Wilderness & Remote First Aid

Larry Knutson, Penn Trails LLC

Sunday and Monday, March 30-31, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Two day Indoor/Outdoor Workshop
Location: Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park, WV
Stonewall Resort Conference Center.


The Session

The two day/16-hour Wilderness and Remote First Aid (WRFA) course is designed to provide outdoor enthusiasts and employees with a foundation of first aid principles and skills to be able to respond to emergencies and give care in areas that do not have immediate emergency medical services (EMS) response. This includes wilderness and remote environments, as well as, urban disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. With satisfactory completion, participants receive a 2 year WRFA Certification from the American Red Cross.  The course gives you the skills you need to give care for potentially life-threatening emergencies in a delayed-help situation, covering the following:

  • Define wilderness first aid
  • Describe the difference between wilderness first aid and standard first aid
  • Describe the importance of immediately establishing control of the scene and starting the primary assessment
  • Discuss the importance of doing a secondary assessment
  • Discuss calling for help from a delayed-help perspective and evacuation considerations
  • Demonstrate a field assessment for injuries to the head
  • Define types of abdominal pain and discomfort including gastroenteritis (stomachache) and diarrhea
  • Describe the basics of an allergic response and its treatment and prevention
  • Define altitude illnesses including acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)
  • Define types of burn injuries
  • Demonstrate a field assessment of a person with a chest injury
  • Describe the contents of an adequate wilderness and remote first aid kit, and its uses
  • Define the different types of heat-related illnesses
  • Describe the mechanisms of heat loss versus heat gain
  • Demonstrate a field assessment for injuries to bones and joints
  • Define shock and discuss the stages of shock
  • Define heart attack
  • Define serious bleeding and demonstrate control of bleeding
  • Describe briefly the general sequence of events during a submersion (drowning) incident
  • Describe how lightning can cause injury and/or death

The class provides each student with an Emergency Reference Guide, as well as, all classroom and scenarios resources, as well as a compact, weather-resistant WRFA Field Reference Guide.


The Instructor

This course will be taught by Larry Knutson, founder and president of Penn Trails LLC, a PTBA member company, based near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Knutson is a Certified National Accounts Instructor for the American Red Cross. Knutson brings a range of professional experience in backcountry trails work and recreation together with non-profit organizational development, adult and youth educational programs, and leadership training. A life long backpacker, recipient of an American Hiking Society’s 2003 Volunteer of the Year award in Pennsylvania, former Appalachian Trail section overseer and Pennsylvania Park Ranger, he continues to build on his 30+ years enjoyment of backcountry trails in the United States, Europe, Central America, and Australia.

When and Where

This workshop will be in both a classroom setting, as well as, utilize outdoor scenarios, at the Hotel Albuquerque complex. Participants should wear appropriate clothing as required by the weather. Our group will meet each morning, Sunday March 30 and Monday March 31 in an assigned classroom space at the Stonewall Resort Conference Center.  Class contact time is 8 hours, plus one 30 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks each day.



You will need to purchase the All-Inclusive Conference Package of $125/person per day on each day of the workshop. This gives you all meals and breaks throughout the day, and conference access to rooms and resources.

Lodging costs $90/night (single or double occupancy).


Attendance limit: 12

All persons registering for this course MUST have either a CURRENT American Red Cross or American Heart Association Adult CPR Certification card and MUST present it to the Instructor at the beginning of class on Sunday, Feb. 10. Registration is on a first-come basis and is limited to 12 attendees.

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For More Information, Contact Larry Knutson at:

(717) 486-4455