Review: Dave Canterbury's Bushcraft 101

Posted by El DiPablo | 6:00 AM | ,

Dave Canterbury is probably my favorite famous survivalist. Like most people, I first heard of Dave Canterbury from the first two seasons on Dual Survival. Dave was let go after the second season for embellishing his resume when he applied for the job on Dual Survival. One of the things he told the show was he was an S.R.T. Sniper in the U.S. Army, which is not true at all. That being said, Canterbury is still one of the best survivalists out there and knows his stuff!

Canterbury is also the co-owner and supervising instructor at The Pathfinder School in Ohio which was named by USA Today as one of the top 12 survival schools in the United States. It's hard to beat knowledge from a guy who runs a school with accolades like that.

Well Dave Canterbury just released his first book, Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide To The Art of Wilderness Survival and when it became available I immediately had to order a copy. I have other survival manuals like both of Mykel Hawke's manuals and Lofty Wiseman's SAS Survival Handbook. I feel you can never have too much information on the subject.

The difference between Hawke's and Wiseman's manuals versus Canterbury's manual is that Canterbury takes the entire first half of the book talking about what to take with you when venturing out into the wilderness. Canterbury's book is way more based around wilderness preparedness than emergency survival like the other two books. The first half of the book is based around Canterbury's 5 C's of survival which are:
  • Cutting tools
  • Combustion
  • Cover
  • Container
  • Cordage
In general this book is really aimed more at the type of person with little to no wilderness experience. It really is designed for the outdoor beginner, hence the name "Bushcraft 101" where like a college class, 101 is the first class of the subject. If you have any hunting or camping experience I don't think this book is for you. If you want to learn a lot about making friction fires you are better off with Wiseman's or Hawke's manuals. In fact, speaking strictly of fire making, Canterbury only discusses the bow drill when talking about friction  fires and really only lightly touches on it.

Still though, Canturbury's book does have a lot of useful information like making feather sticks, what type of material makes good tinder, how to navigate in your terrain and the like. Even someone with experience in the woods will find tons of useful information in this book, so it isn't a waste of money if you order it.

All in all, I think Canterbury's book is very well written and I think it is a great book to add to your collection. The price at the time of this writing is around $10 which is hard to beat. If you are looking to get into Bushcraft and general survival, you should definitely pick this one up to get your feet wet.