Top Ten Best Survival Experts

Survival expert show us how to survive in non civilization areas like forests and deserts.

The Top Ten

1 Mykel Hawke Mykel Hawke Mykel Hawke is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, author, and television and film personality.

He has real world knowledge and can give practical techniques. Where as some of the other "top rated" suggest you swim through freezing cold water under a mountain not knowing where it comes out or if there is an exit. Or that it's intelligent to walk around barefoot through snow. Just examples of the "other guys" nonsense.
Mykel gives useful, practical, and safe guidance that would actually help in a survival situation. Not to mention his survival gear is better than any out there!
And that is only listing the survival side of my vote. Mykel is someone I would want to have my back in ANY situation. He is a considerate man, a proud father, a fantastic husband, and an individual who strives to make a positive mark in this world. He deserves the top of this list for more reasons than just his survival expertise.

Mykel Hawke is the most noble, honest, intelligent, hard working guy in the business! Not to mention his integrity as a Man & a Veteran of the good ole U.S.A. ! I Pride myself in knowing Men like Mykel would take the call to defend this great nation in a moments notice if the opportunity arose. If all Men put as much effort into being a great person and a role model to all as he does this world would literally be a better place! I cannot imagine the things Mykel has seen nor had to endure while he was an active Green Beret... Yet he is the Man he is today! Mykel is the definition of what a American Male should be... I try to live my life by a code of honor I'm Proud of! Does it mean I'm better anyone reading this post absolutely not! It simply means I strive to be a better Man on a daily basis as 1 should try to instill these values in his day to day life encouraging others to strive to hold there selves to a higher standard... I firmly believe if you pay it forward you will be ...more

If his background, training, and experience in all types of situations do not speak clearly that he should be number one, he also has a wealth of experience in hands on training and teaching military and combatants around the world down to the smallest Boy Scouts of America and every citizen in between. He isn't for show. He is real and practical and streams his guidance to survival skills we all need in every situation and every climatic disposition. This choice should not even be debatable.

I made gear for the Rangers with the Landwarrior project. USN Vet, I appreciate no nonsense, get the mission done work. Preperation, the right attitude. Get er done Mykel.

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2 Les Stroud Les Stroud Les Stroud is a Canadian survival expert, filmmaker and musician best known as the creator, writer, producer, director, cameraman and host of the television series Survivorman.

Why Les is easily the best survivalist celebrity:

- He and his wife and now children have literally spent years living off the land in the bush
- His home in the Canadian wilderness is totally off grid
- He hunts and grows his own food
- He practices what he preaches and actually lives the survivalist, prepper lifestyle
- He comes up with many of his own survival techniques and doesn't simply just re-do the same old things
- He actually puts himself into critical survival and potentially dangerous situations during his show unlike others who sleep at hotels, do flashy choreographed stunts with crews of safety people around them
- He is not materialistic or in it for the money. Aside from pretty much T Shirts and the odd book you won't find cheesy Survivalman merchandise and survival pants in major stores like some other stars
- He films, edits, directs, hosts and produces the show himself and even writes and plays all the music
- He presents his ...more

By far the best. Les manages to survive in actual situations while filming it himself. Bear Grylls doesn't survive really, though he of course can and has. But his show involves a camera and safety crew. Les is on his own. Doing it all himself and doing it well. No one better to learn from or to watch.

Les stroud takes a smart and collected look at every survival situation I have ever seen him in. While most others run and jump into scenarios they may not be well suited for or do things out of shear spontaneity. To have bear grylls ranked #1 is a pure joke. His shows are phony and scripted. For example, watching him drink his own urine as a source of "hydration" was ridiculous. Stroud on the other hand teaches you how to use your urine to create clean drinking water. Just a small example, but if half of the people watched half the amount of survival shows and documentaries I have, its clear that les stroud is a knowledgeable survival expert who truly practises what he preaches through out day to day life.

Not many people know this, but Les is also a very good roots and blues musician, as well as the composer of the music that appears in his T.V. shows and documentaries.

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3 EJ "Skullcrusher" Snyder EJ EJ Snyder is highly decorated Army Combat Veteran with 25 years military service under his belt, serving Ranger positions in Infantry and Airborne units. He joined the armed forces at 19. He moved up the ranks quickly, seeing combat in both the Gulf War in 1991 and a 15-month tour during Operation Iraqi more.

EJ has mastered the skills and art of survival through his lifelong training. What sets EJ apart from the others is that he also has the gift to motivate and selflessly teach others. This transcends his personal skill set in that imparting this knowledge to others multiplies his expert level. EJ has nothing but my complete respect.

Served alongside this guy in the Army. He was full of survival knowledge then. Time has only made him smarter and more experienced. Hands down my pick!

