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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I register for the course I want?

1. Go to the Register page listed under First Aid Training.

2. Choose between New Students - Regular Courses and  Eligible Returning Students - Skill-Boosters, Re-Certification and Upgrades.

New Students - Regular Courses shows:

Full courses such as: 
  • Explorer First AId (40 hrs)
  • Advanced Back Country First Aid (40 hrs)
  • Advanced Medicine First Aid (40 hrs)
  • Professional Challenge (56 hrs)

Stand-alone courses such as:
  • Emergency Communication (4 hrs)
  • Field Suturig (4 hrs)
  • CPR Level A Re-Certification (7 hrs)
  • CPR Level C Re-Certification (7 hrs)

Eligible Returning Students - Skill-Boosters, Re-Certification and Upgrades shows:

  • Explorer First Aid Skill Booster and Re-Certification (16 hrs)
  • Advanced Back Country First Aid Skill Booster (16 hrs) and Re-Certification (32 hrs)
  • Advanced Medicine First Aid Skill Booster and Re-Certification (8 hrs)
  • CPR Level A Re-Certification (7 hrs)
  • CPR Level C Re-Certification (7 hrs)

3. Select the course that you wish to register for, and click Proceed.

4. Fill out your Personal Information, and click Proceed.

5. Add any Products to your order that you wish to purchase and have delivered to you during the course you are registering for.

6. Confirm your order details, and complete payment. 

You will then receive a confirmation email outlining the details of your registration.

If you have any questions or are experiencing any difficulties with this process, please contact our office at 1-800-298-9919, or


Can I pay with a credit card?

Yes, we accept Visa and Mastercard.   If you register online, you can pay by credit card on our 256bit Secure payment page.

Is wilderness first aid equivalent to occupational first aid?

We can appreciate your desire to have a universally valid first aid certificate.
OFA and wilderness first aid are like apples and oranges - although they are both fruit, they have different ingredients and serve different purposes.
The primary objectives of Occupational First Aid is to: 
Reduce workplace hazards and ensure that critically injured workers are operated on within 1 hour of the accident.
The focus of workplace hazards is industrial related machinery, electrical, chemical, etc.
In contrast, the focus of wilderness first aid is about learning the domino effect of how human behaviour interacts with activity and environmental risks; and, how the consequences of these risks can be reduced through pre-trip preparation and accident handling skills that bring out the best in people during emergencies.
Accidents either bring out the worst or best in people - Our training supports people in becoming the best they can be during stressful scenarios.
Many people before you have been caught in the same bind you currently find yourself in - wanting Wilderness First Aid to be prepared for adventure; and, being required to have OFA for a job. We hope you realize that OFA might support you in gaining employment, BUT if you choose to apply OFA principles to a wilderness setting, you are at risk of compromising MOST patients, since attempts to get the person to an operating room in under an hour is much more likely to aggravate serious, but otherwise stable injuries.
And, even more importantly, the most common wilderness injuries that are easily managed in the field with specific wilderness training (sprains, dislocations, concussion, collarbone fractures, etc) are not addressed from a perspective of wilderness implications in the OFA course.
Finally, wilderness first aid promotes self-reliance. This includes emergency patient evacuation techniques based on what's available at the scene, rather than the OFA equipment that employers are legislated to provide in industrial settings.
If you truly are looking to be the designated first aid attendant to be in charge of work place safety for other workers, OFA is the best course.
In contrast, if your primary needs are related to preventing and managing back-country emergencies with limited resources at hand, wilderness first aid is the most applicable.
And, if you need to be able to do a little of both, we encourage you to invest in both trainings.
Even though some agencies require first aid for workers only, many people who work for the Forest Service, Provincial Parks, Environment Canada, Geological Service, RCMP, etc, choose Wilderness Alert training as their training of choice.

Let us know how we can further support you in making the best decision for you.


What can I do if I'm having difficulties with the website?

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we appreciate learning from your discoveries. 

Please contact our office at  1-800-298-9919  or to share with us the following information:

  • What you were trying to accomplish
  • What steps you took
  • What exactly happened

It is ideal and extremely helpful to our technological support members to include screenshots to capture the many details. 

Creating a screenshot on PC:

  • View the page and area that you wish to capture 
  • Press the button, "Prt Sc" which copies what you are seeing to the clipboard
  • Open an image editing program such as Microsoft Paint
  • Paste the copied image 
  • Crop if desired, and save the image.

Creating a screenshot on Mac has many options:
  • Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
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  • Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
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  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

If you have any concerns, please contact us for assistance. 


What do I need to bring to a course with Wilderness Alert?

Please ensure you bring the following important resources:
  • Note book and pen or pencil
  • Reference Materials:
    • Field and learning Guides are required for practical drill debriefing
      • If you are a new student to Wilderness Alert - reference materials are included in tuition.
      • If you have taken previous courses with Wilderness Alert, you can bring your copies - If you forget to bring these important resources, they will be available for purchase (MisAdventure $39) or rental ($15) during the course
      • Note: Also available in eBook format for use on iPhone, iPod, or eBook reader - $19
  • First aid practice supplies - Absolutely essential for practical sessions - If you don't find the time to purchase these supplies, they will be available for sale during course at a price of $30:
    • We will provide all technical equipment such as splints, rescue manikins, etc.
    • Disposable supplies that you will need to bring to course are:
      • 1 roll of 2.5 cm or 1" - Minimum 10 m or yards - Athletic or hospital NON-stretch cloth adhesive tape - Available in sporting good departments or drug stores
      • 1 - 3" wide roller bandage - tensor, crepe or similar
      • 2 - Triangular bandages - You can make these by cutting the a 1 m by 1 m or 36" x 36" cotton or polyester type linen into 2 triangles along the diagonal line
      • 2 sterile dressings - Gauze or non-adherent
      • 4 Sticks for splinting - Real sticks 2.5 to 4 cm or 1" to 1.5" diameter, broom handle, ski or trekking pole will work if basket is removable), etc:
        • 2 each - 75 cm or 30" length
        • 2 each - 1.2 meter or 48" length
  • A pack with miscellaneous outdoor clothing and supplies to use for improvisation during course:
    • Cord, webbing, duct tape, etc - used for securing splints
    • Clothing - Used for:
      • Staying warm during practical sessions
      • Lying on COLD, HARD tile or wood flooring and outdoor simulation (rain or shine) 
      • Padding splints, etc
    • Water bottle - Used for making a foot brace
    • Boots - Also used for making a foot brace
    • Optional: knee pads to protect during prolonged kneeling when working on hard surfaces
  • Optional:
    • Digital video camera, charger and USB data transfer cables - This is a tremendous asset, not only to capture memories and helpful tips - and, it is extremely helpful for learning how to detect what works and what doesn't work.
    • Pod, iPhone, eBook reader or other digital devices that allow instant access to checklists and field guides - All are available in eBook format
    • First aid kit if you if you have one - This course is an opportunity to review the contents and re-evaluate the criteria for choosing what to bring and how to package it
    • Specialized first aid equipment:
      • ?We are committed to supporting you in being getting the most out of safety equipment that you are likely to have available at time of emergency. We provide some technical first aid equipment - BUT, not EVERY kind available. If the supplies you are using in the field are different than what we provide during the course, please bring them to ensure you learn the best way to use them effectively.
      • The following equipment is provided
        • Explorer:
          • ?Flexi splints
          • Stabiliti Leg splints
          • Automatic External Defibrillator
        • Advanced Back-Country - Additions:
          • Back-Board
          • Stiff-Neck hard collars
          • Oxygen
        • Supplies not available that you might want to bring include:
          • SAM, metal mesh, cardboard or air splints - There are many tricks and considerations that are quite different from Flexi splints
          • Saeger leg traction devices
          • Vacuum mattress or bean bags as alternate to back boards
          • Resuscitation or oxygen delivery devices such as pocket masks, orapharyngeal airways, etc
  • Snacks, drinks, lunch and other refreshments
  • Most importantly - An open attitude and upbeat energy


What's the difference between a 'Skill Booster' and a 'Certificate Extension'?

Skill Boosters are a fantastic way to deepen understanding, strengthen skills and become even more capable at making complex decisions under stressful conditions. People who enhance their knowledge and skills by attending the annual Skill Boosters have the opportunity to re-certify in a much shorter and more condensed format:
  • 40 hour Explorer First Aid requires only 2 days of a regular Skill Booster to rectify
  • 80 hour Advanced Back-Country recertifies in 4 days (a regular Skill Booster plus 2 additional days)
  • 40 hour Advanced Medicine module requires only a single day of a regular Advanced Medicine Skill Booster to rectify
A person who attends Skill Boosters EVERY year and is not able to make the 4 day Advanced Back-Country recertification course is entitled to a one year certificate extension AFTER completing a Skill Booster in the 3rd year - In year 4, it becomes critical to then complete the full recertification course as no further extensions would be allowed.
Certificate extensions are not available to people who have not completed 3+ annual Skill Boosters.


