Hiddenwoodsmen Day Ruck

Pathfinder Basic Survival Class Gear List

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

  1. CUTTING TOOLS:
    • 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.
  2. COMBUSTION DEVICES:
    • 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:
  4. CORDAGE:
  5. CONTAINERS:
  6. COMPASS:
    • 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.
  7. CLOTH & REPAIR:
  8. CANDLING DEVICES:
  9. CARGO TAPE:
  10. COMBINATION TOOL:

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.

One thought on “Pathfinder Basic Survival Class Gear List

  1. take a Trifecta sleeping bag and the 50×20 ft monofilament net hammock, 2″ mesh. Fold it 3x, making it 6 ft long. gather the ends around 2 fishing bobbers and use muletape as tree straps. Tape the trifecta bivvy and 5 of the 55 gallon drum liners, 2.3 ozs each, and skip the sleeping bag, sleeping pad, wool blanket. Take a pair of full body bugnet bags. Take a buttpack and a day pack. Take balaclava, shemagh, gloves and liners, sock liners. Leave shoes on while sleeping unlaces. Take 6×6 ft oval of clear PEVA shower curtain and some tarp clamps, for mounting the bivvy to the ridgeline and mounting the PEVA to the open end of the bivvy, if you need a fire. Use hot rocks or hot water bottles inside of your bivvy. If need be, wrap the netting around your cammies as longjohns. wrap 3 of the drum liners around the outside of your cammies. Stuff debris between all wraps, if needed. You’ll be down to 10F before you need to “aim’ the one way projected heat of a Siberian fire lay at the PEVA, from a safe 5 ft away. Search yt for the alternative swedish torch. Use it to ignite the siberian. Lots of yt vids about the latter.

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