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

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival is a practical and essential guide for anyone who loves the outdoors!

Original title: Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
Written by: Dave Canterbury
Publisher: Adams Media
Publish date: 09/01/2014
Language: English
Pages: 256
ISBN-10: 1440579776
“With advice on not just getting along, but truly reconnecting with the great outdoors, Dave Canterbury’s treasure trove of world-renowned wisdom and experience comes to life within these pages.” —Bustle

The back cover

New York Times Bestseller in Sports and Travel!

The ultimate resource for experiencing the backcountry!

Written by survivalist expert Dave Canterbury, Bushcraft 101 gets you ready for your next backcountry trip with advice on making the most of your time outdoors. Based on the 5Cs of Survivability–cutting tools, covering, combustion devices, containers, and cordages–this valuable guide offers only the most important survival skills to help you craft resources from your surroundings and truly experience the beauty and thrill of the wilderness. Inside, you’ll also discover detailed information on:

Choosing the right items for your kit.

Manufacturing needed tools and supplies.

Collecting and cooking food.

Protecting yourself from the elements.

With Canterbury’s guidance, you’ll not only prepare yourself for any climate and situation, you’ll also learn how to use the art of bushcraft to reconnect with nature in ways you’ve never imagined.

Review by Bushcraft.Nu

Dave Canterbury is one of the most famous bushcraft profiles at the moment. Among other things, he runs the Pathfinder School in Ohio in the USA, which has been named one of the twelve best survival schools in the entire USA by USA Today. Like so many other profiles, Dave has his own Youtube channel where he continuously posts material dealing with survival, bushcraft, nature, gadgets and a whole lot of other things. He has also been published in magazines such as Self Reliance Illustrated, New Pioneer, and American Frontiersman. In short, he is a well-established person in the bushcraft world!

The book Bushcraft 101 is a very good start for beginners who don’t just want to watch Youtube videos about bushcraft, it is divided into ten chapters divided into two parts where you start by going through the very basics to be able to get out own hand.

5 C

In the first part, it goes through your equipment and what you should consider when choosing a backpack or tools and equipment. One thing that Dave Canterbury often pushes extra hard is the five C’s:

  1. Cutting tools – To process different materials, mainly wood, into implements and tools
  2. Cover elements – Protection against the elements
  3. Combustion devices – Making fire for warmth, cooking, etc.
  4. Containers – To carry water or food in, preferably in a material that can withstand fire
  5. Cordage – To be able to tie up e.g. a tarp with

The five C’s are an essential part of outdoor life and here you get a very solid review, not only of what you should bring with you, but a whole host of options and thoughtful tips and advice about different types of gear. Do you want to skip sleeping bags in favor of wool blankets? No problem, but then there are a couple of things that might be good to keep in mind, like having two large blankets and using them in a specific way to keep you warm.

How to use the equipment & 4 W

In part two of the book, the focus is on how to use the equipment from part 1.

In the first chapter of part two (chapter 7 overall) you get a thorough overview of how to set up camp, what to think about and where best to build your temporary home. Just like when you choose equipment according to the five C’s, here he has the four W’s which stand for:

  1. Wood – Is there enough material available for my needs over the period of my intended stay? Build shelter? Campfire?
  2. Water – Is there a suitable water source close at hand or do I have to walk for kilometers before I come across potable water?
  3. Wind – If you set up camp at the top of a hill, you have to count on some wind that affects both the night’s sleep and the possibilities of having a campfire under control.
  4. Widowmakers – Never pitch your tent/camp directly under a dead tree. They are fragile and easily lose branches that can fall down and can also fall easily themselves.

Furthermore, he also goes through how to maintain hygiene in the forest, how to navigate the terrain, cope with different seasons and capture and prepare animals. As a Swede, however, you have to bear in mind that even if he goes through how to catch small animals such as squirrels, rabbits, etc. with traps, this is rarely allowed and can create a lot of problems if you are caught, so my recommendation is to read and ponder last chapter, but not to go out and try to catch animals.


Bushcraft 101 is a very good book to refer to if you are at all interested in the subject. It is well written and very informative and it is noticeable that the author is knowledgeable and lives as he teaches. The tips and advice are very good and useful and I would think that even the most seasoned survivor could pick up some new information from reading the book. The illustrations are good and aesthetically pleasing and fit well into their context. The only thing that could be objected to would be the last chapter on Trapping and processing game. The vast majority of people reading this book – an introductory book – should not go out and try to trap animals, but rather it should be a topic for the advanced bushcrafter.

Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury scores a total of 4 out of 5 campfires!

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