Could you act as a Wilderness First Responder?

February 14, 2017 | by


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3:00pm | You and your two friends just snapped epic summit photos on top of Crestone Peak on a beautiful fall afternoon. Sure the hike up was brutal, and you didn’t go as fast as you wanted, but you made it to the top and snapped the perfect selfie backdropped by the rugged Sangre de Cristos. Knowing that it’s a long way back to the car, you start descending back to Broken Hand Pass and are thankful that you all brought headlamps.

4:45pm | The downhill feels good on your approach to the final 800ft climb when you see a figure on the ground just past Cottonwood lake. As you near, you can tell that it’s a middle aged male; the jeans, cotton shirt, and 1980s wind breaker are a dead giveaway that he was in over his head.

This feels wrong.

“Hello? Are you ok” – the man incoherently moans something in response. His skin looks pale. You look at your friends to see if they know what to do, but they’re looking back at you the same way.

What would you do?


Thankfully, situations like the scenario above are relatively uncommon. Many recreational hikers may never find themselves in that situation. But if you spend enough time in the outdoors, then you’re probably going to be part of a scenario that requires you to give assistance to someone in your group or someone you run across.

 Living in the city, it’s easy to take for granted that help is never more than a few minutes away. But everything changes in the backcountry. Even if you’re pretty close to town, once you leave the parking lot the chances are that it will take hours for emergency medical services to reach you. Remoteness is the allure of the backcountry that carries with it inherent risk.

What can you do?

Pursuing wilderness medical training is the first step. A Wilderness First Aid is the standard if you’re near town, but once you’re even a few miles out, the benefit of a full Wilderness First Responder certification is clear.  See a full list of what you’ll learn in a WFR course/

Typically, pursuing a Wilderness First Responder certification requires a 10 day commitment that cuts into your vacation days. Until now.


This Spring, Expedition is teaming up with SOLO to provide a Weekend Wilderness First Responder certification. If you have a typical work week, this course is made for you.

Learn more at

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