Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals (WUMP)

Building on your background in urban emergency care you will learn how to improvise equipment, deal with challenging environmental conditions, and make difficult medical decisions in remote locations.

Learn how to improvise equipment, deal with challenging environments, and make difficult medical decisions in remote locations with confidence. Apply your urban emergency care knowledge as our seasoned instructors guide you through five days of intense, hands-on learning. The WUMP course will keep you engaged in wilderness medicine curriculum through case studies and practical scenarios with mock patients.

Learning takes place both in the classroom and in outdoor settings regardless of weather conditions. Come prepared for wet, muddy, cold or hot environments.

Course Length: 
5 Days

Current NREMT or State EMT certification.

Primary Classification: 
Certifications Received: 
  • NOLS Wilderness First Responder certification

*Currently licensced EMT's will receive WEMT certification instead of WFR

Certification is current for two years.

Continuing Education: 
  • College Credit (4 hours) for the WUMP course is available through the University of Utah, during your course and before testing, for an additional cost of $350. Approach your instructors at the start of the course if this is interesting to you; we’re sorry, but once the course is over we cannot help you acquire college credit for your course.
  • This course is pre-approved for 48 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours by the State of Colorado and the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).
  • Through joint sponsorship with the Wilderness Medical Society physicians may earn 43 hours of continuing education for participation in this course. Additional costs apply.
  • Active members of the Wilderness Medical Society may earn up to 35.75 hours of credit towards a Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). There is an additional fee of $15 for students requesting these credits.

The 48-hour Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals course builds on your urban emergency care background.

Topics include:

  • Patient Assessment System
  • Documentation
  • Medical Legal
  • CPR in the Wilderness
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Long-term Patient Care
  • Chest Injuries
  • Shock
  • Head Injuries
  • Wilderness Wound Management
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Fracture Management and Traction Splinting
  • Dislocations
  • Cold Injuries
  • Heat Illness
  • Altitude Illness
  • Cardiac, Respiratory and Neurological Emergencies
  • Abdominal Emergencies
  • Mental Health Emergencies
  • Bites, Stings and Poisoning
  • Allergies and Anaphylaxis
  • Diabetes
  • Search and Rescue
  • Leadership, Teamwork and Communication
  • Communicable Disease
  • Lightning
  • Submersion
  • Urinary and Reproductive System Issues
  • Medical Decision-Making
  • Common Wilderness Medical Problems
  • Wilderness Drug and First Aid Kits

We will try to be outdoors as much as possible, regardless of the weather. Please dress appropriately for the weather, and to be comfortable both in and outdoors at any time during your course.

*If you are recertifying your current or in grace period WFR, please bring a copy of your card to the course for your instructor to verify. OR, send it with your registration form when you sign up for the course. We cannot give a new card until we have a copy on file. Thank you!

*Required: (These items should be packed and ready to go for mock rescues throughout class times, and at any moment.)

  • Day pack or similar size pack, lined and waterproof, filled with:
  • A watch, preferably with a sweeping second hand, but digital is adequate.
  • 2 water bottles
  • Backcountry clothing – appropriate to season and climate, (think layers and staying dry)
  • 1 set of clothing (shirt and pants) that can be completely destroyed with stage makeup and shears.
  • 1 warm hat/toboggan
  • Gloves
  • Rain gear, including rain pants
  • Synthetic tops and bottoms – long underwear
  • Hiking boots / hiking socks
  • Synthetic jacket/top (Polartec or comparable, wool OK)
  • Head lamp/flashlight
  • Notebook/writing utensils
  • Camp chair, ensolite pad, thermarest, or similar
  • Bandanas, p-cord, ties, straps, or anything else that can be used for attachment (the more the better)

In additon: If you participate in gear intensive activities (paddling, climbing, etc.) feel free to bring your gear / what you would normally have with you. The more you practice with what you would actually have on hand, the better your patient care in an actual emergency.

Optional: (Consider acquiring these items over time.)

  • Bivy kit - Stuff sack containing:
  • Warm hat, additional
  • 2 garbage bags
  • Whistle
  • Plumber’s candles / candle lantern
  • Lighters/waterproof matches
  • Metal water cup
  • 60’ p-cord/nylon cordage
  • 10’x10’ plastic sheeting
  • Compass
  • Extra wool socks

Building on your background in urban emergency care you will learn how to improvise equipment, deal with challenging environmental conditions, and make difficult medical decisions in remote locations. This intense, hands-on curriculum utilizes case studies and practical scenarios. You will develop competency in the critical wilderness medicine skills needed such as: orthopedic injury management and improvised splinting, focused spine assessment, improvised litter construction, environmental emergency management and leadership and communication skills. There will be two evening sessions - one on the 2nd day of the course, and one on the 4th day (subject to rescheduling based on local weather and other logistics).


Course Hours

5 days/ 48 hours of course curriculum 


Attendance & Participation

Students are required to attend all class sessions and field exercises. Students may request no more than 10% of the course hours of excused absence, and may not miss the first day of the course. Review of missed curriculum or examinations is the student’s responsibility. Absences, either unexcused or exceeding 10% of the course hours excused, are grounds for dismissal from the course and cancellation policies will apply.



Be sure to review the Packing List carefully.  For successful completion of the course please come prepared with the required gear. Unprepared students may not be able to participate in the course. 


Textbook/ Handbook

Schimelpfenig, T. (2012). NOLS wilderness medicine. (5th ed.). Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, PA.

Tarter, S., Richards, G., & Schimelpfenig, T. (2013).Wilderness medicine handbook. (13th ed.). Lander, WY: NOLS     Wilderness Medicine Institute.



Certification level: at least current NREMT or State EMT-Basic, Paramedic, RN, PA, MD, DO, PT


Performance Outcomes

Written exam:  Student must score 70% or better 

Scenario-based practical exam:  Student must pass the practical exam to be eligible for certification

Special accommodations for testing are available, however we need to know prior to your arrival. 


Course Outcomes

Wilderness First Responder Certification- 2 year certification & 1 year grace period.

The course will upgrade current EMTs to WMI WEMT.



Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mon, 2018-01-29 to Fri, 2018-02-02

Course Details

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mon, 2018-06-11 to Fri, 2018-06-15

Course Details

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mon, 2018-08-06 to Fri, 2018-08-10

Course Details

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mon, 2018-10-29 to Fri, 2018-11-02

Course Details