Expedition Skills – Explorer

What WMT says

Expedition Skills is a world-class camping based multi-disciplinary 7-day collaborative training event delivered by WMT and Woodsmoke at their stunning base in the heart of the Lake District. Our aim is to deliver a solid base of expedition-proven skills ranging from bushcraft and expedition preparation to bush mechanic training, personal security and GPS navigation and concluding with WMT medical skills training – Far From Help. The course is delivered by the UK’s leading training providers in these respective fields. It starts mid-day on Monday and concludes at 4pm on Sunday. No previous camping or expedition experience is required. Expedition Skills was a ground breaking course when we started running it in 2005 and it’s never been copied. It’s an immersive, detailed and fun camping based and sociable experience. This in-depth course is ideal for expedition leaders, film crews, conservationist, teachers, soldiers, doctors, overland drivers and anyone planning an adventurous expedition, especially if it’s vehicle based. Expeditions Skills could also be your ticket to building your CV with a view to working professionally in the ecotourism and adventure travel industry and therefore of interest to military personnel looking to invest their resettlement grant. Alternatively, you’re welcome to join us for an exciting “working” holiday to extend your wilderness knowledge! Far From Help – can be booked on its own.

What students say

Great – all of it. Lot’s of humour, real examples.
An excellent, informative and useful course. Thank you v. much!
Relaxed and informative – never boring!
Excellent in presenting a lot of content in an interesting way.
Was glad of lots of [teaching] styles.
Superb – good humour & clear instructions.
Handled questions well – good demos.


WMT all July 2017 Lake District based courses – pre-course Dossier v1
WMT Participant Declaration

STOP PRESS – new 10-14 July dates added (1/2/17)

Due to unprecedented early demand, the 24-30 July 2017 course has already sold out but we’ve added these dates. This 5-day option includes all the training discussed below but NOT Far From Help. If you book this 5-day option and wish to attend Far From Help, we’re offering you a special price to do so either at the end of Expeditions Skills 29-30 July or at Grasmere Hostel 9-10 October for only £249 subject to availability. You cannot book this online. Once you have booked the 5-day module please contact WMT by email to discuss attending Far From Help.

Who can attend?

No prior experience is required and anyone without any prior expedition or remote medical training is welcome to attend. Expedition Skills represents a rare opportunity to learn a valuable combination of skills from world-class experts on one, seamless course.

What’s broadly covered on Expedition Skills?

The course days are divided as follows:
Woodsmoke forest and jungle training & expedition preparation – first 2.5 days (arrive noon)
– Bush mechanic training, GPS Navigation and personal security training – days 4-5
– WMT Far From Help module – days 6-7

The Expedition Skills Team

It takes a big team of experts to deliver a course of this breadth and calibre. Woodsmoke’s Ben McNutt will lead the first part of the course and their team will manage the camp and cooking for the duration. Ben is a brilliant instructor with an impressive expedition CV. The vehicle maintenance, navigation and security components of the course are taught by our seasoned freelance colleagues. The final medical modules are delivered by WMT’s instructors lead by Medical Director Dr. Harvey Pynn. The breadth of the course is matched by the seamlessness in the manner in which it’s delivered.

Modular content

Module 1 – Woodsmoke training – first 2.5 days

Campcraft: pitching a light weight expedition style base camp
• Camp-site selection
• Base-camp equipment selection
• Establishing base camp
• Building group latrines
• Minimum impact toilet protocols
• Health hygiene & sanitation
• Camp routines and protocols
• Water & fuel storage
• Stoves & lanterns
• Expedition kitchen set-up

Expedition shelters: personal/group shelters, rope-work, environmental considerations
• Rope types
• Rope coiling and storage
• Rope throwing
• Essential knots
• Tensioning systems and rope pulleys
• Group shelters – parachutes, tarps, shade nets
• Personal shelter systems – Bashas, bivies, hammocks & tents
• Personal equipment selection

Fire: safety considerations, environmental impact, expedition considerations
• Fire safety – choosing a fire site, extinguishing & clearing fire sites
• Principles of wood selection
• Burning properties of different woods
• Fire starting
• Establishing a fire & fire lays
• Environmentally specific techniques & low impact considerations

Expedition cooking
• Butchering a fish/small mammal/bird
• Fire management for cooking
• Trail-breads
• Food considerations for the trail/base camp/vehicle

Water safety
• The body’s reliance on water & avoiding dehydration
• Finding Water – environmental considerations
• Selection of source – environmental considerations
• Water indicators – environmental considerations
• Collecting and transporting water – environmental considerations
• Potential dangers in water supplies / water purification

Module 2 – Bush mechanic vehicle maintenance, Personal Security & GPS Navigation – days 4-5

Vehicle maintenance is kept at a basic and very accessible level in response to past course feedback. We have a purpose built stripped down vehicle chassis on site that enables students to really get hands on with improvised “bush mechanic” field repairs. Our instructor Stuart and his “machine” gets rave reviews every course and this is an incredibly fun and useful part of the week.

Learn about the mysteries of map datums, waypoints, tracks and routes in the practical GPS session. Our military security expert will teach you some very useful things to help make yourself more aware and safe in foreign, hostile situations.

Far From Help – details & outline programme

The running order and structure of Far From Help may differ depending on the venue and group size but all content will be covered or included in the course manual. See the main Far From Help web page for more information and other FFH course dates.

Day 1 – Theme – trauma
Introductions & aims of the course
Bench marking trauma scenario – practical
Legal issues
Measuring vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, breathing) – practical
Practical sessions:
ABC approach to the injured casualty
• Latest CPR guidelines
Practical sessions:
• moving / lifting / straightening an injured casualty
• basic fracture & dislocation management
Head and spine injuries
Wound management
Wound management – practical:
• use of Steristrips
• burns and dressings
• use of glue & wound packing
Expedition medical planning

Day 2 – Theme – medical problems
Diagnosis – how to take a patient history
Practical sessions:
• history taking
• examining ENT (ear, nose, throat) & eyes
Pain management & nursing care
Common medical conditions – diarrhoea, asthma, blisters, bites
Case based discussions:
• heat illness
• cold and frostbite injuries
• altitude sickness – use of Diamox/dexamethasone/nifedipine
Anaphylactic shock and use of Epipen/Anapen
Medical kits & supplies
Written examination
Final questions / certificates / feedback & farewell

Prescription Medications

You can read about using prescription antibiotics, acetazolamide (for high altitude), allergy medicines or strong pain killers in text books but the problem remains of how to obtain these supplies, how to use them appropriately and your legal position. FFH training eliminates all these concerns. We’ll tell you what medical supplies to take and enable you to obtain them two years post-course through Nomad Travel. Our comprehensive manual serves as an essential field aide memoir.

Note: some of the skills taught, and the use of prescription-only-medicines (POMs) are not appropriate for use in the UK or anywhere if professional medical support is readily available. Professional medical advice should always be sought before using prescription medications. WMT reserves the right to amend course content without notice in keeping with the latest best clinical practice.


The course fee is fully inclusive of meals, camping and materials, course notes/manuals, all instruction and associated equipment. VAT is also included. Personal camping equipment (such as tents/sleeping bags) is not provided although we do have some hammocks and tarps) to lend.