Primitive skills

What are Primitive Skills?

Primitive skills are wilderness living skills that do not rely on modern technology. For example, think friction fire, shelter made from natural materials, wildlife tracking, cordage, and making and using stone tools. In most cases, these skills rely only on a practiced hand, a keen eye, and materials gathered from the local environment. The primitive skills we teach at BOSS have been used by humans from around the world continuously for millennia.

survival camping trips

Primitive Skills Courses

Our take on primitive skills is informed by one of our motto, “Know more, carry less”. The confidence that comes from knowing how to live in the wilderness using only your knowledge and your own skill is huge. 

Hannes Wingate
primitive wilderness skills
Human Skills

Dave Wescott, long-time BOSS instructor and former BOSS owner said it this way:

It is contested from time to time that true survival is measured by one’s capacity to stay put and prepared with a super pack of hauled-in safeguards; that learning edible plants and trapping and hunting skills are not necessary since most lost persons are rescued within 72 hours anyway. Without negating the wisdom of preparation and safeguard I would say that the philosophy behind this modern dependency is still a dangerous one. Because of confidence and practice, when one learns to live off the land entirely, being lost is no longer life threatening. Any manufactured item, such as a good knife or sleeping bag, then becomes a useful and appreciated luxury, but not a dire necessity!


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