My B.O.S.S. AdventureBy Brian Latturner
If you're ever looking for a unique outdoor adventure that will test your mental and physical strength, then the B.O.S.S. (Boulder Outdoor Survival School) has a course that will do just that. In late May/early June 2012, my friends, Adam Eakle and Rick Olivareas, and I did the 7-day field course offered by B.O.S.S.
It was an experience I will not soon forget and I'm certain that some of the other students of the course will never forget, because it pushed some very near their breaking point.
We arrived at B.O.S.S. headquarters in Boulder, Utah at 12:00 on Sunday, May 27th. For about 6 hours we met the other students, learned what items we could take on the course, how to pack it, signed waivers, and then we were off on a long drive that took us high into the Boulder mountains of southern Utah. It was 12 students and 3 instructors who would spend the next 7 days together as a team.
We left the van at about the time the sun went down and began walking into the timbered forest in the dark, with just a bit of moon light to help us make our way. Slipping, falling, stumbling, and getting hit by branches was commonplace. Our journey had begun, and I think all 12 of us students were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.
Now, I could go on and tell you every detail of my experience and what happened on the course, but I won't because it would take away some of what is important about the course and that would lessen the experience for you. Instead, I'm going to share some details, but not all. And, I encourage you to not dig to deeply into what this course entails as not knowing will help you to get more out of it if you choose to pursue it.
I will tell you though, your mental and physical toughness will be tested. You may become frustrated, you may question whether the instructors know what they're doing or not. You will sweat at times, you will be hungry at times, and you will be tired at times, but when it's all over, you should walk away feeling like you can do far more than you ever thought you could.
Above all, this course is meant to teach you about yourself and to prove to yourself that you can accomplish more than you ever thought. And while enlightening you about your capabilities, you will also learn some neat skills about surviving in the outdoors.
While I'm not going to go into great details about the course, I will share some of what I experienced and how I feel about the program and instructors. Plus, lots of photos!
First off, I came away from this experience feeling as though I was tested pretty heavily, but I could have taken more. I think I was in much better physical condition than many of the other students and therefore fared much better when dealing with the long travels and heat. I also have extensive experience in the outdoors which allowed m to deal with many challenges better than others.
Throughout the experience, the drastic changes in temperatures from night time cold to day time heat was quite challenging and effected me. No sleep summarized most of my nights on the course. I spent numerous nights shivering. There is a secret to staying warm and many students discovered early on and fared better than I throughout the nights.
Hiking through the deserts and mountains is something you will do a lot of, so plan on it and remember to take it all in. Also plan on meeting new friends, because during your 7-day course, you will become close to some of the other students. Even for a loner like myself, it happens.
The instructors at B.O.S.S. are incredibly knowledgeable and I came away much more educated about not only the habitat, wildlife, and general outdoors, but also on making fire, tools, traps, and more. The skills learned is what I found to be most valuable to me.
I would recommend that anyone planning to do this course go into it with no expectations and with an open mind. Trust that whatever happens, you will come out on the other end proud of yourself for having endured some harsh physical and mental punishment, learned some neat skills, met some great people and learned some things about yourself that will help you throughout life.
After the course was complete, I did ask several people if they had to do it over again, would they have spent their money on this experience or have gone on vacation somewhere else. It was about split. The price of this experience is about $1400.00 plus you may need hotel and travel in addition, and maybe even need to purchase items. Plan on paying real close to $2000.00 as that is probably about what it'll tally up to.
Keep in mind that I asked about whether people would do it again on the final day, while it was hot, they were tired and hungry, so who knows what they'd say 2 weeks after it's over and feeling before and proud of themselves. I believe when looking back, most students will be happy with their investment.