Survival of the fittest


Do you have the grit to beat nature at her own game? Do you have the stomach for the

perilous outdoors? There's only one way to find out.... Meet the BOSS

Who's the Boss? Looks like these guys from Boulder, Colorado are, literally. BOSS (Boulder Outdoor Survival School), is the oldest and largest traditional living skills/survival school in the world.

Based out of corporate headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, USA the company has had a field office in Southern Utah's small town of Boulder since 1968.

But why on earth would anybody want to put themselves through the strenuous, soul-numbing courses that Boss offers? Well one reason could be insanity of course, but Josh Bernstein, CEO and head instructor of Boss has something else to say about that.

"BOSS Field Courses certainly force participants to push through some tough challenges, and the questions 'Can I make it?' and 'Will I complete the course?' are not uncommon. Even 'Why am I doing this?' is a normal reaction to the physical and mental stresses some encounter on a Field Course, but once a person pushes through this acute questioning and completes the course, the answer is perfectly evident: We do it because true living embraces challenge and appreciates the growth and satisfaction which follow."

Bernstein says that while he hesitates to call any of the courses 'near-death experiences' they are certainly intense, "but it's no surprise to discover that great challenges yield great rewards".

In the US, eco-tourism and adventure education are no longer considered upstart ventures, according to Bernstein. "We've seen greater popular interest in 'adrenaline sports' events in recent years, this has been more at the sponsorship and media level - X-Games, extreme events, etc."

He adds that Boss-style wilderness-based challenges have been part of the human psyche since we first began to hunt, and it's that primal appeal which has driven people to Boss since its founding 35 years ago.

So then what makes Boss tick? What is the driving force behind the company?

"This is an important philosophical position for me: At Boss, we embrace the wilderness and we respect our need for adventure and challenge. We like to push people out of their comfort zones and into places where perceived risks can create anxiety and, ultimately, personal growth. However, we are not seeking to make courses dangerous or to purposely put people at risk, physically or otherwise. Boss exists to teach primitive wilderness skills and to honor the strength of the human body and spirit."

Boss currently offers Field Courses, Skills Courses, Training Courses, Professional Development Courses and Custom Courses.

So how do all those living in the Middle East and Gulf region sign up with Boss? All registration information is on the company's website Registration is handled by phone or e-mail to Boss's head office. Courses require a deposit of either $200 or $400.