There are so many podcasts out there about the outdoors, going on adventures, and your basic essential survival skills. It is crazy to think that this was normal life for people many years ago. Our generation now is too comfortable as everything is simply at their fingertips. Survival skills are essential in the wilderness as there is no internet, phone, take-aways, or simple light switch to guide us.
Everyone needs to have the following skills when embarking on an adventure:
- Gathering and making food
- Finding water and purifying it to be able to drink it
- Healing wounds and treating injuries
- Finding and making a shelter
- Knowing how to start a fire
Each of these skills is vital not just in the wilderness, but also to know what to do when you are in a tricky situation with no power, food, and internet. Not only is it important to learn these skills, but it is also interesting to hear other real-life stories of people being put into difficult situations out in the wilderness. People learn from others and it is amazing to hear what others went through and what they did to get themselves out of a near-death situation. It may help one of you someday.
Best Outdoors & Wilderness Survival Podcasts Reviewed
We’ve gathered and reviewed the best outdoors podcasts you should listen to if you want to gain more understanding about wilderness survival skills & bushcraft.
1.THE SURVIVAL SHOW
The Survival Show podcast is a great way to learn some amazing skills and tactics to pretty much survive any disaster or crisis you may be faced with, not only in the wilderness but in day-to-day life. One of their first episodes is from 2018, hosted by David and Craig. They have a review of 4.8 stars, and they deserve it. The best part of this show is that they interview experts and survivors. We can have a look inside their fails, learn what not to do, and how to apply their useful tips for everyday life.
I find this podcast very professional, to the point, clear and precise. Each episode teaches you how to apply survival skills to uncomfortable situations. One of the episodes is called “How Not to Die: Crisis Prevention and Preparedness”, it discusses a real-life story of a near-death canoeing incident. They discuss “The Rule of 3”, which means if three things happen around you that just make you feel a bit uneasy about what you are doing, then you need to stop and make a new plan.
Decision making under stress can potentially kill you. This podcast teaches you how to turn these situations around, pre-plan, think, be more intelligent, and come out alive. If you lose everything in a canoe accident, will you know where to go and what to do next? If you pre-plan, you will. The guys on this podcast also help you strengthen your mind to become a leader, be confident, and believe in yourself.
Another great episode that discusses this, is “How to Bulletproof Your Mind”.
Matt Graham was one of the people who was interviewed for The Survival Show. He had spent six months in the wilderness all on his own, which he claims to be the best six months of his life. He tells his story of why he did this, how he survived and teaches you how to thrive in the wild. It is an inspiring story and would recommend everyone to give it a listen if you are thinking of doing something similar to yourself.
This podcast is a must-have as you will learn everything and anything about the wilderness, fire, survival, mental strength, how to avoid deadly situations, and listen to some amazing interviews from real-life experiences.
2.THE DIRTBAG DIARIES
What better way to learn about survival skills than to listen to stories of people going through these experiences? The podcast channel started around 2007 and is still going strong with new episodes uploaded weekly. Each episode is narrated by the host, and currently, they have over 250 episodes to listen to. This podcast is really inspiring for people and pushes them to challenge themselves.
Kathy Holcombe, John Flynn, Chris Kalman, and Jason Hummel are only some of the people that they interview. They provide a back story first to their listeners and then play the actual re-telling by the person who went through the experience. Most of the stories are amazing, inspiring, and terrifying. They make sure not to leave any information out, and really suck you into the story so that you get the full experience.
Dirtbag Diaries talk to people who looked for some inspiration in their life and pushed boundaries by putting themselves into risky situations, such as base jumping. They really try to understand the people they interview to see why they did what they did, why they put themselves outside their comfort zone. If you have any fears, this podcast helps you get through them just by listening to these amazing stories. It really pushes you to try new things and put yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Another great fact about Dirtbag Diaries is that they ask the public to write in their stories, or stories of people who are close to them. They are very engaging and want to understand how you were put outside of your comfort zone, but more importantly, why it mattered and how it changed your life. The stories they tell are funny as well as serious. You can choose what you listen to, and trust me, they have a category for everyone.
