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Survival Knives as a System

Take my example and use survival knives as a system, instead of trying to solve all problems with one.

For reasons that I still don't quite understand, I have been absolutely fascinated with knives as tools for wilderness survival and hunting since I was an adolescent.

Consequently, I have owned many knives over the years, but as much as I loved each and every one of them, they each left just a little bit to be desired.

For instance, it might have been just a little too long or too short, the spine may have been too thick or too thin, the primary bevel may have been too wide or too thick, or it might have been made from the wrong steel.

Thus, I have literally spent the last 30 years searching for the perfect survival knife. But, after looking at literally hundreds of different knife designs, I have finally come to the conclusion that there is no such thing because, each time I tweak one aspect of any knife design to optimize a particular aspect, it detracts from another aspect.

I think that survival knives should not be thought of as a single, all-purpose, tool, but should instead be thought of as a "system" of knives.

There are many times when I am in the wilderness that I find that I have a need for a heavy-duty chopping tool such as a hatchet, a Bowie knife, a Malaysian Parang, a Philippine Barong, or a Bolo Knife design.

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But, there are other times when I find that I have a need for a much smaller knife for performing delicate cutting and carving tasks, and there are still other times when I find that I could really use a knife that is in between my large fixed blade chopper and my small, multi-bladed, Stockman's knife.

Thus, instead of carrying only one or two survival knives, I carry four of them. Now, I am aware that most people would consider carrying four knives to be a bit excessive, but it has been my experience that when you enter the wilderness, the only comforts you have are the ones you bring with you and the ones you can make.

I consider my survival knives to be every bit as important as my survival kit, and I am willing to go to extremes to keep myself both alive and comfortable when I am in the wilderness.

The four knives I carry are a Kershaw Camp 10 which is a modern rendition of Philippine Bolo Knife featuring a 10-inch drop point blade with a recurved edge made from non-stainless 65Mn (a Chinese equivalent of SAE1065); an A.G. Russell Camp Knife featuring an 8-inch drop point blade with a recurved edge made from stainless AUS-8 (a Japanese steel); an A.G. Russell Folding Hunter with a 4 5/8-inch clip point blade with a straight edge made from stainless 8Cr13MoV (a Chinese steel); and a Boker Stockman pocket knife with a clip point blade, a sheep's foot blade, and a spey point blade made from high-carbon stainless steel.

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With these four knives, I find that I can perform literally any cutting task, from felling small trees to carving notches for setting spring snares, to skinning both large and small game animals to processing fish.

If you will give my system a try, I believe that you will find that it works much better than a "one-tool-fits-all" approach. However, if your experience differs from mine or, if you know of another article that disagrees with my opinion, then please feel free to post your comments below.


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Survival Knives as a System