Wilderness survival is something special on the screen. There isn’t much that compares to being outdoors, but the best wilderness survival YouTube channels can get you close. By sharing their own love of bushcraft and outdoor survival, these top creators can share tranquility, survival techniques, or just a laugh.
Whether you are looking to learn or just relax, wilderness survival is a great rabbit hole to go down on YouTube. With a huge range of skills and techniques out there, you can always find fresh faces and content stepping up and sharing their love of the outdoors.
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What is Wilderness Survival?
Wilderness survival refers to the knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary to survive and thrive in the wilderness. It involves being able to solve basic needs such as shelter, water, food, and fire, without the amenities and comforts of modern civilization. It requires physical endurance, mental resilience, and adaptability to changing conditions.
In a wilderness survival situation, an individual must be able to assess their situation, use their environment to their advantage, and make sound decisions to ensure their survival. This usually involves making a shelter to protect yourself from the elements, finding and purifying water, gathering and/or hunting for food, and starting a fire for warmth and cooking.
The overall goal of wilderness survival is focused on being prepared and resourceful in the face of adversity and being able to thrive in a natural environment without the modern amenities and conveniences that we all take for granted in our everyday lives.
These YouTube channels all champion wilderness survival and the creators below express their love of the outdoors through the content they create.
10. Ovens Rocky Mountain Bushcraft
Founded in 2019
Greg Ovens has some notoriety from competing in Season 3 of Alone (set in Patagonia). His YouTube channel focuses on survival challenges in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia.
Greg is quite the character and became a fan favorite after his appearance on season 3 of Alone, and has somewhat become the face of Western Canadian survival. He is carefree, kind of goofy, and loves living off the land which all makes his channel very entertaining.
Greg Ovens is buddies with Fowler (further up on this list), who also competed on the survival TV show Alone. Together, they put out entire feature-length films on YouTube filming their survival adventure challenges together:
9. David Canterbury
Founded in 2008
David “Dave” Canterbury is a bushcraft stalwart with many years of teaching under his belt. You may also recognize him from Dual Survival with Cody Lundin for the first two seasons.
Dave is one of the older entries on this list, with plenty of baggage in tow. He was not so forthcoming about his actual military experience on the great TV show Dual Survival, which led to him not showing up in later seasons. Despite the controversy, he still has a wealth of knowledge and a strong following on YouTube. He has authored bestsellers including Bushcraft 101, one of the best wilderness survival guides you can get.
His channel explores outdoor self-reliance and includes uploads from his Pathfinder school series:
8. Donny Dust’s Paleo Tracks
Founded in 2015
Donny Dust is a USMC vet with an enormous amount of remote primitive survival experience and know-how. He has put it on display during season 6 of Alone and has several other TV projects.
Donny Dust is all in on his wilderness self-reliance training school Paleo Tracks. He travels the world finding unique wild landscapes to learn from local cultures and test his own survival techniques, all of which he shares at his world-wide renowned self-reliance school.
He has also authored books, been in several TV shows and movies, and is our editor’s pick. Subscribe to this professional caveman and learn a thing or two yourself.
7. Survival Lilly
Founded in 2011
Survival Lilly is a self-taught survivalist with a huge following that relatively recently showed off her skills on season 15 of Naked and Afraid.
Survival Lilly proves that you don’t need a SERE background to be passionate about wilderness survival. As a self-taught wilderness survival expert, she shows that anyone that applies themselves can enjoy what nature provides and prove themselves against survival challenges.
Her channel has allowed her to venture to places all over the globe to challenge herself with survival scenarios.
6. Fowler’s Makery and Mischief
Founded in 2016
Zachary Fowler is best known for winning Season 3 of Alone (set in Patagonia). His YouTube channel features survival challenges all over the place, often featuring other well-known survivalists.
A boat builder from Maine, Fowler quickly became a fan favorite as Alone season 3 highlighted his mental perseverance and knack for wilderness survival. His anguish over the 87 days of missing his family made us all root for him, and now he continues to share his adventure on his popular YouTube channel. He shares his love for the outdoors with 30-day challenges and catch-and-cooks, always making it fun.
