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// Advanced Wilderness Life Support ® in the UK.


We were advised at the end of 2022, that AWLS will be changing. We are awaiting final details before setting any dates for 2023. We understand that further developments and information will be available february 2023.



The team at R2Ri have significant expertise across many levels in the Remote Area and Wilderness Medical Fields. Three of our medics sit on Wilderness Medical Society Committees: Operational Medicine (military medicine, environmental and Prolonged Field care) as well as Global Health and Expedition Medicine committees). Some of our medics also teach wilderness medicine at University level. 


Team members represented an expedition sector industry body during the Institute of Outdoor Learning consultation on Outdoor First Aid. Other team members are involved in writing the wilderness medicine elements of new european pre hospital qualifications and several have taught the subject both in the UK and overseas, including at advanced levels. Team member hold numerous relevant qualifications from the Diploma in Mountain Medicine to travel health and tropical medicine, Hyperbaric qualifications amongst others and invest heavily in ongoing CPD, including in the UK at prestigious academic institutions such as Schools of Tropical Medicine, to overseas educational establishments.

R2Ri is the only Wilderness Medical Society Affiliate headquartered in England and Wales and one of only two WMS Affiliates in the UK - the other being the Faculty of Pre Hospital Care, Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh).

We aim to assist UK based medics to achieve their Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. The Advanced Wilderness Life Support Course attracts FAWM points. The course is a Foundation level course for those with a medical background who are seeking a grounding in wilderness medicine. This course is a great launching point to more in depth medical study related to Remote Area and Wilderness medicine.

The Faculty of Pre - Hospital Care at the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh produced a Consensus Paper on Medical Provision for Wilderness Medicine. This was published on 1 December 2015 in the Extreme Physiology and Medicine Journal.

The guidance was updated in february 2020. See the link here. The update guidance placed an emphasis on a blend of skills for medics operating in remote areas, which included (but not limited to):

  • Medical skills

  • Wilderness Medical Training

  • Wilderness Skills 

  • Risk Management knowledge (see our Off Site Safety Management course).

  • For some of the higher grades, a trauma course is indicated. We run a remote area emphasis Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support course (delivered in 64 countries - delivered by us in the UK as a UK localised edition, endorsed by the College of Paramedics and JRCALC compliant). Our delivery of the course, uniquely, globally, carries credits for the Wilderness Medical Society Faculty in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine). 

Please also have a read of our blog post considering the new guidelines in some detail. AWLS is an excellent course to work towards meeting the new guidelines. This course is a stand alone course but forms one module as part of our wider "Core Four' comprising of AWLS, Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support, Prolonged Field Care and Off Site Safety Management courses. We know this combination is highly effective in the field. If delegates are seeking to attend PHTLS as well, we recommend attending PHTLS first as that has a focus on trauma (which AWLS does not - AWLS is more medical) and PHTLS has a big focus on primary survey so is a great foundation to then add in AWLS.

Advanced Wilderness Life Support ® in the UK:


The Advanced Wilderness Life Support® certification course has grown significantly since its development at the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1997. The course grew from a Committee including wilderness medical experts from across the U.S. and U.S. Military and now features an impressive Faculty and a 364 page written manual maintained by international contributors with geographical content covering many parts of the globe - including with European input. The course is now delivered through approved providers at locations in many countries throughout the globe. R2Ri is proud to be delivering the AWLS course in the UK. We have chosen to deliver this course as it gives a good foundation to the subject to those who already hold medical qualifications, over a realistic time scale, is supported by, reviewed and kept up to date by medical professionals and is accompanied by an excellent text which references Wilderness Medical Society papers and research. This course is a great launching point to more in depth medical study related to Remote Area and Wilderness medicine.

The mission of AWLS is to create competence in medical professionals, enabling them to prevent and effectively manage emergency medical situations outside traditional medical facilities.

The AWLS certification is a three day course delivering Remote Area and Wilderness specific content for those who already have a medical background. It is appropriate for any licensed medical professional, or medical professional in training, who has an interest in wilderness activities. AWLS graduates include outdoor enthusiasts, expedition participants, US and UK Army and other military medical personnel, wilderness medicine academics and Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship candidates. Delegates who have attended our AWLS and PHTLS courses have indicated that this was excellent preparation for their first deployment as expedition medics overseas, to remote areas, including jungle, at altitude and diving expeditions, with medical responsibility for groups.

Who is the course for?:

It is appropriate for any licensed medical professional, or medical professional in training, who has an interest in wilderness activities. It is a foundation level course to introduce those who are already medically qualified (see pre requisites below), to the wilderness medicine. 

Licensed medical professionals should take the AWLS course, thus any one who holds of these degrees: MD, PhD, PA, NP, RN, Paramedic, EMT, current CMT1,  FREC 4. It also includes medical professionals who may not see emergency care or general practice responsibilities on a day to day basis (ie: podiatrist, OBGYN). Our graduates include outdoor enthusiasts, expedition participants, US Army, UK and other military medical personnel, wilderness medicine academics, and Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship candidates.

