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Top 30 Most Influential People In Bushcraft

Top 30 Most Influential People In Bushcraft

Bushcraft is gaining popularity in a modern world where we are separated from nature. Those skills once considered necessary to live have fallen to the wayside in modern times.

Bushcraft Pioneers

There are several influential personalities who have brought attention to the importance of these skills. Among these are the modern-day founders of bushcraft, TV personalities, authors, leaders, experts, and historical figures.



1. Les Hiddins

Les Hiddins is famously known for his expertise in survival research. He was responsible for the Australian Army’s military survival manual in 1987.

He inspired a television series and sparked the modern interest in bushcraft.

2. Mors Kochanski

This Canadian bushcraft instructor became internationally recognized for his knowledge concerning wilderness survival. He has been enlisted to instruct civilians and military members across the globe and has been dubbed the modern founder of Northern bushcraft.

TV Personalities


3. Bear Grylls

Most well known for his television series, “Man vs. Wild,” this amazing survivalist has climbed Mt. Everest, paramotored over the Himalayas, and been named the youngest Chief Scout ever appointed.

4. Cody Lundin

Popularized by co-hosting “Dual Survival,” Lundin continues to live off-the-grid and teach survival and primitive living skills.

5. David Canterbury

He co-starred on “Dual Survival” and authored the bestseller “Bushcraft 101.”

Currently he instructs and owns “the Pathfinder School LLC,” and has a YouTube channel filled with survival instruction videos.

6. Les Stroud

Stroud is a wilderness guide, instructor, musician, filmmaker, and the genius behind several survival skill television programs. He is literally “Survivorman.”

7. Mykel Hawke

This retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer has appeared on several television shows highlighting his survival skills.

8. Ray Mears

This amazing man has published 12 books and produced 17 television series focusing on bushcraft and extreme survival skills.

9. Ron Hood

This Vietnam vet started which is now considered to be one of the best survival training aides. He has also been featured on numerous television shows and taught wilderness skills at UCLA for over 20 years.

10. Steve Backshall

Best known for his television series “Deadly 60,” Backshall has been a part of numerous expedition teams and published several novels and children’s books.



11. Bradford Angier

This survivalist has published over 35 books focusing on how to live with minimal resources. Many created a lifestyle from his book “One Acre & Security,” which proposed living organically on 1-acre of land.

12. Jamie Maslin

This author was an instructor for the British Bushcraft School and is most well-known for the innovative method of fire creation by friction.

13. John “Lofty” Wiseman

He is best known for his 14 publications focusing on Special Air Service Survival techniques. When he was 18, he became the youngest man to pass selection for the SAS and during his time serving, he became a legend.

14. James Mandeville

Most known for his survival publications in magazines and newspapers, Mandeville is often asked for advice on expeditions. He spent 23 years teaching survival training to soldiers in the jungles of South America and Asia.



15. Ruediger Nehberg

This survival expert not only introduced survival training in Europe, but also plays a huge role in protecting human rights. He is famous for crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a pedal boat in 1987.

16. Tom Brown

Brown spent ten years living in the American wilderness using exclusively primitive tools. With his knowledge, he went on to publish 18 books and found the Tracker School in New Jersey.

17. Larry Olsen

He is known for founding the Anasazi Foundation the first accredited outdoor behavioral healthcare provider.

18. Lisa Fenton

She is co-founder of Woodsmoke, a survival school in the United Kingdom. She has led several expedition trips and often spends weeks or months living in the wilderness.

Famous Survival Experts


19. Richard Proenneke

Well known for his documentary, “Alone in the Wilderness,” he takes the viewer through his thirty year stay in the woods.

20. Richard Graves

He founded and led the Australian Jungle Rescue Detachment which was responsible for 300 rescues. His survival skills allowed for every mission to be successful. He later went on to run a bushcraft school and publish ten books.

21. Ricky McGee

After being left for dead in the Australian outback, he survived for 70 days on insects until he was found by farm hands.

Historical Bushcraft Pioneers


22. Alexander Selkirk

He stayed behind on the Juan Fernandez archipelago expecting to be picked up by a passing British ship in 1704 but spent nearly four and a half years surviving in solitude.

23. John Muir

He is responsible for petitioning Congress to create National Parks. He once walked from Indiana all the way to Florida simply to sight-see.

24. Enos Mills

He became one of the first paid survivalists, becoming the Colorado State Snow Observer where he had the job of observing and predicting snowfall.

25. John Colter

He was the first European to enter Yellowstone and was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

26. Davy Crockett

As both “King of the Wild Frontier” and politician, he became one of the best-known American bushcraft pioneers.

27. Fernao Lopes

This soldier spent 30 long years in isolation on the then uninhabited island of St. Helena becoming a legend in Portugal.

28. Ernest Shackleton

After attempting to cross Antarctica on foot, his crew spent two years forced to survive in the harsh environment.

29. Jedediah Smith

He was the first European to cross Nevada, explore Utah, and to enter California by land.

30. William Williams

He led several expeditions in the West during his time and served as an interpreter for the government.

From the modern-day founders of an interest in bushcraft skills, to historical survivalists, these influential role models have provided the knowledge necessary for everyone to have the skills they need to survive in the wild.


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