These 7 bushcraft experts inspire me (but why?)

Let yourself be inspired by my 7 best bushcraft experts, learn more about their skills and background, and find out how you can benefit from them.

from Martin Gebhardt | Bushcraft | reading time 6 Min
Updated on 09 September 2023 6.823 views 100% found this guide helpful
These 7 bushcraft experts inspire me (but why?)

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Find seven renowned bushcraft experts here: Mors Kochanski, Ray Mears, Dave Canterbury, Cody Lundin, Les Stroud, Tom Brown Jr., and Paul Kirtley.
  • It is advantageous to learn from these experts as they possess years of experience and knowledge in bushcraft and survival techniques.
  • The experts share their knowledge through books, websites, YouTube channels, and social media. You can find all these references in the guide.
  • The featured experts each bring their experiences, teaching methods, and philosophies into the world of bushcraft and wilderness.
  • Learning from these experts enables you to develop and strengthen your wilderness skills.

Just like I was before, you may be looking for real bushcraft experts.

However, there are many conflicting or even dangerous advice on the internet, so it is important to find reliable sources.

We need experts who can show us how to start a fire properly, build emergency shelters, or identify edible plants.

The solution is to get to know the world's best bushcraft experts and benefit from their knowledge.

In this article, I introduce you to my 7 best bushcraft experts who can best support you on your journey through the wilderness.

1. Mors Kochanski

Mors Kochanski, born June 10, 1940, in Saskatchewan, Canada, is one of the world's most well-known bushcraft experts.

Mors Kochanski

His career began in the early 1960s, when he started developing his skills in the wilderness and teaching courses in Survival Techniques and nature crafts. Mors passed away in 2019.

Some of his most well-known books are "Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival", "Northern Bushcraft" and "Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook".

His website, www.karamat.com, is a treasure trove of information, and although he doesn't have his own YouTube channel, there are numerous videos of him on the platform.

What I particularly appreciate about the expert

Mors Kochanski lived a holistic approach to bushcraft that includes both practical skills and a deep understanding of nature. His books and passed on courses are a true source of inspiration for me, especially his book "Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival", which I always enjoy taking to hand.

What inspires me about the expert

A quote from Mors Kochanski that particularly inspires me is:

"The more you know, the less you carry."

This sentence brings to the point how important it is to have the right knowledge and skills to survive in the wilderness.

2. Ray Mears

Ray Mears, born on February 7, 1964, in Kenley, England, is a British bushcraft expert and TV presenter.

Ray Mears

His interest in nature and survival techniques started at a young age, and in 1983 he founded his own school of bushcraft and survival called "Woodlore". Ray currently lives in East Sussex, England.

His best-known books are "Essential Bushcraft", "The Outdoor Survival Handbook" and "Bushcraft Survival". Ray Mears' website, www.raymears.com, provides a wealth of information and courses.

On his YouTube channel "Ray Mears & Woodlore Ltd", he regularly shares videos about bushcraft and nature experiences. He is also active on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.

What I appreciate about the expert

Ray Mears conveys his bushcraft knowledge in a easily understandable and likable way. His presence feels very close to me, like a buddy.

His TV shows and books are not only informative, but also entertaining. I particularly appreciate his ability to present complex relationships in a simple and understandable way.

What inspires me about the expert

An inspiring quote from Ray Mears is:

"Knowledge is the key to survival, the real beauty of that is that it doesn't weigh anything."

This quote reminds me of how important it is to spend time in nature, to practice and connect with it.

3. Dave Canterbury

Dave Canterbury (real name: David Michael Canterbury) was born on September 19, 1963, in Indiana, USA, and is a well-known bushcraft and survival expert.

Dave Canterbury

Dave served in the US military and later worked as a commercial fisherman and professional driver before founding his own survival school, the "Pathfinder School". He currently lives in Ohio, USA.

His best-known books include "Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival", "Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival" and "The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild".

Dave operates the website www.selfrelianceoutfitters.com, which offers a variety of bushcraft and survival courses and high-quality equipment.

His YouTube channel "David Canterbury" is very popular and contains many educational videos on bushcraft techniques. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

grossartige bushcraft buecher

What I appreciate about the expert

Dave Canterbury brings a giant variety of experiences and skills to his bushcraft guides. His books and videos are practical and offer easily implementable tips for both beginners and advanced practitioners. I appreciate his down-to-earth nature and focus on the essentials.

What inspires me about the expert

A quote from Dave Canterbury that particularly inspires me reads:

"Bushcraft is a term for wilderness skills and is the practice of surviving and thriving in the natural world."

This sentence shows the importance of being flexible and adapting to the constantly changing conditions in the wilderness.

4. Cody Lundin

Cody Lundin, born on March 15, 1967, in Prescott, Arizona, USA, is an American survival and bushcraft expert.

Cody Lundin

He founded the "Aboriginal Living Skills School" and has over two decades of experience in teaching bushcraft, survival techniques, and natural craftsmanship. Cody still lives in Arizona.

In 2010, Lundin achieved his TV breakthrough with the television series "Das Survival-Duo: Zwei Männer, ein Ziel." In this series, he demonstrated together with Dave Canterbury how to survive in the wilderness and apply different survival strategies.

