Hunter Gatherer Course
The Hunter Gatherer course is truly unique and is known as BOSS’s most adventurous course. After a period of preparation, you and your course mates will set off with minimal supplies and stone-age gear you have made yourself. You will then travel the desert as a hunter gatherer band for 9 days and truly live off the land.
Tuition – $3564
About the Course
This course begins with a 4-day, skills-intensive basecamp phase. During this phase, you will study and work with your instructors to prepare your stone-age gear and supplies for the rest of your course. You will then embark into the desert to hunt, gather, and truly test your skills. No other school offers you this opportunity.
- Learn, practice, and rely on primitive and traditional living skills.
- Travel the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument as a hunter gatherer band, living off the land.
- Learn competence and confidence in your ability to live in the wilderness with nothing more than simple tools you have made yourself.
Know More, Carry Less
In line with BOSS Positive Impact Camping philosophy, the Hunter Gatherer course has a decided emphasis on using renewable, natural resources. Tents, sleeping bags, stoves, backpacks and many other “required” pieces of outdoor equipment are replaced with their stone-age counterparts: stone tools, gourds for carrying water, and crafted fiber and leather satchels for carrying supplies. This course takes the motto “Know more, Carry less” to its highest standard. We ask a lot from our Hunter Gatherer students and believe that this course offers as much in return.
On the BOSS Hunter Gatherer course, the challenge is not from the long miles you hike. Rather, the physical challenge comes from keeping your energy and activity level high even when food and water supplies run low. The combination of necessary exertion and minimal rations usually leaves students 10 to 15 pounds leaner at the end of the course and can be a new experience for people who normally travel with everything they need.
Food and Diet
During the preparation phase of the course, a healthy variety of natural foods will be available at basecamp for all students. Cooking and food preparation will be a joint effort of the students and staff to ensure that all are comfortable, well fed, and able to learn as much as possible. For the expedition phase of the course, minimal primitive food packs will be carried, as students will rely on the foods they obtain while in the desert. Students with food allergies or dietary restrictions should contact us for additional information.
During the first part of the course, you will be in a BOSS basecamp. This primitive location (no electricity, phones, etc.) will give you the opportunity to focus on practicing the skills and producing the tools you will need for your upcoming expedition. Food will be available during this part of the course and instruction will be intense and hands-on.
For Phase II, the group will head out to re-create the lifestyle of a Hunter-Gatherer band. Where we go depends on the weather and the season (which determines wild food availability). Because we will be encouraging students to live off the land and forage, trap, etc. for food during this phase of the course, only very small food packs (of primitive-style foods that you have prepared) will be brought.
- BOSS strongly suggests that students on the Hunter Gatherer course bring a high level of comfort in the wilderness and degree of competency with primitive survival skills. These skills can be obtained on the longer Field courses at BOSS, or elsewhere. If taken at BOSS, the suggested courses should have been completed within the past 5 years. If you prefer, it’s possible to take both the primary and advanced course within the same season at BOSS. If you have more questions about this, please contact us.
- BOSS requires that all Hunter Gatherer course applicants undergo a complete physical examination and receive their physician’s approval in writing prior to final acceptance on the course.
- Students must be 18 years of age or older.
Skills taught on the Hunter Gatherer course are directly relevant to the group’s needs in the field. This is an advanced course, and a basic understanding of primitive survival techniques is assumed. Skills taught may include:
- Projectile point construction
- Natural carrying vessels
- Constructive plant use
- Clothing and fiber considerations
- Primitive food preparation techniques
- Pottery and cooking vessels
- Pack-frame construction
- Mammal and bird trap construction and use
- Large animal processing (see here for more info)
- Hide tanning
- and more
Upcoming Hunter Gatherer Courses
Aug 27 to Sep 9, 2023
$3564 – Space Available
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Interested in a life-changing challenge?
BOSS is one of the oldest survival schools in the world, delivering primitive skills courses to adventurous people since 1968. Our survival instructors are some of the most experienced and competent in the world. The challenges that our BOSS survival training offer aren’t for everyone, but if you’re the right person and it’s the right time for you, we promise adventure, challenge and world-class instruction.