Hiddenwoodsmen Day Ruck

In this article I’m going to run down all the gear I’m planning on taking to my Pathfinder Basic class in 2020. For those who don’t know, Pathfinder Basic is a 72-hour survival immersion class where students, with limited equipment, are expected to learn and demonstrate a range of survival skills. These foundational skills are the “basic” requirements onto which more advanced skills are built upon.

I imagine most folks reading this article are somewhat familiar with Dave Canterbury’s Pathfinder School and the school’s survival classes, so I’ll move on to the core of this article.

On the Self Reliance Outfitters’ website you will find a general list of the equipment you should bring for each class. In this article I’m going to cover the specific gear I’m taking for the basic class.

The Gear

The 10 C’s of Survivability

    • KnifePSK Mountaineer the Mountaineer is a beast of a knife with a nice scandi grind and rugged aesthetic that I dig. Some my find this knife a little too large, but I find it nimble enough for most tasks. Possible alternate choices for me would be the ESEE 6HM (one of my personal favorites) or a carbon Mora Garberg. I love the ergonomics on the Garberg, but I don’t have one in carbon steel.
    • SawSilky Gomboy 270 The fastest folding saw in the west, only kidding. It’s the fastest folding saw in the world. I find this saw to be far superior, in regards to cutting, than any other folding hand saws on the market.
    • Lighters – 2x Bic Lighters, Full Size I don’t believe there’s a more reliable lighter in the ballpark of a standard Bic, don’t cheap out you’ll regret it.
    • Magnifying Glass10X Magnifying Glass If you haven’t practiced solar ignition, you probably Should. It’s an entertaining way to make fire.
    • Ferro Rod1/2 x 5 in Ferro Rod Nothing against larger ferro rods, but I happen to have a couple of these already.
    • Flint & Steel SetEmberlit Flint Striker and Flint
  3. COVER:
    • CompassSuunto MC-2 In my opinion, there’s no better compass for the money.
    • Pacing Beads – DIY Ranger Beads. I made my own set because I wasn’t happy with the quality of what I’ve seen elsewhere.

Additional gear (not part of the 10Cs)

My Pack 

A Few Question Mark Items

These items have been mentioned in more than one of Dave Canterbury’s videos, but are NOT mentioned in the current SRO class list. I don’t know if these items are still allowed but I’ll bring them to class and see if they are. Better to have and not need, than need and not have.

In Conclusion

The gear listed above is everything I’m planning on rucking for the duration of the class to fulfill the course requirements. I’m hopeful to earn my certificate and patch, but that’s on me, not the gear. Remember, the gear is just stuff, the knowledge is what will take you to the next level.

I’ve watched a number of videos and read many articles about the equipment people used for their basic class and I’m confident my choices are solid. I’m sure I will make a few tweaks, but I expect this list to change very little. I’ll be sure to write a follow up once I’ve completed the class. I hope this helps anyone who might have holes in their equipment needs. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.