Course Description

Course Description
Wilderness Medicine Expedition
Wind River Range Backpacking, Lander, WY
August 10-18, 2014
Features of This Course
Wilderness Medicine for the Professional Practitioner Course
Course Length: 9 Days
Minimum age: 23
Average group size: 12 students/2-3 instructors
Average pack weight: 45 lbs.
Opportunity to climb a peak in the southern Wind River Range
Hiking Route: ~25 -30 miles
Elevations of 8,000' - 12,000'
Mountain fly fishing
On and off-trail hiking
Travel near or above tree-line
Continuing Medical Education and FAWM credit available
Course Overview
The Wind River Range Backpacking Expedition offers an unparalleled opportunity for physicians, physician assistants, nurses,
nurse practitioners and EMTs who want to learn practical, hands-on wilderness medicine education in Wyoming’s stunning
Wind River Mountains. It is an ideal opportunity for those who want to experience the realities of wilderness medicine and
decision-making on a true wilderness expedition.
The course begins with an evening orientation meeting and an opportunity to meet your fellow expedition members. The
following day you will have a foundational day of wilderness medicine topics followed by an evening session on leadership and
decision-making. The next day will be busy packing to depart for seven days of backpacking through the southern Wind River
Mountains. Throughout the expedition there will be opportunities to learn the NOLS outdoor skills curriculum, fish mountain
streams and learn wilderness medicine. Core to the expedition are the themes of leadership and teamwork both in a wilderness
environment and a clinical setting. Medical scenarios challenge expedition members to apply their medical skills and team
management approach, and receive targeted feedback on both. After a week of travel the expedition will finish back in Lander,
Wyoming with an end-of-course banquet and celebration.
Course Location
Lander, Wyoming
Wind River Mountains, Wyoming
Course Syllabus
Evening Course Orientation
There will be an evening orientation meeting at 7pm at the NOLS Rocky Mountain Noble Hotel in Lander, WY.
Wilderness Medicine for the Professional Practitioner
You will spend the day engaged in wilderness medicine classes, skills practice and scenarios. Focus will be on: wilderness
patient assessment; shock and chest trauma; spine injuries and management including litter packaging; head injuries;
wilderness wound management; hypothermia, frostbite and local cold injuries; heat illness and altitude illness. This
evening you will begin the leadership curriculum series. You will spend this night in Lander.
Issue Equipment at NOLS Rocky Mountain, Travel to the Roadhead and Backpack to First Camp
After an early breakfast, you will finalize your personal equipment and pack group equipment and rations necessary for
the wilderness expedition. The expedition departs for the mountains in the afternoon and after a 3- to 4-mile hike you will
establish your first camp.
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Wilderness Expedition
As you travel through the southern Wind River Mountains you will gain familiarity the NOLS outdoor skills curriculum.
Camping, hiking and fly-fishing will make up your days, along with wilderness medicine classes and discussions of
leadership and decision-making. Weather permitting, we will hike to one of the summits or high plateaus of the range.
Expect to practice focused spine assessment, improvised splints, foot care and blister management, dislocation reduction
techniques and ankle taping, among other wilderness medicine skills.
The field course will cover fundamental NOLS field curriculum: camping, traveling, cooking and leave-no-trace skills.
We provide the instruction; you will set up your camp and cook your meals in tent groups of three to four people. As we
travel, we will discuss hazard management and navigation with topographic map, compass and GPS.
You will be introduced to the NOLS communication and leadership curriculum. You will learn how to live and work
closely with your course mates while you travel through the mountains. Bringing a tolerance for adversity and
uncertainty, respect for others, and a willingness to work hard will be critical to success. You should expect ongoing
verbal coaching and feedback throughout the expedition.
You should expect to carry a backpack that may weigh as much as 45 pounds. You will start slowly to get used to
the weight, new boots, and the elevation. As the group becomes acclimatized, the pace will increase and hiking
distances will grow. You will travel in small groups, usually of four to six, with an instructor. Hiking will be mostly on
trails, which can be steep and rocky, but expect some off-trail travel as well through the alpine forests. We may have some
long hard days on the trail, so plan to arrive fit for strenuous mountain hiking.
Late August is a beautiful time in the Wind Rivers. The days tend to be warm with frost in the evenings and the willows
and aspens begin to show their fall colors. These are the Rocky Mountains, and weather can be capricious with rain and
snow possible any time of the year.
Travel back to Lander, De-issue, Banquet, Course Ends
After an afternoon shuttle back to Lander, you will de-issue course equipment, shower and celebrate with a course-end
Pre-Course Self Study
To help you prepare for your upcoming Wilderness Medicine Expedition for Medical Professionals, we have developed a resource
center ( for you to access articles and case studies related to wilderness
medicine. You are expected to read at least one article or case study denoted with an * from each section prior to the beginning of
your course. The case studies are based on actual field incidents.