What are "Transport Canada" Regulations regarding Air, Boat and Vehicle transport

  • Stretcher must be rigid - lengthwise and width wise; torsion flex is acceptable
  • Zero wiggle room in 6 directions - Up, down, left, right, front and back
  • Minimum 4 anchor points - with quick release for emergencies
  • Water transport: 2 PFD’s or Life Jackets


Resuscitation Standards - Current priority focus...

Is on:
  • Ambulance
  • AED
  • Alertness
  • Airway protection from fluids when applicable
  • Compressions to optimize blood pressure


Emergency communication - Who, Where What

  • Location description using GPS reference is at huge risk of being FALSELY relayed through tiered response systems within BC Ambulance Service and RCMP
    • Decimal points are at risk of being exchanged or misinterpreted to minutes and seconds
    • Minutes and seconds are at risk of being exchanged or misinterpreted to minutes and seconds


How current is content of MisAdventure Field Guide?

The following changes have been introduced and re-enforced through the Annual Skill Booster training programs. In case you want reminders, here’s a quick list. Please note: ACTUAL in depth changes - WHY, WHAT and HOW are addressed in depth every booster for those who want this depth. You are welcome to record this aspect of the Booster for your own future reference. And, YES - in our long-term plan, at some point we will provide updated resource pages. Our current priority is to provide alumni support in recollecting 1 degree tipping points for each skill. Until that is complete, the more detailed summary of changes for MisAdventure is on the back-burner. So, here’s the quick at-a-glance summary:
  • Transport Canada Regulations - Air, boat and vehicle transport
    • Stretcher must be rigid - lengthwise and width wise; torsion flex is acceptable
    • Zero wiggle room in 6 directions - Up, down, left, right, front and back
    • Minimum 4 anchor points - with quick release for emergencies
    • Water transport: 2 PFD’s or Life Jackets
  • Resuscitation Standards - Current priority focus is on:
    • Ambulance
    • AED
    • Alertness
    • Airway protection from fluids when applicable
    • Compressions to optimize blood pressure
  • Neck Injuries
    • Stiffneck protocols are NOT described.
    • Neck traction and realignment
      • NOW considered beneficial, even if a hard brace is NOT available
      • It’s OK to release if it can’t be sustained
  • Tapping as a potentially effective means of pain relief, can make a huge difference when patient pain level is preventing reliability of physical assessment  
  • Emergency communication - Who, Where What
    • Location description using GPS reference is at huge risk of being FALSELY relayed through tiered response systems within BC Ambulance Service and RCMP
      • Decimal points are at risk of being exchanged or misinterpreted to minutes and seconds
      • Minutes and seconds are at risk of being exchanged or misinterpreted to minutes and seconds
  • Dressing updates available through 2014 Alumni update email


What are the latest Alumni Updates?