3.CANADIAN OUTDOOR SURVIVAL
This podcast is hosted by Bruce Zawalsky and has been around since 2016. Episodes are released monthly and dwell into explaining outdoor survival. This podcast is centred on Canada, but I would not let that stop you from listening to this amazing podcast. If you need help in preparing yourself for a few nights or weeks in the wilderness, this is the podcast for you.
Bruce teaches you all the skills you will require in outdoor survival, which items are essential for survival, and the clothing you should wear. He goes into detail about the differences in survival training between Canada and other countries. One of the episodes, “The True Costs of Getting Lost”, is by far one of the best episodes which discusses exactly what happens when you are getting lost in the wilderness, what you should do, what gear you should have with you to survive and much more.
Bruce talks about the psychology of survival in one of the episodes, where he explains how important a positive mindset is to survive. He goes into detail explaining the five factors which affect this, which are:
- The environment
- The Unknown
- The Human Factor
Survival situations can be worsened by us, the human when being faced with a difficult situation. We can overthink and panic, which will worsen our psychological mindset. It is remarkably interesting to listen to Bruce, to understand these factors, and how we can train our mind to benefit us in the wilderness.
Bruce podcast discusses different seasons of going out into the outdoors, building a survival shelter, bears, purifying water, dressing, and prepping for survival. He also goes into detail about how you can get found faster when you get lost in the outdoors. If you want to become a survival instructor, Bruce can help you with that too. Great podcast, which teaches you anything and everything in relation to survival.
4.THE ANGRY BADGER
The Angry Badger is a weekly podcast hosted by two men from the UK. Their podcast started over lockdown at the beginning of 2020, and so most of their episodes do involve talking about Covid. The first episode is an introduction where you can get to know them and their backgrounds. They also go give some advice on joining the military or mountain rescue. The podcast brings in another host who is from America to talk about that side of the world, as well as the UK.
The podcast is guaranteed to make you laugh, as the hosts are quite funny. Every episode is guaranteed to have you in stitches. They do interviews, as well as share with you what they are currently reading, watching, and listening to. The hosts not only talk about the outdoors but also current affairs and surviving the real world now. The podcast interacts with its listeners, reading out and answering questions in every episode.
In one of their episodes, they interview Luca Celano, who is a UK mountaineer and instructor. They discuss winter mountaineering and risk management. The boys go into discussions about knives, the type of skills they wish they had, learning about bushcraft skills, starting a fire, and much more. Each episode talks about surveillance and the outdoor world.
One episode in particular, “The One About The Great Outdoors”, discusses the wilderness, some wild spaces in the UK and US, camping and much more. The episode after that discusses films, the realistic and unrealistic parts in relation to the military, mountaineering and the outdoors. All their episodes are different, entertaining and a great listen. Recommend to all who are interested in current affairs, mountaineering, military, and the great outdoors.
This podcast is great for you if you have an interest in hunting, fishing, and adventure. This show is hosted by Rookie Hunter and Michael Currall from the US. It first aired in February 2020, and episodes are updated weekly. Wilderness Bound shares some experiences that they have gone through, how their hunting passion began, and some lessons they learned along the way.
The first few episodes are centralised on hunting. They discuss how they started hunting, the gear you wear, the difference between a rifle and bowhunting, and pretty much everything you need to know about hunting. They do an interview with Josh Kirchner, who is a backcountry hunter, and wrote the book “Becoming a Backpack Hunter”.
In one of the episodes, they take a turn to nutrition when interviewing Heather Kelly. They mainly discuss her company and the products she has created. Episode 16 “Washington Fly Fishing”, they discuss fly fishing, how they learnt it, what it is, the techniques they have picked up and much more. In another episode, they promote a company called “Backcountry Rentals” and interview the owner. They discuss some backcountry essentials, and what you should do when things do not go to plan.
