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There is no other tool that you can bring into the woods, by itself, that will help you survive the way a knife will. While many people understand how effective a good survival knife can be, there are things your knife can do, and be, that you have probably not even considered.
Think about it: what else can you bring into the woods that would substitute the value of a quality knife?
Some would argue a small hatchet or a tomahawk. While it would serve you well in many aspects like shelter building, good luck trying to filet a fish with a hatchet. There are things that a hunting knife can do that are just impossible to replace with any other tool.
Now, don’t assume that everyone knows what an ideal survival knife looks like. There are many things to consider when you are talking about a quality survival knife.
What Makes A Good Survival Knife
1. Fixed Blade
There are some amazing pocket knives out there. Some have automatic mechanisms and others are spring assisted.
What is important for you to understand is that none are ideal as a survival knife. This is because they can become separated from the handle and then you have a loose blade without a handle.
The fixed blade knife will give you the ability to hit the knife, beat it up and be sure that it will come back for more.
2. Full Tang
To take the fixed blade logic even further is to depend on a full tang blade. Whether you know it or not, some knives are just a blade with a little rat tail at the end of it. This rat tail is thrust and affixed into the handle of the knife. The problem here is that these blades can be pulled out or fall out after the abuse that survival lays on the knife.
A full tang blade means that the knife and the handle are one piece. You will have a blade that is one full piece of metal. Now, these can break, too! A poorly made blade will snap in half and that’s a reality. Still, the full tang design puts you in a much better position to find success with your survival blade.
3. Carbon Steel
So, what do you want a quality knife to be made of? Well, there are many types of metal that knives can be made of. The very best is high carbon steel. The strength of steel has a lot to do with it. and so too does its tempering ability. You see, high carbon steel has the ability to be tempered variable it various places i.e spine and blade.
Carbon steel is also very effective when it comes to creating that precious spark from a bit of flint. If you have charcloth and flint you can create a fire with just a few swipes from that carbon steel blade. That is power you cannot deny.
4. Easy to Sharpen Blade
While there are companies that are selling survival knives that look like something from a video game, it is my opinion you want to go for a simple blade that has a nice wide blade with a simple curve. If you are dealing with a survival knife that has a serrated portion of the blade and two distinct angles along, that is going to be a pain to sharpen.
One thing I have come to notice about blades that are a pain to sharpen, they don’t often get sharpened.
5. Comfortable Handle
Finally, if you are considering a survival knife you need to have the ability to hold that thing comfortably. Your hands are the most important part of your success as a survivor. If you have an injury or if you are destroying your hands using your knife, it will make you less willing to use that knife.
While you might be able to live with a paracord knife handle, it’s not something I would recommend. Friction will always be your enemy when you are working with tools in the wilderness. Eventually, our skin will wear out. You do not want to deal with any infection in a survival scenario!
Survival Knife Uses
If you haven’t been convinced about the usefulness of that survival knife, I would like to tell you about a few very important tasks that can be done using your survival knife. These are not the types of things most people would consider when they think about a knife. Still, it’s very important that
1. Cordage Making
A quality knife will give you the ability to separate the bark from a tree and then cut that stuff down into small strips that can be braided together to create cordage.
This cordage can be used for all sorts of things. This is an invaluable skill when you are really down to the bare bones of survival.
2. Processing Wood
If you are going to build any kind of sustaining fire you are going to have to be able to process wood in a number of ways.
It is going to take a lot more than just finding some fallen wood in the forest. You will need to create tinder, kindling, feather sticks and, of course, fuel. You can do that with a solid wood baton and the right survival knife.
3. Creating Other Tools
An often overlooked use for the survival knife is to create other tools. Spears, gigs and even bows and arrows can be made by using your knife. This takes a strong and very sharp knife.
A quality blade comes in handy here. Every tool you make will add a level of ease to your survival situation.
Whether you call it your hunting knife or survival knife or just your knife, you have to be aware that this is a tool and it is a necessity!
There is no way that you can get the things done, that you need to, in a survival situation without a proper survival knife. Even on a simple hunting trip, a knife like this will be worth its weight in gold!
Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food
Invented by the natives of North America pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.
Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It's made of lean, dried meat that's crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.
People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it.
These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call "survival skills" now.