Wilderness Medicine Survival Skills Course and Whitewater Rafting Adventure

7 Days
From $2,395

Wilderness Medicine Survival Skills Course and Whitewater Rafting Adventure

The Wilderness Medicine Skills Course is an exciting and highly acclaimed field course. It is designed for physicians, PAs/NPs, nurses, and other medical professionals who want to learn hands-on and practical wilderness medicine, survival, and wilderness travel skills in a spectacular outdoor setting.

Non-medical guests (at least 13 years old) are welcome to participate in the course to whatever extent they’d like – and their recurring feedback is also very positive.

The CME lectures (16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits) include exciting demos, interactive workshops, and patient scenarios. Learn from renowned leaders in the field of wilderness medicine including Howard Donner, MD, and Sheryl Olson, RN.

Participants will experience four days of whitewater rafting on some of the country’s finest rivers and savor delicious farm-to-table meals crafted by Chef Lauren. There’s also an optional challenge to summit the breathtaking Mt. Shasta at 14,180 ft.

Your home for the course is Paradise Point, a private 20-acre riverside retreat in the rugged Mt. Shasta/Marble Mountains Wilderness areas of Northern California. It is an ideal location for whitewater rafting some of America’s finest rivers. All delicious meals and drinks (wine, beer, non-alcoholic drinks) are included!

Despite its secluded wilderness location, traveling to Paradise Point is easy. We recommend flying into Medford Airport (MFR) which is a well-connected regional hub that’s a relatively short drive away (rent a car, or inquire about an optional round-trip shuttle service).

This course is also highlighted by 4 days of exciting whitewater rafting on the beautiful Klamath and Salmon Rivers. Experienced guides will skillfully guide you through exhilarating scenery and rapids and give you a chance to guide the raft in calmer waters if you’re interested.

Approved for 16 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits

The CME lectures take place at various beautiful riverside settings. The course features interactive workshops and demonstrations taught by renowned faculty including Howard Donner, MD and Sheryl Olson, RN – both leaders in the field of wilderness medicine. Topics include:

  • Hypothermia, frostbite, heat illness, and altitude illness
  • Field management of wounds, fractures, dislocations, and sprains including reduction and improvised splinting techniques
  • Snake envenomations, wilderness ENT problems
  • Backcountry evacuation, helicopter rescue, improvised carries, packaging, and litters
  • Lightning, OB/gyn in the wilderness, waterborne illness and disinfection
  • Patient assessment in an austere/wilderness setting
  • Preparing a medical kit for travel, adventures, and expeditions

The course will also teach hands-on wilderness travel skills including:

  • Fire starting, shelter building, signaling and attaining water
  • Ropes & Knots for survival and rescue
  • Orienteering (map and compass) and navigation (including GPS)
  • Blister prevention and treatment
  • Whitewater rafting skills and cold-water immersion
  • Flood and swift-water crossing techniques
  • Wilderness rescue, communications, emergencies in airplanes
  • Basic mountaineering, ice axe, and snow travel skills (optional, taught by SWS Mountain Guides)

Head Instructor – Howard Donner, MD
Dr. Howard Donner is renowned as one of the world’s most experienced expedition physicians. He is also a highly acclaimed speaker on Wilderness Medicine.

Dr. Donner has been prominently featured in two award-winning NOVA television documentaries including; “Deadly Ascent” which chronicles mountain medicine and research on 20,320 ft Denali (Mount McKinley); and “Everest: The Death Zone”. Donner served as expedition doctor on the 1998 NOVA Everest expedition, which was featured in the television documentary: “Everest: The Death Zone”

  • 3 seasons as a rescue doctor on Mt. McKinley in Alaska for the National Park Service at the 14,000 foot medical / rescue station
  • Worked on numerous medical projects in the Himalayas including two seasons as a staff physician for the Himalayan Rescue Association
  • Expedition physician on the first American ascent of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak (28,000 feet)
  • Olympic physician for the United States White Water Team in Atlanta in 1996
  • 5 years of service as a medical operations consultant for NASA, where he was involved in the design of the Shuttle and International Space Station medical systems
  • Co-author of The Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine (3rd edition was published in August of 2008)

Sheryl Olson, RN, BSN: Wilderness medicine, survival, and navigation instructor for 28 years. 18 years as a helicopter flight nurse, and 10 years as an ICU nurse. Developed a survival training program for air medical flight crews in Colorado. Has led several expeditions to Everest base camp. One of the lead instructors of Advanced Wilderness Expedition Provider (AWEP).

Kyle Allred, PA-C: International guide on five continents; Co-owner of Adventure Whitewater (raft guide outfitting service). Wilderness survival instructor. Co-founder of MedCram.com and MedWild.com Instructional Videos.

Ryan Allred: Captain of US National Championship Raft team (2000). World-class kayaker and kayak instructor. Professional fly fishing guide. Co-Owner Adventure Whitewater (raft guide service).

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Center for Emergency Medical Education and Wilderness and Travel Medicine. The Center for Emergency Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Center for Emergency Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 16 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Wilderness Medicine Intensive Skills CME Itinerary
All delicious meals and beverages (including alcoholic beverages) are included and served at Paradise Point or during our daily rafting excursions.

The itinerary below is our planned schedule. However, times are estimates and topics may vary depending on a variety of factors.

