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Health 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?

Truth is, some BOSS courses are tough, and that's something that we are proud to offer to you. Our Field courses in particular (and that's what the quote above is referring to) have been designed over many years to do one thing: push you out of your comfort zone and into a new perspective on life. So, if you are considering taking a Field course with us, come prepared for the challenge, and understand that we're on your side, trying to teach you new skills, break through old barriers, and reach someplace you've probably never been before – literally and metaphorically.

Of course, there's more to BOSS than just Field courses, and there's more to our school than just the "tough" side. On many of our other courses, classes are woven into days of learning and discovery without any real hardships or challenges (other than keeping up with the pace of instruction). So don't let some parts of our reputation discourage you from exploring , and do make sure that the course you select is appropriate for what you want to accomplish.

Health on the Trail

On most BOSS courses, a moderate level of activity will be required: hiking, gathering, setting up camp, etc. We're an active bunch of people, and we want our students to be ready to do stuff with us. On our Field courses, however, there is a correlation between the level of fitness of a group or person, and the successful completion of all the course phases. If everyone arrives in good shape, the group can go farther, hike faster, see more. If people arrive with the expectation of getting in shape while on the trip, things can slow down a little. And more importantly, your health may be at risk if you shock your system with a sudden immersion into a physically rigorous program.

On Field courses, therefore, all students are required to get a physical examination from a medical doctor, and we strongly encourage you to begin some sort of training program (running, jogging, aerobics, etc.) in advance of your course. For more information, please visit the Fitness and Training page on our site.

On Skills, Training, and some Explorer courses, this is less of an issue, but you'll likely benefit from being in better health. If you have concerns about health, safety, or anything else for your course, please give us a call or send us a letter via e-mail. Over the years, we've heard plenty of questions, so please do not hesitate to ask.

Safety on the Trail

Most people today, when selecting a vacation trip or some way to spend their precious time and money, just want to be healthy and safe before, during and after their trip. Many come to BOSS with the same expectations, which is fine. We want you to be healthy and safe during and after your course, too. Nothing makes us happier than a course that closes with a group of happy, healthy and perhaps slightly dirty students. For those who've been there, you know that it's priceless when all goes well. And this happens most of the time at BOSS. If it didn't, we wouldn't be in business for 40+ years.

However, there are always alternatives. A rock falls, a student trips, a van breaks down, a sandstone shelf collapses, and the whole course has changed in just seconds. It happens, and we're there to help everyone adjust to the new situation. While we seek safety at BOSS, we are also very honest that many of the variables that go into a course are beyond our control, and we want you to acknowledge that before joining us. Is it safer to sit on a beach somewhere else and enjoy fruity iced drinks? Perhaps, but the greater the risk, the greater the rewards, and BOSS offers you some incredible opportunities for challenge and adventure. So be excited to come join us on the trail – just do so knowingly, accepting the risks inherent to our program and wilderness travel.