They seem to have a passion for deer and bear hunting, as this is mainly what this podcast is about. Fishing and the great outdoors are only discussed in a few episodes. If you also have a passion for hunting and want to learn all the ins and outs for this, then this is your podcast. It does not provide tips on survival skills in the wilderness, and therefore it would not suit those who want to learn more about this survival skills.
So far, all the above podcasts have been hosted by men, but this podcast is made by two women. They do not teach you the skills of survival or hunting like the others do, but instead deliver to you various stories of people who faced incredibly challenging wilderness scenarios and how they made it out alive. They have been around since August 2020 and release an episode a week.
One of the first stories they discuss is on Hugh Glass. His story involves being mauled by a bear in 1823. They tell you his story and how he made it out alive. The story helps you in understanding how you yourself can survive if you find yourself in this situation. Another story they discuss is the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known as the Andes flight disaster. The plane descended too early and hit a mountain. Some passengers survived, while others did not.
The episode talks about cannibalism, as the survivors were rescued after 72 days of missing in the mountains. The plane was carrying 45 passengers and crew, and only 16 people came out of it alive. It is an incredible story and worth listening to. James Sevigny, a mountaineer, is another topic on this podcast. He survived a 2,000 feet drop by a snow avalanche when climbing the Canadian Rocky Mountains. They talk about his survival and encounter with a ghostly presence.
EMBARK podcast is for those who want to hear incredible stories about people who were practically died out in the wilderness and how they survived. Most of the people Embark discuss have died many years ago, which means they cannot provide interviews. These stories are fascinating and Embark make sure to deliver as much information as possible on each of them. They do not teach you skills from their own experiences or from what they know, but through the stories of others. It is an incredible listen into real-life encounters of survival.
7.THE BUSHCRAFT RADIO
Another great podcast about bushcraft and survival, hosted by Simon Perx. They discuss all the skills you would require for living in the wilderness. Some of these would include water, fire, shelter, first aid, canoeing and much more. They conduct interviews with people relevant to the outdoors adventures and ask questions about their experiences, skills, and journeys.
This podcast is new as it only started in February, but do not let that stop you from listening to it. Each episode pulls you in as it is informative, engaging, and educational. In their first episode, they interview Paul Kirtley, who is a professional bushcraft instructor. He talks about his start in this industry, how he became who he is now, and how he wants to pass on his skills to others.
One of the episodes discusses fire in detail. He teaches you the importance of needing fire, preparing the fire, and extinguishing it. One of the skills you need to have when going into the wilderness is knowing where you can and cannot start a fire. Starting a fire in the wrong area could have serious implications. He discusses safety, what you will need to start a fire, the type of fuel you should use, and finding a suitable place for your fire. It is a very educational episode for anyone who is planning a camping trip, or a prolonged stay in the wilderness.
The most recent episode talks to Amy and Joe Alton, who discuss first aid, as they are both working in medicine. They prepare you for the worst-case scenarios with their supply kit. The Bushcraft Radio Podcast is an educational show which will help to prepare you for your adventures. Highly recommend it to all who want to gain a better understanding of how to make a fire, build shelter, provide first aid, and much more.
Paul Kirtley, mentioned above, is a well-known skills instructor and educator. He is a qualified canoe coach and mountaineer. His podcast was set up back in 2014, in which he teaches people how to navigate in the great outdoors. Paul teaches all we need to know about survival, the skills we need, and much more.
In 2018, his site was ranked as the top bushcraft blog. He offers a variety of information on his site, as well as his podcast. He has travelled to many countries, growing his knowledge of survival skills, which he then teaches to us. He interviews many people in his podcasts, such as Kevin Brownlee, Lou Rudd, Justin Barbour, and Miles Irving.
