Bushcraft Video

Now that we’re car-free, we may be spending even more time together then we already do. How will we keep succumbing to cabin fever, prairie style? (Prairie style means “with axes.”)

Well, while Erik obsesses on those pernicious skunks and even more heinous texting-while-driving music video producers, I’ll be laying low, watching bushcraft videos on YouTube.

We may as well give up our Netflix subscription because this YouHole is bottomless. I’ve discovered there are hundreds of men roaming about the woods with their video cameras in one hand and their survival knives in the other, ready to share their knowledge with you. And they are almost all men. I’ve only found a couple of women who put their adventures on video.

I’m not sure why this is such a male dominated field, except that it is greatly fueled by the love of pointy implements and the display and discussion of such implements–which seems a very masculine past time. But that’s generalizing, because I can attest that around our house, I’m the one with the fetish for sharp blades. And fire. And making things out of tin cans.

Anyway, there are many bushcrafters on video, but only a few rise to the top. Many–many–are hampered by poor sound quality and camera work. Their info may be good, but if I can’t hear them, or see them, I’m clicking on down the road.

In my journey of a thousand clicks, I’ve discovered many nice surprises, and I’ve learned things, too. These video makers are spread all over the world, so it’s a really nice opportunity to see different natural landscapes, and learn how people work in them. Winter survival skills may not do me a lot of good here in LA, but I do love watching video of the snowy Alps.

If you fall down this YouHole, you may find yourself gravitating toward a bushcrafter who lives in your climate zone, or one who shares your world outlook. As for myself, I’m pretty much all about watchability–yes, that’s a word–and that leads me to a couple of recs.

My hands-down favorite is Fun in the Woods. I can watch this channel for hours. Well, actually, I have watched it for hours. This guy is from Georgia. His landscape is nothing like my landscape, being as his stomping grounds are wet and tangled and perilously buggy and snakey. Yes, snakey is word. (The Angeles Forest, fyi, is dry and open, though it does have rattlers). So the focus of his skills, which seem to be all about getting yourself, your gear, and even your fire off the ground, are not so relevant to me.  But this matters not, because Mr. Fun in the Woods, aka David Pearson, is a charming guy with a great accent and knack for story telling. Being into DIY, I also like that he makes a lot of his own gear and gadgets.

Better yet, he invested in a microphone and has recruited his son, the very dry-witted Nick, to be his cameraman, so the video quality is above average. Even when he’s solo, he knows how to handle a camera, and has a good relationship with it, so you feel like you are right there beside him.

I should warn you that you don’t watch Fun in the Woods to get quick info., because as David says, “I don’t make short videos” Or as he says, vid-ee-ohs. You watch him to kick back with a friend.

Mr. Homegrown will forgive me for confessing that I have a YouTube crush on this guy. As does my girlfriend, who I turned on to the channel.  And she doesn’t even do any of this stuff!

Yup, this guy will blush to know he has groupies in LA.

I’d recommend:

  • Meet the Bushcrafters: Here he’s telling the story of how he got into this stuff.
  • Shelter and Fire in the Rain — mostly because the invisible Nick is funny in this one. Fan quote: “Drip. Drip.”
  • Making The Shoveaxe Bush Tool: He makes this incredible axe/shovel hybrid. It looks like a work of art. It looks like Thor’s hammer. This video is the actual making, step by step. I don’t know why, but I like watching welding. You can skip to the last couple of minutes to see it in action.
  • The Hand Drill: What Works for Me:  I like his attitude toward this most sacrosanct of the bushcraft skills.

Another channel I will watch when I’m in a more hardcore mood belongs to Dave Canterbury’s Pathfinder School. They cover a lot of stuff that I don’t do, like hunting and blacksmithing, but I admire the grit. Here you can learn how to make a lamp out of raccoon fat and crap he scavenges from an abandoned cabin. This project is appealing (???)  to me because it combines homemade oil lamps, which I love, with a more recent interest in novel ways to deal pesky backyard critters. Skunk lamp, anyone?

The Pathfinder School also has it’s own reality show–roughly cut footage of their camps and clinics. It’s like Survivor without all the b.s.. The sound and image quality can be dodgy, but I find it riveting viewing, especially the longer campouts, where the students are entirely miserable and stressed.  There’s much to be learned there. I’d recommend the 4-part series somewhat confusingly named SAN ALTOIDS Tin Mini Kit.

Do any of you swim in this YouHole? Have any favorites?

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22 Comments

  1. You are not alone in this YouHole!

    I was actually confused when I clicked on the picture of Fun in The Woods in my Feedly and ended up at Root Simple. I thought that David Pearson had a new video! Then I got excited, “Are Fun in the Woods and Root Simple collaborating on a project?” Finally, I got down to reading and realized that you are a fan also.

    As to David Canterbury, I am not much of a fan. There has been some drama surrounding his exit from Dual Survival. I won’t get into it here. There is enough material about it out in the interwebs. I am a fan of David’s counterpart on Dual Survival, Cody Lundin. I don’t think he has a YouTube channel but I haven’t looked. I do know that there were a couple of videos about Mr. Lundin’s house which you and many of your readers may enjoy.

