Devils Lake Climbing Guides hosts a 5-day Wilderness First Responders (WFR) course taking place Thanksgiving weekend, Wednesday, November 27 through Sunday, December 1. This intensive, skills-based wilderness medicine course will take place at the MacKenzie Center, a historic state-run environmental outdoor education center, located 35 minutes north of Madison. Course tuition is $775, plus an optional $100 fee for 5 nights bunkhouse accommodations.

Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMA) will be teaching the course, which combines lecture, demonstration and skills practice to help students develop confidence and skills necessary to manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments. One of the original providers of wilderness medicine training in the outdoor industry, WMA has been developing and perfecting this curriculum since the 1980’s. Students learn how to respond to a variety of injuries and illnesses, learning specific skills like splinting broken bones, testing for spinal cord injury, building makeshift stretchers for emergency evacuation, and prioritizing care in multiple trauma incidents.

A condensed version of the traditional 8-day WFR, the 5-day intensive course is designed for students and professionals with tight schedules, who may not be able to take time off work/school for the longer course. The 5-day course requires approximately 25 hours of pre-course study and preparation. This prerequisite work allows for the 5 day course to be intensive and hands-on, including simulated rescue scenarios with made-up victims with an emphasis on developing an atmosphere of stress and urgency, as one would encounter in the outdoors.

Participants should expect to spend time outdoors each day, regardless of the weather. The MacKenzie Center’s outdoor campus provides the ideal setting to practice relevant and realistic medical scenarios outside in the elements, offering large, indoor classrooms adjacent to woodlands and fields for medical scenario. Students may stay on campus in shared bunkhouse-style accommodations during the course ($100 for 5 nights) , or commute from home.


  • Occurs Sunday, December 1st, 2019 — all day
  • Occurs Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 — all day
  • Occurs Thursday, November 28th, 2019 — all day
  • Occurs Friday, November 29th, 2019 — all day
  • Occurs Saturday, November 30th, 2019 — all day


MacKenzie Center

W7303 County Highway CS
Poynette, WI 53955