Survivor of the unexpected, leader of the people, warrior, adventurer, follower of God, big heart, big dreams, vessel of courage. Go EJ! ☆

EJ is really great person he has got big heart. we are big naked and afraid fans from russia siberia.

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4 David Canterbury David Canterbury

Having been in real world "survival" conditions and having trained with Dave Canterbury afterward, I can undeniably attest to his knowledge and skill level. Unlike most other survival experts, Dave is training Search And Rescue Teams (the folks who do it day in and day out). He works from a realistic place and his philosophy is based on practicality. The man is without ego and has a humble demeanor. I'm looking forward to training with him again. He doesn't sell any pie-in-the-sky fantasies about turning people into Grizzly Adams types, but rather focuses on teaching a person "how to" fish instead of giving them a fish. He and his instructors teach people how to improvise and how to think for themselves instead of just taking what they are taught verbatim and stopping there. I always feel like he's sharing more than just teaching and sense in the man that he's genuinely trying to impress upon others that they can take control of their circumstances to effect self-rescue and better ...more

I've been looking for Expert opinions, facts, gear used by professionals. I would watch Videos, take classes and learn from Amateurs who make mistakes to Masters of the Bushcraft Art who have made many more mistakes. I haven't been able to find another Teacher, Guide and Friend like David Canterbury. Every lesson I've reviewed and all the videos that involve him is in regards to the "Common Man." He uses those same working skills under stressful conditions and teaches them to be used to greater effect to the average person. You don't have to master each skill, you only have to achieve the point where you know if you have to start a fire, cook food, obtain clean water, or build an efficient shelter; You do it every time. Self Reliance is an art that you give a little of your time to improve and learn. Its not just learning for yourself but everyone around you can achieve the same amount of success. He teaches about the challenges you'll face, corrects your mistakes and helps you learn ...more

I have been through three of Dave's courses, and have attended his annual Pathfinder Gathering. This man knows his stuff and is ready to teach you in simple enough terms that you'll be able to pick it up, apply it and it will sustain you. He emphasizes "dirt time" to learn, not just books, slides or dry erase boards. If he tells you about an herb or tree, you'll have to go find him one by yourself and bring it back to demonstrate that you know it. If he teaches you how to find food, you'll have to go get it by yourself and bring it back to show that you understand. A real down-to-earth expert that cares. If you're out with him, you will eat, not starve.

This "Man" is the King of Survival.

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5 Bear Grylls Bear Grylls

Bear grylls is the most famous survival expert.
Edward Michael " Bear " Grylls (born 7 June 1974) is an English adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild, known as Born Survivor in the United Kingdom. In July 2009, Grylls was appointed the youngest ever Chief Scout at the age of 35. - Chetan

Bear has been in Survival his whole life. With huge achievements in Adventure and exploration, Army and Special Force SAS, and now being the Head of Scouting at an earlier age than anyone in history. He shows people the grittiest and most varied ways of surviving mother nature. There is no one who has shown as many different survival information as Bear.

He is so cool! I watch his show all the time. He shows me I can survive in the wild longer than you think. I think he is the survival king. He will be my hero some day. Oh! Yay I forgot my friend loves him. He wants his knife so badly. I LOVE YOU BEAR. Good survival tips thanks.

Bear Grylls is my most favourite survivalist and I dream of being like him I love to adventure and surviving in the forests

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6 Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski is a Canadian bushcraft and wilderness survival instructor, naturalist and author. He has acquired an international following and has instructed for both military and civilians in Canada, the US, the UK and Sweden.

Mors really has a better viewpoint on what "survival" really is. Everyone else seems to just be cashing in on this movement. Not Mors. You'll never see him with a retail store or a special name sake knife. I've trained with Dave, and he does know his stuff, I'm just saying that Mors was doing real world survival and instructing when these boys were popping pimples before dates. Mors will never smear dirt on his face for a photo op, then spend his entire class selling you product. He is a survivalist, not a salesman or sitcom star.

It is insane that this guy is not at or near the top of the list. He has been an inspiration and teacher to thousands and some of the people higher up than him on this list have been taught by him and been on his courses. Being the best at survival is not about looking the coolest it is about inspiring and educating. That is what Mors has been doing for decades.

I have had the pleasure of being taught by Mors and chatting with him and I found him to be a wealth of knowledge. And never to proud to to listen to what you have to say and give you compliments if he thinks you are doing something that he hasn't or thought of before seen before

U should number 3

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7 Ray Mears Ray Mears

I really like all of the other survival experts but Ray Mears I can't say enough about this guy, he actually shows you how to do everything rather than people like Bear grylls who is more like a show man who plays up for the camera bait and does stuff that you wouldn't necessarily do in a survival situation, I do think Bear and everybody else are good but for me its got to be Ray Mears!

