Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Summer Outdoor Retailer Report: Dave Canterbury/Self RelianceOutfitters- Pathfinder Guides, Jeff White Trail Boss Knife, Bushcraft101 Book

While I was at Summer OR, I got a chance to stop by and talk with Dave Canterbury about his latest Self Reliance Outfitters' products. During the course of our conversation, talk inevitably turned to some of my writings about him in our news section.

Things were a bit tense at first as Dave explained his perspective, not only on his departure from Dual Survival, but also on my related news reports. He was aware of my RMB report on the subject since, at one point, it was the #1 news item on Google when that whole debacle was happening. I in turn explained my views. The air was cleared and we shook hands with a new understanding of each other.

Our conversation quickly changed to talk about bushcraft (big surprise!).

I enjoyed discussing the differences between bushcrafting in the Eastern US vs the Western US with Dave, and his breadth of knowledge really impressed me. Dave then showed me some of his cool new products......

Pathfinder Survival Guides

As some of you may recall, I reviewed Dave's Pathfinder Waterproof Pocket Guides last October and really liked them. You can check my review of the Pathfinder Guides here. For those in the Eastern US, Dave has a new set of Pathfinder Guides called Edible Plants of the Eastern Woodlands and Medicinal Plants of the Eastern Woodlands 

Pathfinder "Edible Plants of the Eastern Woodlands" Pocket Guide:
Edible Plants of the Eastern Woodlands

Jeff White Trail Boss Knife

Dave recently partnered with Jeff White Knives to produce a new series of forged bushcraft knives, complete with polished convexed edges, tiger-striped maple handles, and sharpened spines for striking firesteels and flint/quartz/chert, as well as scraping tinder. All Jeff White knives come with a quality leather dangler sheath which includes a firesteel loop and firesteel.

Let me tell you, this is one sexy knife, and I loved the way it felt in my hand. The design appears to be functional for a wide variety of tasks, including fine carving, batoning, chopping, and skinning. The fact that it is forged is a major plus, and as I outlined in my Puma Bowie review back in 2012, forged blades are generally superior in toughness to knives that are milled via the stock removal process. Axes, as well as critical parts in guns, engines and many other applications are still forged for high strength-- need I say more? 

Dave promised to send me a Trail Boss knife for review when they become available in the next couple of months, so be sure to check back as Christmas approaches for a full review.

Dave Canterbury's new "Bushcraft 101" Book

In 2014, Dave released a new book called "Bushcraft 101." This book is intended to be an introduction to bushcraft from Dave's perspective. I haven't gotten a chance to read it the entire way through yet, but my first impression is good. 

Dave takes classic bushcrafting knowledge and updates it with his perspective and experience. The only downside to the book is that it doesn't have much in the way of photo illustrations. I plan to read Bushcraft 101 from cover to cover, and once I do I will post an updated review, so check back soon!

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)

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