Austere First Aid

Be someone’s hero! Even if you’re totally new, get the skills and confidence you need to handle medical emergencies when professional help isn’t available. Made by top austere and tactical medicine teachers.

90+ Lessons | 8+ Hours of Video

Enroll now

Normal first aid courses teach you based on the assumption that help is just a phone call away — but what happens when that’s not true and it’s up to you?

This is the course we wish we could’ve taken when starting out. Even after spending decades in “austere” emergency medicine as wilderness, combat, and SWAT medics, we still couldn’t find lessons that talked about what to do in these kinds of “things aren’t normal” scenarios.

So we decided to make it ourselves.

This course is equivalent to a one-week-long, in-person Wilderness First Aid class. Except it’s condensed into an online series you can comfortably watch whenever you want in about a day or two — all for hundreds of dollars less than the in-person options.

Good news: After just a single day of learning in this course, you’ll be able to handle almost any situation imaginable. Just check out the full curriculum below to see everything you’ll learn!

Don’t be a victim — learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your community while reducing strain on the system when emergencies happen.

Wide range of scenarios

You’ll learn how to handle the kinds of realistic situations you’re most likely to face in life and can actually do something about, such as:

  • Car accidents, falls, and other “kinetic” trauma
  • Massive bleeding
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Gunshot and knife wounds
  • Stroke, heart attack, and losing consciousness
  • Broken bones, dislocations, and sprains
  • Heat stroke, hypothermia, and altitude sickness
  • Cuts, wounds, and impalements
  • Drowning, lightning, snakes, etc.

Simple, memorable lessons

These teachers have taught thousands of students, including total newbies, so they know how to focus on just the right information in a way that you’ll actually benefit from in a later emergency:

  • How to diagnose problems with limited info
  • How to make decisions and lead others in chaos
  • When you can handle something on your own vs. calling for help
  • How to improvise gear when you don’t have proper supplies
  • How to know when you just can’t help someone anymore
  • What your legal risks are as a Good Samaritan

Meet Your Instructors

Tom Rader has 20+ years in emergency medicine. He started in an urban ambulance and later served as a medic attached to 4th Marine Recon Battalion in Iraq. Since returning to civilian life, Tom has been a top-tier Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder instructor, teaching thousands of students across the US, such as Search and Rescue teams, wildland firefighters, and ski patrols. Tom is also the Managing Editor of The Prepared.

Caleb Causey has been involved with field and tactical medicine for over 20 years. Caleb served his country as a Combat Medic in the United States Army. He was stationed in Europe and participated in multiple deployments throughout his active duty service. He continued his medical career as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT and as the primary SWAT Medic. Mr. Causey has worked for a few private military companies over the years as well. Upon completing paramedic school Caleb was recruited as an adjunct instructor for an international training company. At which time he earned several state and national certifications in pre-hospital medicine at both provider and instructor levels. Since 2009 Caleb has ran Lone Star Medics; teaching and providing professional consulting in field and tactical medicine all over the US and abroad.

Sarib jot Khalsa is a wilderness EMT and advanced ambulance EMT who recently started her professional career after being a student of these courses and spending a few years on ski patrol. She was raised by professional medics and instructors, so she’s grown up in this community and enjoys translating medicine to a younger crowd.

John Ramey is the founder and chief editor of The Prepared. He’s credited as the leader of the “modern prepper movement”, with over a decade of teaching and advocacy. John previously served as an advisor to the White House, including co-founding the Defense Innovation Unit for the DOD, and has worked in over 30 countries on related issues like climate change and social unrest. John also worked as a Silicon Valley innovator and investor.

