Steven Rinella — A Short Introduction to True Wilderness Skills and Survival (#482)

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By being prepared, you do away with the nagging sense in the back of your head of, ‘What would I do if?’ It just frees you up. I want people to have that liberated, swaggering feeling outside.

— Steven Rinella

Steven Rinella (@MeatEater, @StevenRinella) is the host of the Netflix Originals series MeatEater and The MeatEater Podcast. He’s also the author of seven books dealing with wildlife, conservation, hunting, fishing, and wild foods, including his newest, The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival.

Please enjoy!

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear Steven’s round one episode? Listen to this conversation in which we discuss how Steven got me to overcome my lifetime aversion to hunting, why the conservation-minded non-hunting crowd should care about the decline in hunting and fishing license sales in the United States, the politics of reintroducing predator species to popular hunting grounds, close encounters of the grizzly kind, and much more.


  • Connect with Steven Rinella:

Website | Facebook | Instagram: @MeatEater / @StevenRinella


  • Survival fantasy versus survival reality and common misperceptions. [06:07]
  • What is paradoxical undressing, and is it as risque as it sounds? [08:42]
  • What are some of the ways you can buy yourself a margin of safety when you’re facing the wilderness and its elements? [15:20]
  • Practical uses for onX, inReach, and other GPS systems when you need to navigate your way into and out of the middle of nowhere, make emergency contact with the outside world, or just meander around a new neighborhood without accidentally trespassing on someone’s property. [17:21]
  • Essentials on which Steven relies–in a variety of circumstances–that less seasoned adventurers might forget (or just not know) to pack. [30:06]
  • What is Steven’s preferred multi-tool? [44:35]
  • Recommendations for securing water in different types of terrain. [50:24]
  • Items people should always have in their cars — whether they’re going camping, visiting relatives a few hours away, or just commuting to the other side of town. [1:00:46]
  • Why you should be prepared to source your own water — even if you live in a major metropolitan area where finding it isn’t something you’re used to thinking about. [1:08:19]
  • Not just for astronauts and infantry: Steven explains the good, the bad, and the ugly behind the space-age miracle of freeze dried food. [1:11:31]
  • Something you can try at home: an incidental steak-searing trick requiring only a common household freezer. [1:19:38]
  • What the Inca knew about keeping potatoes and human sacrifices intact with their own version of freeze drying circa 1490. [1:20:20]
  • What does Steven hope and feel the psychological benefits will be for readers of The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival? [1:24:10]
  • Even if Steven were otherwise rational to a cyborg level of efficiency, what seemingly non-rational practice would he still bring with him into the wilderness (even at the risk of being ridiculed by others)? [1:27:32]
  • In a life so far filled with adventures aplenty, what still remains on Steven’s bucket list? [1:30:55]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:32:47]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.