Ten Best Survival experts

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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,591
940
63
Florida
classic reaction

He was one man who said FU to a super power and their population wet themselves - why? Because those who wanted to stay in control of said country got worried someone on home soil would do the same...
Classic or not is irrelevent. Fact is fact.
 

SJStuart

Settler
Jan 22, 2013
998
0
Suffolk Coast
Dick Proenneke spent over 30 years alone in the Alaskan wilderness, built his own cabin (and elevated - critter-proof - storage shed).

If time spent living in the wilderness makes for a better "expert", then my vote would have to be on Dick.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,591
940
63
Florida
run like maybe owned by no

its, like the nhs which isn't a good thing when profit = someone not dying (on a budget) but these days we are following the American model.
Profit is the final motive of all business. Without it, the business itself dies (be it news business, medical business, or other) If doctors don't make a high standard of living they won't do it, just like any other professional.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
65
south wales
Dick Proenneke spent over 30 years alone in the Alaskan wilderness, built his own cabin (and elevated - critter-proof - storage shed).

If time spent living in the wilderness makes for a better "expert", then my vote would have to be on Dick.
I admire the chap greatly but he was by no means alone and relied upon supplies being flown in, he was not truly 'alone in the wilderness'.
 

Gray

Full Member
Sep 18, 2008
2,085
7
Scouser living in Salford South UK
The best are probably out there somewhere, unheard of, unknown by many. At the end of the day, if you make it big and get yourself on the telly or write some books and become famous, in my opinion, that doesn't necessarily make you the best. Don't start jumping down my throat now lol, it's just my opinion.
 

CBarker

Member
Aug 17, 2010
12
0
MK
Not a survival 'expert' per say but I am a big fan of Ed Stafford - maybe nearer journalist/explorer but as someone relatively new into bushcraft I found his 3 parter "naked and marooned with Ed Stafford" entertaining at the very least!

Good example of what gray is talking about above I think - personality/fame over skill but still worthwhile.
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
I admire the chap greatly but he was by no means alone and relied upon supplies being flown in, he was not truly 'alone in the wilderness'.
No he wasn't truly alone though he did have extended periods when removed from company. Always reminds me of research days when I didn't see folks for weeks at a time and one did get a bit strange. Though if I could write like Mr Proenneke and have his tone and turn of phrase I'd drop "civilisation" like a shot. Brilliant reads.
 

bb07

Native
Feb 21, 2010
1,322
0
Rupert's Land
Dick Proenneke seems to have an almost cult like following by many people all throughout the internet world. There can be no taking away his accomplishments, BUT, I see nothing in what he did as being unique or special. Rather, what he did is still being done in many remote areas of Canada.
I know personally of such people living in isolation, trappers, fishermen and hunters, old bachelors, some couples, self reliant, independent, spending months at a time in the bush making a living as best they can without modern conveniences or contact with other people, coming out only long enough to resupply, seek medical/dental attention and do whatever business is required, before disappearing back into the bush until the next time. They neither seek nor want the attention of others, preferring to quietly make their way through life.
 
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Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
Dick Proenneke seems to have an almost cult like following by many people all throughout the internet world. There can be no taking away his accomplishments, BUT, I see nothing in what he did as being unique or special. Rather, what he did is still being done in many remote areas of Canada.
I know personally of such people living in isolation, trappers, fishermen and hunters, old bachelors, some couples, self reliant, independent, spending months at a time in the bush making a living as best they can without modern conveniences or contact with other people, coming out only long enough to resupply, seek medical/dental attention and do whatever business is required, before disappearing back into the bush until the next time. They neither seek nor want the attention of others, preferring to quietly make their way through life.
Hi BB07,

Yes you're right he did nothing extraordinary compared to others but he did give in to that yearning for self reliance and solitude that is ingrained in so many of us that don't have the stones to do so. He was also an Iowa boy who moved to the great wilderness which would have been a difference in skill and mind sets. He was also extremely talented with his hands - watching him build his cabin and accoutrements is a pure joy to a craftsman a very sure set of hands.

But mainly its the seemingly simple way he writes - it speaks right down to the yearning soul with an honest vibrancy that that's very hard to trump. Plus here was a guy basically of middle age taking a year out from life and ending up staying for 30 odd years in beautifully severe circumstance. It talks to the swamped Id in a lot of folk.
 
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leealanr

Full Member
Apr 17, 2006
123
0
62
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Wilfred Thesiger. Born 1910 in British Embassy in Addis Ababa. Walked the length of the Awash river, across the Danakil and on to Djibouti. In SOE And Long Range Desert Patrol Group (forerunner of the SAS).

crossed the empty quarter of the Saudi peninsular by camel. Spent many years living with the marsh arabs in southern Iraq.

An immense charachter, well worthy of respect.

Alan l.
 

sandbender

Mod
Mod
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Wilfred Thesiger. Born 1910 in British Embassy in Addis Ababa. Walked the length of the Awash river, across the Danakil and on to Djibouti. In SOE And Long Range Desert Patrol Group (forerunner of the SAS).

crossed the empty quarter of the Saudi peninsular by camel. Spent many years living with the marsh arabs in southern Iraq.

An immense charachter, well worthy of respect.

Alan l.


