The 10 Best Wilderness Survival YouTube Channels

by Vern Evans

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.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

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. Coalcracker Bushcraft

Founded in 2014

496,000 subscribers

Previous rank = N/A

Dan Womack has been climbing quickly in subscribers and is one to watch going forward.

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. Ovens Rocky Mountain Bushcraft

Founded in 2019

771,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 10

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:

8. David Canterbury

Founded in 2008

845,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 9

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:

7. Donny Dust’s Paleo Tracks

Founded in 2015

1,080,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 8

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 survival techniques, all of which he shares at his world-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.

6. Corporals Corner

Founded in 2009

1,080,000 subscribers

Previous rank = N/A

Shawn Kelly has a huge following where he shares his survival-oriented outdoor skills.

Shawn loves the outdoors and it shows in his bushcraft-oriented channel when he gives great tutorials. Out of all of the channels on this list, I’m surprised that Corporals Corner is not higher up in the subscriber count given how long it’s been going.

This channel deserves the love it’s earned and is one to check out if you appreciate survival skill demonstrations.

5. Survival Lilly

Founded in 2011

1,130,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 7

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 who 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.

4. Fowler’s Makery and Mischief

Founded in 2016

1,500,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 6

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.

3. Joe Robinet

Founded in 2007

1,550,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 4

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.

2. My Self Reliance

Founded in 2013

2,170,000 subscribers

Previous rank = N/A

Shawn James shares his journey of self-reliance, building his dream cabin in the Canadian wilderness.

Overlooked on previous lists, we waffled on whether to include Shawn’s channel in our off-grid/homestead list or wilderness survival. His channel is split between the two, but we think his wilderness survival skills and tutorials are worth highlighting here.

Lately, he’s leaned less into outdoor survival tutorials but you can still find older gems on his channel. If he continues to focus heavier on homesteading, we’ll swap him over in the future but figured he deserved a callout this year for his great videos:

1. TA Outdoors

Founded in 2014

2,380,000 subscribers

Previous rank = 3

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.

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:

  • MCQBushcraft – 328,000 subscribers and great content but no longer publishing videos.
  • AlfieAesthetics – 353,000 subscribers but hasn’t published a video in several years.
  • Survivorman – Les Stroud – 795,000 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!)

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:

If you have any favorite channels that we may have missed or chosen 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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