WALS Wilderness Advanced Life Support Course & Training

WALS Wilderness Advanced Life Support Combines hands on learning with authoritative demonstrations and lectures of a rare variety of advanced topics. Up to 15 students are taught by up to 14 specialist instructors many of whom are Fellows of the academy of Wilderness Medicine. A Master Fellow coordinates the class. As of WMOs 2015 class there were 3 Master Fellows out of the 3,000 members of the WMS. Two Master Fellow taught the 2015 WALS WMO class, and was the first wilderness medicine class ever, anywhere, with 2  Master Fellows.

Unlike any other program, three of the five days start in a cadaver lab for a better anatomical understanding of the day’s topics.

Here is what the director of another wilderness medicine program says about WMO WALS
Carl, I just wanted you to know how thoroughly I enjoyed the WALS course last week. It was truly a worthwhile investment of funds, energy and time. The core teaching group (Dave, Mark and you) did an amazing job, augmented by a stellar cast of characters who seemed to materialize at just the right time with cogent information, seasoned with the right level of field experience and delivered with sincerity and humor.I hope our paths cross again, my friend! Regards, Wm Fred Baty Lead Instructor The Wilderness Medicine Program Roane State Community College Knoxville, TN

see more WALS endorsements at our Testimonials page

WMO WALS recerts most WFRs and NREMTs

Listed below is a general overview of each day’s objectives, followed by a brief outline of the day’s curriculum. Thirty FAWM credits were approved in 2006. Their codes follow the topic titles where appropriate. Each topic listed in the curriculum states the approximate amount of time that will be devoted to that topic.

Day 1 objective will present to the students an overview of wilderness medicine and the legal/moral considerations that pertain to this rapidly growing field. The remainder of day 1 will consist of an in-depth presentation of common environmental hazards/pathologies/and treatments, found in wilderness medicine and backcountry care including discussions of ‘hyper’ and ‘hypo’ thermia, dehydration, lightning injuries and solar protection.

Day 1 outline - legal and environmental
Wilderness Advanced Life Support
Introduction and overview of wilderness/expeditionary medicine. (04-002) 1.0 hr
Legal issues and control physician requirements. (05-002) 1.0 hr
Environmental Hazards and accepted risk .5 hr
(Avalanches, mudslides, swift water, lightening, heat, cold)
Recognition and management of hypothermia. (09-019) 1.0 hr
Heat illness and dehydration (09-009) 1.0 hr
Lightening injuries (09-003) 1.0 hr
Physics and physiology of altitude. (GAMOW bag demo) (03-001) 1.0 hr
Solar injury and protection. (09-005) 1.0 hr
Overview of clothing selection for wilderness travel. (05-009) 1.0 hr
Total 8.5hr (FAWM) 8.0 hrs.

Day 2 objectives will start with an anatomy and physiology review of the skeletal system and its associated connective tissue. This review will be held in a cadaver lab. The class will then move into a lecture area for an in-depth discussion of skeletal injuries found in the backcountry, including common sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations, as well as splinting procedures for multiple injury sites. Day 2 will conclude with lectures on foot care and pedal injuries with an emphasis on orthopedic pathology, frost bite, trench foot, and blisters.

Day 2 outline Skeletal System injuries and foot care.
Wilderness Advanced Life Support
Skeletal System lab w/cadaver. 1.0 hr
(For better understanding of general orthopedic and connective tissue injuries)
Overview and field management of general orthopedic problems. (12-021) 1.0 hr
Sprains and strains (12-009) 1.0 hr
Fractures and dislocations (includes KTD) (12-008) 1.0 hr
Improvised splints (SAM and improvisational splints). (12-011) 1.0 hr
Footgear and care of the feet (including blister treatment) (05-008) 1.75 hrs
Orthopedic injuries to the foot (12-026) .25 hr
Overview of frostbite and trench foot. (09-002) 1.0 hr
Total 8.hr (FAWM) 7.0 hrs

Day 3 objectives will start with an anatomy and physiology review of the skeletal muscle and integument systems. This review will be held in a cadaver lab. The class will then move to a lecture area for an in-depth discussion of common soft tissue injuries (including lacerations, contusions, and evulsions). This presentation on soft tissue injuries will also include discussions on compartment syndrome and traumatic amputations. The students will then practice irrigation and closure techniques for minor soft tissue injuries with Steri Strips, staples and sutures. Day 3 will conclude with lectures on ocular injuries and basic field dental emergencies and treatments.

