Countdown To Pathfinder

Getting Ready for Dave

In two weeks, I'm heading to Ohio for Pathfinder school with Dave Canterbury.  To say I'm getting very excited would be an understatement.  Today I picked up a couple of my last few pieces of gear, a fresh 100 ft. hank of 550 cord, and the smallest Gerber Back Paxe II.  This is a handy looking and feeling little axe.  Over the weekend, I'll make my first video product review on on my initial thoughts and some backyard testing.  After I get back from Pathfinder school, I'll put up a more in depth review of how it performed.

Saturday, we're going to the fabric store.  I need a large sewing needle to take to camp (no idea what for) and we'll get a few yards of a heavy cotton duck material so my wonderful wife can make me a bedroll cover.  I have an old GI wool blanket that will be the lining, and I'll spray it down with a water repellent.  I'll put up some photos when she finishes it, hopefully Sunday.


  1. Man I wish I was able to go to Dave's school. I have heard nothing but good things about the course. I hope you have a great time and bring back a bunch of great knowledge.

  2. i wonder if the needle will be used to make a makeshift compass... magnetize it by rubbing on silk etc then floating on water or on a small leaf to point to magnetic north.

    that or learning how to do field stitches i guess...

    looking forward to your posts about how the course goes - i think i'd like to do both dave's and cody's courses and kinda use the best of both as they are such completely different ways of survival.

  3. Good luck! I look forward to hearing about your experiences and the bedroll cover. Sounds like a great project.

  4. Have a blast at PF school - I hope you're not spraying the wool blanket with water repellent, and if you're going to spray the cotton duck you may be better off making it oilcloth instead.

    The heavy gauge needle is an item that is oft overlooked and serves many, many purposes - as mentioned, can be improvised as a magnetic-north-pointing indicator (I hesitate to call it a "compass"), can lance blisters, remove splinters/stingers/thorns, and can be used to fabricate (or repair) many other useful items. Remember, the gear you want to bring (10 essentials) should have multiple uses and primarily be stuff that is hard to produce otherwise... a good sewing needle *could* be manufactured out of bone or something, but you may have need for it before you come across suitable material.

  5. Thanks for the words of support! I had forgotten about using a needle as a compass on a leaf... might be what it's there for. I got the sylabus today, looks like it is going to be a great class.

    Regarding the bedroll... We got the canvas yesterday, I can't wait to see the final product. To get the zipper for it, the fabric store did not have one long enough, so we went over to Goodwill and bought a sleeping bag for $4.99 and will canibalize its zipper.

    The water reppellent is for the canvas... I think that would be an awful mess on the wool blanket. I've never liked the feel of oilcloth, but I'll keep that idea in mind if the water reppellent spray doesn't work well.


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