Wilderness First Aid Essentials

A Rigorous All-Online Emergency Prevention and Response Course 

Your mission should you choose to accept it: learn to prevent and treat a wide range of medical emergencies you're most likely to encounter in nature so you can Reduce anxiety, Be more self-reliant, and Adventure with abandon.

WFA Essentials is a 10-hour all-online course > about 7 hours of self-directed coursework and 3 hours of live online Skills Labs. 

Please read page below for more information.

Most people don't know.. 

Most people don't know how to relieve choking, control a major bleed, or use critical life-saving tools such as an Epipen, AED, or Tourniquet. And so, they limit their experiences, travel, and adventure or worse yet, when they encounter emergencies they feel frozen and unprepared.

Your mission should you choose to accept it is to learn these and many other life-saving skills so you can Reduce anxiety, Be more self-reliant, and Adventure with abandon. 

After 10 highly immersive hours, you will have the skills to prevent emergencies and effectively respond to those that can not be prevented. Imagine setting off on adventures feeling relaxed, self-reliant, and ready for anything!

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Engage with our self-directed, on-demand online coursework. You will have access to the course as soon as you register. This includes videos, actions, assignments, and quizzes. Online coursework is a 7-hour commitment.  



Attend a Live, Online Skills Lab to practice your skills and crystallize your learning. They are highly-experiential, fun, and painless. Choose from 3 different CPR Labs/week. WFA Labs are offered several times/month - daytime and evening options are available. 


Our signature system of engaging online coursework plus live online Skills Labs earns you a nationally recognized certification. Get out there and Adventure with Abandon!

Click Here For Frequently Asked Questions

Meet your Instructor

Nicole Thurrell, CEO Institute for Wild Med, has degrees in Psychology and Recreation Therapy from the University of North Carolina. She has been an EMT since 2001. She worked in many aspects of wilderness therapy for nearly a decade - expedition leader, health director, director of admissions. In addition to the roles listed above, she has been an adventure racer, a raft guide, high ropes facilitator, a clinician for kids with Autism, a Waldorf high school teacher, and a mom. She is a passionate educator who loves turning people on to strategies for being more confident and comfortable in nature. She lives in a solar village in Greenfield, MA.
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What people are saying:


This is hands down the highest quality CPR course I have taken. The format is convenient and effective.  Nicole's delivery is excellent. She is enthusiastic, professional and responsive. She went the extra mile to accommodate our needs. And I didn't expect it to be so much fun! I highly recommend this course!

- Sabrina V.


Absolutely the BEST CPR course I've ever taken! After 25+ years of being CPR certified, the renewal courses have become pretty boring and ho-hum. Not this renewal course - it was engaging, informative and empowering. I feel more prepared for an emergency than I ever have before. Thank you so much!

- Mary S.


"I have taken 1st Aid and CPR courses with Nicole in person and online. Both are phenomenal. She is an excellent teacher, and has created an extremely well-organized, informative, and memorable course. I feel prepared!"

- Ethan M.


Wilderness First Aid Essentials + CPR

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Wilderness First Aid Essentials NO CPR

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 Let's Do This! 

Adventure with Abandon