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14-Day Primitive Living Intensive Course

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live as your ancestors did generations or eons ago? What would community in a hunter and gather society be like? In this hypertechnological era saturated with electronic connection yet divorced from food subsistence pathways and raw innovative grit, your DNA craves this experience.


We have created a 14-Day Primitive Living Intensive to investigate and experience life from the past. This is a course like no other offered anywhere. We have called upon the school’s the most experienced instructors to create a course that will focus on the life of the ancient ones of the Four Corners region, aka the Anasazi. While the intensity of this course differs from the intensity of the traditional BOSS Field Course, this experience will provide a challenging, authentic experience all its own. In short, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reconnect with the ancient heartbeat of humanity.


Of course, you can also expect to learn the skills you need to survive in the wilderness. BOSS Primitive Living Skills courses teach everything from short-term survival skills like fire and shelter, to the skills you need to thrive long-term: edible plants, trapping, hide tanning, pottery, textiles and more. Instruction is thorough, intensive and hands-on.


About the Course

BOSS’s reputation may have been created by its Field courses, but we soon discovered that many people want to learn traditional wilderness skills without the necessity of a grueling physical test and miles of hiking each day. As a result, Primitive Living Skills courses were created in the late 1980s. In the decades since, the curricula of the courses have grown to include a list of topics that is both broad and deep, giving students a solid introduction to and advanced instruction in primitive living skills.

The traditional 7-day Primitive Living Skills Course delivers a solid foundation of basic wilderness skills. The 14-Day Primitive Living Intensive builds on that foundation, adding more advanced skills, additional wilderness experiences and an immersive Primitive experience. On both courses, students are expected to participate proactively and enthusiastically

About BOSS

Since 1968, BOSS courses have set the standard for training in wilderness survival and living. We teach relevant skills in the context of use. We believe that simpler solutions are often the best, and that there is no substitute for first-hand experience. Our commitment to quality and to our core philosophies has earned BOSS its best-in-class reputation.

The Course Location

Both courses begin in Boulder, UT and may utilize basecamps on Boulder Mountain and in The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument desert, with additional day trips into the surrounding areas. These locations provide students with varied, spectacular scenery.  Instruction is primarily focused in the basecamp areas, but some travel is likely necessary to acquire materials or information not immediately available. Students should plan on bringing hiking boots suitable for day trips that may take us in varied terrain which may include knee deep water, sand dunes, boulder fields, thick brush, boggy areas and slickrock. Be advised: our basecamps are simple teaching areas in a pristine environment—without electricity, telephones or developed buildings.

7-Day vs 14-Day Course

The 7-Day Primitive Living Skills course typically includes instruction in primitive skills such as: bow drill friction fires, basic lithics, debris shelters, cordage methods, basic edible plants, trapping, and basic hunting tools. Other primitive skills may also be covered based in the time available based on the energy level and skill level of the students. “Modern” topics such as knife safety use and maintenance, priorities of survival, thermo-regulation of the body (dressing appropriately for the wilderness, sleeping warmly, external heat sources) and campsite selection are also covered on this course.

The 14-Day Primitive Living Intensive course contains all of the content of the 7-Day course, plus additional skills to prepare for a successful primitive living immersion.

Skills covered vary depending on the motivation of the students and available resources but may include: additional friction fire methods, primitive hunting and trapping tools, primitive pottery, primitive textiles such as felting or weaving, primitive basketry, hide tanning and primitive cooking methods using clay pots and a “Dakota stove” and food preparation techniques such as pinole, jerky or pemmican preparation. There may also be a solo component on the 14-Day course.

Learning by Doing

We strongly believe in learning by doing. While at times, instruction will be done in lecture format, it will be done in the field where students can see what they are learning in situ and can practice their skills in a natural environment. BOSS courses feature a student-teacher ratio conducive to hands-on instruction. Our Skills courses typically have 8-15 students and 3-4 staff. This ensures that our staff are available to students to help guide them through the lessons as needed or sought.

Health and Safety

BOSS requires that all Primitive Living course applicants undergo a complete physical examination and receive their physician’s approval in writing prior to final acceptance on the course.

Please keep in mind, despite your physician’s approval and BOSS’s acceptance of you on the course, there are no guarantees.  Health and participation risks (inherent and otherwise) remain. It’s up to you and your physician to determine if a BOSS course is an appropriate choice. All participants must be aware of these risks and embrace them. Please contact us if you have any questions.


The minimum age for all BOSS courses is 18.

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