Spring 2014
Hi ….
We're starting an "Annual Update" to bring you up to speed on what's been discovered in the last year…
this 'news brief' has some really great updates, some of these will be referred to at your Skill Booster, so please read at some point before the course.
There are some amazing products and resources available related to back-country safety - Rather than waiting to hear about them at an upcoming course, they are listed below, and I have provided additional contact details should you wish to know more. 
  • Thanks to all who submitted ideas for me to check out. 
  • I encourage anyone who has something that you believe to be of value to submit it for distribution in the next update.
In addition to highlighting amazing products and resources, this email also includes brief descriptions of more flexible training and risk management options - including:
  • Easier ways to regain certification if yours has lapsed - or, getting back into Skill Booster program if you have missed a few years
  • Distance education, staff training and emergency response team approach modules
  • Risk management phone or email consultation to support effective decision making during or after an incident; and/or specific pre-trip preparation
Products worth considering ...
  • Wound Care
    • Waterjel offers a wide range of dressings, ointments, gels and creams - Including:
      • Burn gels, creams and dressings in a wide range of sizes - Quickly stops burn progression and cools the skin, relieves pain and protects against airborne contamination:
        • Scientifically formulated cooling gel
        • Medical-grade non woven pads, non-adherent 
        • Soaked in a water-based / water-soluble, bacteriostatic and biodegradable gel 
      • 1% Hydrocortisone to relieve itching from minor skin irritations and rashes
      • Analgesic antihistamine, with Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride 2% - maximum 
      • itch relief from insect bites and rashes
      • 2% Lidocaine to relieve pain
      • Antiseptic
      • Antibiotic
      • Link:
    • Opsite dressings have diversified
    • Good news: Much broader scope, more options to choose from
    • Concern: It’s a jungle out there - Easy to purchase ‘Opsite’ dressings assuming it’s one thing, and then be caught by surprise after the package is opened
    • Here’s a quick at a glance summary:
      • Opsite - Flexifix - Transparent dressing roll - 4.5 m strip with 1” cutting grid markers  This is by far the most economical option
      • Opsite - Waterproof Film Dressing or Flexigrid - Individual transparent dressings available in many sizes
      • Opsite - Waterproof Dressing - Individual non-transparent absorbent pads centred in a waterproof adhesive dressings 
      • Opsite - Wound Dressing Spray - Aerosol spray
      • Opsite - IV3000 - Waterproof Film Dressing - Individual transparent dressings available in many sizes
    • Available in only a few drug stores - Medicine Shoppe has been a reliable source - Link:
  • Anaphylactic allergic reactions… Twinject is an alternative to EpiPen for anaphylactic allergic reactions
    • It is compact, user-friendly, has a double dose and includes an audio-prompt
    • A trainer is available for simulated practice
    • Too early to know what field concerns might apply
    • Link:
  • Heart Attack - Aspirin on key chain is a simple solution
    • During a heart attack, quick access to aspirin can be the difference that makes the difference as it helps prevent escalating clots. 
    • Link:
  • Satelite texting and/or SOS text messaging: Connect a texting device via Bluetooth to iPhone or android smart phones, or stand-alone unit which avoids pairing
  • Optimizing Emergency Response Strategy:
    • Pre-arrange emergency plans for probable emergencies
    • Arrange for a responsible person in stable or predictable environment (‘city’) monitors phone and email from while on a trip
    •  ‘city’, who then implements pre-arranged plan according to text message received
    • Once communication is established with appropriate agency, direct on site email contact is now possible
    • As with any emergency system, test this locally before relying on it in a more remote environment
  • Wide range of models available
  • Some include free option to SOS Delorme Emergency center - Similar service to SPOT
  • Vacuum Mattresses - Wide range of models - Be careful: Only Conterra Vacuum Immobilizer offers total 24 hr leak proof vacuum system
    • Patient immobilization in less than 10 minutes with even better stabilization than typical 30+ minute back-board available through a full body vacuum mattress, which are becoming much more prevalent: There will be opportunities to practice in upcoming courses
Resources worth considering …
  • Developing reliable field recall under stress
  • Websites
  • CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -
    • Travel Health
    • Diseases and conditions
    • General health and safety
  • Mayo Clinic -
  • Symptom Checker and A-Z listing
  • Diseases and Conditions: A-Z listing
  • First Aid
  • Drugs and Supplements: A-Z listing
  • BC Health Link - Practical resource to guide pre-hospital decision making process -
  • WebMd - Amazing resource that avoids technical jargon -
  • Wikipedia - Amazing resource for reasonably easy to understand medical information -
  • Doctor On Demand - Currently only available in US
    • Talk to a real, US-licensed physician immediately!
    • Use audio only or video to connect to a doctor and ask a medical question
    • Great for non-emergency issues like mild infections, sports injuries, pediatric questions and short-term prescriptions
    • $40 per call - only pay when you talk to a doctor
