Sam Coffman – 2015 Wilderness Herbal First Responder Certification Course

This class took place in the past. If you are looking for the current Wilderness First Responder Certification course with Sam Coffman, which is August 15-24, 2016, the listing is here.

Sam Coffman with prickly pear cactus pad.

Sam demonstrates how to clean the spines and glochids off of a prickly pear cactus pad at his school in San Antonio.

We’re thrilled to host Sam Coffman, founder of The Human Path and Herbal Medics, for his first teaching engagement in the Boston area.

Sam will be offering the Wilderness Herbal First Responder course right here in Boston. This includes a W(H)FR certification (WFR plus the extra herbal medicine component) through The Human Path, as well as an additional WFA certification through ECSI. As a special addition to this program, there will be extra modules and scenarios specific to Urban First Responder work – for those of us whose wilderness comes with a fair share of concrete!

One of the things that excites me most about Sam’s teaching is that he teaches from the perspective of “what if there is NO higher definitive care?” – not just, what if it’s far, far away, but what if it doesn’t exist? This philosophy is so important to me because, at whatever level we practice, learning to rely on ourselves without backup is tremendously empowering. When it’s possible, it’s great to get someone to an ER, but if a time comes and that’s not possible, I want to know what I can do with confidence.

location and schedule

The program will be based at our school/office at 25 St. Mary’s Court, Brookline, with outdoor activities planned in wild and urban spaces within walking distance of our school, as well as a short drive from our school.

The program will take place Monday, July 27 – Wednesday, August 5, 2015, from 9 – 4 each day, inclusive of the weekend. Most materials will be provided, though a list of things you might like to have, such as notebook, camera, fixed-blade knife, etc, will be sent out closer to the time. Lunch is not provided, though there is a Whole Foods right in front of our office, and there is kitchen space available. Please note, our space is strictly gluten and dairy free, please do not bring gluten and dairy items into our facility.


The WHFR is taught both from the perspective of pure wilderness first aid techniques as well as being able to successfully rely on and work with plant medicine – both in the local ecosystem and using self-prepared herbs from elsewhere around the world. The WHFR covers the following subjects and more – all subjects contain orthodox, wilderness first responder treatment as well as the use of botanical medicine (internally and externally). Exercises and scenarios put every subject to the test for all students.

  • Field and urban hygiene and sanitation
  • Sports medicine injury testing and care, short-term and long-term: Dislocations, partial and complete connective tissue tears, fractures
  • Immediate and long-term wound care in the field, including assessing and managing trauma from head to toe and wound and infection management
  • Bandaging and splinting using minimal equipment
  • Environmental injuries
  • Bone and soft-tissue trauma
  • Moving and transporting injured, including long-range evacuation and survival basics and considerations: stretchers, travois, carries
  • Setting up a post-disaster clinic in remote and urban environments
  • Shock
  • Burns
  • Acute infectious diseases – viral, bacterial, protozoan and helminthic, including gastrointestinal, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and skin
  • Chronic illnesses in the field, including type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular-related illness, arthritis, digestive issues (GERD, Uulcers, IBS, etc.), depression and emotional issues, and COPD
  • Herbal medicine making, including percolation tincturing, syrup making, salve making
  • Weedcrafting (finding herbs) and guerrilla gardening (preparing ahead of time by growing herbs in wild/public spaces) in an urban environment
  • Scenario activities to practice the skills learned


The cost for the program is $800, plus an $80 fee for the ECSI book, certificate, and filing for WFA certification through ECSI. There is not a separate fee for the W(H)FR registration, as that goes through Sam’s own school. Together, that’s a total of $880. Materials (except your knife and personal items) will be covered in the cost, but lunch is not provided.

Also included in the price is a copy of William Forgey’s book Wilderness Medicine, as well as a copy of Sam Coffman’s book The Herbal Medic. Everyone will also take home at least one tincture, at least one salve and at least one syrup that we’ll make in class.

A deposit of $300 is required to hold your space in the program; after March 1, the deposit is non-refundable. Because there will be a waiting list for this program, we will require the remainder be paid in full by July 1; this way we will have time to let folks on the waiting list know if there are any spots that become available.

refund policy

Because there will be a waiting list for this program, and in order to give people on the waiting list the opportunity to make arrangements to join the program if any spots become available:

  • After March 1, the $300 deposit is non-refundable.
  • The remainder, $580, must be paid by July 1. This allows us time to offer your spot to folks on the waiting list, in the event that you cannot attend.
  • If you are unable to attend the program, your fee, minus the $300 deposit, can be refunded if a person on the waiting list is able to take your spot. If no one is able to take your spot, your fee is not refundable.

discount policy

All proceeds will go to Sam. We are offering this program at the same cost that Sam offers it in Texas, despite that costs are higher in Boston, in an effort to make it as accessible as possible. Because of this, our usual discount policies will not apply to this program.

We will cap this program at 22 participants.

how to register

If you have questions or you’d like to register for this program, please use our contact form, or email us at

This class took place in the past. If you are looking for the current Wilderness First Responder Certification course with Sam Coffman, which is August 15-24, 2016, the listing is here.


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