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Choosing the Right Survival Knife for Outdoor Adventures

Written by Fiona

August 22 2018

Do you know how you would cope in true wilderness, where your ability to survive against a range of dangers is required. Not many people ever face tis kind of wilderness situation but there are still many lessons to be learned from a wilderness survival course. The next step is making sure you have the right tools, including a knife. This is a guide to choosing the right outdoors knife.

To ensure you will choose the best gear for your outdoor adventures, it’s recommended you first learn a thing or two about what features a good survival knife should have. The experts at Reviews Outdoor are well versed in the art of outdoor survival, so make sure you study the pros and cons of each model before committing.

What knife will you choose?: Credit: Air Force Special Operations Command

Tips and Hacks

1.    Know your blades

The first thing you really need to look at is the knife’s blade. There are two types of blade designs – straight and serrated. Knives with straight blades are better for chopping wood and can be sharpened against any stone. On the other hand, knives with serrated blades are great at sawing things, but you’ll still need to bring along a special tool to sharpen it.

What about the blade’s material? Some argue that stainless steel blades are far superior to carbon blades. It’s true to a degree because knives with stainless steel blade fare better against the elements and are virtually unbreakable. However, they need to be sharpened on a regular basis. Carbon blades are low-maintenance but can easily fall apart if they are subject to extreme weather conditions, like heavy rain.

On more thing about blades is length. As a rule of thumb, the ideal length for a survival blade is between 6 to 9 inches. Anything smaller than that would render the knife useless for tasks like chopping, dicing or slicing. Of course, there are the more hardcore blades (between 9 and 12 inches), but they’re kind of heavy and not that comfortable to carry around. It’s what survivalists’ lingo refers to as “an overkill”.

2.    Inspect the tang

The worst possible scenario when you’re wild side is for your survival knife to fall into pieces. To prevent that from happening, inspect the knife’s tang with great care. For your information, the tang is the area that goes right down to the handle.

High-quality knives are made from a single piece of stainless or carbon, meaning that the tang is part of the blade. However, lower quality knives have the tang place inside the handle and the blade glued or screwed in place. Remember that the tang is what gives the blade its strength.

A Schrade knife.

3.    Type of Handle

As you probably know, knives, in general, have all manner of handles. Some are made from wood, others from bone or rubber and even leather. Although there’s no foolproof method of choosing the perfect handle for your knife, being mostly a matter of personal preference, we do advise you to hold the knife to see if the handle feels comfortable or not.

Handles should be comfortable, durable and waterproof. It would also be a good idea to pick a survival knife that has a blade guard (protection for your hand).

4.    Sheath

There are three sheath styles, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The most popular sheath is the lower attachments model, which has a hole or some other thing at the end that allows attaching the knife to your belt or backpack.

The second type of sheath features a lanyard attachment (a loop that allows you to wear the knife around your neck). A lanyard attachment is great for smaller knives, but totally useless for bigger ones.

The last type of sheath is called a strap. Basically, the knife goes into the sheath and it’s covered by a thin piece of material, locked in place with a bolt. You need only pop the bolt and the knife slides right out.

You may also want a saw for your adventure. For this purpose, a folding saw is recommended, but a hacksaw can also work pretty well.

We hope all this advice will help you to buy a knife that will be great for using on your next outdoors trip.

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