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NOLS Wilderness First Responder Course

10 days |TBA

$2,000 (scholarships available for Tibetan Students)


If you work or recreate in the outdoors or in other austere environments where access to medical care is delayed or communication is unreliable, our 9-10 day Wilderness First Responder course is for you! It is the industry standard for professional guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, outdoor recreationists, and international travelers.

Upon completion, you will be able to conduct a thorough physical exam, obtain a patient history, assess vital signs, provide emergency care in the wilderness, and make crucial evacuation decisions.


You'll learn both in the classroom and in outdoor settings regardless of weather, so come prepared for wet, muddy, cold, or hot environments! All in an incredibly inspiring environment of the pure and pristine high mountains of Tibet.



$1,950 - Tuition with food (3 hearty vegetarian meals) & accommodation (double occupancy rooms with green toilet & wifi access in the lounge)

-$ 50- Yushu Airport Pick up and drop off with a group

-$450 - 4 day by land tour, drive up to Garchen Institute from Chengdu Airport- all-inclusive of hotel rooms, driver, 3 meals a day (with at least 3 other passengers)


*Additional personal expenses: RT Airfare to Chengdu, China (CTU) China from SFO/LAX approx. $600+ Chinese Visa $130 + Personal travel Insurance (1 month) $80 + Spending Money $300 

Deadlines: A $500 deposit is due to The Pureland Project by May 1st and the final payments of $1,450 is due on May 28th. This course is limited to 30 participants, half of the spaces have been reserved already, leaving 15 spaces for participants.

Air Travel: Participants will need to arrive in Chengdu, China (CTU) by July 29th if you would like to participate in the overland tour. Or Yushu (YUS) by August 2nd if you are coming straight to the site. All participants need to be at Garchen Institute by the evening of August 2nd. A welcome dinner will be provided.

Optional Tour: If it is your first time to Tibet or China, we encourage you to come to the Garchen Institute Tibet by land. We will pick you up at the airport, set you up at a local hostel, take you on a day tour and help you enjoy China’s food capital- Chengdu! From there we will continue our drive to the Tibetan plateau, stopping for a night in Kandze a cultural capital, dipping our feet into a hot spring and carrying on to Yushu, stopping at a sacred lake along the way. We will land in GarGon village on the third day, having climbed to 4,200m. Taking a day to rest and explore before the WFR course commences.




Morning: Wilderness vs. Urban Patient Assessment System

Afternoon: Patient Assessment System Documentation Readings: Ch 1


Morning: Chest Injury, Shock

Afternoon: Spine and Spinal Cord Injury, Lifting and Moving, Spinal Protection & Litter Packaging, Readings: Ch 2, 3, 4


Morning: Focused Spine Assessment, Head Injury

Afternoon: Athletic Injury, Fracture Management, Pain Management in the WildernessEvening, Dislocations, Readings: Ch 4, 5, 6


Morning: Wilderness Wound Management

Afternoon: Heat and Hydration, Hypothermia, Frostbite, and Non-Freezing Cold Injury, Readings: Ch 7, 8, 9, 10, 23


Morning: Altitude Illness, Bites and Stings, Lightning

Afternoon: Submersion, Leadership, Teamwork, Communication Stress First Aid, Readings: Ch 11, 12, 13, 14, 26



Morning: Cardiac, CPR 

Afternoon: CPR, Respiratory, Altered Mental Status, Readings: Ch 17, 19


Morning: Acute Abdomen, Allergies and Anaphylaxis

Afternoon: Diabetes, SAR, Evac, and Emergency Plans

Evening: Mock Rescue, Readings: Ch 16, 18, 19, Appendix B


Morning: Wilderness Drug and First Aid Kits Decision-making, Mental Health, Poisoning, Dental

Afternoon: Communicable Disease, Urinary, and Reproductive, Medical-Legal, Readings: Ch 12, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

DAY 10

Morning: Written and Practical Exams

Afternoon: Written and Practical Exams Closing Ceremony


Textbook: NOLS Wilderness Med


Participants must be drug and alcohol-free and abstain from any and all use of mind-altering substances during the sober part of the tour.



NOLS WFR trainer: TBD

Site Coordinator: Margaret “Meg” Ferrigno Ph.D. founder and Executive Director of the Pureland Project & Pureland Travels LLC.
Meg voluntarily organizes tours to raise funds for Garchen Rinpoche’s village school projects which she manages under the Pureland Project. Meg speaks Tibetan and spent several years in Tibet at Gargon. 


Due 5/1/2020

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