SOLO Wilderness Medicine is one of the oldest continuously operating schools for outdoor and survival skills. The school teaches a wide range of programs including their classic wilderness first aid course and their flagship wilderness EMT certification.
With the organization, you can learn how to handle a wide range of outdoor medical emergencies by taking classes with some of the best instructors in the industry.
But with so many different wilderness medical schools out there, it can be hard to know which organization offers the right course for your needs. To help you out, we’ve created this in-depth review of SOLO Schools so you can select the best training program for your backcountry medicine skills.
Related: NOLS Wilderness Medicine Review
What is SOLO Wilderness Medicine?
SOLO is one of the original wilderness medical schools. The organization was founded by Dr. Frank Hubbel and his wife, Lee Frizzel, in the early 1970s. Its primary campus address is in Conway, New Hampshire, but the organization licenses its courses to a range of providers around the world.
From the beginning, the school has sought to provide its students with the information they need to provide life-saving care in wilderness and disaster situations. They work primarily with avid outdoor enthusiasts as well as group leaders, outdoor educators, guides, and professional search and rescue personnel.
SOLO Wilderness Medicine Courses Offered
Like many wilderness emergency medical schools, SOLO boasts a range of course offerings and trainings to suit a wide array of students. Here’s a look at some of the many courses that the organization offers.
|Course Length||16 to 20 hours||80 hours||170 hours||10+ days|
|Teaching Method||In-Person and Hybrid||In-Person and Hybrid||In-Person||In-Person|
|Certification Expiry||2 years||3 years||2 years||N/A|
SOLO Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is the organization’s shortest course that offers a certification. In this 2-day training, students are taught the basic guidelines for assessing and helping a patient in an outdoor emergency.
WFA classes provide hands-on instruction and the opportunity to practice the skills that you’re taught. They’re ideal for students of all backgrounds, even if you don’t have prior medical experience.
SOLO Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is one of the organization’s primary course offerings. It is a 7 to 9 day long course that provides a more in-depth training in life-saving wilderness medical skills.
In a WFR, instructors teach students additional skills for patient assessment, trauma treatment, and extended disaster response. A standard WFR class will run for about 8 to 10 hours a day to complete all of the information in the organization’s guidelines and curriculum. These courses are offered with a hybrid option for people who want a shorter in-person session.
SOLO Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)
One of the school’s flagship courses, the Wilderness EMT is a professional-level emergency medical certification. Completion of the course allows students to work both as urban EMTs, on search and rescue teams, or as leaders in the outdoor industry.
The training for the WEMT course is approximately 30 days long. The first half of the program focuses on Wilderness First Responder skills. During the second half of the course, instructors focus mainly on the skills that the class will need to pass the national EMT exam. All students are also expected to complete required clinical hours with local emergency services.
The SOLO Geomedic is one of the more unique courses that the organization offers. The education guidelines for this course were designed with prolonged disaster emergencies in mind.
To take this 10+ day class, participants must already hold an EMT certification or higher. Instructors on this course teach advanced wilderness medicine skills that address the needs of patients in highly remote areas or during natural disasters.
Other Course Offerings
In addition to the classes listed above, SOLO also offers a range of other training options, including:
- Advanced Wilderness First Aid (AWFA)
- Wilderness First Aid Afloat
- Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
- Urban First Aid
- Prepping for Disaster
- ACLS / PALS / PEARS
- Wild Day
Geographic Regions Served
SOLO offers their in-house education from their campus in Conway, New Hampshire. However, you can take many of the organization’s courses, including wilderness first responder, from other leading education organizations in the industry.
Some of the many outdoor medical schools that offer SOLO courses include:
SOLO does not currently offer scholarships for their programs. However, many groups and organizations that host SOLO courses or that provide the certification through their own company do offer limited scholarships.
If you are interested in a scholarship, contact the course host directly to see what financial aid they may be able to offer. Alternatively, many states offer financial assistance for non-degree professional training programs. Contact your local Office of Unemployment or your state’s department of education for more information.
Also note that many courses taught at the Conway campus are eligible for Americorp and GI Bill funding. Contact the school directly by phone or email to learn more about the guidelines for using these financial resources.
SOLO Wilderness Medicine FAQ
Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about SOLO Wilderness Medicine:
SOLO is a wilderness medical school that teaches a wide range of training courses for outdoor enthusiasts. The school has its main campus in Conway, New Hampshire and they offer programs that teach backcountry medicine and skills at locations around the world.
SOLO stands for Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities. It is the name of a school that teaches outdoor skills and a variety of courses, such as wilderness first responder (WFR) and wilderness first aid (WFA).
A SOLO WFR Certification is good for 3 years. To recertify, you can either take WFR refresher courses, wilderness first aid courses, or another stand-alone WFR course.
WFR course costs vary depending on the location and providers of the program. The average cost of a WFR is between $800 and $1500, depending on the location of instruction and whether housing and food are provided.
WFA course costs vary depending on the course location and providing organization. Most WFA courses cost between $150 and $250. You may pay more if housing and food are provided at the course campus.
SOLO Wilderness Medicine Review: The Verdict
SOLO is one of the leading wilderness medicine education providers in the industry. The organization’s courses are popular among a range of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. So they’re a sure bet if you want high-quality instruction for your next WFR, WFA, or WEMT certification.