If you regularly spend time in the wilderness, you know that when you’re off-the-grid, you’re often far from emergency medical care. This exposure to injury and illness is a great reason to get trained in wilderness first aid, so that if something goes wrong, you’ll be prepared to provide medical care for yourself or your companions until they receive professional medical attention.
Here we have gathered a running list of organizations that offer wilderness first aid training near San Diego, Los Angeles, and other parts of Southern California.
Recreational Equipment Co-Op (REI)
REI offers wilderness first aid courses in its Southern California stores. These are often given in partnership with National Outdoor Leadership School, and range in scope, from basic wilderness first aid to more in-depth training for wilderness first responders. Check out REI’s events page to search for courses near you.
Wilderness Leadership Institute
San Diego-based Wilderness Leadership Institute offers wilderness medicine courses that range from an introductory one-day Wilderness First Aid course to a multi-day Wilderness First Responder course. The courses typically take place in San Diego. Visit the institute’s website for current course offerings.
Wilderness First Aid Course, Inc.
Wilderness First Aid Course, Inc. offers 2-day and 3-day courses in Los Angeles that train students in first aid and medical emergency management for when regular response services are unavailable. Visit their website for details on upcoming wilderness first-aid classes.
Pasadena Outdoor Education
Pasadena Outdoor Education offers basic CPR, wilderness first-aid, and wilderness first responder courses. The courses take place in Pasadena and other locations in the LA area. Check their website for upcoming courses.
California Survival School
California Survival School offers an in-depth Wilderness First Aid course in the Orange County and Los Angeles area. The 16-hour WFA certification course is geared toward adventurers who either work in or frequent the backcountry on extended trips and is designed to give students comprehensive, hands-on training covering key first aid concepts and skills for preventing and responding properly to medical emergencies in the outdoors. Upon completion, students receive a NASAR (National Association of Search And Rescue) WFA Complete certification good for two years. Check their website for upcoming courses.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross offers “wilderness and remote first aid” courses in SoCal. The course is designed for scouts and scout leaders, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone who works or spends time in remote environments. Visit the Red Cross website for more info.