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Survival Knives 22444

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,057 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Survival Knives
« on: February 27, 2012, 11:54:19 PM »
Bob and I discussed this at SHOT after looking at the Les Stroud knives and I kept meaning to get everyone else's thoughts on it.  The recent Opinel survival knife thread has reminded me about it, so here goes.

When we looked at the Les Stroud knives at the show we saw that basically the knives weren't anything special (as expected) but they did have lots of gadgets attached to the sheaths like sharpeners, reflectors and places to wrap lots of paracord.  In a survival situation, all of these would be handy, but then so would a Howard Johnson's.   ::)

Survival, in my mind falls into two categories- lost in the woods and SHTF situations.  If you are lost in the woods, I can't help but feel that your cell phone or a SPOT type GPS transmitter is your best friend, and probably a lot more useful than a knife.  If you are lost in the woods, you probably want to be found, and you could use your knife to chop up some wood and build a signal fire and perhaps be rescued when a passing aircraft notices you, or you can press the panic button or dial 911 on your cell phone and help comes right to you.  There are good reasons to have a knife, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose the phone or GPS emergency transmitter.

In a SHTF (Smurf Hits The Fan) type situation where you are on your own and there's no help in sight a knife could certainly be handy as well, but I think I would be more inclined to try and scrounge whatever I could.  While I would appreciate a knife, it would be one of several dozen items I would want to secure, and perhaps not the highest priority item on the list- firearms, ammunition, food and clean water would top my list, although a knife would be a very close second tier need to the above items.  Naturally a good knife would be important, and could perhaps aid in getting some of the above items, but they are also a lot easier to find, whether it be a kitchen knife or a decent sharp rock.  Despite what Captain Kirk managed to do while being chased by a giant lizard man, it's somewhat difficult to build a gun from nothing.

In short, much like the survival knife craze of the 80's, the knife is a handy tool but is simply not what survival is about, no matter who's name is on it or how much paracord it has wrapped around it, the survival is in the person, not the tool.  Because of this, I really don't care for so called survival knives simply because people will buy them and think they are prepared- they are not.  The knife is a valuable part of survival, no matter the situation, but it it only a part.

Personally I think it's going to be easy to locate a knife in a SHTF type situation as there are going to be a lot of yuppie corpses clutching some really neat knives lying around.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 1,276
Survival Knives
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 12:34:23 AM »
Wise words boss. While I don't expect much from Mr. Grylls I was very disappointed to see the Les Stroud line of "survival" knives. I was really hoping he would maybe design a blade shape or something and let a high quality manufacturer produce a Surviver Man edition fixed blade or something. I'll be watching his show to see if he actually uses his own product. I will go ahead and disagree with you a little bit though. Yes a GPS would be the ideal item for the lost in the woods scenario but things can go wrong with electronics. If I could have only one item it would be a medium sized fixed blade only because there are so many uses. Help build shelter, dig a hole for water or start a fire are pretty hard things to do with a dead GPS or a rifle without ammo. This being said I'd like to know the statistics on civilians lost in the woods for any length of time. If your smart enough to be prepared your probably smart enough to prevent situations in the first place. Yeah a knife would be great if your lost in the woods but if you brought your GPS then what the heck are you doing getting lost in the first place?! I'm hoping people going to remote and isolated areas are not relying on their Bear Grylls survival knife to get them out. 


Stay multi my friends
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,057 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 12:51:29 AM »
You are always free to disagree with me, even if you insist on being wrong! :P

I was approaching the "lost in the woods" scenario as being in a situation like a plane crash, or having gotten lost in a storm or other natural disaster.  For whatever reason, the person is in the woods with no support.  The GPS transmitters I was referring to are these types:

http://www.findmespot.ca/en/

They are basically a transmitter with no screen or navigational aids, just a satellite transmitter that sends your coordinates to an emergency service.  Yes, they can break, but they are built pretty solidly, and more so than many so called survival knives.  And, with one of these I'll be in a helicopter on my way back to the hotel while you are digging a hole!  :P

As for the Les Stroud knives, well I wasn't expecting much, but they actually seem like decent quality knives.  They are going to be better than I expected they would be, but the reality is, if I decide that I am going somewhere where I may need to "survive" I am going to bring a hell of a lot more than my Bear Grylls or Les Stroud survival knife with me.

To me, a survival knife needs to have more EDC features, like a SAK or multitool, since a "survival situation" is not the kind of thing you can always prepare for- basically it revolves around what you have on you.  For example, there's rarely time to stop at Wal Mart to stick up on camping gear when the small plane you are in is headed for a very hard landing.  You have to make do with what you have with you, and you are more likely to have a Leatherman Wingman with you than any so called survival knives.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 2,577 There is no spoon
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 12:57:45 AM »
Yea but...