Day 3 curriculum soft tissue injuries
Wilderness Advanced Life Support
Muscle and integument system lab w/cadaver. 1.0 hr
(For better understanding of muscle and integument systems) Soft tissue injuries and contusions. (12-010) 1.0 hr
Closure techniques and wound management lecture/lab. (12-012) 3.0 hrs
(Including; irrigation, suturing, stapling, Steri-strips)
Overview and treatment of compartment syndrome. (12-007) .25 hrs
Overview and treatment of amputations. (12-016) .25 hrs
Ocular trauma and emergencies (12-005) 1.0 hrs
Basic field Dental (4-001) 1.0 hr
Total 7.5.hr (FAWM) 5.0 hr

Day 4 objectives will begin with an anatomy and physiology review of the abdominal and thoracic cavities. This review will be conducted in a cadaver lab. The class will then move to a lecture area for a discussion of common abdominal and thoracic cavity problems encountered in a wilderness setting. The class will then participate in a hands-on clinic involving common treatment options for this pathology. There will then be a hands-on clinical practice involving IV and catheter placement on manikins.

Day 4 curriculum abdominal and thoracic
Wilderness Advanced Life Support
Abdominal and thoracic cavity lab w/cadaver.
(For better understanding of crics, needle chest decompression, ETs, and LMAs) 1.0 hr
Overview and treatment of common respiratory problems. (12-017) 1.0 hr
Overview and treatment of common abdominal problems (12-029) 1.0 hr
Manikin practice for Heimlich, crics and chest decompression 1.5hrs
Homeostasis and fluid resuscitation. (07-002) 1.0 hr
IV lecture and practice on manikins. 1.5 hr
Catheter lecture and practice on manikins. 1.0 hr
Total 8hr (FAWM) 3.0 hr

Day 5 objectives Day 5 will begin with a lecture on common antibiotics and analgesics used in WM, including indications, contraindications, and delivery routes of these important drugs. Following will be lectures on immunizations for travel, water procurement and diarrhea/constipation. After lunch, presentations will include ‘three’ one-hour lectures on common insects and arachnids found in a wilderness setting, reptile envenomation and treatment modalities, and an overview of mammalian attacks.

Day 5 curriculum
Wilderness Advanced Life Support
Commonly used medications. (12-003) 1.0 hr
Delivery routes (emphasis on antibiotics and analgesics) (12-004) 1.0 hr
Overview of immunizations for travel. (02-001) 1.0 hr
Water procurement in the wilderness. -Carl Weil (05-003) 1.0 hr
Diarrhea and constipation (02-009) 1.0 hr
Overview of insects and arachnids. (09-006) 1.0 hr
Overview and treatment of reptile envenomations. (09-020) 1.0 hr Mammalian Attacks. (09-007) 1.0 hr
Total 8hr (FAWM) 8 hr

WALS class contents may vary some year to year. We strive to present the most current information for lecture and lab practice

$795.00 tuition per student if enrolled 90 days prior;
$895.00 thereafter.
Plus $195.00 lab and materials fee

Enrollment Deposit $350 option holds your spot. Deposits on next years class are accepted at the completion of current class.

Online store offers an "Enrollment Deposit" option which holds your place in the class. Balance due on first day of class as check or cash. Early registration savings, if any, will be applied to balance payment.

See online store: "Store menu / In-Person Classes" for upcoming dates and options. The class is offered once a year near the end of March in the Denver, Colorado area starting on a Wednesday going through Sunday.

The Expedition Medic

will complete a program of over 275 hour
of training including; Wilderness Advanced Life Support [shown above], WFR / WEMT module, LNT trainer with camp skill
and survival course, land navigation course, 30 medical scenario simulations,
notable required reading and the passing of compressive tests