Cat Bigley did not have a typical American childhood. She spent most of her time hanging out in a teepee and exploring the Wasatch Mountains. One of her earliest childhood memories was of her grandfather, a contracted trapper, giving her a beaver trapping and skinning tutorial. Her father gave her a fire-making set and stone tools when she was in her teens. Her formative education allowed for her to disappear into the mountains behind her childhood home, pick up road-kill and build her own shack, with the only amenities being a hand-pumped well and coal stove. She later spent a portion of her college years in the shack she built in her youth, accompanied by chickens and a flood-irrigated garden. Rugged was the word, as she experienced winters that could serve up temperatures nearing -30°F.

Her atypical background and love for the wilderness led her to Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS), where she has worked as a survival and primitive skills instructor since 2000. Working at BOSS, the premier survival school in the country, has allowed her to collaborate with some of the top survival experts in the world. However ingrained, Cat is much more than just a survival instructor. She has extensive remote medical training and instructs for the Wilderness Medical Institute of NOLS. Cat has a degree in Anthropology and Earth Sciences, and is passionate about primitive cultures, especially when it comes to art and social infrastructure.

She is driven by her desire to connect with people and encourage them to truly live. She wants to be a positive influence for girls and women, not only in the outdoor arena, but to also dare to be themselves, to be different and to take risks to achieve their dreams. Taking meaningful risks and making a difference is motivation for Cat to go full throttle in life. She’s embarking on this journey to push herself to the limit, to face something that scares her, and to take part in something that could have meaning for every human on the planet. She knows it is an extreme test of courage, ingenuity and perseverance of the body and mind.