Cody has written two well-known books: "98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive" and "When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes".

Cody has his own website at www.codylundin.com, where information about his school, the "Aboriginal Living Skills School", can be found. He operates his own YouTube channel, where there are many videos of him. Cody is active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

What I appreciate about the expert

Cody Lundin has a unique approach to survival in the wilderness that considers both traditional skills and modern techniques. His books are humorous, informative, and easily understandable. I appreciate his environmentally friendly approach to life in nature.

And yes, I also like that he always walks barefoot and wears shorts.

What inspires me about the expert

An inspiring quote from Cody Lundin is:

"Moral of the story: try to get things right, figure out what’s going wrong with the scenario, and don’t give up."

This quote reminds me of how important it is to be independent and trust yourself, especially in the wilderness.

5. Les Stroud

Les Stroud, born on October 20, 1961, in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, is a Canadian bushcraft and survival expert who is primarily known for his TV series "Survivorman."

Les Stroud

Les has a background in outdoor education and film production, and brings these two passions together in his documentaries and teaching materials. He now lives in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.

Les Stroud has written several books, including "Will to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival", "Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere - Alive" and "Beyond Survivorman".

His website, www.lesstroud.ca, contains much information about his projects and courses. On his YouTube channel "Les Stroud - Survivorman" he regularly shares videos about bushcraft, survival, and nature documentaries. He is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What I appreciate about the expert

Les Stroud shows in his TV shows and books authentic survival situations and how to deal with them. His experiences and knowledge are impressive, and I appreciate his realistic and practical approach to the subject of bushcraft and survival.

What inspires me about the expert

An inspiring quote from Les Stroud is:

"There's no room for bravado when you're alone in the bush."

This quote reminds me that show-offs and machos have no place in the wilderness. In the bush, jungle, or desert, we are all equal.

6. Tom Brown Jr.

Tom Brown Jr., born on January 29, 1950, in New Jersey, USA, is an American bushcraft, tracking and survival expert.

Tom Brown Jr

He is best known for his tracking skills (a guide by me on this topic) and his close connection to nature. Tom learned his knowledge and skills from an Apache scout named "Stalking Wolf". Today he runs the "Tom Brown Jr. Tracker School" in New Jersey.

Some of his most well-known books are "The Tracker", "The Search" and "Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival".

Tom runs the website www.trackerschool.com, where you can find information about his courses and seminars. Although he does not run his own YouTube channel, there are many videos of him and about his methods on the platform.

What I appreciate about the expert

Tom Brown Jr. has a unique approach to nature and is one of the most well-known trackers in the world. His skills and knowledge of survival in the wilderness are impressive.

I appreciate his philosophy of living in harmony with nature and using its wisdom to lead a fulfilling life. Tom Brown has greatly shaped wilderness education.

What inspires me about the expert

An inspiring quote from Tom Brown Jr. is:

"Immerse yourself in nature’s symphony and let your senses burst with joy."

This quote reminds me of how important it is to fully immerse yourself in nature and use all of your senses to experience its beauty and diversity. By connecting with nature and experiencing its harmony, we can achieve joy, inner peace, and a deep understanding of the world around us.

7. Paul Kirtley

Paul Kirtley, born January 17, 1973 in England, is a British bushcraft and survival expert. He learned from, among others, Ray Mears and later founded his own school, "Frontier Bushcraft." Paul currently lives in Hertfordshire, England.

Paul Kirtley

One of his best-known books is "Wilderness: Axe Skills and Campcraft". Paul's website, www.paulkirtley.co.uk, offers a wealth of information, articles, and courses on bushcraft and nature craftsmanship.

His YouTube channel "Paul Kirtley" contains many informative videos on various aspects of survival in the wilderness. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What I particularly appreciate about the expert

Paul Kirtley's extensive knowledge and wilderness experience make him an outstanding bushcraft teacher. His articles and videos are always well researched and founded. I appreciate his comprehensive and detail-oriented approach to the subject of bushcraft.

What inspires me about the expert

A quote from Paul Kirtley that particularly inspires me is:

"You can't beat a well-organized camp, especially on a rainy day."

This quote highlights the importance of camping life to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe there.

Summary

In this article, we have looked at my 7 favorite bushcraft experts, who impress with their manual know-how, their ability to live in harmony with nature, and their survival skills in harsh conditions.

Each of these experts brings their own experiences, teaching methods, and philosophies to the world of bushcrafting and the wilderness.

Their books, websites, YouTube channels, and social media are valuable resources for anyone looking to expand their knowledge and skills in this area.

Here is the list of experts we discussed again:

  1. Mors Kochanski
  2. Ray Mears
  3. Dave Canterbury
  4. Cody Lundin
  5. Les Stroud
  6. Tom Brown Jr.
  7. Paul Kirtley

Now it's up to you to use the knowledge and experiences of these bushcraft experts and develop your own skills in the wilderness.

You are warmly invited to explore my Bushcraft blog category to discover even more professional advisors and helpful tips.

Have fun learning and experiencing nature!

And remember that nature is our greatest teacher and we can always continue to develop and learn new skills.

Let yourself be inspired by these experts and follow in their footsteps on a lifelong adventure in the wilderness.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

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