Backcountry Skills

As many of our readers know, one of the goals for EDTS is to equip students with “translatable” backcountry skills that will serve them in both the backcountry and on the mission field. Another goal of EDTS is to graduate students with credible skills that can serve them after DTS as they seek employment within the outdoor industry at a camp, gear shop, guide company or elsewhere. One of the most practical ways that we accomplish both of these goals is by facilitating a 4-day wilderness advanced first aid course (WAFA) run by a nationally, and internationally, recognized backcountry medicine education authority, Aerie Backcountry Medicine (

The progression of this week in EDTS started with a basic 2-day AHA CPR/1st Aid course in 2011. In 2012, we integrated a 3-day Aerie wilderness first aid (WFA) course into the curriculum and now we added an extra day for a 36 hour WAFA course, complete with a mass casualty scenario.

Like most things in EDTS, all of our adventures are shared with friends and like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. We have been so blessed as a school to build a relationship with Aerie Backcountry Medicine and to become friends with several of their amazing instructors. This year was particularly special because Betsy and I re-certified our WFR certs (wilderness first responder) with the same instructors that taught our school in 2012 and then again this summer.

A huge thank you to everyone at Aerie for your dedication to excellence in teaching and training in outdoor backcountry medicine! Can you find the Aerie gear in this picture above? Major kudos for the Aerie Level II trauma kit and “most comfortable synthetic backpacking t-shirt ever”!

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Ready to make the jump.

At YWAM Montana-Lakeside, we are all about doing whatever it takes to know God and to make Him known, together! We’d love to help you make that next step in your global missions education. Apply now!

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