Ray mears is the best as he teaches useful techniques down to the last detail and he is respectful to all cultures and the environments he visits his only downside is he isn't as active or exciting during his television programmes but at the end of the day he teaches useful life skills not how to take risks that look great for the T.V.

He doesn't just parachute into the middle of nowhere and find a way out, he actually visits primitives cultures and shares information, he studies historical survival situations and learns from their mistakes. He's really intune with nature.


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8 Cody Lundin Cody Lundin

Unlike many survival experts Cody focuses less on fighting nature and more on working with it. He teaches you to rely on the land and creatures in it for the tools you need to survive more than just what you have in your pack, and he actually lives the way he teaches rather than staying in hotel rooms when he isn't being filmed.

To me, the best survival expert is the one whom most effectively passes on life saving knowledge. Cody's work relative to thermal-regulation, fire starting, and shelter building must be among the best in the world. I think he also maintains an edge in physiology, his understanding of how the body works relative to stresses is top shelf in survival instruction circles.

Cody lundin is awesome not just about surviving but aut also making the adventure smoother.


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9 Tom Brown Tom Brown

I took Tom's basic week long survival course and learned a lot. I learned about their advance winter course which the students are put down in Minnesota winter with just a t shirt, jeans, sneakers and a knife for 30 days and every time the students gain weight when done. What I like was the many of ways of tracking and trapping Tom teaches students to get major game quickly which then provides plenty of food, clothing and tools.

Tom is the true master. He is not concerned with making television shows, being famous, or being adored and admired (which he is anyway). He only wants to stay true; "Remember the old ways, and keep them sacred". Enough said.

I have taken numerous courses over the years. His dirt time makes him exceptionally experienced. If you want survival skills with a Native background and respect for Mother Earth - this is the school. Best teacher I have come across, and I have been to many.

He was trained as a child by American Indians...the true expert survivalist. From Tom's books it is evident that he works with the earth and truly embraces his situation to survive. A TRUE survivalist in every sense of the word.

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10 Ron Hood

Ron Hood has done survival training since long before it was popular and is responsible for making it possible for a lot of the people on this list to even be on this list. You don't own without being the first on the scene.

Ron Hood was my friend and mentor. I never have known a more patient and personable man. I was fortunate to have spent some time with him. He belongs at number one in my opinion.

Ron Hood lived, died and educated many regarding this lifestyle. He is truly - THE MAN!

Ron Hood is simply the best, no question! Here is my top 10... (1) Ron Hood (2) EJ Snyder (3) Cody Lundin (4) Les Stroud (5) David Canterbury (6) Bear Grylls (7) Laura Zerra (8) Matt Graham (9) Jeff Zausch (10) Joe Teti

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The Contenders

11 Lofty Wiseman Lofty Wiseman

Look at what he has done. Listen to what he has to say and you will realise he is the real deal. He tell how he learnt to survive on some interviews. He didn't learn from books or videos or even courses. He learned from the guides and people he worked with during his time in the sas.

He is also good to listen to, very down to earth and he teaches you to primarily survive. If you find yourself in a bad situation he teaches you to survive get help get to a safe place and to do it quickly and safely.

Some guys want the glory others make it look like a leisure activity some make it look like continual risk taking. Lofty makes it real minimises risk and teaches what work. I would say "Vote Lofty" every time

How the hell is Lofty not in the top three if not number 1? This is the guy that wrote the SAS survival handbook after having served with them for 26 years and been in just about every survival situation and climate on the planet! This is the survival instructor that the likes of Bear and The Hawkes wish they were! Come on guys so your homework instead of just voting for who's currently on T.V. A lot or has the most YouTube videos! Lofty Wiseman is the real deal and deserves to be at the top of the list

I have his SAS Survival Guide: Pocket Edition. It's the original without all the edits and additions, and still it has reliable information on how to survive in pretty much any condition from Arctic to Desert with skills like rope-making, fire, hunting, scavenging with diagrams of plants from every part of the world, and just about anything you would need to know, and that's just an unrevised little pocket edition book.