  • Medscape
  • Reference for conditions, drugs and drug interactions 
  • Reference for drugs and drug interactions
  • Emergency Medicine Wiki categorized notes
  • Epocrates
  • WikEM
  • Apps
Tips and Tricks - Simple and effective battery test for ‘AA’, ‘AAA’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ batteries
Even More Flexible Training Options
  • Did your Advanced Medicine certificate lapse and you now want to refresh skills related to wound and illness care?
  • Recertify ANY 40 or 80 hr first aid course through Wilderness Alert
    • This includes OFA, OEC, WMA, Slipstream, etc
    • Also includes Wilderness Alert alumni who have missed out on Skill Booster program and are wanting to refresh skills without taking the whole course again
    • What’s the catch? 
      • Some pre-course study is required - 4 to 8 hrs, depending on background
      • Attend a 2 day certificate REFRESHER and complete ONLY the required skills components - No time for extra frills!
      • Due to the minimal training time, only a 1 year certificate will be issued:
        • 40 hr Basic Wilderness First Aid
        • 80 hr Advanced Wilderness First Aid
    • This is a fantastic way for those who work and play together with different first aid training to discover how to focus on best outcome for patient, rather than on differences in training
  • NEW 3 Day Wilderness Emergency Response
  • The traditional 40, 80 and 120 hr options have historically led agencies to limit high end training to a few select staff, while remaining staff complete the 20 hr standard city type first aid
  • The 3 day Wilderness Emergency Response prepares people to assess and intervene for critical and serious injuries, including back-board immobilization, patient transport and air evac
  • Diverse range - including:
    • CPR recertification
    • Partial aspects of First Aid or Advanced Medicine Skill Boosters or Recertification
    • Full Skill Booster options
    • Specific topics: Vacuum Mattress, AED, Sprains, Dislocations, etc
  • Diverse format:
  • Solo
  • Peer learning clusters - 2 + Learners who are committed to learning from and with each other using specific templates activities:
    • General focus
    • Team approach - where 2 or more people who work together in the field
  • Using first aid training to enhance staff best practices 
  • Discovering ways to further enhance pro-active risk management
  • Clarifying specific roles and responsibilities to simplify communication and task delegation under stress
  • Develop agency specific checklists to ensure quality and simplify accountability during stressful emergencies
  • Discovering ways to further enhance relationships during stressful incidences
  • Option: How to effectively incorporate support from other non-staff members - clients, bystanders, etc, during stressful incidences
  • Distance Education Modules
  • Staff Training Modules - Agency sponsored programs using specific trip itineraries with intent on:
  • Emergency Response Team Approach Modules - ALL of above, PLUS...
Note: The First Aid courses offered through the COLT program at Strathcona Park Lodge are NO LONGER an option for Skill Boosters or Recertification!
We will be piloting an alternative option in 2015 for folks on Vancouver Island - IF we can get enough people to agree on dates and location. 
Please let me know if this is of interest to you!
Regaining Perspective and Peace of Mind During Stressful Moments
 - Risk Management Phone or Email Consultation
  • Expert support to ensure effective decision making during or after an incident
  • Specific pre-trip preparation when dealing with unknown risks, medical conditions, and/or other last minute complexities
  • 2 options to choose from:
    • Per incident, no ongoing fee
    • Annual program, includes 4 consults
      • If not used, discounts apply to following year
      • Additional consults available when needed
This update is an experiment - Please let us know if and how you benefited from it, so we know whether to invest in doing this annually!
And, let us know if you have any other ideas related to back-country safety that you believe are of interest. Or, challenges that you would like support in clarifying. We have a rich network of resource people available to support you in being even more prepared for adventures :)
Cheers, Anna
Curriculum Director and Risk Management Consultant

Wilderness Alert? - Preparing for Adventure!?

Box 95050, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   V6P 6V5?
Telephone: (604) 263-1432?
Toll Free: 1-800-298-9919?
Web site:


What's involved in "Field Suturing"?

Field Suturing Module - Learning Focus

  • Quick and Effective Decisions - Wound Closure 
    • Benefits vs risks - When to close vs when not to
    • Types of closures - Pros and cons
      • Adhesives
      • Glue
      • Staples
      • Sutures
    • Discerning Wound Dynamics
      • Simple
      • Complicated
      • Complex
  • Suturing Technique
    • Supplies
      • Where to purchase
      • Quality considerations
      • Storage considerations
    • Skills - Initial vs ongoing practice
      • Local anesthetic
      • Cleaning
      • Closure
    • Ongoing Wound Care
      • Dressing and Immobilization considerations
      • Infection considerations
      • Suture removal
  • Proficiency - Application of Skills and Knowledge
    • 'Facts vs Fallacies' quiz - Discerning meaning and relevance
    • 'Quick and Effective Decisions' quiz - Evaluating context and conditions
    • ‘Noticing’ quiz - Early recognition and course correction of errors

Top        (604) 263-1432        1-800-298-9919        P.O Box 95050 Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6P 6V5