Boulder Outdoor Survival School 

Since 1968, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School – known to most simply as BOSS – has delivered life-changing, wilderness-based experiences to adventurous people from around the world. “Know more, carry less” is one of our core philosophies and at BOSS, students are taught how to survive and even thrive with minimal gear in the remote wild places of southern Utah. As a result of their time on the trail with us, people gain competency in the wilderness and confidence in themselves.

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boulder outdoor survival school

The 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.

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Keeping Traditions Alive

For over five decades, BOSS has sought to teach and preserve traditional or primitive living skills. We focus on these skills because they are deeply practical and will serve you well in most environments. There is also real beauty in learning skills that human ancestors have used for more than a half-million years to live in nature. 

We do not seek to live in the past, nor to live in fear of catastrophe. We do, however, hope to bring the wisdom of the past and the knowledge of traditional skills with us into the future.

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Better People Through Adversity

Our courses take place in the wilderness for a reason: Mother Nature is one of the greatest catalysts for insight, growth, renewal and discovery. Hike through the astounding beauty of Southern Utah and you will not be the same. But more than that, BOSS facilitates an experience within that wilderness that seeks to take you out of your comfort zone and put you in a place where you must stretch to grow – physically, mentally or emotionally. This is especially true on our Field courses.

What BOSS Is Not

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BOSS is not a military survival program.

BOSS courses teach how indigenous cultures around the world have survived in harmony with the land for millennia. If you want a “Boot Camp” or “Rambo” experience, please consider a different program. If you want to learn to walk a softer path through the wilderness – a path that teaches sustainable use of fragile resources and respect for the land – consider joining us at Boulder Outdoor Survival School. 

BOSS is not a youth therapy program.

There are many youth therapy programs in Southern Utah. We are not one of them. Although we do admit people as young as 18, our typical students range from the mid-20’s to later 50’s; our oldest in recent years was 73. All of our students are here voluntarily to learn wilderness skills, and grow through challenges in the natural world.

BOSS is not a guide service.

We are an educational institution, and believe that lessons are best learned from personal, hands-on experience. For Field courses, this means hiking, climbing, and sweating during your time on the trail, and learning and practicing skills during downtime. For Skills courses, this means harvesting, building, weaving, and creating all day each day of the course. We expect a lot from our students. The more engaged you are, the more you will gain from your time with BOSS.

BOSS courses are not offered risk-free.

We practice a very high standard of wilderness safety and all BOSS instructors have extensive training in wilderness medicine and risk management. Still, there are many factors that are beyond our control. Taking a BOSS course means accepting risk. We hope that you will embrace the opportunity that offers.

BOSS Field Courses are not easy.

On a Field course, one of our goals is to push you while we teach you new ways of traveling and living in the wilderness. We find that while a base level of physical fitness is necessary to finish a BOSS field course, positivity and the willingness to push yourself can be your biggest assets. 

BOSS courses are not impossible.

Students of every description have successfully completed BOSS courses. If you have a base level of physical fitness and bring a good attitude and the willingness to push yourself, we believe that you can be successful at BOSS. In the end, attitude is far more important than physical prowess

BOSS is not for everyone.

BOSS offers a uniquely challenging and eye-opening experience in a beautiful corner of the world. But our courses are not easy. Students who are not willing to push themselves or expect to be catered to often do not do well on our courses.

Up for a challenge?

The challenges that BOSS offers aren’t for everyone. But for those for whom it is the right challenge and at the right time, we promise adventure, challenge, and world-class instruction.

BOSS™ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.