The Objectives of AWLS include:

  • Providing a practical foundation in Wilderness Medicine for medical professionals

  • Teaching patient assessment and treatment guidelines for life support until definitive care or evacuation is available

  • Training the provider in methods to manage medical and trauma emergencies and urgencies in the wilderness when evacuation is unavailable or unnecessary

  • Teaching techniques and guidelines for evacuation.

Topics include:

  • Relevant standards

  • What the statistics say - what happens in the mountains, fieldwork, expeditions and travel

  • Animal, Insect, Arthropod, Marine Bites & Stings

  • Avalanche

  • Dive Medicine

  • Head, Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, Skin

  • High Altitude Related Problems

  • Hyperthermia

  • Hypothermia & Frostbite

  • Infectious Disease

  • Lightning

  • Medical kits

  • Medical Problems

  • Moving an Injured Patient

  • Patient Assessment

  • Patient Packaging & Evacuation

  • Submersion Injuries

  • Water Disinfection & Purification

  • Wound & Musculoskeletal Injuries Management

  • Optional kit show and tell night one

Approximately half of the course time is spent in small groups participating in hands on teaching sessions and mock patient scenarios. AWLS is approved for FAWM credits via the Wilderness Medical Society.  


Course Dates:

Our next AWLS courses are:

24-26 October 2022.  09.11.22. Post course materials have been emailed out. Paperwork has all been processed and sent to the awarding body. We will email certificates out the day we receive them.


Venue: Plas Y Brenin.

Cost: £695.00 (we understand that our delivery, as the UK home of AWLS, is the lowest cost AWLS in Europe). This includes PDF manual sent in advance for pre study, hard copy manual issued on the course itself for ease of revision at the location along with wipe clean check card set, backpack friendly manual for in the field, tuition and certification.

How to book:

Download the pack, save it your computer and you can complete the booking form electronically and email to us. Alternatively, print off the pack, complete and scan the booking form back to us. Please do not submit a booking form unless you intend to attend the course as our booking terms and conditions (which can be found in the booking pack) apply and they contain cancellation charges. After booking, please follow our social media for course updates on facebook, linkedin, twitter and instagram.  We send out joining instructions a month or so before the course, with a reminder approximately a week before the course.


We recommend all delegates to take out suitable insurance before booking courses to cover travel and accommodation as well as course fees.






















Testimonials for AWLS:

Completely blown away by the experience of the Faculty.

I feel this complemented the trauma side of PHTLS perfectly and I now feel I have a good foundation in minor injury/illness as well.

Really great experience and the teaching was excellent.

Fantastic !

Very thorough coverage of all things wilderness.

All amazing except for Doc P - I think he needs more experience ;) (said in flattering jest of a FAWM holder, DiMM, British Antarctic Survey Doc, exped leader etc).

Thanks again guys, another superbly run course.

Great experience & range of courses. Really helpful that all courses ‘marry up’.

Another awesome course, that’s so different and more interesting than run of the mill courses.

Very good course.good delivery. Good level of content and mixture of attendees.

Excellent. Perfect …



Personal insight from experienced Faculty.


(Was the course useful?). Yes, definitely.

Excellent course, full of practical application.

Brilliant, really knowledgeable and experienced (Faculty).

Really good course.

Very useful, good to get hands on - kit prep (and meet interesting people/colleagues).

Faculty - A+

Thank you. Of special use was the ‘extras’ eg Celox training etc in the evening. Thank you.,

Very useful - practical and relevant to work as a as a potential expedition/wilderness medic.

Faculty: Superb - unbelievable experience and knowledge. Very approachable and friendly.

All very useful. Practical sessions particularly useful.

Many thanks to all the instructors - all superb and made the course what it is.

Course was very beneficial and relevant.

Exceptional clinical and operational experience.

Excellent balance of presentations & practicals. Lecturers had relevant experience to present the course.

Exceptionally useful.


Delegates loved: “the instructors’ experience”, “the informality and interactivity”, “availability and selection of kit”, “credibility of faculty”, “pre- course support”, “venue and excellent Faculty/organisation”, “really good scenarios to practice”.


“Great instructors, well informed”, “nothing I didn’t like”, “good venue and excellent facilities”, “the content and interaction”, “really good and useful. Would recommend!”, “fantastic outdoor scenarios”, “very good delivery of sessions...I have very much enjoyed the scenarios too”, “excellent day, well organised and delivered 🙂. Thanks!”, “(Outdoor) Wilderness scenarios: a highlight of the course”, “Challenging scenarios”, “ great scenarios, great facilitation”, “every subject taught me something new and practical”, “very good course”, “excellent day 3”,  “excellent sessions, particularly as practical”, “good clinical scenarios, I liked the distraction by the media personnel”, “good use of anecdotes to put teaching into use”, “really nice and informal, easy to interrupt and ask questions”, “very interactive and interesting day, well organised sessions”, “great final group exercise”, “excellent, well taught and organised first day, looking forward to days 2 and 3”.

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