About Us

Hi,  my name is John Dobbins and I own and operate SOLO Colorado with the support of Dr. Frank Hubbell, SOLO’s founder and Medical Director.  SOLO has been teaching wilderness emergency medicine since 1976.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about who we are and what we do. It’s really been an honor to work with some of the highest-level institutions in the world, like Yale University.


I grew up exploring the Maine woods and our country’s national parks. I’ve been off trail in wilderness areas since I could walk and they are still my favorite places. Later, as a U.S. Marine, I received my first medical training and served 8 years as a Combat Engineer and Instructor. I was also certified as a Combat Lifesaver.  I worked with American and foreign groups, including Iraqi Security Forces, and I am SERE trained.

After the Marine Corps, I took a position with a contract security firm. I was responsible for training and managing 500 individuals across 100 locations, and frequently responded to emergencies. I was based in New York, and while I was there, I spent as much time as possible in the Catskills and Adirondacks.  In the winter I skied the Green Mountains in Vermont and the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Weekends in the wilderness weren’t enough, so I traded urban canyons for natural topography and moved west.  I was fortunate to work for a MacArthur Foundation Professor who let me assist on an academic project related to wilderness and wildlife. I was also conducting research funded by the National Science Foundation, and presented the analysis and methodology to the Society for Applied Anthropology.


When I wasn’t spending time in the Sonoran Desert, rescuing ill-prepared tourists out of the Grand Canyon or other locations, I was teaching at Arizona State University for the Veterans Upward Bound program, funded by the Department of Education. I also led volunteer medical teams in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico after the hurricanes in 2017, working with FEMA, DOD and the American Red Cross. 

I am a SOLO Wilderness EMT and currently volunteer with Vail Mountain Rescue Group and Vail Veterans Program. My free time is spent exploring some of the most thrilling wilderness in the United States.  I love to ski, snowshoe, scout, hunt, hike, fish, camp, kayak and help others. I am thankful to have taught at locations like Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, AVA and Noah’s Ark Rafting, Red Cross and more.

SOLO Colorado is a young company, but we are already making a big impact.  Check out our upcoming public courses: Course Schedule

Or Book A Course now to see for yourself: Register Now

Hope to see you in class one day!

Click here to see what people are saying: Testimonials