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Who Goes to BOSS

BOSS Students

BOSS students come from all walks of life. Over the past 40 years, we’ve had everyone from college students to powerful moguls to Hollywood celebrities on the trail with us. Doctors and nurses, engineers and mechanics, fire fighters and police officers, attorneys and judges, teachers and real estate agents, the list goes on. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that BOSS does not attract a demographic as much as a psychographic.

The people who choose to go to BOSS are adventurous, open-minded, and inquisitive. They want to be pushed out of their comfort zone (on some courses) and they’re willing to explore–both the wilderness and themselves.


BOSS serves students from around the world. Although the bulk of our students come to us from within the United States, most courses include one or more students from abroad. Students come to us from Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and beyond.


While BOSS allows people as young as 18 on its courses, our average student is roughly 34. (The oldest student in recent years was 73.) Average age on longer courses, like the 28-day Field course, is usually a bit younger. We care more about a person’s maturity and willingness to learn than his or her age.


Consistent with trends in wilderness education and outdoor travel, BOSS courses often have more men on them than women — roughly 60% male / 40% female. However, this changes based on the exposure BOSS receives from the media in a given year. In years when more female-oriented magazines have profiled the school, we’ve had courses with more women on them. Our staff at the school is 50-50, and we try to make sure there is at least one female instructor on every course.

Outdoor Experience

One last question that people raise is how much camping experience or wilderness expertise people must have to attend BOSS. Only our most advanced courses have prerequisites. Many people with absolutely no outdoor experience at all come to BOSS and are as successful as anyone else. Don’t let a lack of “trail time” prevent you from joining us at BOSS. Our instructors look forward to teaching you how to walk lightly in the wilderness.