John lofty Wiseman wrote the sas hand book on survival what more can be said really should be number 1

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12 Kellie Nightlinger Kellie Nightlinger

Kellie has lived off the grid since 2012. No running water. No electricity. No indoor plumbing. She camps somewhere different in Alaska every night spring summer and fall. In late fall early winter, she lives off the grid at her remote mountain log cabin she is building on the Contintental divide. She is one of a kind. She hunts, fishes, gathers, traps, snares her wild food. She eats wild every day. She lives alone and works alone to accomplish her daily off grid chores. She never complains and thrives in harsh, wild environments. Check her out at the first woman on Naked and Afraid-Terror in Tanzania Discovery Network, TLC's Strange Love-Popeye and the Wild Woman where she takes a city guy to her mountain cabin for two days in the winter, and as a survival T.V. show host on two episodes of World Wonder X only available on Tokyo Broadcasting Network where she taught a famous Japanese comedian how to survive for 72 hours on a remote South Pacific isolated island. She lives it breaths ...more

Kellie is the best at what she does. She has been put to the test many times and always survived.If I was lost anywhere in the world I would want Kellie with me. I know that with Kellie, we would survive! Thank you all for your time!

Kellie is a very close and dear friend. She has taught me so much valuable knowledge... And most important for me personal... Spend more and more time in nature. You become more in tune with your surroundings. I thank God for Kellie and all the good she has done with the younger people in her, "Angels Among Us Youth Camp" along with all of her great accomplishments... There is no one like her!

I have spent a jam packed couple of months now with Kellie, ranging from Juneau, AK, where we first met,to the log cabin in the mountains of Montana she built then road tripping from there to Michigan (with no vehicle heat and freezing temperatures)!
Her knowledge.and skill sets are seemingly endless from doing the most basic to impossible tasks, I continue to learn and be amazed! She is infinitely prepared at any moment for any eventuality, this is truly evidenced when you see her truck absolutely packed from A to Z survival..!
I look forward to many more years and adventures with her as my guide and mentor to become a more self reliant and confident human being!
Thank you Kellie for all you do and are!

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13 Matt Graham Matt Graham

Matt Graham is as impressive of a survivalist as anyone I have watched and read upon. He has the right personality and attitude of the type person you would want to survive around and to learn from for as far as I'm concerned hands down he is the very best of all. Impressed with his decisions on all different terrains to survive. He can make a shelter out of feathers and cordage no joke the man is something else. And the way he respects the land the environment and all living things he and I would have lots in common. Have to respect the man and his knowledge he has within him for survival. I would really enjoy doing survival with him for he doesn't seem to ever be over taken by situations that may develop and calmly and rationally moves through each obstacle to be rescued or found. He takes the time along the way to thank nature and life he must take to survive and that's the way it should be. Never forgets we must co-exist with nature and all living in it. Wish Matt would do a show ...more

It's rare you can find a man go anywhere in the world and feel like he's on vacation. Cool, relaxed, & always informational. Guy brings a brand new aspect to television survival shows and the things he teaches aren't new techniques but forgotten. Plus being able to spit water in a cup, have Joe Teti drink it, then explain the water extraction process was funny. Between Matt and Les in my books.

Loved dual survival with cody and dave. wish it could be cody and matt now! I was gonna stop watching the show once joe replaced dave but I love matt! He is so happy and carefree we could all learn to ne happier if we lived more like him!

Matt, and Cody are the ELITE

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14 Horace Kephart Horace Kephart

Horace deserves to be in the top 5.

Horace is great at his craft.

An old school legend.

15 Laura Zerra Laura Zerra

Laura has shown great skills, fantastic attitude and great mental toughness. He physical toughness is also quite amazing. Watching her in "Naked and Afraid," she was an amazing partner. And by the end, it was she who kept rowing when poor EJ was so tired that he was falling asleep while sitting. She kept going despite her own exhaustion and fatigue. A REAL WOMAN! Yes for Laura - she deserves a higher spot in this hierarchy!

You are strong woman and excellent skills to survive in the wild

One of the toughest, most knowledgable, and relentless survivalists out there. She may not publicize herself like others on this list, but she's one of the best.

Along with EJ and others she showed leadership skills and a tenacity second to none!

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16 George W. Sears George W. Sears

Dave canterbury can read?

George W. Sears can read?

It was Dave Canterbury who made me aware of Nessmuk (George Washington Sears). Canterbury advocated seeking out and studying the writings and teachings of the earlier writers (1800's and early 1900's). When you start to really become a student of this game, you become aware of just how significant Nessmuk's contributions have become and how his works have influenced the thought of current survival experts. The only reason why he isn't (properly) ranked #1 on this list is because he never had a T.V. show.

17 Joseph Teti Joseph Teti

NOT a survivalist - is attempting to portray himself as one ever since the Great Cody Lundin and Captain Mykel Hawke brought matters into Courts. Discovery is trying to portray him as a survivalist as a defense. Guy has no schooling or experience in survival. No military SERE beyond basic training. There is a chicken running around with more knowledge than this clown of a guy.