Never underestimate the power of the fleece
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,057 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 01:00:45 AM »


How many of these guys met their end when the saws broke, the compasses were dry, the fishing line broke and the matches got wet thanks to those awesome survival knives?

I had three of those survival knives- who else is sad enough to admit having one?   :whistle:

Def
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 01:04:04 AM by Grant Lamontagne »

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 2,577 There is no spoon
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 01:03:25 AM »
You forgot about the plastic handles breaking off of the blade too...

Never underestimate the power of the fleece
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,051 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 01:32:38 AM »
Just to be sure, we are talking about the Helle knife here, right? Or was there some other Les knife released this year?
Hero Member Posts: 618
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 01:43:56 AM »
On the subject of survival knives, the only one which really seemed seemed to me to take a neat twist was the Ka-Bar Warthog. I missed getting one, but my dealer showed me one a few years ago. It had a very beefy blade, and the blade was wide enough to use as a small trowel. Now the ones that aren't imported (the originals with the old-style hammer butt) are too expensive to risk using!  :(

I've had one of those Camillus USAF "survival" knives a bit. It's got a wonderful personality and cool vibe, but I just know the first time I tried to open a can of beans that sharp thin tip would snap.

Sorry if off topic! Bill
Hero Member Posts: 512 The best way to predict the future is to create it
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 01:47:55 AM »
I would generally agree with def on the survival knife topic, with the exception of gps over a knife. I think that most "survival" knives are more about marketing than real usefulness. I think that what def said about being a survivor is independent of survival tools is quite accurate. Its more important to develop skills than to hoard gear. Having skills and gear is just a winning combination.

(insert witty quote)
No Life Club Posts: 2,577 There is no spoon
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 01:59:28 AM »
On a serious note, I agree with Def. Whether it's a night or two in the woods, or a night on the library steps of a city that has temporarily lost mass transport, I would be much better off with a MT or SAK.

Never underestimate the power of the fleece
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,594
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 02:08:21 AM »
A survival knife doesn't have to be used in a survival situation, it also comes in handy when cutting down a few dead branches, peeling the bark and making a few hiking sticks. But then again, none of my knives are actually marketed as survival knife so...

I wish CT would put that knife on sale for $5 again, I'd buy one just to have one.  :D
No Life Club Posts: 1,013 Sell me your Becker Necker Bk11
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 02:40:54 AM »
Mobile phones rock as long as you have network coverage. (and if you do you are fool not to use it)

One thing i want to build is a hand crank cb radio

i've been really impressed with my camillus 1983 pilot knife of late, whilst the tip isn't there anymore the now sharpened nub works, partically with a rock or small log driving it.

Survival is not about mindset, life  and everything you do is about mind set (in which survival as a concept has no distinction)

Sell me your Becker Necker Bk11

“A good plan isn't one where someone wins, it's where nobody thinks they've lost.”
- Terry Pratchett
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,057 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 02:44:02 AM »
Just to be sure, we are talking about the Helle knife here, right? Or was there some other Les knife released this year?

There is a whole series of Les Stroud Survivorman Knives coming from Camillus this year. 

Def

Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 3,105 American Clandestine Materials Executive (ACME)
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 02:56:30 AM »
Phones are nice, but if I had to get a "come save my butt" signal out, I'd rather have a PLB. And I like GPS. But... I guess I'm old school enough that if I have to choose between a map of my area with a compass OR a GPS, I'm not going to be wearing about spare batteries for it.

I don't like the term "survival knife"- it makes it sound like you stick in the package of holy stuff just in case. Now, when I'm hiking or hunting, yes, I have a fixed blade on me or on my pack, usually my Ka-Bar or a Schrade H-15 (or increasingly, a Buck 143), it's backed up by a SAK and/or a multi. In the "survival kit" that I keep in my truck, mostly stuff that I have in a pouch so if suddenly find myself needing to take a hike before I melt down, I keep a Marble Trout and Bird knife- does that count?

"Even if it is only the handful of people I meet on the street, or in my home, I can still protect them with this one sword" Kenshin Himura

Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility, Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on it's own dunghill.

Necessity is the mother of invention. If you're not ready, it's "a mother". If you are, it's "mom".
No Life Club Posts: 1,657 Shop smart, shop S-Mart.
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 03:07:44 AM »
A brain is the best survival tool you can have, everything else is icing on the cake.

