This originally appeared at Badlands Fieldcraft.
Dave Canterbury is a survival trainer based out of Jackson, Ohio. He has a school there called The Pathfinder School where he and his instructors teach different survival classes at different levels of intensities.
Dave is also a historian of sorts when it comes to survival and self reliance, basing a lot of his teachings off of those that have been proven through hundreds of years of use. I think he and his instructors do an excellent job combining historically proven methods with modern equipment and ideas.
One core idea that he teaches is the “10 C’s of Survivability”. When I first learned of it and studied it, I really liked how it helped me to not just organize survival items, but also the knowledge to go with those items. I encourage you to learn this system. If an item has made it onto the “10 C’s”, you can rest assured it is worthwhile learning to use it the best you can.
The “10 C’s” is not a list of 10 items, but rather 10 categories of items that should you find yourself in a survival situation, or just trying to live off the land, could prove both very useful and also very hard to re-create using natural materials. It is much better to bring these items with you and not need them, then the other way around.
The “10 C’s” are:
1. Combustion Device
2. Cutting tool
4. Cover elements – This is your clothing as well as any other shelter equipment you may bring with you.
5. Container – This should be a container capable of having water boiled in it and making charred material.
7. Canvas sail needle – A heavy needle for repair work as well as first aid uses.
9. Candeling device – fancy wording for a light. A headlamp is my first choice.
8. Cotton material – A shemagh is my favorite. Works well to keep you cool/warm, pre-filter water, as a bandage or sling.
10. Cargo tape – This is typically Gorilla tape.
The “10 C’s” can be further broken down into the “first 5 C’s” and the second. I’ve listed them in this order above. The “first 5 C’s” are considered essential because they are the items you will need to really survive by regulating your bodies core temperature and providing a means to hydrate yourself. The “second 5 C’s” while not essential are all items that are very useful but also too hard or impossible to recreate off the landscape. Once again, better to have and not need then to need and not have.
Dave runs a very helpful YouTube channel detailing the “10 C’s” as well as many other subjects related to survival and self reliance and I encourage the reader to study them.
The 10 C’s and the skills associated with them have helped me come a long way in my wilderness survival skills and are the cornerstone of much of my survival training. I hope you will find them useful as well.