Winter Guide Training
December 15-19, 2021
$675 (includes food and lodging)

This workshop is designed to cover the skills needed to safely guide in the winter. Whether you are guiding snowmobile, dogsled, ski or snowshoe/toboggan trips, there are a lot of skills required that are specific to the winter environment.

The following topics will be covered in depth:

  • Hypothermia – recognition, prevention, treatment
  • Frostbite – recognition, prevention, treatment
  • Ice Reading – characteristics, formation, safe route selection
  • White-out navigation – map & compass, GPS, traditional Inuit techniques
  • Minimal Equipment – for any type of winter travel – human powered or snowmobiles
  • Snow machine Travel – off trail, freighting loads with quamotiks & toboggans, dealing with slush, the “well outfitted” snow machine, tow ropes vs. tow bars
  • Winter bivouac – Spending a night out with the clothes on your back, snow & bough shelters
  • Client Concerns – Looking after your sports in the winter
  • Winter Camping Techniques – Setting up a safe, dry, warm traditional winter camp, fire building with and without matches
  • Dog & Human Powered Travel – Depending on snow/ice conditions we will also cover the basics of snowshoe and dog team use.

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or

Maine River Guide Training
East Branch Penobscot River
May 4-8, 2022

The focus of the Maine River Guide Training is on how to safely lead and manage groups on technical rivers during canoe trips. Technical rivers are defined as having Class 2 and above rapids and/or mandatory portages around falls or rapids. This is not a white water skills clinic. Participants should be comfortable and competent in class 2 and above white water. You should be able to ferry, eddy out, peel out, etc. anywhere in a set of rapids in this level of difficulty. Major topic area to be covered are two fold:

  • Information you, as a guide, need to cover before taking clients into a white water situation
  • Information you as a guide need to have relating to group management techniques, safety considerations, protection strategies for rapids, and judgment/decision making

Primary topics covered

1. River safety briefing, Self rescue, Objective River hazards, Throw bags, Sample stroke lessons, Sample river maneuvers lesson, Ferries, Eddy turns, Peel outs, Eddy sets, Offensive vs. defensive paddling techniques, Sample river reading lesson, Eddies, Eddy lines, White waves, Dark waves, V’s,
Info, to, have in her/his head1. Group management skills for approaching major rapids, major portages, for easier river stretches (class 2 or below)
2. Protection systems for major rapids, timing, throw bags, boat based
3. Portage organizing, tumplines, one/two person lifts, one/two person carries
4. Lining, bridles, painter lines, canoe trim
5. Scouting from shore, from eddies
Other topics – as time and interest permits: Fly fishing, Lost clients, Map and compass, Contours and river gradients, Canoe/camping techniques, Poling upstream and snubbing, Canoe pins, avoiding, unpinning, haul systems, Knots every guide should know

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or

Wilderness First Aid
April 30 – May 1, 2022
$310 commuter
$390 meals and lodging

Wilderness First Aid is a two-day introduction to general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures. The course is taught by professional instructors with significant patient care and backcountry experience.

Course topics are: Patient Assessment System; CPR; Circulatory System; Nervous System; Respiratory System; Fractures, Stable Injuries; Splints 1-Extremities; Hypothermia; Hyperthermia and Heat Illness; Near Drowning; Lightning Injuries; Wounds and Burns; Anaphylaxis; Lifting, Moving Extrication; Patient Carries; Backcountry Medicine

This course is traditionally scheduled for two days or 16 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion students will receive certification in Wilderness First Aid and Adult CPR valid for THREE YEARS.

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or

Wilderness First Responder Recert and Open Recertification

April 30 – May 2, 2022
$425 commuter
$540 meals and lodging

The Open Recertification course is open to graduates of all wilderness medical training courses of 64 hours or longer with a current Wilderness First Responder certification. Successful graduates of this course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates’ Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certifications. WMA WEMT graduates with a current EMT-B or Paramedic certificate may also recertify the wilderness portion of their WEMT with this course.

This course is presented in 24 hours over three days. Typically, mornings are devoted to lectures, discussions and quizzes, with afternoons devoted to outdoor practical skills and scenarios. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Expect rescue scenarios with made-up victims and simulated wounds to prepare you for backcountry emergencies. Sessions may be videotaped for enhanced learning.

Day 1: 8 hours – Introduction/Registration; Review Study Packet, PatientAssessment System, Basic Life Support (including Healthcare Provider-level CPR), Circulatory System, Respiratory System, Nervous System, Lifts, Moves and Extrications, PAS Drills
Day 2: 8 hours – Musculoskeletal, Dislocations, Spine Management, Wounds and Burns, PAS Drills, Splints I – Extremities, Splints II – Spines, Simulation
Day 3: 8 hours – Allergies and Anaphylaxis, Environmental Injuries, PAS Drills, Simulation, Final Testing, Conclusion

All eligible students who complete this course will receive Wilderness Medical Associates’ International Wilderness First Responder, Anaphylaxis, and BLS/Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification. These certifications remain valid for three years. This certification can be used to challenge the DOT First Responder Exam, which is at the discretion of the local or state EMS authorities.

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or

Wilderness First Responder

The Wilderness First Responder program is the ideal medical training for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.

The Wilderness First Responder curriculum is written in-house by a team of remote medical rescue researchers and professionals. Ongoing evidence based research and review contributes to a unique and innovative approach to patient care in backcountry and austere settings. The curriculum is comprehensive, complete, and kept current on an annual basis. This is the most current and cutting edge course of any first response medical training (urban or remote) in the world.

  • The General Principles of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine with an emphasis on the prevention and identification of medical emergencies, appropriate technology, and risk management.
  • Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR, basic Life support, and the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and asthma.
  • Environmental Medicine including altitude illness, hypothermia and heat illness, frostbite and cold injury, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
  • Backcountry Medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
  • Musculoskeletal Problems including unstable and stable injuries overuse syndromes, and dislocations.
  • Wound management including open fractures, lacerations, burns and blisters.
  • Practical skills including splinting, bandaging, litter packaging and medical kit preparation.
  • WMA International Wilderness Protocols including wound cleaning and exploration, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, CPR in the remote setting, and anaphylaxis and asthma.

Wood-Canvas Canoe Building

There is nothing quite like paddling a wooden canoe made from the trees that grow native in our northwoods. We offer wood-canvas canoe building courses in the spring and fall that are 8 days long. In that timeframe, 2 people with minimal woodworking experience can take a canoe home with them finished except for painting and varnishing. We have four models of canoe forms available from 16’ Prospector to a 19’ square stern Grand Laker. CLICK HERE to download a PDF of our various canoe models.

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or

Paddle Making

This is a 2-day workshop in which participants make their own canoe paddle from ash, maple, or cherry. We have templates for a variety of blade shapes and grip styles. Contact us for spring, summer, or fall scheduling and pricing. Minimum of two people required to offer this workshop.

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or


Dogsled Construction

At Mahoosuc, we build our own dogsleds for use in our guide service. Over the years, we have had the good fortune of learning the craft from Ed Moody, who was a master sled builder, and Pauloosie Kooniliusie, an Inuk Hunter from Qikitarjuap. All of our sleds use traditional joinery and lashings for flexibility and strength. We can help you build a toboggan or basket sled for travel by dog team or a quamatik for hauling freight with your snow-machine. CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the various sled options and prices. Sled building workshops vary from 4 to 8 days in length depending on the size and type of sled. Contact us for scheduling a workshop in the spring, summer, or fall.

For more information, contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or

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