My Hero -joseph teti- right after 9/11 we the public had a lot of sleepless nights with worry. Our way of life was threatened. But Joe teti put many of us at ease, making sure Las Vegas was clean. It was a comfort knowing such men existed to slay the dragon known as dirt. Turns out while Mr Teti preaches to train for a fight, he is not an advocate of entering a fight. Just a lot of shooting inanimate objects. Ask him where he was after 9/11- ask him - I'll give the man this - he sure can run.

Is it cold all the way down here? Where is the broom squad? Too busy mixing eye of newt? Hey I'll get you my pretty, you know casio has a group code of conduct? Ralph says, behold the pale horse cometh - that Ralph really gets worked up. rocking back and forth on his little legs, shaking his wing in the air. Really a showman. Should have his own show. The Ralph Chicken variety hour. Think on it.

Is teti still trolling this poll? It looks like someone has been VERY hard at work trying to bump the honorable hawke from the top spot by consistently upvoting ej. Think people are dumb and won't notice? Bwahahaaa comedy!

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18 Thomas Coyne Thomas Coyne

Thomas isn't a T.V. personality, but he does get out and live the life. I would put him against any of the rockstar survival experts and my money would be on him to come out on top in most every situation.

You've got my vote thomas!

Thomas is the real deal because he not only knows how to survive in a diverse range of wilderness environments, but he's able to effectively instruct others in the survival skills he's developed and used for decades. And his methods work and make sense. His goal is to teach the practical and useful real-world survival skills that can save your life, not offer a watered down experience that a lot of other survival schools market to city folk. I trust him and I'd highly recommend his courses to anyone interested in actually living through a critical situation in the wilderness.

Thomas, is the best! He looks out for your best interest, making sure you understand. And knows what needs to be done. Now that's a leader! Thank you!

Knows what to do and how to do it. He has also pared down his knowledge and experience into effective techniques that he teaches. Check out his survival school. You won't be disappointed.

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19 Mike Pewtherer Mike Pewtherer

He does what he teaches - totally humble and willing to learn from anyone and share what he knows. I have one of his books and is really very good.

The guy knows his stuff - the details in his book are where it becomes very clear!

Totally versatile and EXPERIENCED, he puts in the time doing what he writes about

Built to Survive! Nice job, Bro!

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20 John McCann

John is unassuming and has a quiet confidence. The classes he teaches are always well attended. John is most known for his books and articles so he doesn't often get votes because of his limited T.V. exposure. However, those who have had an opportunity to meet him know he is both knowledgeable and helpful.

John knows his stuff and he teaches what he know and when he learns he passes on the knowledge. Like his concepts keep learning and pass it on.

Laugh out loud, who ever wrote the previous post obviously knows me. I am John McCann and I'm no "Expert, " I'm a student of survival. There are those that want to be considered an "Expert" but I'm not one of them.

I felt sorry that he had to vote for himself as the top expert while proclaiming "i'm no expert" laugh out loud. you can't comment on someone you didn't vote for... so I though I would vote for him too

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21 Darrin Reay

His life style is almost completely off grid. His skills and ability to do more than merely survive in any environment with minimal tools is amazing.

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22 Micheal James Patrick

I've watched him use rocks to shape a bow drill with hemlock root cordage as he casually explained the tracks, edible pants, and even the bird behavior. He got a fire without a knife from "nothing" for our school group in a little over forty minutes. Since then I learned from him and his instructors at the Maine Primitive Skills School and have been passionate about the skills ever since. Check out what he produces on the web at to get a sense of how in-depth the knowledge base is!

I took Mike's basic class called Earth Living 5 day. Mike has a unique, simple, yet very effective way of teaching. He forces you to learn with all 5 of your senses, and pushes you to your edge to see where you need to improve. Since then I have taken all of Mike's classes and have gotten to know just how much knowledge and experience this guy has. If anyone is under rated it is this guy.

Words can't express what this man has to offer. He shared with me a connection to nature that no one owns. I now share that same connection with my students. I've met other people on this list as well. I have few doubts that he belongs at, or near, the top.

I knew him when he was in scouts as a kid and he has ALWAYS been obsessed with survival skills and living in the woods. It's great to see him living his dream. I haven't seen any of the television shows come close to what Mikey knows. His teachers are good folks, but they'll even say that he IS the Maine Primitive Skills School.

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23 Dave "Mitch" Mitchell

I loved the video when he camped out in the winter in a wool blanket lean-to. It was snowing hard, and turned into a full blown blizzard. The snow weight sagged his lame shelter to about a foot off the ground. What did our young Canterbury castoff survival expert do? He went back in the house! He was camped in his backyard! Lol. Total poser. Like his former mentor, he videos survival topics AS HE LEARNS THEM, and passes it off as things he's known since way back. His fanboys scamper to protect him, too. Pathetic phony.

This gentleman puts out top notch YouTube videos. His expertise is plainly evident, and his instructional technique is without reproach.