Course Content

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Section 1: Intro
Section 2: Medical 101
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Section 3: Patient Assessment System
Section 4: Critical Systems
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Section 5: Trauma
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Section 6: Environmental
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Section 7: Medical Emergencies
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Is this online, downloadable, a book, DVD… ?
These courses are entirely online, where you stream videos in a special classroom area of this website. You can stream on your computer, phone, and possibly your TV. Most lessons also have associated text notes, links, etc. Videos are not downloadable for now, but we intend on making that possible later on and are looking into how to do that the right way.
Who’s this for?
Total head-in-the-sand beginners, weekend warriors, all the way through experienced preppers advancing their skills. For example, the knife sharpening course isn’t going to make you a professional bladesmith, but it’ll get you close!
But I’m not a “prepper”
Are you a responsible adult? Gone are the days when most preppers fit into stereotypes. All that matters is you’re aware enough to know life can be hard and smart enough to do something about it. You’ll join a diverse community of kind, like-minded people.
Are there politics, conspiracies, preaching, etc?
None. There are plenty of other places for that. This community prefers to keep that stuff separate.
Can I talk to the teachers?
Yep, either them or someone like them. There are discussion areas on each topic, or you can email privately.
Can I get my money back?
Sure! If you’re not happy, just let us know within a month and you’ll get a full refund.
How long do I have access? What about updates?
Lifetime access, including free, automatic upgrades for anything we add or change in the future to that course.
What emergencies do you cover?
Modern, sane prepping means focusing first on things that are more likely than a doomsday zombie fantasy… fun as those might be 😉

Prepping is about anything that could majorly disrupt your life, which might be as simple as a car accident or sudden job loss. Natural disasters are another biggie, as are things like pandemics, economic crashes, civil unrest, and worse. Here’s more.

These courses are meant to apply to normal life as much as possible, but they also explain what to do in the really bad scenarios.

What are the courses like?
No boring slideshows with someone talking into a cheap webcam! Many scenes are shot on location so you can see things ‘for real’. Some classes are more like an in-person course, where it feels like your teacher is talking to a small room of students to explain concepts before getting into demonstrations.

Courses are broken into lessons (eg. “Dehydration”) and their topics (eg. “Symptoms” or “Treatment”). You move through at your own pace and in whatever order you want. Most topics have a main video with additional pictures and text beneath.

How much / what will I learn?
Prepping can be overwhelming in general — and you shouldn’t have to dive into the deep end of a topic just to learn the basics. We focus on Pareto Preparedness, based on the 80-20 “Pareto rule,” so you get the right info you need and none of what you don’t. That way you can get back to enjoying real life … just a lot smarter!

Once you finish a course, you’ll know enough to get you through the vast majority of emergency scenarios you’ll face and you will be better prepared than 99% of people around you.

But Youtube is free?
How often have you wasted hours browsing through videos to not really learn anything or get a clear answer you’d trust with your life? The old adage “you get what you pay for” is definitely true in prepping.

You’d be shocked at how much dangerously-wrong “advice” is taught online. Skip the rambling amateurs, extremist hermits, and ineffective lessons that don’t actually make you safer.

Even if you can find good free needles in that massive haystack, it will take days of hunting just to come close to these high-quality, professionally-taught courses — and you won’t get the ‘whole package’ of a structured, memorable flow built specifically for modern preppers.

Online vs. in-person lessons
We won’t offer an online courses unless we think it’s just as good as an equivalent in-person weekend course. Some are even better than a week-long 24/7 course.

In-person learning is great, especially for getting dynamic feedback as you practice your skills. And for hanging out with other people. Here’s a list of local training centers. Many of our video instructors also offer in-person lessons. But physical classes are often multiple times more expensive than these online courses, require you to travel, and you can’t go at your own pace.

You might want to take an online course so you can warm up at your own pace before your limited and expensive in-person time. Maybe you want to try the cheaper online version first before deciding if you want to go to a more advanced physical course. Or maybe you’ve taken an in-person course and want the digital version as a refresher you can go back to over the years.

Testimonials & Press

Don’t just take our word for it

“I learned SO much, even after taking a local Red Cross class. Thank you, thank you.”

Kristen P
June, 2021

“Checklists and acronyms are hard to remember when this isn’t your day job. The way the lessons explained things in simple language, especially the why behind something, was so helpful.”

Phillip R
June, 2021

“A cool headed site… emerging as the voice of a movement.”

New York Times
April 24th, 2020

“The Prepared runs more in the scouting-for-adults vein rather than towards stockpiling for the zombie apocalypse.”

May 9th, 2019

“To prep like a pro, you need to learn from The Prepared.”

April 16th, 2020

“The Prepared offer[s] useful, non-alarmist advice on disaster preparedness.”

The Guardian
April 30th, 2020

Risk Free

Lifetime Access & Upgrades

Whether you’re totally new or just want a refresher, we’re confident you’ll be happy.

Save hundreds over offline courses