Distinguished Eagle Scout Cliff Jacobson has a nice blog post on what he thinks a good survival kit geared toward the North Woods should be. There’s a lot of sound advice in there, and his list is probably appropriate for much of the U.S. that’s not desert or extremely swampy.
Though he’s not very well-known in the U.S., Ray Mears is a household name in the U.K. (and likely well-known in Canada, too) due to his excellent television series (serieses?) about various outdoor or nature-related topics, including Ray Mears’ Bushcraft, Wild Britain, and Ray Mears’ Survival. He’s also the owner of the U.K.’s longest running (I think) bushcraft school, Woodlore.
Given that Ray has a very calm and very English presentation style, American channels have not imported his shows here like they have Bear Grylls’ over-the-top survival shows. Ray’s shows are far superior and educational. I love the Bushcraft series, especially the birchbark canoe and Canada wilderness river tripping (with guest star Ray Goodwin) episodes. Little known fact: the expert outfitter on the wilderness canoe trip episode was none other than the Happy Camper himself, Kevin Callan, another of my favorite outdoors writers slash tv (or YouTube) personalities.
Ray’s shows are aimed at educating viewers about the wonders of the natural world and how to life in harmony in the outdoors, but not in a hippy-dippy or macho way.
Ray released his autobiography, My Outdoor Life last fall, and it’s a good read.