WMS Backpacking Medicine CME Hike

Sept 22-27, 2019

Appalachian Trail (Daleville to Dragon’s tooth: 33.6 miles)



Join us in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for a 4-day backpacking trip covering some of the most beautiful landmarks on the 2200-mile-long Appalachian Trail (AT) while earning CME!  Each night will include lectures, workshops or scenarios as we enjoy camping at the Appalachian Trail Shelters along the way. 




  • One shuttle each way between Roanoke airport and Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing (WAEL) if you can plan your trip accordingly.  See itinerary for shuttle timings.
  • Two nights lodging* and meals at Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing

*The first night will be in a lodge, and the second will be camping with your own gear

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Gear rental (available at Wilderness Adventure)
  • Food while in the backcountry


Our trip will conclude with a banquet at Wilderness Adventure Lodge with a debrief of the trek and Keynote Speaker (tbd). Food and entertainment will be provided. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase as well.


Mike Caudell, MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM
Dr. Michael Caudell is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Co-Director, and the Medical Director for Wilderness Medicine and Survival Medicine within the Center of Operational Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Dr. Caudell is one of the founders of MedWAR (Medical Wilderness Adventure Race), the Immediate Past Chair of ACEP's Wilderness Medicine Section, a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM), and has earned the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM).  He serves on the Board of Directors for the Wilderness Medical Society, the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine and North American Educational Adventure Racing.


Chris Davis, MD, FAWM
Wake Forest University, Department of Emergency Medicine, EMS/ Wilderness Medicine Fellowship



Jessie Gehner, MD
Jessie became interested in Wilderness Medicine after an accident while thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. All throughout her training at University of Kentucky College of Medicine, she tried to find ways to combine her passion for the outdoors with practicing medicine. As fate would have it, she was accepted to an Emergency Medicine Residency at Virginia Tech Carilion in Roanoke, VA, the same facility she had been taken to when she had to be evacuated from the Appalachian Trail with a broken leg. After residency, she was the first fellow to graduate from their Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and she now is Assistant Fellowship Director and Course Director for the Altitude Medicine Elective at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Her interests include Long Distance Hiker Health, Altitude Medicine and Education.


Taylor Haston, MD
Dr. Taylor Haston is from Charlotte, NC, completed medical school at Nova Southeastern University, Emergency Medicine residency training at the Medical College of Georgia, followed by a Wilderness Medicine Fellowship at MCG. She is now an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, as well as Director for the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship.  Dr. Haston has earned her Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) and certifications in Level 1 Swiftwater Rescue, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diving.  She works as medical support for an international ultra-marathon race series as frequently as her schedule allows and has traveled internationally as faculty, not only with the Wilderness Medicine Section, but also with the International Medicine Section and the Ultrasound Section at MCG.


Stephanie Lareau, MD, FAWM, FACEP, DiMM
Stephanie Lareau is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Virginia Tech- Carilion Clinic SOM in Roanoke, Virginia. She is the wilderness medicine fellowship director at Carilion Clinic. She is a director of the WMS Student/ Resident Elective, and the director of the VT-Carilion Wilderness Medicine Elective. She is a co-founder of the Southeastern Student Wilderness Medicine Conference, in its 13th year. She is very active in wilderness medicine education in her community, through Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine. Stephanie completed a Wilderness Medicine fellowship at Georgia Regents University. Outside of clinical work, she can be found mountain biking, climbing, sailing, SUPing or skiing with her husband Daniel and their two dogs Copper and Comet.  


We will be backpacking in the Appalachia Mountains of Southwest Virginia.  This four-day trip will cover no more than 10 miles each day, but will traverse rough, rocky terrain, and each person will carry their own food and gear (packs typically weigh between 20-30 lbs. with appropriate gear).

AT shelters (3-sided, wooden structure) will be at the campsite 2 of the nights, but it is recommended that you bring your own shelter (tent or hammock) in case of limited space due to thru hikers who receive preferential use of the shelters.  Water sources are present throughout the hike, but participants will need a method of water purification and capacity to hold at least 3 liters of water.  Cooking equipment can be shared, but this should be arranged prior to departure.  Average highs and lows are 75℉/45℉ for the end of September in this region.


Day Date Activity Lectures/(CME Hours, FAWM credits) Speaker


Sept. 22

  • Arrive at Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport by 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm: Shuttle to Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing (WAEL)
  • Lodging: Sly Lodge, WAEL
  • 4:30 pm: Orientation and overview meeting
  • Pre-dinner lecture: Trip preparation/ gear selection (No CME, FAWM: 05-02-1)
  • Post-dinner lecture: Components of a comprehensive and lightweight first aid kit (1hr, FAWM: 05-026-1)

Dr. Jessie Gehner,
EM, Wilderness Medicine Fellow, VTC Wilderness Medicine Assistant Fellowship Director


