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 superior! He's survived naked in the wilderness longer than any other modern man with just a knife and his wits. His skills are fantastic! He's a proven leader in the survival community and we are all very proud of him! Love you EJ! ❤️ Vote for EJ!

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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.

He is better than all other experts

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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

Mors is The Master Yoda of Bushcraft. He has more skills than anyone above him in this list.

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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.

Ray has extensive knowledge of how people in undeveloped countries live with the land. As someone with such experience of primitive cultures he has visited the USA many times.

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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!

Love matt graham he is the best in my opinion

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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

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.

Loved watching you' strong headed

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 V 3 Comments
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.

John knows his stuff, excellent author and teacher. Personally I think he'd laugh to see himself listed as an expert because he always refers to himself as a student.

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List Stats

5,000 votes
102 listings
5 years, 225 days old

Top Remixes (56)

1. Bear Grylls
2. Mykel Hawke
3. Mors Kochanski
1. Les Stroud
2. Mykel Hawke
3. Cody Lundin
1. Mykel Hawke
2. Mors Kochanski
3. Les Stroud

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