Native survival school, look it up on YouTube

Mitch is truly a bushcraft Titan...he keeps the traditional knowledge of USA / Canada Natives mixed with Classical Bushcrafting and topped off with Modern survival techniques...He is fantastic for N.American Bushcrafting.

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24 Creek Stewart

I have trained under Creek, and have been a trainer along side of him for a event called Escape The Woods Survival Challenge, He is true to his word and a very humble person. He has vast knowledge of all things survival and woodcraft! I consider his methods for teaching superior to many! He is a hands on individual in the sense, he will work with anyone if they ask, and help them accomplish their task! All of the students he teaches are individuals and he treats them as such.

I've known Creek for a couple of years now and am convinced that he thoroughly knows his stuff! He is so down to earth, both in his demeanor and In his survival philosophy, that he can reach and train any one person In this world with practical, real life application of survival skills. He is very approachable and I have worked with him in the past with a public health television project and is by far one of the most energetic and knowledgable topic experts that I have had the privilege to film.

Creek is a great hands-on instructor and, as an Eagle Scout, preaches that we all BE PREPARED. Information you can use and being very active on social media brings his message to the forefront.

He's also a great guy who is very approachable and takes the time to talk and teach anyone who shows interest.

Creek Stewart clearly has an absolute wealth of survival information. He's had a great T.V. show, he's written numerous books and has a successful survival school. He also doesn't have the ego and insecurities many of the other survival celebrities have. He's a true expert and not a wannabe. Plus, I've bought numerous items from his online businesses and have loved them all.

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25 Darrin Baird

I met him a few years ago. He has a great youtube channel (east woodland survival) with tons of free stuff like leather patterns, how to videos and lots of projects. He's not trying to sell you anything which makes it a nice change from most of the other channels. I have been to a class at Randall Adventure Training and he helped a ton with my bow drill, I was able to get a coal and he was so patient with me. (I can be stubborn and difficult at times to my own defeat and he really helped me refocus on the task). Great guy and I hope to train more with him in the future.

Glad that he and the other instructors left the pathfinder school. I love survival and the outdoors but hate there are so many people like Canterbury out there that lie, cheat and steal. Darrin on the other hand is genuine, straight forward and tells you like it is. No sugar coating, just straight forward survival skills. I have never met another survival instructor as laid back and approachable as he is. Even after taking classes at both the Pathfinder School and Randall Adventure Training, I know I can call or email him with any questions I have and he will respond. Great guy to know and a great survival resource. Thanks bro. - Bill

He is a Master Survival Instructor at the Pathfinder School. I think I heard someone say that he was the first Master Instructor at the school. He was at a class that I took and was the most laid back, down to earth guy you would want to meet.

Great guy. Love his channel on Youtube.

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26 Jeff Zausch

I have never, ever seen anyone who could hunt and fish -- with no equipment -- as well as Jeff Zausch. On Naked and Afraid, Naked and Afraid XL and Dual Survival, he's proven that he can push himself to the limit and come out smiling. He's a joy to watch!

If you haven't seen Jeff spearing an alligator gar, you need to learn how to Internet!

If you haven't seen Jeff spearing an electric eel, you need to learn how to Internet!

If you haven't seen Jeff spearing an electric eel, you need to learn how to Internet!

27 Payge McMahon
28 Bradford Angier

I grew up reading his books when the only other survival books were army survival manuals or the BSA handbook.

I TOO ENJOYED ANDIER AND HIS WIFE'S WRITINGS. James Allen Wyatt, Jr, Kosciuslo, MS H. S. Class of 1956, Miss. State Univ, Class of 1961; Son of Custom Hunting Rifle Builder J. A. "Red" Wyat, Sr.

29 Lee Trew
30 Chris Swanda

Chris' teaching style makes it easy to understand the basis of wilderness survival, preparedness or just being in any environment. The biggest takeaway that I learned was the rule of 3's and how they can complement or compound each other in everyday life, and not just when you are in a dire situation. Also, just being mentally and psychologically prepared can do more for you than any gear or gadgets.

Often you hear "It's the quiet ones you have to watch". Well, this is Chris' style. He never brags, self-promotes or boasts of his exploits. But if you reach out for help or knowledge he is more than willing to teach you, not just tell you. While most people will tell you what skills are needed, he will merely explain various skills and let you decide what works best for you.

Well, Chris is my brother, I'm very proud to say. Growing up he was a Mac Gyver around our town. Always inventing something from odds and ins around the house. My favorite was the potato launcher he made with a tin can and pvc pipe. A little lighter fluid and off went the tennis ball flying thru the air! He's smart, intelligent, and ingenious in his thinking. People can always learn something fascinating with him

Great guy if I were lost in the woods I'd follow his lead. No Doubt.

