Wilderness First Responder - San Juan Islands, WA

Wilderness First Responder - San Juan Islands, WA


San Juan Islands, WA

May 17-22, 2020

September 13-18, 2020



This course embarks on a beautiful multi-island tour, split between time spent on the water and on land. You will participate in the navigation, safety systems, and daily operation of life on a boat. You will be sailing on the Lucia, a 1977 Alajuela 38. While sailing to our next destination, there will be labs, lectures, and scenarios onboard the boat. Typical time on the water will be around 2-4 hours each day. After arrival, all participants will help set up camp and then have the opportunity to hike through the stunning Marine Parks that Washington State has protected and maintained. Class will take place outside in all weather conditions. 

While on course, you will be camping on several different remote islands. Course participants will work as a team each day to set up camp and maintain a clean environment. BMG is a Certified Green Business, and on this (and every) course, we like to pull out all the stops and try to reduce our impact to next to nothing. We recycle and compost as much as possible, leaving a small waste bag for plastic wrapping and garbage. Efforts are made to sail as much of the route as we can, limiting our fuel usage and noise pollution. Landing is made via kayak and/ or rowing skiff.  Solar is outfitted onboard the vessel, as well as a panel and battery for camp. 

Meals will be made and cleaned communally. For group meals, food is split between participants, costs $140.00 for the week, and can accommodate most dietary restrictions. We strive to eat wholesome, fresh foods that are nutritious and healthy. The boat is equipped with a double burner stove, all the required cookware, refrigerator/freezer, and shore kit for camp meals. Filtered water is available onboard.

This course depends on each team member being in good shape. For our course, participants should be able to hike up to 5 miles, comfortably, with a 40+ pound backpack on through steep and variable terrain. Actual mileage per day may range from 2-5 miles per day, however, some of which may be assisting rescue litter carries. Each participant is required to disclose any pertinent medical history and medications taken prior to course on our Medical/ History questionnaire. All medical information is reviewed by course instructors and is strictly confidential. Please call (831-471-7882) or email info@backcountrymedicalguides.org  if you have any questions about the physical requirements. 


  • Build Strong Patient Assessment Skills

  • Demonstrate Common Treatments Of Traumatic Injuries and Life Threats

  • Recognize and Treat Medical and Environmental Emergencies

  • Learn Improvisation, Evacuation, and Rescue Techniques

  • Practice Pre Trip and Expedition Planning, Preventative Strategies


San Juan Islands, WA

The San Juan Archipelago consists of over 100 named islands sandwiched between the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the Straight of Georgia. This gorgeous cluster also boasts some of the most well protected, public marine reserves and trails in the country. With an abundance of unspoiled nooks and coves, charming coastal towns, and rich history, this Maritime WFR has almost limitless itineraries depending on the wind direction and tide profile.


Each day will begin at 8:00am and go until 6:00pm. Some days may end later depending on the hiking and sailing schedule or other course logistics. 


Upon completing this course, you will receive your Wilderness First Responder and CPR:AED which are both valid for 2 years. Our WFR curriculum satisfies the Wilderness Medical Society’s published recommendations for Wilderness First Responder curriculum, is certified by our Medical Advisory Board, and is recognized internationally.

Total Hours

Classroom: 65 

Pre-Course Assignments: 15


HIGHLY recommended. Just finished the 8 day wilderness first responder course in Big Creek Ca. Think 50% intensive hands on first aid and wilderness medicine and 50% camping, hiking and mountain cabin vacation in a stunning Big Sur nature reserve w great people. John and Peter, as well as their other volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable and skilled teachers, as well as open, kind, and generous people. they have decades of professional experience as in front and backcountry medicine as well as years of experience teaching these skills. I've been a teacher for nine years and was throughly impressed. (If you guys need any free 'help' at upcoming courses, let me know!) How about a student led class in a unspoiled hot spring? Check. Or maybe a hands on lesson on litters in a secluded redwood grove? Yup. That too. Nah. Let's run first aid scenarios on a spectacular ridge overlooking the pacific. People who spend a lot of time in the woods, mountains, or ocean, or really anyone who is considering increasing their skills or confidence in medicine/first aid or backcountry survival should Definitely take this course. - Steven S.