    As to favorite bushcraft channels, I’ll give you three of my favorites.

    1) Bushcraft and Survival by iawoodsman. He’s a former Air Force instructor and a big part of Bushcraft USA where he organizes Bushclass.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnHwxnLdWlkpvCrfwGoPZ9Q

    2) shamans forge bushcraft by blackoracle69.

    http://www.youtube.com/feed/UCWCWzjneOygPIMFz-ZpFxAQ

    3) Bushcraftbartons! by bushcraftbartons.

    http://www.youtube.com/feed/UCN0aJif3vZnotruhZ14rPhQ

    There are a tremendous number of these channels probably due to the overlap of survival, bushcraft, and the zombie apocalypse preppers. I have been watching them for several years and haven’t been able to keep up with the number of new channels. I am interested to see what other channels show up in these comments.

    • Hi Artie,

      First, sorry your comment was held for moderation–our comment-bot holds back comments with links. Then, second — that’s too funny that our post confused you and you had brief, beautiful dreams of a collaboration. It is strange when online worlds overlap, isn’t it?

      Interesting gossip. I think one reason why Fun in the Woods is so fun is because it has no agenda. And that can’t be said for many of the others.

      We have seen Cory Lundin’s desert house. I’m trying to remember if we’ve posted about it. If not, we’ll put it in the linkage this weekend, because it is great.

      Thanks for the links!

    • David Canterbury, though, he faked the funk, was still full of good info. You gotta separate the guy’s knowledge shared from the man himself.

      Bill Hillar posed as a former Special Forces officer and went on to teach grad students about the Special Ops community. He was fake (served in the Coast Guard), BUT he read up on his con and shared some really good info.
      http://www.tbd.com/articles/2011/01/bill-hillar-inspiration-for-film-taken-arrested-by-fbi-47382.html

      If you come across Special Ops fakers, ask them for their DD-214, most vets frame these like certificates and are more than proud to share since it’s usually story-telling time when you bring this out–better than solo daily affirmations.

      Judge the knowledge shared, not the man.

    • How cool. I did not know about the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority. Thank you for that!

  2. I am soooo glad you confessed to this. I, too, love these videos and sometimes watch for hours. I have never told anyone until now.

    I clicked on the channel because this is one I have not seen. I think he says “video” just fine, but I live in Alabama. However, the way he said “question” and “really” were different. (being nice)

    You are so right about sound and video quality being important. Some days I have to click off because it makes me nuts if I cannot hear. The guys who hold the video camera or the cell phone and move it too quickly make me feel ill.

    There are some women doing these. Mostly, they have cleavage and midriff showing, short shorts, and socks that barely show above the shoe–lots of skin for mosquitoes and other varmints of the human persuasion. If I were in the woods, I would be covered from neck to soles of my feet.

    Not how I would shower in the woods:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9TxfhhefeA

    not bushcrafting but how women are mostly portrayed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twEnoNA0fG0

    Those were just two off the top of my head. Thanks for the new channel to watch. I love the diy things, especially fire/stoves. The pointy things make me wish I had not given away the knife my brother gave me.

    • Now, see, in California we don’t pronounce video as if it has three syllables. The California accent is dependent on a slack jaw. Three syllables is way too much work. We say something more like vidyo.

    • But, video does have three syllables. I wonder how you would say: “It’s a right nice night for a knife fight.”

      I do pronounce it in standard English pronunciation. (“i” is low in my mouth, not high in nose) I can only imagine he does not. But, he is a cutie and charming. So, I will let it slide. lol…like he cares what I think.

    • Oh, yes — video does have 3 syllables. I phrased that badly. I was trying to say that we here in LA pronounce it more like it has two.

  3. Thanks for posting this. One of my favorites along this line is Mayeux Ministries (from the SE US as well). They’ve got a whole family doing this together and it mixes survivalism w/ homesteading. They’re videos aren’t quite to the same quality as the gentleman’s that you’ve mentioned, but they’re still fairly well done and very informative.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MayeuxMinistries?feature=g-user-c

  4. I’ve loved to walk in the woods since my early boyscout years ( made Eagle Scout, might I say). The bushcraft movement is right up my alley.
    May I recommend the American Grouch blog. Since December his stuff has been almost overly pensive and related to gun control, his older posts are often informative and well written, and his photos are nice too.
    Mrs. Homegrown may appreciate his musings on archery, though they are more Pope and Young inspired than Hungarian Horseback.

  5. Hello and wow! I just found your blog because I was searching for a calendula infused lip balm recipe and I found so much more. I’ve got lots of reading to do. Thank you for all the great information.

  6. Hallo there, don’t know if you have come across him but in the UK Ray Mears is THE king of bushcraft, sure he’s on youtube, will have DVD’s out as well. Plus he’s an ecologist too and a great respecter of indiginous people.
    Sarah

  7. Dave Canterbury and David Pearson are enjoyable to watch. I also like Derek “Sarge Faria’s videos.

    Note about David Pearson is he responds to almost all the comments on his videos. Thumbs up for him and Nick.

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