Aerie Backcountry Medicine

General Information & Overview

Aerie is happy to hold a course at your facility for your staff. Please request our Course Sponsor Information Packet for more details.

Number of Students

Our minimum class size is determined by course type.

  • WME/FA + CPR: 15
  • WFA/WFR–R: 15
  • WAFA: 15
  • AWLS: 15
  • WFR: 15
  • WEMT: 10

Aerie can provide a class to fewer students; however, we will charge for the appropriate minimum numbers. Other than classroom and field-exercise constraints, there is no maximum number of students. We have trained groups of over 250 people at a time.

Aerie can provide a class to fewer students; however, we will charge for the appropriate minimum numbers. There is no maximum number of students. The number of instructors attending your course will depend on the number of students.

Open or Closed Course

You can decide whether your course will be open to the public or not. If you do open your course to the public, please refer to the section entitled “Holding an Open Course.” If your course is not open to the public, please disregard that section.

Classroom Requirements

Our courses are generally half discussion and half hands-on work (scenarios and practical skills). The classroom space must be big enough to comfortably accommodate the number of expected students, with a reasonable amount of space for each of them to practice skills. Access to an outdoor area for scenarios and skill practice is also important.

Instructional Materials

Unless other arrangements have been made, Aerie provides manuals for every student and can provide all the first aid and instructional supplies for a course. Once a class has been confirmed, we will send you a sponsoring agency questionnaire. One of the main goals of this questionnaire is to determine what instructional supplies you have available at your facility (e.g. dry-erase board, digital projector with computer, slide projector, etc.). Filling the questionnaire out accurately helps us in determining what gear to bring with us to the course location. We can provide the instructional supplies, but if we are traveling to the course location, especially when flying, the less gear we need to bring with us, the easier it will be.

Instructor Accommodations

Our instructors will need reasonably good accommodations from the evening before the course begins through the last day of the course (or morning after if flying). If the instructors are arriving by plane, the sponsor should arrange to pick them up and drop them back off at the airport. Housing does not have to be anything special, as long as it is clean. If the entire course is a field course, and class participants will be camping, our instructors will camp as well. For food, our instructors will eat whatever is being served to the rest of the participants. If food & lodging are not provided, the cost of lodging and a per diem for food will be added to the invoice you receive after the course.

Aerie Courses

The four primary courses we offer to sponsors are:

  1. Wilderness Medicine Essentials (WME – 8 hours)
  2. Wilderness First Aid (WFA - 16 hours)
  3. Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA – 32 hours)
  4. Wilderness First Responder (WFR - 72 hours)

CPR certification is included with a WFR course, but not with a WFA course, although it can be added. We can also customize a course of any length for your agency. Please contact us to discuss custom courses.


Please contact the Aerie office for detailed pricing plan details. Discounted rates may be available to sponsoring agencies. The price a host-agency charges students is at their discretion, although we ask you maintain somewhat of a consistency with what we charge students for open classes. Please contact us or check our website for details.

Holding an Open Course

Sponsoring a course that is open to the public requires a few additional steps and considerations.

Registration: Sponsoring agencies are responsible for registering students, therefore whoever answers the phone or checks the email should have a good knowledge of the course logistics. Any content-related questions should be directed to the Aerie office, website, or email. When registering students, we highly recommend you charge a deposit of approximately half the course fee. In most cases if a student registers without a deposit, they will not show up for the class. Upon registering, a student should receive a confirmation package, which we can help you put together.

Room & Board for Students: Providing inexpensive room & board options for students is a great way to increase enrollment, especially if the course is in a remote location. This doesn't have to be anything fancy at all. For instance, a camping area option is usually sufficient.

Course Advertising: Aerie will work with you to help promote your course. Some of the most effective methods are also some of the least expensive. If requested, we will provide you with 50 full color flyers for free. Posting these at outdoor stores, climbing gyms, fitness centers, universities, and other bulletin boards can be very effective. Also, sending a press release or PSA to the local media is a good (free) way to gain exposure. We will also post your course on our website with your contact information. Placing a print ad in local newspapers is also effective, although somewhat more costly.

Course Cancellation: A course will generally be cancelled three weeks prior to its scheduled start date if five students have not made full deposits. In this case, student deposits are fully refunded. The sponsoring agency is responsible for contacting students and informing them of the cancellation.