Mike

Common sense ..... so rare, it's virtually a super power.
Full Member Posts: 209 Mary had a little lamb. With mint jelly and mashed
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2012, 03:32:23 AM »
Yea but...

Survival Knife! 1980s TV Commercial

 :rofl:

I gotta admit, 420 molecular steel sounds a lot better than steel without molecules...

"They are the best-selling knives of its kind ever sold by us..."

Grant nailed it.  In a "smurf" attack situation, I want a really heavy sturdy blade that will put up with a lot of abuse.  I can't imagine a situation where my "survival" was in question, that my first priority is taking out a hook and 20ft of 10 pound test out of a chinese plastic handle and going trout fishing.  Even as hungry as I always seem to be.  I'd be better served dumping out the useless crap in the handle, putting an silicone o-ring on the cap, and filling it to the brim with Jack Daniels.

YMMV.  Thanks for the retro laugh.

best-

-steve

[
Hero Member Posts: 699
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2012, 03:38:44 AM »
To me the whole idea of a big knife for chopping wood is like getting a big car with a huge trunk to haul lots of stuff home from the hardware store. It works if you're into big cars but a truck is even better. Even a small truck works better than a big car and an ax works better than any knife. I spend a lot of time in the woods and have never found any knife bigger than a SAK to be necessary except for dressing large game and even then it's always an H1 or other short hunting knife just for the simple fact that it's a fixed blade.

I have a few Fiskars and Estwing hatchets and a large Estwing axe. The Fiskars goes with me for chopping and the big ax stays at camp for firewood duty. I noticed early on that the older experienced guys carried a pocket knife and a hatchet in the woods and the young guys all fawned over the big knives.

As far as what's needed to survive? There was a time when we got by with half a brain, a worn set of teeth and a sharp rock.

Sent from my Glock 23 using Doubletaptalk
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,594
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2012, 03:41:40 AM »
Also I recall you need a expensive subscription with SPOT for it to work, and your request for assistance is sent to the company, who then try to pass it to your country's emergency service.

For Canuks there is this, which while more expensive doesn't need yearly subscription, has something like ten times the transmission power than SPOT, and is directly monitored by the canadian rescue service. I'm sure other countries have something similar.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,837 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2012, 04:13:33 AM »
In the right hands any knife is a survival knife, but it only becomes a survival knife when you actually need it for survival ... even if you just improvised it from a tin can lid. If all went wrong I'd still want a knife over and above a primary urban survival kit (phone and wallet). If I was cold and wet I'd still want to get a fire going to get warm and dry till help came, or cut my clothing so I could dress a wound or improvise a bandage, or harvest a stick to get to a better location close by (nearby shelter), or .....

You can be pretty sure the knife I'd have on me wouldn't have been marketed as a survival knife though. It would be a SAK or a multitool, or maybe even a 4" puuko. If I had a small axe or folding saw, all the better.

I'm hoping to get a Chris Caine Survival Tool before too long. Simple reason is it looks like a damn good tool which I could make good use of ... not to lug around with me waiting for the world to end



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Full Member Posts: 206
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2012, 05:59:36 AM »
I also lean toward the Smurfs hitting the Fan mentality.    In the coming smurf apocalipse, I can think of plenty of smurf swatting, and splttering tools , I want on my belt.

Ever wandered into a smurf village?  Those little varmits, draw blood, and when theres like a million of em crawing up your legs, they manage to get itno everything evan when you think your'e secure and have blocked outside acess to "creatures of the forest.

They like to swarm up on you too.  They may be small but they can be vicious little buggers, in a pack .So don't get Lazy. Be on the alert no matter how Sleepy , you may get.

Sure you can stomp em into smurf soup, but a pair of steel toe boots is only gonna stomp, or boot so many smurfs , before your swimmin up smurf creek, and we all know how impossible that stuff is to get out.

Above all be prepared, or else your smurfed.
Full Member Posts: 209 Mary had a little lamb. With mint jelly and mashed
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2012, 07:55:18 AM »
I also lean toward the Smurfs hitting the Fan mentality. 
...
Above all be prepared, or else your smurfed.

You gotta give the little blue guys some credit.  As far as I know, there has only been ONE smurf woman.

I'm no savant but I gotta beleive that the situation does create a lot of smurf angst and smurf testosterone (smurfosterone ?) so your average "Joe" smurf has a lot of baggage and anger.

Not like I get laid regular or anything, but at least there's several billion women rejecting me, as opposed to the one and only.

Survival Knife Indeed.   :o

-steve

[
No Life Club Posts: 1,276
Survival Knives
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2012, 03:02:13 PM »
(Image removed from quote.)

How many of these guys met their end when the saws broke, the compasses were dry, the fishing line broke and the matches got wet thanks to those awesome survival knives?

I had three of those survival knives- who else is sad enough to admit having one?   :whistle:

Def
I think we're actually on the same page. I have yet to leave my avalanche beacon home so I have room for a survival knife.

Yup I had one of those too but I was 12yo so I don't feel too bad. Pretty sure I had to pay more than this $10 deal though...


Stay multi my friends
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,458 Gone

dks cy

********* *
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2012, 06:04:39 PM »
Now let me point out that Bear actually uses a knife, whereas Les who is coming out with the new line of knives uses multiools, so really Les putting his name on a MT and Bear on a knife would have been more convincing.. Oh, Bear did come out with a knife, which he does use on his show. Les? Maybe he will dump his multitool and use a knife in the next series.

Most people (in their dream world) assume survival means killing animals and people so as to survive. Think Rambo First Blood (all Rambo films are great, period  :salute:). Chopping down trees, with a single chop etc..

So with no gun you need a big, Crocodile Dundee style, knife or a Rambo knife.

If survival just means being able to make it in the forest, without anything actually hunting you down to kill you, for a few hours or days and possibly making some repairs to equipment then a SAK or a MT is more useful.

Oh, I have a Rambo 80s knife or two.. I think they were really cheap at the time, everybody had them and were sold everywhere… I do not know of anybody actually using them but their gadget factor was quite high.
 :D
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 06:06:44 PM by dks »

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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No Life Club Posts: 2,901
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2012, 07:25:43 PM »
Count me in the SAK / MT crowd for this.  If I was lost in the woods, on a desert island, that sort of thing, the tool I'd want more than any other would be my Work Champ.  After that a small axe or hatchet. 

One tool I've come to consider essential for a lost in the wilderness, stay alive until you're found kind of situation is a wood rasp.  I've taken a couple of 'primitive skills' outdoor classes, and learned how to build basic shelters, find water, make and use a fire bow, etc.  Let me tell you, making a lean-to is a LOT easier if you have a tool like a rasp or a saw to notch the poles, or to cut a groove in a hearth block to use with a fire bow, and so on.  I've also found one can be quite useful for making a fire bow. 

That's why I'd want my Work Champ more than any other tool; for the kinds of tasks you'd be doing to make a temporary shelter, and so on, I think the saw and file would be a lot more useful than the blade.

On the 'survival celebrity' front, I'm not much of a fan of Les and I despise Grylls.  I'm a Cody Lundin fan...  I think he's absolutely right when he says the more you know, the less equipment you need.  He usually gets by with nothing more than a small fixed blade.  Don't know what it is, but it looks a lot like a Mora or one of those small bushcraft knives.

The first Noble Truth: life is suffering.  Only by accepting that fact can we transcend it.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,345
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2012, 08:04:01 PM »
Cody Lundin uses a Frost Mora carbon steel Classic No.2. :)
No Life Club Posts: 2,577 There is no spoon
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2012, 08:12:44 PM »
Yea, if you get his book he spends a whole chapter on the Mora.
 

Never underestimate the power of the fleece
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,345
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2012, 08:16:45 PM »
Yea, if you get his book he spends a whole chapter on the Mora.

The sequel, When All Hell Breaks Loose, is good, too. :tu:
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,458 Gone

dks cy

********* *
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2012, 08:25:10 PM »
He must not be selling many books... Uses a plain knife and can not even afford to buy shoes...

 :D

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,497 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2012, 11:14:04 PM »
Not all that surprising, my parents prevented me from getting one of those Rambo "survival" knives in the early 80's. I haven't bought one since either.

Whenever I go out into the forest, I always bring my older Schrade Navitool. It has a built in compass, a nice array of fold out tools, and more importantly, a compartment that will hold a Bic lighter, or whatever you want to stash in there. It is a bit bulky, but I like it for what it does...insurance for those SHTF moments.

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Hero Member Posts: 618
Re: Survival Knives
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2012, 12:23:28 AM »
I've got an old book from the 70's on survival. It's by an Australian fellow named Graves. Quite a thorough book with rope weaving, lacing branches and even how to build mud houses. It's questionable how much of it would pertain to my area, but as a kid I thought it a real find. I found the part about eating cats a bit too much, but hey, when in Melbourne...

Anyway, he recommends eschewing a knife or axe for a machete for survival use. I carry one in my emergency bag in my car. God help me if a policeman ever has need to search my vehicle! :whistle:

 

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