The Importance of BOSS

To live in the wilderness far from the trappings of modern society and rely on your own skill and the efforts of your group offers a chance to experience something deeply human. No other school or organization that we know of offers this opportunity: living by the skill of your hands in the depths of a remote wilderness without modern backpacking gear, facing big physical and mental challenges, and reconnecting and recharging in a beautiful wilderness.

survival camping trips

The Importance of Skill 

We believe that it is better to have skills than modern backpacking gear. We teach you how to survive and thrive in rugged wilderness with only the most basic gear, with a focus on traditional and primitive survival techniques. 

One of our core principles is, “Know more, carry less”. Leave behind your tent, sleeping bag, and backpacking stove. Carry instead a small pack you’ve made yourself, a blanket, and a knife. Learn to live by your skill and knowledge of the land around you. 

Survival literature makes clear that some of the most important survival skills are mental, not technical: keeping calm, taking appropriate action, maintaining a survival mindset. We believe that these skills can best be learned through experience. BOSS courses are designed to provide that experience.

We aim for our students to leave their courses with both technical and mental survival skills, and with experience putting them to use.

wilderness survival expeditions
The Landscape

Our campus is more than a million acres of public land in Southern Utah. This was the last part of the contiguous United States to be mapped: it is famously rugged and challenging terrain, and it is to this day remote and rarely traveled. It is a place where true immersion in wilderness is not only possible, it is unavoidable. We see again and again that spending an extended period of time living in such an expanse of stark and beautiful territory changes people’s perspective in often surprising ways.


Better People Through Adversity

We believe that people grow through challenge. We do not seek to mimic or replace traditional rites of passage, but we are informed by them. One of our goals is to offer our students a real and serious challenge, then give them the support and skills they need to work their way through. It is up to each individual student to rise to the occasion. We provide a time-tested framework for this process of challenge and growth: this was the original intent of the BOSS program, and it is why we have fought to keep the program essentially unchanged over the last 50 years.

Interested in a life-changing challenge? 

BOSS – one of the worlds’ best-known outdoor survival schools – has delivered outdoor survival classes 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 courses 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.

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