Frequently Asked Questions

Before the Course

What is Wilderness Medicine?

The practice of medicine where definitive care is more than one hour away, and often days to weeks away. The practice of wilderness medicine is defined by difficult patient access, limited equipment, and environmental extremes.

What if I have no wilderness medicine experience?

WLS is designed to provide you with a foundation in Wilderness Medicine. Although there may be other people attending a course with higher levels of experience it is a great environment in which to network and learn from other course participants. WLS is appropriate for newcomers and more experienced Wilderness Medicine practitioners. If you are a medical professional you should consider taking AWLS.

During the Course

Can I receive a textbook prior to the course?

Yes, once you have registered for a course you will be provided a password to download the complete WLS textbook in digital form from the website on the “Curriculum” tab. If you would like a hard copy of the textbook please respond to your registration confirmation, which you will receive via email, that you want a hard copy text and one will be provided to you at the course. The majority of the course material will be available to you in the online study modules, which you should complete prior to the live portion of the course.

Given that this course involves time spent both in the classroom and outside working on practical scenarios, one should take the weather forecast into consideration and wear comfortable clothes similar to what you would wear hiking.

What if I have to cancel?

No refunds will be given within 30 days of the date of the start of the conference. If you need to cancel within the 30-day period, we will apply your payment to a future WLS course of your choosing to be used within two years of the date of the cancelled course. All refunds are subject to a 10% processing fee.

After the Course

How long does the certification last?

A WLS certification lasts for 2 years from the completion of your course.
Due to the changing nature of the wilderness medical field and the relatively short time frame of our course, we do not offer a re-certification course. Instead you must retake the WLS course after two years in order to keep your certification.

Can I become an instructor?

WLS instructors must possess a BWLS (wilderness first responder) certification or be a medical professional to qualify as a WLS instructor. Please contact us at for more information.

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