The importance of survival knives

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.

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  • Wilbert Jennings

    Two of the most important things I always have are my knife and my belt.

  • jm1946

    I have always carried a sharp knife and worn a belt, along with my Model 1911 .45 ACP. Like Mastercard says, “don’t leave home without it”.

  • Paul Dragotto

    GOT MY FIRST KNIFE WHEN I WAS 10. A BUCK KNIFE IN A NICE BELT CARRIER. MY COUSIN HAS A JOKE ABOUT ME. HE KNOWS I ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD KNIFE ON ME. I’M 62 AND HAVE NEVER GONE A DAY WITH OUT A KNIFE. EVEN WHEN SWIMMING.

  • ABBAsFernando

    Excellent advice in this day and age.

  • Kikmor Boutte

    Received my Parry Blade last month. It is everything I could ask for. Very legit!

  • Proud US vet/American

    I always carry two knives in the field. First one is a 31/2″ folder I keep in my pocket. the second knife a carry is a “survival knife”, like an Army fighter knife or something similar with a full tang for strength.

  • volksnut

    Amen – I would also carry at least two extra clips..

  • Frederick Stafford

    I keep my REMK – Rite Edge Money Clip Knife on my belt, clip side out. Use it for everything, opens with one hand when you are on a ladder or in the middle of something and I have walked through security scans with it. No one looks at it and thinks its a knife.

  • Turn9

    We’re of the age (I’m 65) when little boys started the path to becoming men by getting the responsibility of a pocket knife at between 6 and 12 years old. Depending on the child, they often got a BB gun at 7 or 8 and a 22 or 410 around 13. The kids I grew up with all followed a similar path. None became drug dealers/users or criminals of other types. It was a right of passage to get a good knife that would hold a edge and a rifle/shitgun that would provide dinner if need be. Sadly those days are gone, replaced by video games I assume….

  • Mikial

    Never go into the woods without a knife. A lesson I learned young and never forgot. I also frequently carry one when I am just out and about. For going to non-permissive environments, I have a cell phone case with a built in locking blade knife. The blade is short and wide and using it takes some practice and getting used to, but at least I have a knife when I need one.

    I’m lucky, I have a very cool wife who likes guns almost as much as I do, and likes knives even more than I do. That means that we have a knife close at hand all over the house where we normally spend time. It’s hard to say which is my favorite because they are all great in their own unique way.

  • Mikial

    Sad, isn’t it? I remember my first knife, and I also remember the Boy Scouts when you actually learned to enjoy the outdoors. I would go to the Boy Scout Camp in the mountains for two weeks ever summer without my troop. I remember getting a ‘totenship’ card that meant I could carry my pocket knife at camp, but if anyone caught me being careless they could tear a corner off it. Once the last corner was gone, you couldn’t carry your knife at camp. I never lost that privilege. I spent every day shooting at the .22 range, shooting archery, and enjoying the outdoors. Now the BSA is all about living in the city and being inclusive of “alternate sexual lifestyles.”

  • Ray Jones

    i have a 95 year old marbles sheath knife and it has razor edge its made of nickle steel from the early 20th century and i do love that knife its previous ownwer got it for his 13th birthday and caried it in the pacific theater of wwii nad used it on the japs…

  • Turn9

    Thank you Mikial, I hope you are still shooting? I try to go once a week. But you are so right about the lifestyle we have lost. I predict the future of young men is going to continue to get worse and worse.

  • Mikial

    Agreed.

    Self sufficiency is becoming a thing of the past. I read a survey that revealed that well over half of young Millennial males would call a plumber to unclog a drain without even trying to do it themselves. They are also the generation most likely to lie on their resumes. Living a life disconnected from nature and having everything handed to you without working for it does more damage than people realize.

    And yup, my wife and I both love to go shooting every chance we get. It’s a regular date, we go to the range and then go out to eat. We even have his (.44) and her (.357) Desert Eagles.

  • Tom Schuckman

    I guess it’s just safe to say that most Veterans at e trained well enough never to forget their “EDC.” Sharp Steel. I like, ColdSteel.com — and Buck, for the money’s worth, but I know that there are other good ones too. I just posted something smart in my humble Blog about ‘Knife Laws in the USA,’ recently, so please check it out: TOM’S JOURNAL. –Disabled Vietnam Vet: 68-70. My email: tschuckman@aol.com

  • Tom Schuckman

    “Rite of Passage.”

  • Alleged-Comment

    Never go swimming without one either.