December 04, 2017

Touch of Nature Environmental Center offers wilderness training

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you’ll want to prepare for all those potential what-ifs by participating in a wilderness training workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

The intensive Wilderness First Responder Certification Course is set for Jan. 4-12, 2018, at Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road. Participants will learn how to handle medical emergencies when calling 911 isn’t an option or help is too far away.

In addition, there will be an open recertification course at Touch of Nature on Jan. 13-15, 2018. Anyone who has previously earned the certification and wants to renew it can participate.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the Wilderness First Responder Full Course or the Wilderness First Responder Recertification Course. To arrange a visit to Touch of Nature to get photographs, interviews or video, contact Erik Oberg at 618/453-3945 or by email at

What’s covered

The Wilderness First Responder Full Certification Course will cover a wider variety of topics, including patient assessment, body systems, trauma, environmental medicine, toxins, back-country medicine, wilderness rescue and more. Those who successfully complete the class will be able to handle emergency situations that involve prolonged patient care, using improvised equipment, and dealing with harsh or difficult environments.

Organizers say students, outdoor professionals and enthusiasts and anyone who may want to know about how to handle an outdoor medical emergency will find the class beneficial and interesting.

The course is intensive and fast-paced. Each morning will feature classroom instruction and the afternoon and evening sessions will focus on practical skills work, incorporating everything from learning to make an improvised stretcher to stabilizing an injured patient. There will also be full-scale rescue simulations.

Register now

Those who complete the class will receive a three-year certification from Wilderness Medical Associates, the wilderness medical training company which is providing the course’s professional instructors.

The cost of the course is $720; room and board are available for an additional fee. The deadline to register for the full course is Dec. 15. The cost for the recertification course is $350 and early registration is suggested since the class often fills fast.

Sign up online at or by calling 618/453-1121.

SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center and Health Education and Recreation Department are collaborating with Wilderness Medical Associates to offer the pair of courses.

For more information, contact Erik Oberg at 618/453-3945 or by email at