Health and Safety at BOSS

Our classic field courses are known for being tough, and we’re proud of that. Plus, much of every survival course takes place deep in the backcountry, hours or perhaps days from definitive medical care. We take your health and safety during your time at BOSS very seriously. Our staff are trained and experienced in wilderness medicine and evacuation, and we constantly practice and assess our safety protocols.

If you have concerns about health, safety, or anything else for your course, please contact us. You can also read more about some of the specific risks you might encounter.

survival camping trips
survival skills training

On the Trail

We work hard to mitigate all unnecessary risks for our students, and we are proud of our safety record. That said, as in any wilderness expedition, there are many factors that are outside our control. The biggest one is student behavior. Our instructors are extensively trained and experienced in leading BOSS courses, and they are intimately familiar with our field area and the risks and challenges you’re likely to face on your course. The best way for all students to keep safe is to pay close attention to your instructors and follow their directions on health and safety issues. The biggest variable on any BOSS course is you.

outdoor survival class

Medical Information

On Field Courses, all students are required to get a physical examination from a medical doctor, and disclose relevant medical status and history. It is your responsibility to help us assess your medical health and your ability to successfully complete a 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 have should be noted and discussed with us prior to your arrival. You also must report all known allergies. By knowing these possible complicating factors beforehand, we can be prepared to offer you the safest possible experience.

wilderness survival schools


Although rare, it is possible that your reaction to a medication could change as your diet or level of exertion changes. You may react differently when in the hot, summer sun or at altitude. We want to know about all medicines and supplements you take, and ask that you please list all medications and supplements on your Health History Form during the application process. This helps us better evaluate your health and understand what effect a course might have on your physiology or body chemistry. The more we know about you, the better we can do our jobs to help you have an enjoyable course.

Meds on Field Courses

Some medications require that they be taken with a full stomach and plenty of water and both students and physicians must realize that this may not be possible every day on certain courses. Therefore, students must have clear, written permission from their MD to take these medications on an empty stomach with little or no water. If you are unable to take a necessary medication on an empty stomach, it may preclude you from taking a Field course.

Meds on Skills Courses

Because students on a Skills Course eat regularly and are in a relatively non-strenuous environment, we do allow more students on medications on Skills Courses. Please be sure, however, to provide all relevant information to us so that we can be aware of possible side-effects and complications. 

Meds on Other Courses

All students on other courses will need to complete a Health History Form and a Medical Examination Form (signed by an MD) prior to their acceptance in the course. Because the degree of strenuous activity and environmental factors vary on these courses, the specific details concerning medication use in the field will be discussed during the enrollment process. As always, if you are taking a course at BOSS and will be taking medications, please let us know in advance so that we can be fully informed. 

If you have questions or concerns about medications or how they may affect your time with us, please contact us.

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