Certifications and Continuing Education Credits
Successful completion of the course provides a certificate of completion of a WMI Wilderness Medicine for the Professional
Practitioner course.
FAWM Credits
Active members of the Wilderness Medicine Society (WMS) may earn up to 28 hours of credit towards a Fellowship of the Academy
of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). You may simulate attendance of this activity at
For Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
Through joint sponsorship with the Wilderness Medical Society, eligible medical professionals may earn 15 hours of category 1
CMEs for participation in a Wilderness Medicine Expedition.
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical
Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the Wilderness Medical Society and the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. The Wilderness
Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Wilderness Medical Society designates this
educational activity for a maximum 15 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent
of his or her participation in the activity. The NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute is a non-profit educational organization that is not, in any of its
activities, sponsored by any proprietary entity.
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For EMTs
Our Wilderness Medicine Expeditions are pre-approved for 16 hours of EMT Continuing Education Hours (CEH) by the
Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).
CECBEMS is an organization established to develop and implement policies to standardize the review and approval of EMS continuing education
activities. The cosponsoring organizations of CECBEMS are the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, the American College of
Emergency Physicians, the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians, the National Association of State Emergency Medical
Services Directors, the National Council of State Emergency Medical Services Training Coordinators, the National Registry of Emergency Medical
Technicians, the National Association of EMS Educators and the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians.
Course Instructors
Your instructors are senior faculty skilled in both the NOLS core curriculum and the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute
wilderness medicine curriculum. These instructors have been selected for their background in wilderness leadership, urban and
wilderness pre-hospital care, and ability to work with a range of audiences. Above all they are excellent educators.
Course Objectives
Expeditions, unlike traditional classrooms, are influenced by weather, terrain, and the characteristics of the individuals
involved. Accordingly, our courses are not fully scripted. Given the variables that affect all courses, the depth of topic
coverage will vary from course to course.
Upon completion of the Wind River Range Backpacking Expedition the student will be able to, in a wilderness setting:
Perform a patient assessment; manage life threats and scene safety
Manage head, spine and musculoskeletal injury with minimal equipment
Manage emergencies due to heat and cold
Understand the utility and limits of advanced life support (ALS) in the wilderness
Prepare a reasonable pack with essential medical and personal gear for 24 hours in the wilderness
Organize, lead and participate in a simulated wilderness litter evacuation
Dress appropriately for the weather encountered on this expedition
Cook nutritious meals using a camp stove and field rations
Demonstrate campsite selection and shelter use skills
Navigate in mountain terrain with map, compass and GPS
Travel off-trail in mountain terrain
Consistently perform sound leave-no-trace skills
Demonstrate basic ability to manage risks including: rock fall, steep terrain, stream crossing, bear avoidance, lightning and
adverse weather
Demonstrate sound expedition behavior including modeling teamwork, support of group decision and a positive attitude
during adversity
Show leadership with peers using styles appropriate to the situation
Demonstrate sound judgment and decision-making
Student Independence
On all NOLS courses students will be independent (unaccompanied by instructors) at various times. This will include time in and
around camp such as while cooking or performing camp chores. Instructors may allow students to travel away from camp. Students
often have independent unsupervised time, usually in town, before and after their course starts.
Personal Electronics
A key element to a NOLS education is time spent in wilderness. The benefits of this include being closer to nature, time away
from society and civilization, and being in an environment where natural forces predominate and students have the
opportunity to develop good judgment and practice self-reliance. For this reason, students are not permitted to take personal
music players (iPods, MP3 players, CD players, etc.), cell phones, or satellite phones on NOLS courses. Instructors will be
carrying sufficient communication equipment (usually a satellite phone and a ground-to-air or marine band radio) to handle
any emergencies that may arise.
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Course Cost
$2250 Includes lodging 8/9–8/18; transportation during the course; course faculty; instruction and materials; 15 hours of
category 1 CMEs or 16 hours of EMT CEUs, and up to 28 hours credit towards the Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness
Medicine; permit fees; meals, expedition rations and final course banquet; group camping gear (shelters, cook stoves). Does
not include travel to Lander, Wyoming, or personal equipment purchase or rental.
Tuition Protection Program
The Tuition Protection Program (TPP) is a tuition protection plan available for purchase. The goal of this program is to
protect you against tuition loss should you be unable to participate in or complete your WMI WME course. Additionally, the
program may help pay for evacuation costs from a remote course location. Details are available in the plan brochure. An
electronic version of this brochure is available on details page for your course and at the following link All other questions about this plan should be referred
to the Plan Administrator at 1-800-797-2297.
The cost of the TPP is automatically added to your balance for this course upon enrollment. If you do not wish to participate
in the TPP you must decline this coverage when you pay the balance of your course tuition. The cost of the plan is equal to
6% of your total tuition.
For More Information
Contact the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS via phone 8am–5pm MST Monday-Friday at 866-831-9001 or via email:
[email protected]. More information available at:
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