Arrive at Paradise Point (your deluxe, private campground for the week) by 10 AM. After group intros, we’ll jump right into interactive lectures and hands-on skills including:
• High altitude illness
• Practical wilderness medicine skills and patient carries
• Survival skills: shelter and signaling practice
• Flood and swiftwater safety and rescue
• Frostbite Prevention and Treatment

Whitewater rafting on the Klamath River (class III whitewater = moderate, fun) at the base of the Marble Mountains in Northern California. Expect fantastic wildlife and scenery. Early risers can enjoy optional guided yoga each morning at 6:45 AM

Hands-on workshops and interactive lectures include:
• Lightning injuries and prevention
• Ropes and knots for survival and rescue
• Hypothermia and cold water immersion
• Strategies for preparing an expedition medical kit

Whitewater rafting on Clear Creek including fun rapids in a deep canyon with world-class scenery (class III whitewater).

Hands-on workshops and interactive lectures include:
• Heat illness
• Splinting workshop of common ortho injuries
• Reducing anterior shoulder dislocations
• OB/Gyn in the Wilderness

Whitewater rafting on the breathtaking Salmon River with class III to IV rapids (fun, exciting rapids).

Hands-on workshops and interactive lectures include:
• Wilderness infectious disease and water treatment
• Patient assessment and packaging
• Stream crossing strategies and practice
• Blister prevention and treatment

Whitewater rafting on the Klamath River including an optional hike to Ukanam Falls with incredible scenery.

Hands-on workshops and interactive lectures include:
• Map and Compass / GPS Navigation
• Patient assessment and packaging
• Wilderness eye & ENT problems
• Snake envenomations

After breakfast (and optional early morning yoga), we’ll spend the day on a variety of wilderness medicine and survival activities including:
• Survival Skills: Fire, water, planning a kit
• Patient scenarios and practice
• Survival skills practice and competition
• Rescue communications and medical emergencies in the air

(optional): All-day outdoor workshop, “Snow School,” on basic mountaineering on Mt. Shasta with Sierra Wilderness Seminars. Includes snow travel, crampons and ice axe, and self-rescue techniques.

DAYS 8-9
(optional): Guided ascent to the summit of awe-inspiring Mt. Shasta (14,180 ft.).

Departure Dates:

2024 Dates
June 8-14
Optional Mt. Shasta ascent and “snow school”: June 14 – 16

2025 Dates
June 7-13
Optional Mt. Shasta ascent and “snow school”: June 13 – 15

Trip Length: 7 Days

Trip Length: 7 Days
Trip Price:

$2,395 – Includes a spacious tent and comfy 3-inch pad that will be set up and ready upon your arrival.

$2,570 – Includes a larger/taller tent with a cot and pad ($175 extra per person) that will be ready upon your arrival

$2,245 – For those who’d like to bring their own tent and pad to set up, we’re offering a $150 discount

Adult Guests (Non-medical professionals): $1,695
Guests 13-18 years: $995

$2,495 – Includes a spacious tent and comfy 3-inch pad that will be set up and ready upon your arrival.

$2,670 – Includes a larger/taller tent with a cot and pad ($175 extra per person) that will be ready upon your arrival

$2,345 – For those who’d like to bring their own tent and pad to set up, we’re offering a $150 discount

Adult Guests (Non-medical professionals): $1,795
Guests 13-18 years: $995

Optional post-trip activity outfitted by Sierra Wilderness Seminars:
A one-day *snow school” (includes ice axe, self-arrest, and crampon technique), and a two-day Mt. Shasta summit ascent: $885

CME credits (optional cost): 16 Hours AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
2024 & 2025 – $789

Course includes: All meals & drinks, 4 days of whitewater rafting, tent, sleeping pad ($150 discount for participants who bring their own tent and pad as stated in pricing above).

Van transfer from MFR airport to Paradise Point is available for $100 round trip (many participants rent a car or bring their own).

Deposit: $600.00

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7 reviews for Wilderness Medicine Survival Skills Course and Whitewater Rafting Adventure

  1. You will never be disappointed when you go on a trip with BBX Rafting!

  2. The most informative, hands-on, interesting CME I have ever attended….Instructors well-versed and entertaining…guides very safety oriented and helpful…food was amazing! This was the best CME I have attended in my 13 years of practice and I look forward to attending again…

  3. A wilderness adventure with top-notch staff providing excellent food, fun and facts. Beautiful scenery and outstanding faculty make this a must do for every outdoor enthusiast and medical types alike.

  4. Awesome, action-packed days full of all the stuff I was hoping to do and learn! I wouldn’t change a thing…World class faculty and it shows…obviously experienced with everything they are teaching…practical, ‘real-world’ approach…fun and excellent communicators. Each lecture / teaching session was great. Competent, safe, knowledgeable guides that are a lot of fun!

  5. This is a Great course…I don’t know of any other course that combines so much quality wilderness medicine education with so much fun…I’d like to come back every year to be on the faculty…

  6. Cannot say enough good about this course! Excellent in every way! Fabulous course content. Perfect location! Will highly recommend this course to others!

  7. Best CME ever! This will be a trip we will remember forever! Awesome itinerary! Wonderful faculty-tops in knowledge! I learned many new things from all of the faculty.