> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Book Review: The Pathfinder System - Survivability for the Common Man



Book Review: The Pathfinder System - Survivability for the Common Man

I'm a big fan of Dave Canterbury, so it was a given that I would eventually pick up his book. I actually spent a few bucks extra to get the waterproof version....not really out of any great need, but I suppose water-proofness could come in handy when using the book outdoors.

Survivability for the Common Man is essentially a discussion of Dave's recommended pieces of gear for wilderness survival (or self reliance, as he prefers. Five essential items, then expanding that to his basic 10-piece kit and then additional useful items.

Dave walks through each item and discusses the purpose of the item, their intended use and possible outside-the-box uses as well. As the title would suggest, Dave focuses mainly on gear available to the common man, so most of the items he discusses are quite affordable. When Dave does recommend a higher-priced item, it's always accompanied with a recommendation for a lower priced item that will get the job done as well. His basic 10-piece kit can be put together for around $100, and less if you're particularly budget conscious.

If you've watched Dave's YouTube videos, the pieces of kit that he recommends will not be great surprises. There's the good ol' knife, stainless steel water bottle, fire starter, cordage and so on.

There is definitely a focus on discussion of gear in the book vs. skills, but I think this is mostly intentional. There is a two-DVD set that accompanies the book and the DVDs are all about showing you how to put the recommended pieces of kit to use. I will review the DVDs separately.

Survivability for the Common Man could stand for some better editing. Some of the pictures seem out of place and the book is  riddled with  typos. I went in expecting typos, though so this was no great disappointment to me. I did not find that they hurt readability at all. Heck, they're almost part of the charm--it's certainly Dave Canterbury's book, not written by some ghost-writer or English professor. You've been warned, though.

I appreciate having Dave's basics all written down and discussed in one place vs. floating around in the interwebs. Survivability for the Common Man is certainly a great guide for anyone pulling together a survival kit, or even to help you get your current kit more focused. This book helped me get our family survival kits more organized and into better shape, and for that it was more than worth the cover price. I'm very glad to have it as a part of the ol' survival library and recommend it completely.

Survivability for the Common Man is available only through the Pathfinder School. Check it out >