What you need to know
BOSS BasicsBOSS Basics
Since 1968, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School —- known to most simply as BOSS — has delivered life-changing, wilderness-based experiences to adventurous people all over the world. "Know more, carry less" is one of our core philosophies and at BOSS, students are taught how indigenous cultures around the world could often survive and even thrive without all the modern equipment people today feel is necessary. As a result of their time on the trail with us, people gain competency in the wilderness and confidence in themselves.
Course BasicsCourse Basics
To help you choose which BOSS course is right for you, below you'll find a brief summary of each course type. When you've found one that interests you, click on the appropriate link for more detailed information.
The History of BOSSThe History of BOSS
BOSS got its start in the late 1960's with a man named Larry Dean Olsen, noted author of Outdoor Survival Skills. In the 40+ years since, the school has gone through a few changes of ownership and a significant amount of growth. The program, however, remains true to its original vision: create a place that teaches primitive skills and helps people grow through their experiences in the natural world.
The BOSS MissionThe BOSS Mission
The Boulder Outdoor Survival School is dedicated to the instruction and preservation of traditional living skills and the development of people through experiences within the natural world.
What BOSS is NOTWhat BOSS is NOT
BOSS is not for everyone. What we are not is just as important as what we are, so please take a minute to read this.
Who Goes to BOSS?Who Goes to BOSS?
So who exactly goes to "survival school?" Normal people? The kind of people you'd want to hang out with? Well, if you're anything like our alumni, you'll be happy to know that the people who go to BOSS are normal, healthy people looking for an adventurous experience and you'll probably fit right in.
Student TestimonialsStudent Testimonials
Since 1968, the BOSS program has delivered life-changing, wilderness-based experiences to adventurous people all over the world. As a result, our alumni have become our best marketers, sharing their experiences and insights with family, friends and, hopefully, future alumni.
Health and SafetyHealth and Safety
When you're known for being "the toughest survival school in the country," people sometimes wonder what that means. Actually, people usually read that and then go on to something else, something that doesn't sound as intimidating. After all, this is your vacation time, right?
Medical InformationMedical Information
It is your responsibility to help us assess your medical health and your ability to successfully complete a course. Therefore, you must undergo a medical examination and receive approval from your physician in order to take a BOSS course. Any and all medications that you plan to be taking on a course must be stated clearly on your course paperwork and any issues, allergies or concerns you may have should be noted and discussed with us prior to your arrival.
Risk on CoursesRisk on Courses
At BOSS, we hope to provide you with a wilderness experience that seeks to minimize your exposure to unwanted risks or injuries. However, this does not mean that we can eliminate these risks, for many of them are intrinsic to the types of experiences we offer. Many of the risks you experience on the trail (those related to hunger, thirst, weather, etc.) are, in fact, a critical component of your course. These may even be why you've come to BOSS in the first place.
Weather on CoursesWeather on Courses
Weather is. That's about as much as we can tell you. It's not "good" or "bad" - it just is, and we work with it depending on the situation we find ourselves in. As a result, our courses and lesson plans adapt to current conditions, trying to make the most of whatever Mother Nature gives us.
Tuition DiscountsTuition Discounts
BOSS offers a number of ways for people to apply for discounted rates on its courses. For more information on these or to download an application form, please see below.
BOSS ApprenticeshipsBOSS Apprenticeships
Each season, BOSS invites qualifying alumni to consider returning to the school to serve as Apprentices. Apprenticeships last from 8 to 12 weeks and during this time, participants are trained in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the school, including course curriculum design, route selection, logistics, and risk management.