Learn from Dave Canterbury – The Expert on Wilderness Survival

Image of Dave Canterbury
Image source & owner – See end of this article.

To truly survive out in the wild, you need to learn from the experts; those who know first-hand what it’s like to be trapped in an emergency situation.

  • Click Here to jump directly to info on his Pathfinder School…

Dave Canterbury is largely considered an expert on wilderness survival, and we can all learn a lot from his methods. 

Short Biography of This Survival Expert

Most people know Dave Canterbury from the reality television show Dual Survival. This guy co-starred on the show for two seasons from 2010 to 2011. Born September 19, 1963, David is a survival expert and a former U.S. Sergeant. Today, he owns and works as an instructor at The Pathfinders School LLC in Ohio.

Before Dual Survivor, David worked on a reptile farm and also as a commercial fisherman in Florida. During his appearance on the show, he demonstrated a number of crucial skills, like how to treat an injury using just fire and gunpowder. Canterbury intentionally sliced open his arm on air and asked his co-host to use this somewhat bizarre technique to stop the bleeding.

However, he was removed from the Dual Survivor series because he lied about his military background and other information. Nevertheless, this guy still offers great information and advice proving that you really don’t need a military background just to know how to survive.

Expertise in The Field of Survival

According to Self Reliance Outfitters, which is a division of The Pathfinder School, Dave has more than 20 years of experience in outdoor self-reliance, bush crafting and primitive skills.

He is also the author of The Pathfinder System: Survivability for the Common Man and has posted more than 900 videos on the Pathfinder School YouTube channel (which has more than 260,000 subscribers).

Dave & His Career on TV


This may save you from starving:

A Guide to Eating Tree Bark as an Emergency Meal

Dave’s career on Dual Survival may have been short lived, but he did provide viewers with some great information and tips on how to survive out in the wild. Tips that others have never demonstrated before.

During his stint on the show, he and his co-host Cody Lundin would place themselves in various emergency situations, like getting lost in the jungle, stuck in the desert or stranded on a deserted island. The pair were tasked with surviving for a certain number of days with just minimal gear.

Dave would demonstrate various skills like using primitive methods to build a fire or how to obtain potable water. In season one and two of the series, the duo demonstrated the following:

  • How to salvage material from a life raft to build a shelter and a fire. They also gathered food and water from the island.
  • How to survive in Peru’s Valley of the Volcanoes.
  • How to build a raft out of bamboo.

This expert and his co-star placed themselves in seemingly impossible situations, like being stranded in the swamps of the Florida Everglades or the back-country of South Africa.

Dave´s Pathfinder School

Definitely learn this:

Instructions How to Make a Primitive Snare Trap for Catching Animals

Dave Canterbury is the founder of the Pathfinder School, which is located in Southeast Ohio. It offers both hands-on and online training in self-reliance. What is more, it provides classes for both beginners and experienced outdoorsman.

In the beginner class, students learn the basics of survival, including:

  • How to disinfect water by boiling
  • The 5 basic knots
  • The basics of self-aid
  • Basic fire building concepts
  • Simple water filters
  • Point to point navigation
  • Using smoke generators & building signaling devices
  • Finding quick shelter
  • Tool & knife safety

Keep in mind: The advanced classes take things a bit further, and the school also offers classes that focus on advanced trapping and scouting skills. Just check out its website here – SelfRelianceOutfitters.com.

His Special 10 C´s Formula

Canterbury promotes what he calls the 10 Cs of Survivability, which are:

  1. Cutting Tool – A survival knife. Dave recommends using a 4-5-inch carbon-steel blade with a flat back edge.
  2. Cover – An emergency shelter, like a wool blanket, tarp, poncho or even a garbage bag.
  3. Combustion – Spark-catching material.
  4. Cordage – 100 feet of 550 cord.
  5. Container – This expert recommends carrying a stainless-steel water bottle.
  6. Cotton – A few cotton cloths or bandanas.
  7. Candle – At least a few candles for emergency lighting.
  8. Compass – Do not forget to pack a compass with a sighting mirror.
  9. Canvas Needle – A multi-purpose tool that can be used to repair shelters, clothing or for delicate operations.
  10. Cargo Tape – Duct tape is just as useful in the great outdoors as it is in your home.

Pay attention: You can read more about these 10 C´s in following article – Analysis of Dave Canterbury’s 10 C’s of Survival. What is more, the Pathfinder School teaches the importance of this in the basic class and also provides recommendations on where to get these items.

2 Main Publications & Works of Dave

1. Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival

Bushcraft 101 - A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness SurvivalIn his Bushcraft 101 guide, Dave discusses the basics of wilderness survival based on the 5Cs of Survivability (now 10 Cs): cutting tools, combustion devices, covering, cordages and containers.

Inside, you’ll find tips on how to:

  • Forage and cook food.
  • Choose the right items for your outdoor kit.
  • Create supplies and tools from your surroundings.
  • Protect yourself from the elements.
  • Start a fire.
  • Set up camp.
  • Navigate your way through the terrain.

This is a guide that every outdoorsman or prepper should have in their emergency kit. The book also includes 50 illustrations. While you can purchase the cheaper Kindle edition, you really should consider buying the paperback book to keep in your kit – especially for long-term critical situations.

Get it here:

It is available for great price here: http://www.amazon.com/Bushcraft-101-Field-Wilderness-Survival-ebook/dp/B00MIMHPII/

2. Survivability for the Common Man

Survivability for the Common ManSurvivability for the Common Man takes a practical approach to this whole issue. Dave shares the basics of the 10 Cs. It’s an excellent read for any outdoorsman or prepper.

Inside, this expert discusses not only physical, but mental survival as well. In fact, he dedicates an entire chapter to basic reasoning. He also discusses some of the very basics, like:

  • Choosing the right clothing for outdoor excursions
  • How to filter water
  • Gathering food
  • Building a fire

Pay attention:

You’ll find plenty of great information in this book, but you’ll have a hard time finding a print version of it. You can try to look for it here: http://www.amazon.com/Survivability-Common-Man-Dave-Canterbury-ebook/dp/B007JY1Q6M/

Image source: SelfRelianceOutfitters.com

About Jim Worthersky

Hi, my name is Jim and my motto to live by is: Hope for the best while prepare for the worst. My hobbies are swimming, hiking, hunting, scouting & crafting.

Check Also

James Wesley Rawles grey image

Is James Wesley Rawles an Expert on Surviving a Global Collapse?

James Rawles is world-known for his ability to clearly explain how one can survive the …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *