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

Illustration via 99designs

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!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one supplement, 99designs global design platform, and The Ready State virtual mobility coach. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

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

This episode is brought to you by AG1! I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG1 further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, you’ll get a 1-year supply of Vitamin D free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit to claim this special offer today and receive your 1-year supply of Vitamin D (and 5 free AG1 travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive daily, foundational nutrition supplement that supports whole-body health.

This episode is brought to you by 99designs, the global creative platform by Vista that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. Its creative process has become the go-to solution for businesses, agencies, and individuals, and I have used it for years to help with display advertising and illustrations and to rapid-prototype the cover for The Tao of Seneca. Whether your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99designs.

You can work with multiple designers at once to get a bunch of different ideas or hire the perfect designer for your project based on their style and industry specialization. It’s simple to review concepts and leave feedback so you’ll end up with a design that you’re happy with. Click this link and get $20 off plus a $99 upgrade.

This podcast is also brought to you by The Ready State Virtual Mobility CoachThe first person I call for help with my athletic recovery or mobility training is Dr. Kelly Starrett at The Ready State. Kelly is a mobility and movement coach for Olympic gold medalists, world champions, and pro athletes.

Kelly created a program called Virtual Mobility Coach. It’s like carrying a virtual Kelly Starrett in your pocket. Every day, Virtual Mobility Coach gives you guided mobility videos. It walks you step-by-step through Kelly’s proven techniques to relieve pain and improve your range of motion. Right now, listeners of this podcast can try Virtual Mobility Coach totally risk-free for two weeks without paying a penny. And after that, you can get 10% off for life. Just go to and use code TIM10 at checkout. Relieve pain, recover faster, and improve your performance in the gym with The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach

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.

#470: Steven Rinella on Hunting (and Why You Should Care), Reconnecting with Nature, Favorite Trips, and 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 900 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.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

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

  1. Well, that clearly blew folks socks clean off, judging by the number of comments………
    I actually thoroughly enjoyed it, and would love to hear a great deal more of this kind of thing.
    Particularly liked the bit about using candles or alcohol burners, due to them not producing CO. Never occurred to me, despite this being my kind of thing.
    Many thanks for the entertainment.

  2. Cant wait to listen to this… But, couldn’t find the best channel to recommend a guest. I would absolutely love to har Dan Inosanto interviewed. A martial arts legend and historical guru; this man has so much to share, and I would love to hear you pull some info out of him.
    Know your busy always, but I appreciate your time. Give him a google, he’s worth it.

    I’ve been to several of his seminars and he brings up Guns, Germs and Steel often; seems like your kind of guy.

    Happy holidays.

  3. Hi Tim,
    How do you think, what are some of the best Bachelor of Science degrees to start your own company in the 4-hour way in the future?

  4. I would love for Lyme Disease education to be a part of these outdoor conversions. My best friend just died from it, [Moderator: Facebook link removed due to policy but with compassion.], and I know that Tim has battled with it too.

    Thanks for making great content Tim!

  5. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for continually offering content that gives people the knowledge tools to tackle everything life throws at them.

    This podcast reminded me of a potential interview that others may find useful.

    Tim Larkin from Target Focus Training could be a very helpful interview. Many of the people who listen to your blog aren’t sitting in a comfy office somewhere. We are traveling (except for right now with COVID), and are going to be in potentially dangerous situations.

    For 8 years I worked in the very violent Zulu townships of South Africa. When I got my hands on some DVDs from Target Focus Training, it changed my life. Learning the simple, yet deadly method of self-defense was like learning how to swim. I no longer wondered what I would do if I fell into a violent situation, I knew exactly what to do. The one time that someone did attack, he was incapacitated in less than 5 seconds. Knowing how to use our body as a weapon equips every world traveler with the knowledge they need to survive and thrive in a crazy world. That confidence changes everything.

    Keep up the great work!