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.
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.
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.
Field CoursesField Courses
The BOSS Field course has been our signature trip since 1968: Ultra-light travel through Southern Utah's mountains, mesas and canyons with little more than a blanket, poncho, and a knife. No tents, sleeping bags, stoves, or backpacks, and definitely no watches, radios, or cellphones. Your goal is to learn to 'live in the now' as your small group hikes many miles and learns the skills of traditional Puebloan cultures. Not for the faint of heart, a BOSS Field course is for those seeking a challenge and a chance to renew; offered in 28-, 14-, and 7-day formats. If you want to focus more on skills and less on travel, one of our Skills courses might be right for you, or if you want a more specific experience, you could consider one of our Explorer courses.
Skills CoursesSkills Courses
BOSS Skills courses offer students the opportunity to learn basic and advanced primitive living skills in an intimate setting under expert guidance. Some of BOSS's most-skilled instructors will teach you primitive survival skills like cordage, fires, shelters, awareness, and flintknapping (turning rocks into cutting tools). Instruction is hands-on and class sizes are small to ensure good supervision. A wilderness cook-area is set up for meals, as we want you to focus on the skills and be prepared to learn from dawn until dusk. No previous outdoor skills or knowledge is needed.
Explorer CoursesExplorer Courses
Explorer courses are BOSS's quickest-growing category, as new courses are created regularly to accommodate alumni interest. Explorer courses are hybrids, blending the adventurous, active qualities of Field courses with the deeper lessons of Skills courses. Some courses target specific skills while others target specific experiences, giving you the best of both worlds.
Training CoursesTraining Courses
BOSS Training courses offer guides, trip leaders, and other wilderness-based professionals the chance to learn specific skills to help them succeed at their jobs. In addition to the behind-the-scenes Outdoor Educator course, BOSS hosts two medical training courses in Boulder, Utah in the spring of even years. NOTE: The next WFR courses at BOSS will be held in May, 2014. Please contact us if you would like to be informed when the dates are set.
Custom CoursesCustom Courses
Looking for a personalized BOSS course? BOSS Custom Courses are designed specifically to meet your needs. In recent years, we've created a number of custom courses for Boy Scout troops, non-profit foundations, and even for people who just want to enjoy a modified BOSS experience. This category also includes the work we've done for newspapers and magazines, television programs, and movie studios, including 20th Century Fox, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, The History Channel, and National Geographic Television.