Sept. 23

  • 8:00 am shuttle from WAEL to Daleville (Jefferson National Forest: Tinker Cliffs)
  • Hike on Appalachian trail from Daleville, VA trail crossing at I-81 to Lambert’s Meadow Shelter (9.4miles)
  • Lodging: Tent camp
  • Water Purification and Waterborne Diseases (1hr, FAWM: 08-005-1)
  • Envenomations and Animal Attacks (1hr, FAWM: 09-008-1)

Dr. Anne Newbold, DO, FAWM
Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, Midwestern University

Dr. Chris Davis, Emergency Medicine, EMS and Wilderness Medicine Fellowship



Sept. 24

Jefferson National Forest:

  • McAfee’s Knob Lambert’s Meadow to John’s Spring Shelter (9.4 miles)
  • Lodging: Tent camp
  • Management of Common Orthopedic Injuries and Improvised Splinting (1hr, FAWM: 12-008-1)
  • Stabilization and Extrication in Backcountry Medical Emergencies (1hr, FAWM: 10-002-1)

Keri Baker, NP, Wilderness Medicine Fellow


Dr. Chris Davis, Emergency Medicine, EMS and Wilderness Medicine Fellowship


Sept. 25

Jefferson National Forest:

  • John’s Spring Shelter to Dragon’s Tooth Campsite, Primitive Camping (9.4 miles)
  • Lodging: Tent camp
  • Mass Casualty Scenarios (1hr, FAWM: 12-002-1, 12-003-1) Will occur at intersection of approach trail and AT, about 0.7 mi. from the actual tooth

Dr. Stephanie Lareau, EM, Wilderness Medicine Fellow, VTC Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Director


Sept. 26

Jefferson National Forest:

  • Dragon’s tooth to VA620 Trout Creek, VA (5.4 miles)
  • 2:00 pm Shuttle from Dragon’s Tooth parking lot back to WAEL
  • Evening Banquet
  • Lodging: Tent camp, Wallfield campground, WAEL
  • Banquet Keynote Lecture (1hr, FAWM: 05-007-1) Thru Hiking the AT: Medical and Mystical Considerations

Dr. Jessie Gehner,
EM, Wilderness Medicine Fellow, VTC Wilderness Medicine Assistant Fellowship Director


Sept. 27

  • 12:00 pm Shuttle from WAEL to Roanoke Airport
  • Fly/Drive Home




The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The WMS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Topics (order of educational lectures) will be determined by the faculty dependent upon conditions and status of the group.

CME Objectives:

  • Establish a set of treatment priorities for care of the sick or injured in wilderness settings
  • Demonstrate basic aspects of improvised care, rescue and evacuation
  • Learn basic field skills enabling a physician to be more capable in a setting remote from definitive care
  • Compile a lightweight first aid kit suitable for backpacking
  • Identify poisonous/dangerous species endemic to the Appalachian Mountains

Target Audience:
Physicians and other Medical Care Providers who have an interest in providing medical care in “remote” environments such as wilderness settings or in developing countries are encouraged to attend.  Physicians counseling their patients traveling to remote areas will benefit as well.

Faculty Disclosure:
It is the policy of the Wilderness Medical Society to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor.  All faculty members are required to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation.  All faculty have reported no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

FAWM: The Academy of Wilderness Medicine has awarded this activity FAWM core and elective credits. Actual credits awarded depend on personal credit needs and history.


Food Allergies or Dietary Restrictions:
WAEL is happy to accommodate any diet with advance notice. In order to provide quality options for guests with food allergies or dietary restrictions, you must report any dietary restrictions on the WMS Medical Review Form. 

BYOM = Bring your own meal





Sept. 22nd  

On your own

On your own

Provided by WAEL

Sept. 23rd

Provided by WAEL

BYOM (eat on the trail)

BYOM (Cook at shelter)

Sept. 24th

BYOM (Cook at shelter)

BYOM (eat on the trail)

BYOM (Cook at shelter)

Sept. 25th

BYOM (Cook at shelter)

BYOM (eat on the trail)

BYOM (Cook at shelter)

Sept. 26th

BYOM (Cook at shelter)

BYOM (eat on the trail)

Provided by WAEL

Sept. 27th

Provided by WAEL




Required Forms/Information:
Please scan and e-mail required documents to Teri Howell: Teri@wms.org.

  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Adventure Medical Review Form
  • Signed WMS release of liability
  • A copy of your Passport (if applicable)

Cancellation & Refund Policy
Written notice of cancellation must reach the WMS office by September 1, 2019 in order to receive a refund less a $50 administrative fee.  After that day no refunds will be given.  The WMS cannot be responsible for any personal or travel conditions that may prevent attendance at the course.


The opportunity to participate in WMS Adventure CMEs is a benefit of membership. Click here to learn more about joining our efforts to encourage, foster, support and conduct activities to improve the scientific knowledge of the membership and general public in human health activities in a wilderness environment.


$400 per person


Written notice of cancellation must reach the WMS office by September 1, 2019 in order to receive a refund less a $50 administrative fee.  After that day no refunds will be given. 


After you've registered, we'll need to get several things from you:

Use THIS LINK to upload required documents, or scan/email to teri@wms.org.