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31 Jeffy Geer

I took his basics class and now I can do so many things that I never thought I would be able to. He provided supplies so that now I know what to buy. He is an excellent teacher and he teaches things in an efficient way, which is easy to understand.

Jeff Geer is an authentic woodsman. He is a hunter, fisherman, and has always been a terrific self reliant provider for his friends and family. This is a total "came from a poor background" kind of thing. The man finds time to practice and teach skills, grow and harvest food, raise a family, and still hold down a full time job. Not many others came say the same thing. And he never tries to sell you the next great survival product.

I have been watching Jeffy grow in this field for a few years now... He amazes me with his want/need to know more... And to teach more... Keep up the good work you will be at the top of this list in no time...

While being among the top in the field he is also one of the most generous in it as well. Most of what he does is for free, just for the joy of teaching and sharing it with others.

V 7 Comments
32 Forrest Galante
33 Rich Hungerford

Whole family attended a wilderness survival course with Rich. WOW - what an inspirational leader in this field! Rich teaches how to be at one with your situation rather than fighting it. His methods really go to the core of understanding yourself in adverse conditions where emotional instincts need to be controlled in order to survive. Rich is a true SAS warrior who really understands and teaches the mindset of survival as well as the practical aspects of starting a fire and building shelters etc. There's no hype on Rich's courses - just genuine knowledge imparted in a very practical way. You come away from a weekend with Rich feeling that your mind body and soul have been nourished with information long forgotten in our modern world.

I have been involved with teaching survival for 45 years and I know there are a great many who claim to be "survival experts" but are in fact just knowledgeable people who are able to deliver an interesting and informative presentation on the physical aspects of survival and anyone who has been in an actual "survival situation" knows that practical skills are only part of the toolbox required for success. I have known Rich for the best part of 25 years and over that time he has tuned his mental awareness and practical skills to a point where he has become at least the best in this country... and I can assure you that there are many very knowledgeable teachers on the subject here. - GrahamBrammer

Rich shares his decades worth of experience in a keep it simple way. He fully engages you in the bush lore experience teaching from his heart. I would not hesitate to recommend anyone trying his courses out. You will not be disappointed.

Genuine and caring

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34 Travis Johnson

This man is the what is considered a expert simply because of his vast knowledge and skills. There is so much this man can do in survival skills that he demonstrates great practiced techniques and is a master of the arts of survival. It is recorded he has produced a hand drill fire in less then 45 secs. And produced bow drill fire in 4 secs. I would like to see anyone of these other people on this page do this!

A true expert is considered by their knowledge and skills about their industry and with over 2600 students trained world wide by this man also never a unsatisfied student and with most returning to advance their knowledge and skills to the next level. Travis belongs well above the rest you have my vote Mr Johnson you have trained me far above what I thought I would learn. Thank you for your years of dedicated teaching to everyone around the world.

Travis is amazing when it comes to skill no one can hold a flame to him he is a lead instructor of survival in Washington state and on adviser and consultant to many different survival instructors and professionals all over the world. Look him up and see for yourself. He is a master at primitive survival!
Tom B.
Nelson because

A great instructor with 30 years experience which speaks for its self...a great man and teacher. You must take a class at northwest survival school you have no idea what you are missing

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35 Marty Simon

I know Marty and have sat under his teaching. One of the foremost plant experts in North America. He has forgotten more about wilderness living than most of us will ever learn.

Operated a well known school for 30+ years. Excellent plant knowledge!

36 Richard Graves

Richard Graves deserves recognition as he spent many years in new Guinea as an Australian Infantry adviser and survivalist. New Guinea being tropical and a very harsh environment, with no support from outside.

37 Manu Toigo
38 James Mandeville

Want to know how to sharpen a survival knife?
James Mandeville's survival-expert website is first class. A true free survival information website in the best spirit of the internet! If you read this you should check out his latest free article on "Choosing and Sharpening a Survival Knife." Fantastic detail and great photos, lots of good info on sharpening kits. But best of all is the detail he goes into on how to sharpen a knife the old fashioned way and get the best from it. I have always found it difficult to get a really good edge on a knife, after reading his article I started to get really great results. You should also check out his article on making a survival kit - best I have read.

I posted some questions to James asking him to explain how to get that brilliant polished finish on a knife edge and he patiently communicated more sharpening tips to me and with his help I chose and bought a Swedish Fallkniven Black F1 knife that is now my pride and ...more

Excellent free survival articles on a site with no advertising. As the head of a small expedition to the Amazon, I asked James some survival questions through the contact on his site and got really helpful and good advice back from him. He doesn't like reality T.V. survival programs, that was clear, perhaps he is one of the unsung heroes of the survival community. His survival knowledge is really deep and based on a lot of personal experience.

