Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides

No Food. No Map. No Cell Phone. No Problem.

Imagine you found yourself alone in the desert, miles from anywhere, with no food, water, shelter or cell phone reception. Could you save your own life? Most likely, the answer is no. Left to our own devices and without supplies, the majority of us lack the necessary skills to survive. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn.

Outdoor guide publisher Waterford Press introduces the Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides™, designed to help you take control in a dangerous environment by teaching you how to use the resources available — whatever they may be. The Pathfinder method, honed over 20 years of hands-on experience by master woodsman and survivalist Dave Canterbury, is presented in a pocket-sized, 10-guide series from Waterford Press.

Disclosure: Waterford Press contacted me recently to try their Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides at no cost to me. They told me to let them know if this was something I might be interested in covering, and that they would provide sample review copies.

Here is their recent press release:

Like the Pathfinder School System on which they are based, these guides follow the wisdom of the ancient Native American scouts, or “pathfinders”. Charged with the task of locating the perfect spot to sustain their nomadic tribes, the pathfinders learned to recognize resources that would afford food, shelter, water, medicines and protection. Today, the Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides equip 21st century explorers with the skillset they need to be their own pathfinders.

“Whether you’re a hunter, a recreational hiker or even a civilian living in a city, everyone should know how to survive a dangerous situation,” says Canterbury. “That’s why we developed the Pathfinder guides, with all the information you need to make it out alive and kicking.”

Lightweight, waterproof, and virtually indestructible, the Pathfinder guides are an essential part of every pack. With Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides™ in your pocket, no matter where you are, you’ve got the answer.

Waterford Press’ Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides retail for $6.95 and are available for purchase at 800-434-2555, at book and outdoor retailers around the country, or at select online retailers (see below).

About the Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guide Series:

After using several of their guides in the training program at his Pathfinder School, Dave approached the innovative publishing firm, Waterford Press, about creating guides for survival basics – navigation, fire starting, trapping, and primitive weapons construction – fields he knows well. The collaboration resulted in a 10-guide survival series that captures both the essence and the wisdom of his practical experience and teachings.

Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides™ titles:

Building a Survival Kit
Signaling for Rescue
Improvised Trapping
Shelter, Fire, Water
Basic Tracking
Improvised Hunting Weapons
Basic and Primitive Navigation
Wilderness First Aid
Edible Plants of the Eastern Woodlands
Medicinal Plants of the Eastern Woodlands


What Do I Think?

I was less interested in the guides related to hunting and fishing because I never stray far enough away from civilization on my day hikes to find myself in total survival mode. However, I was enticed by the navigation guide, the signaling guide, the wilderness first aid guide and the shelter and survival kit guides.

The guides themselves are well made, laminated and waterproof so they can withstand a dunk in the creek or an unexpected downpour on the trail. The equivalent in size of two 8.5×11″ sheets of paper folded in brochure format, the guides are printed front and back with black text on white background for ease of reading. They are full-color brochures with plenty of graphics for demonstration purposes. The text is a bit small. At nearly 60 years of age, I had to put on my reading glasses to see the print comfortably.

The information imparted is basic in nature. The space on each brochure isn’t sufficient to go into great detail, but I think the content is spot on. For example, the brochure about fire describes 10 different methods for getting a fire started. The same brochure also describes half a dozen different means of creating a temporary shelter from common supplies you may have with you in your pack, or makeshift materials you can find in any forest.

I suppose the ultimate question is, would I carry these brochures with me when I hike? They are lightweight, only about 3 ounces each. However, were you to carry more than five with you at the same time, you’re looking at more than a pound of weight added to your pack. Perhaps just one or two that are related to the terrain and conditions you will be exploring would be a helpful assist in an emergency, particularly to a novice. Education is a critical part of safety. Ideally, we would study and learn all the information contained in the brochures before leaving home, and recall it if necessary. You just don’t know though, how your mind would react when in shock.

Making foldable, laminated waterproof printed material is expensive, but when you consider the typical 36″ x 26″ laminated waterproof topographic map goes for $10-12, $6.95 for each of these brochures seems a bit pricey to me. Otherwise, with the holiday season fast approaching, these Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides would make great stocking stuffers for your favorite beginning outdoors lover.

Disclosure: Waterford Press contacted me recently to try their Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides at no cost to me. They told me to let them know if this was something I might be interested in covering, and that they would provide sample review copies.


This post was created by Jeff Clark. Please feel free to use the sharing icons below, or add your thoughts to the comments. Pack it in, pack it out. Preserve the past. Respect other hikers. Let nature prevail. Leave no trace.


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