Some things haven’t aged a bit. Take a look at the wheel, it’s still the same and it’s still used for the same purpose, although in different ways. That’s also where the term ‘reinventing the wheel’ comes from, because the wheel is such a good tool, it has defied evolution. A knife is similar to the wheel because throughout the test of time, it has been an established and ‘must have’ tool for outdoor survival. It has helped us hunt, make shelter and more importantly, helped us defend ourselves.
The knife is a staple part of any survival toolkit; it’s a part of mine, that’s for sure, and it’s because I know how important it is in the outdoors. Here, in nature’s domain, man de-evolves from the comfort of his home to a much more primordial environment and here’s is where the knife comes into play. I use the knife here for a lot of things. Primarily, I skin my game with it so that I can eat it. It helps me to strip the fur from the meat and also to clean it out. This is for both land based animals as well as many of the fish I have caught. It’s particularly important for the fish because it can help get the bones out and clean the meat thoroughly. And when I’m done, I can use the knife to chop off some branches to make the fire to cook my food and stay warm too.
In the right hands, it can also be used as a deadly weapon but most outdoor survivalists use it mostly for self-defence from attacking predators. The beauty of a knife is that besides a weapon it can also be used for other purposes, such as a can opener.
Different types of survival knives are generally in use, some of them you may have seen in the movies. Those that you would see available in commonly available knife tool kits are the fixed blade knives, such as the Aitor mod, Fällkniven and the Gerber. A more comprehensive tool kit consists of the compendium called the Master Cutlery set. Other types of knives include the machetes and pocket survival kits too.
I usually forget to bring the can opener on my camping trips, but I’m least bothered about that since I have my trusted knife. Similarly, my knife helps me out wherever I have to use a rope. If I’m camping near snow, it also helps me clean out the frost from the night before and even hacking through ice for water. I’ve lost count how many times it has actually helped me get through some difficult times. It’s taken care of me and I tend to take care of it.
Almost every week, without fail, whether I go camping or not, I clean my knife. I first sharpen the blade and then proceed to sanitize it. Sanitizing is particularly important because the knife comes into contact to all sorts of materials, organic and inorganic. I do that to make sure that the next time I use my knife it is as sharp as ever and ready. While I’m outdoors, I have the knife attached to my belt so that I can use it immediately.
It also gives me a sense of satisfaction to know that I have a friend with me that can help me get through the outdoors.