My training in survival was 23 years in the military, ten of which I spent teaching soldiers how to infiltrate, survive, fight in jungle and ex-filtrate. I spent a lot of time in a lot of jungle in Belize, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia. I also qualified as an instructor in desert and arctic warfare and survival. - Chetan

Cheap trick posting here by Chetan Menaria to advertise himself. Unfair to James Mandeville because it gave him a negative score. Mandeville's survival website is actually very good - well informed - free survival advice and a non-commercial site with no ads.

I read his guide to sharpening survival knives posted free on his website This is really cool, possibly the best guide around.

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39 Jeff Randall
40 William Myers

William Myers really knows his stuff. I first found out about him from Facebook, when I came across an article he wrote about debris shelters. This post was full of photos he took along the way of his project shelter, along with a detailed "How To" to go with every step. Once I read people on the post saying that he really spent the night in these shelters he was building. I added his page and started learning new things right away. Once I noticed he was offering a class, I had to meet the guy and see it for myself. There is almost nothing William cannot help you solve in a real-life survival situation. I no longer watch much survival T.V.. I prefer the real thing. Can't wait for the next class to start, hopefully my schedule allows it. Everyone should know about this guy!

William is an individual who is prepared to be completely self-sufficient.One who has personal or group survival as a primary goal in the face of difficulty, opposition, and especially the threat of natural or Man made.William does not do it for a Hobby...He strives to teach others that are willing to learn and will bend of over back words to help those that are in Need of Knowledge and a Great teacher of many skill sets.

He is a patient teacher who is very knowledgeable about what he is talking about. He practices what he preaches and does hands on demonstrations. He shows what he has in his own survival packs, what kind and how many of each item especially fire starting tools. He taught how to build a survival shelter. He teaches in a way that children can understand and encourages children to come to his classes along with their parents.

Will is learning so much and is a very good teacher.

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41 Ruth Hawke

Best of the best. Last I watched she ground up acorns for food, and spoke of leeching them to kill bitterness and how the rock bits from grinding them up wore at the indigenous people teeth. I find her info quite interesting. She should be rated top ten.

If I were not involved voting against someone else, I would spend the entire day voting for this lady. Top notch no nonsense survivalist.

She puts up with Myke. That should get her a vote in anyone's book.

This survivalist deserves top ten -

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42 Luke McLaughlin
43 Ed Stafford

Stars in naked and marooned. Great guy. Funny, relaxed, good skills on how to survive on A. Tropical island.
Watch the show. Its great stuff

Unlike the other guys, Ed show us how to survive with bare hands, he starts with nothing, not even a knife!

You really need to watch this guy he is awesome I can't believe you could rank him outside the top 5 put him on naked and afraid and his partner might as well be on vacation. If they could put up with him lol we Brits are weird

Should be higher on the list

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44 Mickey Grosman

Mickey pushed the survival skills art to its limits on his recent 5000 miles epic expedition in the Amazon jungle. The real deal! Just recently he completed his journey. His determination to push forward along this survival journey became a great source of inspiration to cancer warriors and their families.He has been to cancer himself. And he is not a kid. I've been following Mickey's progress across the Amazon, 5, 000 miles since last year. He's hacked, slashed, walked, swam, and tumbled from the western coast of South America, to the eastern coast and through the Amazon. I can't wait to see the final footage of his trek on T.V. or video or wherever he manages to get it broadcast. Just incredible! GO MICKEY!

The only one in this list that is a true survivalist. He put his expertise into a real test when he crossed the Amazon - he is not a showman

At 66 years young this guy is hard to beat. Who else did 5000 miles through the Amazon?

45 Jamie Burleigh

Great explanation and demonstration in his teaching. Jamie is great about answering any questions and walking through things step by step. Not only an attendee of the Pathfinder School but also a highly respected instructor! I learned a ton from Jamie and really appreciate the game prep instruction

46 Chris Caine

Expert in survival and foraging, having lived off grid for many years. Seasoned survival instructor and inventor if the Chris Caine range of survival tools.

A real expert! And a Nice chap!

15+ years living wild... Famous for his survival tool... Accomplished survival instructor... Friend of john lofty wiseman, father ex-special forces... Extensive wild food knowledge etc... But in his words he's 'just a tramp'. crackin bloke!

47 Richard Proenneke

Was an amateur naturalist who lived alone for nearly thirty years in the mountains of Alaska in a log cabin he had constructed by hand, with tools that he made.

48 Brian Manning

Snowalker Bushcraft on YouTube. Good information.

49 Daniel Carter Beard
50 Angel Rodriguez
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