
Part One: Online Learning
An individual code will be sent to students to begin the online portion. Students have 7 days from receiving the link to create an account and sign in to Base Medical to stay enrolled in the class. All lectures are video-based and the course can be taken at your own pace as long as you finish 48 hours before your practical. Review as many times as necessary. Practice scenarios at home. When you are ready, take the initial online exam to prepare for the practical training.
Part Two: Practical Training
The in-person practical training focuses on demonstrating the hands-on skills you’ve learned through the online materials.
Part Three: Online Final Assessment
After completing the in-person practical, students will be sent a link to their final assessment test. This test must be passed with a score of 80% or higher within 7 days of completing the in-person practical. Upon successful completion of all sections of the course and the final assessment, students will be awarded a nationally recognized Wilderness First Aid certification.
Scope of Education
Patient Assessment System
Scene & Management
- Scene Assessment
- Medical Legal
- Decision Making
- Basic Lifts / Moves
- Wound Management
- Hypothermia & Frostbite
- Heat illnesses
- High Altitude
COVID precautions will be strictly followed during the skills session to ensure a safe learning environment for all participants. Masks will be worn at all times while inside the MMC and anytime 6 feet distance can not be maintained outdoors as well. All students performing the practical in-person will be given their own set of first aid supplies to be used only on themselves the day of the practical. If you are participating in the full remote course, please see the list of supplies at the bottom of this page. If there is a surge in COVID cases, we reserve the right to either postpone or change to remote options.
Mazama activity/event participants are required to sign a liability waiver along with a Covid-19 Acknowledgement of Risk. See Mazamas Covid-19 policy for more details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long will my WFA certification last?
A: WFA Certification lasts for 2 years. Recertification for WFA can be done through the Mazamas or any other nationally recognized provider.
Q: Is MFA recertifcation available for climb leaders in 2020-21?
A: See the MFA Recert page on information on MFA recerts.
Q: Does this count for an MFA badge?
A: No. This is only WFA Certification. The First Aid committee is currently working on how WFA will combine with additional module(s) to provide students with MFA certification starting in 2021. Please be patient and stay tuned as we work through this process.
Q: CAN I RESCHEDULE MY PRACTICAL DATE?
A: Unfortunately reschedules cannot be accommodated.
Q: I WOULD LIKE TO DO THIS COURSE WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD I HAVE BEEN QUARANTINING WITH, SHOULD I MENTION THIS TO THE MAZAMAS?
A: Yes! Please send an email when you register for the course to email@example.com if multiple members of your household that have been quarantining together will be signing up for this course.
Q: I AM A CLIMB OR ACTIVITY LEADER, DO I ATTEND THE COURSE FOR FREE?
A: No. There is a discount rate for climb/activity leaders. Contact Help@Mazamas.org for pricing
If you are participating in the remote WFA practical training, you will need the following:
- Computer with internet access with a WiFi camera (built in or added on), and a microphone. Participation in this course requires the ability to see and evaluate you; you cannot participate by phone.
- Friend or family member to serve as a patient intermittently
- 2 triangle bandages/cravats (homemade or purchased)
- 1 pair trauma shears or scissors
- 1 set of steri-strips (or bandaids or tape)
- 2 roller gauze or bandaging (homemade or purchased)
- 1 2” ace bandage
- 1 transparent dressing (optional)
- 1 cardboard or foam aluminum splint
- 1 red non-permanent marker
- 1 tarp or ground cover
- 1 sleeping bag/blanket
- 1 sleeping pad
- Pen and paper
- Watch or timing device
- Medical gloves
- Water bottle
- Set of extra clothing
- Optional: Printed notes or patient care forms from Base Medical Course
Upcoming WFA Courses
The course will accommodate 20 students for an in-person practical skills day.
Moderate. WFA is a low time commitment course.
- 20-22 hours
- 8 hours of online content
- 4-6 hours of self-directed practice at home with scenarios
- 8 hours practical skills session at the MMC or Zoom
Students will have access to online content for roughly 3 weeks before their skills day.
- $175 for members
- $225 for non-members
At this time, scholarships are not available for WFA courses. We hope to develop a program for this in the near future, please check back for more details.
Online: Home or other location with internet access.
Practical: Practical skills sessions are held at Mazama Mountaineering Center, Holman Auditorium at 527 SE 43rd Avenue, Portland, OR or Mazama Lodge located in Government Camp, OR
- 18 years old or older
- Computer and internet access
- Ability and desire to complete the entire course of study
- CPR training strongly encouraged
Applications will be processed by the First Aid committee. Students will be notified of their acceptance status about 1-2 weeks after applications close.
Applications are prioritized as follows:
- Climb leaders and leadership development candidates
- Mazamas activity leaders
- ICS Students
- General interest by order of date application is received
WFA certification through Base Medical is valid and current for two years.
- Paper, Pen
- Insolite Pad (full body; required for patient assessment)
- Knee pad (classroom has hardwood floors (optional))
- Backpack with appropriate gear
- Covid PPE: Mask. Indoor usage face coverings/masks must be a minimum of a double layer of fabric or a multilayer disposable mask.
- Cancellations received at least 14 days in advance of the class may request a refund less a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
- Cancellations received less than 14 days and greater than 7 in advance of class may request a 50% refund.
- Cancellations received less than 7 days in advance, no shows, or withdrawals after the class begins will not be issued a refund
- Cancellations due to medical issues will be considered on a case by case basis and will require coordination with the Mazamas office to be considered.
- If a course is cancelled after it has begun, you will be issued a pro-rated refund based on the sessions delivered and the prepaid expenses. Cancellations due to exposure to or contraction of COVID-19 will be eligible for a pro-rated refund.
- We reserve the right to change class locations if necessary due to weather or other circumstances; no refunds will be offered due to location changes as long as the class is held.
- Please note cancellation policy before applying; if the course is cancelled you will receive a full refund.
- Classes with low enrollment may be cancelled. If a class is cancelled we will notify you promptly.
- The class is only available to enrolled students. No auditing allowed.
- Pets are not allowed.