Choosing A Survival Knife

Choosing A Survival Knife

In this article we are going to discuss the purpose of knives in both a wilderness environment and in a survival situation. Before we go any further, I would like to make it clear, it doesn’t matter what brand of knife you get, or how much you spent on it. What matters is that you understand the logic behind what a knife is / isn’t and what it can do for you. Whether it is camping or a survival scenerio, the knife is the tool that is always on you, and will perform any of the jobs you need adequately. That is to say, that the knife is not the best tool, just the most useful tool you will end up carrying. With a good quality knife, you can chop down sizable trees, split lumber, carve feathersticks, skin game, build trap parts, carve bow drill sets, gather wild edibles… the list goes on and on. You can do these things, but there are better tools out there. Saws and axes are better at chopping down trees. Sickles are better at harvesting grasses and plants. And a match or lighter is better at lighting a fire. Your knife is your safety net. If you break the handle off your axe while in the bush, you can use your knife to carve you up a new handle and create a functioning mallet to re-seat the handle. If your fire kit takes a plunge in the lake and comes out soaking, your knife will still get the job done. The reason that the knife can do all these tasks is that is...
Multifunctional Garbage

Multifunctional Garbage

To me, the term “multifunctional” is synonymous with inefficient. Take the multi-tool for example. I have carried a Leatherman Wave for over a decade. I had languished in my pack on every outdoor adventure without fail, eating up survival kit space while providing a very limited amount of actual benefit. It looks nice. It reminds me of something James Bond would pull out to jury-rig a car. And it has 17 different tools. But everyone is sub par at best. The only function that this multi-tool is good at is opening bottles – and even then, since I learned to open bottles with the back edge of my knife, I never use the multi-tool. The stainless steel knife is too short and stocky for most tasks and is a pain to sharpen. The smaller tools in the handles are hard to pull out, and the pliers loosen up when you use the wire cutting feature too much. And it is an expensive tool at around the $100 mark. The Leatherman Wave multi-tool is just not as good as a purpose built knife. Each part of a multi-tool compromises the other parts. It is not as good at cutting as a cheap Mora knife and a cheap pair of vice grips are far more robust and reliable. Same goes with the sail needle or often cited wool blanket. The sail needle cannot beat a Suunto MC-2 Compass for navigation, especially when calculating a 10 km hike and taking into account error. And the wool blanket will never be as warm as a mummy sleeping bag. Few experts that talk about...