Making the conscious decision to leave the comfort of your own home to go out into the wild to hunt or camp takes courage. Outdoor life can be unforgiving when you come face to face with the elements, and survival becomes a matter of life and death. This is why hunting and camping expeditions are planned for long, with the locations scouted out well in advance. But that still doesn’t guarantee your safety since anything can happen. The one thing you can always rely on is your trusted survival knife.
We are going to explore everything you need to know about survival knives, the attributes they ought to have as well as mention a few recommendations that would come in handy if you find yourself in a pinch.
Features of a Survival Knife
A survival knife is not an ordinary knife. It is the type that is designed for the most extreme conditions, a knife you can call upon when you are in dire straits, and for this reason, they have to exhibit some vital characteristics that include the following.
- Fixed Blade: Fixed blades are the strongest when compared to folding blades. The reason is very simple: the blade is connected to the metal that is inside the handle, and this provides a continuous line of leverage when holding it. This gives it a better thrust that can hold its ground without coming apart. You need something solid in your hand when dealing with emergencies, and so far, fixed blades are your best bet.
- Full Tang: A full tang means that the entire knife is made of a single material. From the handle all the way to the blade, all made with a piece of steel. The implication of this design is that there is no room for weakness; a full tang knife will take on anything without sustaining even a bent. You get a strong grip, on the other hand, which allows you to produce very strong thrusts when the need for it arises. A full tang knife is the strongest tactical hunting knife you will ever come across.
- Single-Edged Blade: People assume that getting a double-edged knife offers them more functionality; the opposite is actually what you are getting. There’s very little you can do with a double edge sword besides killing thrusts when taking the life of an animal. A single-edged knife allows room for you to apply more pressure with your other hand when dealing with complicated work.
- A Handle: A survival knife must have a proper handle with good length and grip. Handling a survival knife requires a lot of force, and if your hand were to slip over the blade in the process, you could sustain grievous injuries. The handle has to be long enough with a raised bump near the hilt to act as the barrier. It must also have a good grip to maintain the hold even when the hand becomes wet with sweat, water, or blood.
- Blade Spine: A good survival knife should have a blade spine that’s about 90 degrees. This makes the knife very useful when out in the wild. You can use it to scrape things like the bark of a tree or for splitting wood without having to subject the main part of the blade to unnecessary pressure, which may blunt the knife edge. The spine is also what you use when starting a kindling for the fire.
- Sheath: Being a fixed blade, you must have a sheath. However, this shouldn’t be your ordinary sheath. It should be something with great accessibility, the type that allows you to reach for the knife in split seconds and unsheath it without any struggle in order to deal with an emergency.
- Carbon/Steel Blade: These two are the strongest blade materials around. A survival knife has to have a blade strong enough to deal with tough conditions without chipping. Carbon steel is the best between the two, but it can be too expensive for most people. This leaves stainless steel as the best option of the lot among survival knives.
- Blade Thickness: Survival knives do the most, and they are put through all manners of things that would break a normal knife. For it to be able to withstand all that, it needs a thick blade that will ensure the knife lasts for longer, even after years of sharpening and grinding away the metal.
- The Weight: This is tricky for a survival knife. You need something that is not too heavy as that will interfere with how you handle it as well as the speed of getting it out if you are in an attack by a wild animal. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too light as that will make it easy to break when you are cutting into a tough material. So there has to be a balance struck on the weight to ensure it has the best of both worlds.
Types of Survival Knives
There are several types of survival knives in use today. Each has been designed for a specific purpose, and for people who truly understand their knives, each survival knife holds a special place in their arsenal. The following are the main types of survival knives you are most likely to come across.
This is a tactical survival knife that can be concealed inside the boots. They are easy to hide, are very sold, and come double-edged in most parts. A good number of them are usually long and can reach 5-inches. What makes them one of the best survival knives is the fact that they are easy to access, and no one can tell if you are carrying them or not. This gives you an advantage if it comes to an attack. It also has a good grip with the hilt equipped with extended guards that stop your hand from accidentally slipping over the blade. A boot knife is ideal for self-defense.
Buck Hunting Knife
This is a multipurpose knife that can be used for skinning an animal, chopping up flesh, setting up a tent, splintering wood, and even for self-defense. It has a fixed blade that comes with a very sturdy handle that ranges from plastic, leather to wood. Most people carry this knife for skinning animals as the shape of the blade is ideal for getting under the animal’s hide without tearing into the flesh. It has a thick edge for extra sturdiness, a good reason why many seasoned hunters and campers always carry it around.
This is a self-explanatory type of survival knife that is used best for self-defense. This is the knife you take to a gunfight and is used primarily in the military and for people who love arming themselves for anything. It is also one of the hardiest and durable knives you will ever come across. It has a pointed blade with only one edge sharpened. Sometimes, other variations come with serrated edges on the top for inflicting maximum damage in a fight. With this in your hands, you are assured of a fighting chance in a hairy situation.
This is a special type of survival knife that can be used both as a tool and a weapon; it all depends on the prevailing conditions. It is basically designed for use both inside your home when you want to peel that apple in a clean way, and at the same time, you can rely on it when a wild animal decides to jump you when you are out hunting or camping. It is designed with a good handle and a sturdy blade that will last you ages with the right maintenance. Most come in a beautiful design with artistic engravings on the blade itself and the handle as well.
The Tanto knife is one of the best fixed blade knife from Japan. It is a unique knife that has a very straightforward shape. A short handle and a long blade that has a very rectangular shape with a pointed tip. It is made using the best of materials, and this is manifested in its longevity and sharpness. You cannot afford to play around with this knife.
Survival knives are an obsession among knife enthusiasts. They are designed with the best aesthetics of all knives, and in the right hands, they can be quite the tools. There are many other types of survival knives in the market that you can check out at your own time. For more information on knives, check out our website and browse through the extensive catalog.