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Outdoor Educator

BOSS is considered by many to be the premier school for wilderness survival skills. Much of our success comes from our course curriculae and our staff development program. Over the years, we've developed core philosophies for what we teach, how we teach it, when we teach it, and why.

About the Course

The BOSS Outdoor Educator course is our only course that teaches qualified participants the "how and why" components, giving you a more intimate look at our program's operations. We also add instructor-specific topics like group dynamics and management tools, route selection, and risk management and liability concerns — all critical for good wilderness leaders. If you are an outdoor guide or hope to have a career in the outdoor education industry, this is an invaluable course to consider.


The Outdoor Educator course has a prerequisite to ensure that students arrive with a proper foundation in BOSS wilderness skills. In order to take the Outdoor Educator course, a participant must have successfully completed a BOSS 28-Day or 14-Day Field course.

Required courses must have been completed within the past 5 years. It's possible to take both the primary and advanced course within the same season at BOSS.

About BOSS

Since 1968, BOSS Courses have set the standard for low-technology camping and desert hiking techniques, where instruction is conducted without the intrusion of modern technology in environments that allow course content to be experienced first-hand. Our commitment to quality and to our core philosophies has earned BOSS its reputation as the survival school to go to when you want to learn from the best in the industry.

Less is More

In line with the BOSS Positive Impact Camping philosophy, the Outdoor Educator course has a decided emphasis on using only renewable, natural resources. Tents, sleeping bags, stoves, backpacks and many other "required" pieces of outdoor equipment are replaced with their low-tech counterparts: a poncho, a blanket, a campfire. The motto here is "Know more, Carry less" and we'll explore how traditional cultures lived comfortably without all the modern gadgets like watches, radios, cellphones,etc (which are not allowed). Come learn how back-country travel can be a less intrusive and more harmonious experience.

The Course Location

Outdoor Educator courses are taught in a variety of settings, including the canyons, mesas and mountains surrounding Boulder, Utah as well as some time in Boulder Town itself (on the BOSS property).

Learning by Doing

At BOSS, we strongly believe in learning by doing. While at times, instruction will be done in lecture format, it will usually be done in the field where students can see what they are learning and can practice their skills in a natural environment. Because of the intense learning environment of the Outdoor Educator course, some sessions will be more lecture-oriented than on our other courses.

Please keep in mind that on this course students will be evaluated by our staff and by each other to assist in the learning process and the development of good teaching skills. All students should come with an open mind. BOSS Training Course enrollments are carefully monitored to provide each session with a student-teacher ratio conducive to hands-on instruction. The Outdoor Educator course agenda covers a broad range of topics and techniques, and our staff works hard to ensure each student is comfortable with the pace of the course and satisfied with the depth of instruction.

Course Content

Course content can vary with student needs, environmental concerns and material availability, but the general outline includes these areas of study:


Fire Triad, history & mythology. Bowdrills, flint & steel, modern options
Anthropology The Cave Man Philosophy (Paleo 101), The Modern Philosophy (Anthro 101), Music, art and the primitive perspective
Desert Travel Physiology of humans in the desert, desert hiking techniques
Earth Ways Awareness and environmental concerns, Animal tracks and sign
Water Location and purification techniques
Weather Weather systems and forecasting
Plants Medicinal and herbal plant identification and uses
Navigation Map and compass, orienteering, navigation, geography
Tools Stone, bone and wood tool production
Lithics Knife use & safety, discoidal and percussion blades
Traps Basic deadfalls and snares
Shelters Litter lodges and lean to's
Outdoor program concerns Risk management & liability issues, Industry trends and case studies, Program insurance and personal insurance issues.
Leadership Acts of leadership and how to control a group in the wilderness.



The key to a successful course is a student's maturity and his or her interest in learning in a skills-intensive environment. Students younger than 18 must be physically and mentally mature enough to handle a course of this nature, and must also come with a parent or guardian.

Food and Diet

Students are provided with BOSS food packs which consist of basic staples such as lentils, rice, millet, carrots, potatoes, onions, oatmeal, 7-grain, flour, powdered milk, etc.  The food on the Outdoor Educator course is supplemented to include other foods that provide unique learning opportunities.  The food packs will provide a student with approximately 2000 calories per day — enough to keep you healthy and active for the duration of the course. Students who wish to supplement their diet with wild edibles may do so in a responsible manner. Students with allergies or dietary restrictions should contact our office for additional information.

Dates and Prices

Course dates, prices, and availability are listed to the right, at the top of the page.  You can also download our complete course calendar in Adobe Acrobat PDF by clicking here. If you have any questions, please submit them via the Contact BOSS page or call us at 800.335.7404 or 435.335.7404.