Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: survival knife

What Was Your First Survival Knife

Around 1984,I went to GI Surplus in Orange Texas and bought my first survival knife. The store is no longer in business, which is a shame. They had a good selection of military surplus.

When I got the knife home I was so proud. It was like a turning point in a young mans life, I had bought my first knife.

The knife I bought was a Valor brand name. At the base of the blade it is stamped “Valor Miami, USA” on one side. On the other side it is stamped “440 Stainless, 599 Japan, camo”.

How to Pick a Good Skinning Knife

Skinning knife

Armchair commandos may believe anything sharp will make a good skinning knife, this is simply not true. Certain types of knives are much better at skinning wild game than others. Let’s take a few minutes and talk about types of knives to stay away from and types to consider.

For most applications the smaller and thinner the blade the better.

The easier the knife is to clean, the better. This should exclude multi-tools and knives with accessories, such as the Swiss Army knife.

High carbon steel blade that holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.

Examples that come to mind so far are the Gerber Big Rock, Gerber Profile, and Case pocket knives. I have seen more deer skinned with a Case pocket knife than any other brand of knife. Old guys do not mess around with fancy or expensive knives. Experience says go with what works. For most applications, a Case pocket knife will do just fine.

Stockpiling Survival Knives for SHTF

Assortment of survival knives

One of the great topics in the survivalist / prepping community is about survival knives. Everyone has an opinion about what kind of knife would be ideal for surviving in a post-SHTF / post-TEOTWAWKI world.

Some of the discussions on knives revolve around real world situations, while a lot of the discussions revolves around unrealistic situations, such as bugging out to the wilderness.

After putting much thought into the SHTF survival knife topic, what if I told you just about everyone was right and just about everyone was wrong? There is no perfect knife for a post collapse society. That is why we should stockpile a variety of knives.

Rambo hollow handle survival knife – No article on survival knives is complete without discussing the grandfather of all survival knives. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way.

The word “survival knife” brings to mind the 1982 movie Rambo when John Rambo used his knife to survive in the wilderness. Shortly after the movie Rambo was released a survival knife craze kicked in. Survival knives were made in all shapes, forms and fashions. Some were good quality but there was a lot of junk on the market. The hollow handled Rambo survival knife was probably the most popular.

Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife Review

Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife with Sheath

A couple of years ago I started looking for a heavy duty camping / backpacking wilderness survival knife.

Purpose

The purpose of the knife is to have a knife that can be strapped to the outside of a MOLLE or ALICE pack. The knife has to be sturdy enough to clear small brush, chop small limbs, cut tent stakes, clean fish, butcher wild game, or even use the spine of the knife as a hammer.

My current “go to” knife is a Cold Steel Recon Scout. The new knife is not intended to be a replace the Recon Scout, but more along the lines of an alternative. The Recon Scout has a belt loop, but no MOLLE or ALICE attachments. I want a knife that can quickly and easily attach to any of my packs.

Survival Knife Requirements

Thick spine – so the knife could be used as a wedge for splitting wood. If I wanted to make a fish trap, or fishing spear the knife needed to be thick enough to drive through a piece of wood like a wedge.

One of the drawbacks to having a thick spine, thick knives do not make good skinning or butchering knives.

Curved blade – for a good slicing edge. Regardless of what part of the blade was being used to cut, the blade would have a curve to it. An example of what I was looking for is the ULU Knife used by native Alaskans.

Best Survival Knife For Under 25 dollars

Cold Steel GI Tanto Survival Knife

You have $25 to spend, you want to buy a good quality knife, so which one do you buy?

What is the purpose of a $25 survival knife? In my opinion, knives in that price range are disposable. They are the knives that if lost or stolen are not going to be expensive to replace.

From a survivalist point of view, spend $100 on 3 or 4 knives, store them at your Bug Out Location, keep one in a tackle box or use them for hand out knives to friends and family. Someone breaks into your Bug Out Location, steals your knives, you are not out several hundred dollars.

Considerations

Sheath Belt loop or ALICE / MOLLE attachments
Made from quality steel
Full tang
Fixed blade

Most of the corner stores around here have knifes made in third world countries. Most of the ones I see sell for less then $10. For this purchase we need something that is made from quality steel, will hold a good edge and will be easy to sharpen.

Back around 1983 I bought into the survival knife craze created by Rambo First Blood. My first survival knife had a hollow handle, made of some kind of 440 stainless steel, held an edge like butter, and took an hour to sharpen. That knife was more of a play toy then a real duty knife. The hollow handled knives are a novelty item. If you want a serious knife, steer clear of them.

Related forum thread – Best survival knife for under $50

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