All these people contribute various information to the podcast, teaching us what they know about the wilderness. Miles Irving is a professional forager, and in his interview, he tells us about the different wild foods out there, foraging, and health. He shows us how to connect with nature. Lou Rudd explained how he has prepared himself on the adventure of crossing the Antarctic continent without any support or aid. Justin Barbour discussed how he and his dog crossed the island of Newfoundland over the course of 68 days.
Not only does Paul interview people who go on adventures, but he also interviews people such as Dr Cassandra Quave, who studies the medicinal uses of the plant. She helps us understand the use of certain plants in medicine. This is one of the best survival skills to have when you are out in the wilderness with no other medicine but the plants around you. This podcast delivers absolutely everything you need to know and should learn about survival and the outdoors. Paul really delivers in educating and preparing us for our adventures. It is a highly recommended podcast to listen to.
This podcast is hosted by two dads who go on their own adventure of learning new skills and becoming professional outdoorsmen. They want to learn how to survive in the wilderness, coming from a suburban background and having no skills whatsoever. If you are in a similar position as them, then this is a great podcast for you.
The show started in April 2019. In their first few episodes, they discuss how to grow your own food, understanding soil, and being able to hunt. In another one they discuss fire, why it is important, what we need it for, how to use it, and much more. Every episode talks about their own experience. It is not interview-based, as it is simply just the two men talking to each other on how they attempt to gain all these new skills, and what exactly they do.
One of the episodes was called, “We Can’t Start the Fire”, and the one following it was, “We Tried to Start the Fire”. They teach the importance of preparation and testing out varies skills before heading out on your adventures. Preparation is key, without it you may fail and put yourself in harm’s way. Sean and Kevin discuss the different ways of cooking when you go camping, specifically in detail they talk about the Dakota Fire Pit.
The podcast takes you on an adventure with the two dads, and with them, you learn how to make a shelter, how to find water, how to build a fire, and much more. They took you on their journey with them. The podcast is perfect for beginners, as you feel that you are on the same level of experience. It is easy to follow, understand, and learn from.
This podcast dwells into life and death, how a human reacts to hunger, pain, and fear. The show began in March 2019. They talk about survivors who have been trapped on ships that were sinking, captured in death camps, alone in the wilderness, having to drink their own urine to survive. They dig deep into how these people survived these situations, but also how they learnt to cope with this after they got back into normal life.
They talk about people such as Charlie Cusack, Violet Jessop, Helen Klaben, Bob Champion and many more. The hosts recount the events of the tragedies that these people had to encounter. They start off the episodes with a bit of background to what is happening, then to the actual tragedy, and finally surviving this and moving on with life.
Some of the episodes they include, talk about events such as Hurricane Camille which took place in 1969. Joe Simpson is one of the people they discuss, as he and his partner Simon Yates, took on the mission to climb Siula Grande. They discuss the impossible decision Yates took on to cut the rope holding Simpson, which led Simpson to fall to his death. He survived and lived on to tell his story and how it took him three days to crawl to camp with a broken leg.
The stories this podcast provides are so inspiring, and really show that if someone sets their mind to something, they can achieve anything, even if death seems so near. The stories range from death camps to the wilderness, each providing its own story of survival and the skills people took on to get through the worst of times. Through other people’s experiences, we can learn much more when placed in a difficult situation ourselves.
When choosing a podcast to listen to, it all depends on what exactly you are looking for. The above are only the ten top choices for various subjects regarding the outdoors, wilderness, and survival skills. Each podcast goes into detail about different subjects. If you want to learn the skills to survive in the wilderness, maybe The Survival Show, Paul Kirtley, or Canadian Outdoor Survival podcasts are best for you.
If you want to simply listen to some amazing stories of how people survived the worst situations, then Survival or Embark podcasts are best suited for you. Each podcast provides the best wilderness tips and educates you on how to survive when you are left with absolutely nothing. From these, you will learn how to purify water, make shelter, how to hunt and fish, and how to simply survive.