The question arose regarding what I felt was the most valuable piece of my kit that I was not able to reproduce in the wild and why. Since I had to provide it in essay format I wanted to share “My Knife”. Enjoy!
I chose my knife as being the single most important item in the kit, not just because it is the hardest to reproduce from natural materials but because of the comfort. A rock may be broken in half and then a bi-lateral surface section chipped off again and this will make a knife for a survival situation. The issue with this is I live in an area where I am able to find a river rock, and not just granite and create a knife, but it does not give me the comfort of a go-to item for my kit.
When it comes to my kit, I want to know that I have dependable items. Items that are solid made and will last long enough to get me out of the situation I am in whether voluntary or involuntary. My LT Wright Bushcrafter will cut most anything I put in front of it and has proven itself to cut many branches, make feather sticks, cut plants, skin animals, and even material in order to make char cloth.
Recently, it has been used for skinning a rabbit and an opossum at both the broader scale and when I needed to get into the finer aspects of skinning. I could use it to easily penetrate the stomach lining but light enough not to rupture anything that would spoil the meat. The fine work came when I was reminded that I was to save the furs. I was able to carefully go around the limbs, head, and tails because of the shape of the tip as well as the sharpness.
When I first received my Bushcrafter, I worked on a Try Stick based off of the challenge from Mors Kochanski. I found that it worked really well in producing the cuts and notches that I desired and that could be used in many situations. I continually use it for carving both log cabin notches and what I call bail hook or pot hook notches. While spoon and spatula carving is much easier with a different style of knife, my Bushcrafter will still help me produce a useable camp tool. This is comforting to know that I can produce what I truly need in the bush as well as anything that can help me “smooth it”.
This lesson has caused me to question whether I could chop something with my Bushcrafter other than vegetables or meats. That being said I decided to take my knife outside and put it to the test. As I mentioned above regarding carving spoons, an ax or hatchet may be better suited for chopping trees, logs, or branches, but this will get the job done. I can easily chop small diameter trees with no issues and larger ones with a baton. As for splitting logs to create smalls and other sizes for firewood, I am limited by the blade length but not so much I cannot accomplish my tasks. I realize that a larger diameter takes a little creativity for me to attack it such as splitting a quarter off of a log as opposed to splitting it straight down the middle first.
In the end the result is simple and facts are facts. While a Mora, a FlexJack, a camp ax, or even a larger PKS style knife may work for specific areas that are required for survival, my LT. Wright Bushcrafter will accomplish the tasks that I feel will get me through a survival situation and certainly help make me comfortable on normal outdoor adventures.
Use your instincts to survive