Other than water and shelter, the single most important item to have in the wilderness may be a knife. This versatile tool, which can save your life in a variety of ways, has a single, fixed blade, unlike a folding knife.
If your survival knife features a strong blade made of durable steel, it can perform a wide range of essential tasks for you. Here are 7 of them:
To cut wood – A sturdy knife can cut branches and split wood into kindling. For thicker wood, hit the back of the blade with a branch as you hold the knife against the surface.
To protect yourself – We never know what type of people or animals we’re going to meet in the woods, or how they will feel about our presence there. Your knife can serve to protect yourself from both.
To build a shelter – Start by cutting evergreen boughs on the ground for padding, then cut bigger branches off a tree to build your lean-to. Other leafy branches you can cut will help protect you from the elements.
To dig – A shovel is your first choice for digging, but if you don’t have one, use a knife to dig a small hole for sanitary purposes, as well as to find grubs for eating or worms for fishing bait.
To start a fire – Your knife will be the perfect tool for collecting fire-starting materials by stripping bark off a tree or branch, or shaving dry branches.
To construct tools – There are a number of tools you can make with a knife, including a spear, fishhooks and traps. Use a sturdy stick with the width of a broom handle and sharpen the end with your knife to make a spear to catch fish and small game.
To fashion first-aid items – A knife can be used to cut material into strips for bandages or tourniquets, or to cut branches into splints.
What kind of survival knife do you take into the woods? What are some of the tasks that you use it for? Has having a survival knife ever saved your life?