5. Field Days
Founded in 2019
Matt Field is an Australian Gen Z YouTuber that is popular on social media as well. He learned survival skills from his dad and brings lots of energy to his videos.
Matt Field may be billed as a ‘travel vlogger’, but that isn’t quite accurate when you watch his videos. He is all-in on wilderness survival, and the adventure of survival is always first and foremost. Sure, he travels to remote areas to test himself, but we see that up and down this list of the best wilderness survival YouTube channels.
Some of his more impressive videos are knife-only survival, where he demonstrates solid survival techniques with minimal resources.
4. Joe Robinet
Founded in 2007
Joe Robinet is another Alone veteran but from season 1 of the popular TV show. His love for the outdoors continues to draw fans from around the world.
Joe Robinet is NOT a survivalist but just likes getting into the woods for some bushcraft fun. His dog, Tripper (a Dutch Shepherd) may also be the star of his works and literally starred with him on another TV project, Man, Woman, Dog. When Tripper got sick and passed away from a bone disease at only three years old, it broke all of our hearts- but none more than Joe’s.
Nevertheless, Joe persists and continues to make content on his channel sharing his enduring love for the outdoors.
3. TA Outdoors
Founded in 2014
What originally started as fishing videos (TA Fishing), this spinoff channel created by Mike Pullen has become a wilderness survival force.
Mike Pullen started TA Outdoors to build Viking houses and show off his DIY project with his dog Jaxx. Since then, the channel has grown into a wilderness survival powerhouse.
Mike has an uncanny knack for building survival shelters, cabins, longhouses, etc. He enjoys it and it ends up being a blast to watch and makes his channel very informative.
2. Cyprien Outdoor Adventures
Founded in 2016
A Frenchman that loves to dig out and construct shelters, this guy is somewhat of an enigma.
Cyprien Outdoor Adventures showcases a lone bearded man recording his own bushcraft adventures. He doesn’t speak much, and the videos tend to have an ASMR vibe, making them easy to watch in the background as if you were there with him.
His shelters have exquisite attention to detail. He makes building them look easy and he makes chilling inside of one look relaxing. This video has over 100 million views and has even eclipsed videos from our number 1 channel:
1. Primitive Technology
Founded in 2015
Using primitive bushcraft methods to make all sorts of stuff, John Plant has captured viewers’ imaginations without saying a word.
Back in 2015, an Australian guy retreated to the bush to practice some primitive skills with a camera. No talking, no music- just outdoor primitive building. John Plant likely had no clue it would take off as it did.
The downside is that the channel spawned an entire knockoff genre of fake builds. Actors ‘building’ underwater spas with their bare hands (ignore the construction equipment nearby) also feature remote builds without dialogue, but John did it first and does it right. Best of all, he doesn’t take shortcuts or mislead viewers.
If you haven’t seen Primitive Technology by now, you must have been out practicing primitive skills yourself for the past several years.
Honorable Mention Channels
These channels were reviewed and have good content, but did not have the subscriber count or active uploads to stack up against our top 10. Still, they may be a good option for you if you are looking for even more wilderness survival YouTube channels:
- The MCQBushcraft Archive – 331,000 subscribers and great content but no longer publishing videos.
- AlfieAesthetics – 354,000 subscribers but hasn’t published a video in several years.
- Survivorman – Les Stroud – 716,000 subscribers and iconic shows- but it’s just that. Go to our TV show roundup to find Les (can’t have him eating up all the spots!)
- Bertram – Craft and Wilderness – 1,190,000 subscribers but no longer make new videos, which is a shame.
The Final Word
Wilderness survival YouTube channels are out there in droves, but these channels are the biggest and best you can find. If you are looking to try something new, give our editor’s pick a go. If you are looking for other mediums to explore prepping and survival topics, check out these rankings and roundups:
- 50 Survival Movies Preppers Should Watch
- The 10 Best Prepper YouTube Channels
- The 10 Best Off-Grid Homesteading YouTube Channels
If you have any favorite channels that we may have missed or chose not to rank, weigh in below in the comment section. We’ll always take the time to review it before our next roundup and see where it stacks up.
Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.
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