Top Ten Best Survival Experts


The Contenders: Page 2

21 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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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 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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24 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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25 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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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 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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30 Lee Trew
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.

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32 Forrest Galante
33 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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34 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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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 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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40 Jeff Randall
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