University of Missouri

Venture Out

Office of Student Engagement


Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

Venture Out offers a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training each year in January. People involved in outdoor activities (canoeing, backpacking, caving, hunting, fishing, rock climbing) or who plan to pursue an outdoor career should strongly consider this exceptional leadership opportunity. This course is open to all people of all ages and all experience levels, including MU students, high school students, boy and girl scout leaders, parents, teachers, medical professionals, and all other community members.

This course is taught by an instructor from SOLO Wilderness Medicine. This 16-hour program covers topics ranging from preparation and prevention to assessment and treatment. Classroom lectures and discussions are supplemented by practical work and problem-solving exercises. The emphasis is always on hands-on experience and rescue scenarios. This WFA course can also be taken to re-certify those currently holding a WFR certification.

Our next WFA course will take place all day  January 12-13, 2019  (16 hours) on the MU campus in Columbia, Missouri. 

  • Cost: $160/person ($100 non-refundable deposit required)
  • The deadline to enroll is November 24, 2017. You will not be contacted about the course until after registration closes.
  • This WFA course is also the WFR Recert course. Cost is $180/person for the WFR Recert. After recertification, your WFR is good for another 3 years.
  • An additional CPR certification can be added to the WFA or WFR Recert for $40. This CPR certification is a SOLO CPR certification, not Red Cross or AHA (which some organizations may require).
  • ORG Funding is available for recognized MU student groups.
  • Venture Out does not provide lodging or transportation for these courses.
  • Your WFA certification is good for two years. There is no recertification option. The full course must be taken again to remain current.


The WFA is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants a basic level of first aid training for short trips with family, friends, and outdoor groups. It also meets the ACA guidelines.

The WFR Recert is for people who hold current Wilderness First Responder certifications from SOLO, NOLS, Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), or Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA). SOLO can also recertify people who hold current WFR certs from the American Safety and Health Institute (Oregon), Desert Mountain Medicine (Colorado), Wilderness Medicine Outfitters (Colorado), Wilderness Medicine Training Center (Washington), Remote Medical International (Washington) and the University of Vermont (Vermont). Note: You will not receive your physical WFR card at the end of the recert weekend. You will need to mail your expiring WFR card into SOLO after training, and they’ll mail you back a new card.

The WFA/WFR Recert is 16 hours long (two days), and focuses on the basic skills of: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental Emergencies, Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies.

Yes, there is ongoing evaluation of practical skills, and there are written assessments throughout the course.

Yes. You will receive a SOLO WFA certification, which is good for two years.

Venture Out does not provide food or lodging for these courses. The class will break for lunch each day, and the MU campus and nearby downtown district have many great options. Participants have the option to stay on the MU campus in Residential Life Guest Housing during the course. Single rooms are $50 per night and double rooms (share with another WFA participant) are $30 per night. To book a room, call MU Residential Life at 573-884-6500 and ask for Guest Housing. Tell them you’re with Venture Out Wilderness First Aid.

WFA/WFR Recert Outline

  1. Response and Assessment
    • The Anatomy of a Wilderness Crisis
    • Universal Precautions
    • Patient Assessment System
    • Rescue Plan
    • Patient Lifting & Moving Techniques
  2. Orthopedics: Trauma – Musculoskeletal Injuries
    • Anatomy of the Musculoskeletal System
    • Sprains and Strains
    • Principles of Fracture Care
    • Spinal Cord Injury Management
  3. Environmental Emergencies & Survival Skills
    • The Human Animal
    • Cold Related Injuries
    • Heat Related Injuries
    • Backcountry Essentials
  4. Soft Tissue Injuries & Medical Emergencies
    • Trauma – Soft Tissue Injuries
    • Soft Tissue Injuries & Wound Management
    • Bandaging Skills
    • Medical Emergencies & Critical Care
    • Shock
    • Change in Level of Consciousness
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Chest Pain