Wilfred Thesiger

"...Among the Nuer I had lived in a tent apart from my men, waited on by servants; I had been an Englishman travelling in Africa, but now I could revert happily to the desert ways which I had learned at Kutum. For this was the real desert where differences of race and colour, of wealth and social standing, are almost meaningless; where coverings of pretence are stripped away and basic truths emerge. It was a place where men live close together. Here, to be alone was to feel at once the weight of fear, for the nakedness of this land was more terrifying than the darkest forest at dead of night. In the pitiless light of day we were as insignificant as the beetles I watched labouring across the sand. Only in the kindly darkness could we borrow a few square feet of desert and find homeliness within the radius of the firelight, while overhead the familiar pattern of the stars screened the awful mystery of space..."

+1 for Thesiger :)
 
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sandbender

Mod
Mod
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
another +1 for Thesiger :) read many of his books and if you haven't would certainly say put them on your wish list
Another candidate for best 'survival expert' might be Eric Newby, he never really described his many 'survival situations' as such but he had a few. He also bumped into Thesiger while traveling in the Hindu Kush...

"My first meeting with Thesiger was in the Hindu Kush. We came down into a junction in the Panjshir river. We'd been travelling all day, and all night, crossing a very wild pass. "Look," said Hugh, my companion, "it must be Thesiger."
Thesiger's horses lurched to a standstill on the execrable track. They were deep-loaded with great wooden presses, marked "British Museum", and black tin trunks.

The party consisted of two villainous-looking tribesmen dressed like royal mourners in long overcoats reaching to the ankles; a shivering Tajik cook, to whom some strange mutation had given bright red hair, unsuitably dressed for central Asia in crippling pointed brown shoes and natty socks supported by suspenders, but no trousers; the interpreter, a gloomy-looking middle-class Afghan in a coma of fatigue, wearing dark glasses, a double-breasted lounge suit and an American hat with stitching all over it; and Thesiger himself, a great, long-striding crag of a man, with an outcrop for a nose and bushy eyebrows, 45 years old and as hard as nails, in an old tweed jacket, a pair of thin grey cotton trousers, rope-soled Persian slippers and a woollen cap comforter.

"Turn round," he said, "you'll stay the night with us. We're going to kill some chickens."

We tried to explain that we had to get to Kabul but our men, who professed to understand no English but were reluctant to pass through the gorges at night, had already turned the horses and were making for the collection of miserable hovels that was the nearest village.

Soon we were sitting under some mulberry trees, surrounded by the entire population, with all Thesiger's belongings piled up behind us."Can't speak a word of the language," he said cheerfully. "Know a lot of the Koran by heart but not a word of Persian. Still, it's not really necessary. Here, you," he shouted at the cook, who had only entered his service the day before and had never seen another Englishman. "Make some green tea and a lot of chicken and rice - three chickens." After two hours the chickens arrived; they were like elastic, only the rice and gravy were delicious. Famished, we wrestled with the bones in the darkness.

"England's going to pot," said Thesiger, as Hugh and I lay smoking the interpreter's king-size cigarettes, the first for a fortnight. "Look at this shirt, I've only had it three years, now it's splitting. Same with tailors; Gull and Croke made me a pair of whipcord trousers to go to the Atlas Mountains. Sixteen guineas - wore a hole in them in a fortnight. Bought half a dozen shotguns to give to my headmen, well-known make, 20 guineas apiece, absolute rubbish."

The ground was like iron with sharp rocks sticking up out of it. We started to blow up our air beds. "God, you must be a couple of pansies," said Thesiger."

:)
 
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HAHAHA that list is so epic :D
1. place David Canterbury HAHAHA what did he ever do great`??
and someone like Rüdiger Nehberg is not even named :D
he just....oh dear...i am not going to start that one^^

well, i will keep it with this words: only because he is a YT well know guy with a lot of fans does not make him/ anybody to a survival legend
 
HAHAHA that list is so epic :D
1. place David Canterbury HAHAHA what did he ever do great`??
and someone like Rüdiger Nehberg is not even named :D
he just....oh dear...i am not going to start that one^^

well, i will keep it with this words: only because he is a YT well know guy with a lot of fans does not make him/ anybody to a survival legend
ruediger nehberg would be on my list, too!!!! i once attended a photoshow with him and i found him a very cool guy! i did not put any of his books away until i had finished reading them.

another candidate for my list would be malcolm douglas...
 

trade axe

Tenderfoot
Dec 16, 2013
75
0
Western Canada
Dick Proenneke seems to have an almost cult like following by many people all throughout the internet world. There can be no taking away his accomplishments, BUT, I see nothing in what he did as being unique or special. Rather, what he did is still being done in many remote areas of Canada.
I know personally of such people living in isolation, trappers, fishermen and hunters, old bachelors, some couples, self reliant, independent, spending months at a time in the bush making a living as best they can without modern conveniences or contact with other people, coming out only long enough to resupply, seek medical/dental attention and do whatever business is required, before disappearing back into the bush until the next time. They neither seek nor want the attention of others, preferring to quietly make their way through life.
I agree. I have seen many northern Aboriginals that could do circles around many ''survival experts''. But then the worst survival expert could do circles around me, so I still tip my hat to most of them.
 

carabao

Forager
Oct 16, 2011
226
0
hove
All mentioned bring something to the table, but my nomination goes to my Mother in Law, Thanom Sirichan. never heard of her?, neither had I until 26 years ago. She has survived three wars and occupations by foreigners, Japanese, French, and America. Raised 6 children buried 3, raised 7 Grandchildren. Survived cancer, malaria, dengue fever, cataracts. Still forages every day, eats snakes, and their eggs, ants and their eggs (she even farms ants), fishes by traps that she makes, steals chickens because stolen chickens taste better than bought ones. She treats cuts and grazes with stuff that she grows. But, to her its not survival it's life.
All these experts have learnt skills of how people live and exist and re worded it and called it Survival