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Knives and How to Use them for Survival

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Survival Knife Survival Knives Using

There are so many different kinds of knives available and outdoor enthusiasts will carry one or even several knives depending on the kinds of activities they are pursuing. However in a survival situation a knife has to serve a number of purposes and be able to handle things like chopping, cutting, slicing and when out hunting and fishing. A good, practical knife will usually be made out of high-carbon, spring tempered steel. Not only can this withstand heavier and more intense use, it also tends to keep its sharpness for longer.

Knife Uses

A good survival knife can serve many useful purposes. It might be used to cut cord or rope to manageable lengths for things like helping with shelter erection or to set a snare for trapping and it will often be used for cutting things like bandages to size in a first aid situation.

You can use it for making other makeshift tools out of wood, for example an arrow to act as a spear whilst out hunting. It can be used to help cut through thickets and branches if you’re trying to navigate your way out of a particular dense area of forest or for splitting wood and making shavings to start a fire. It’s also invaluable if you intend to go out hunting as you might wish to skin an animal you’ve trapped or need to gut a fish. A carbon steel knife can also be used as the ‘striker’ in the ‘spark-rod’ method of lighting a fire by natural means.

How to Use Your Knife Safely

A knife will form a crucial part of any survival kit but you need to ensure that you use it safely. You should always cut away from your body, never towards it and if you should drop your knife, let it fall to the ground as trying to catch it could cause you serious injury.

You shouldn’t run whilst carrying a knife and never point it at anybody. If you trip and fall suddenly, you could be in danger of harming yourself or others nearby. If your knife is of the folding variety, you should keep it folded away when you’re not using it or keep it in a sheath. Ensure that you only use your knife when you can clearly see what you’re doing. If there is no daylight, make sure you have a torch positioned nearby so you can carry out your task without running the risk of injuring yourself.

Remember Your Knife’s Purpose

More injuries are caused and more damage is inflicted on a knife by incorrect use. It’s important to remember what your knife is designed to do. It’s not designed to pry open lids off tins. That can not only be dangerous to you but will also damage the tip. Neither is the handle or butt designed to be a hammer. Your knife can assist you greatly during a survival situation but it is no use if you break it by using it as a substitute for another tool.

Keeping Your Knife in Good Condition

It’s important to keep the edge of your blade sharp, as a dull knife can be more dangerous than a sharp one. You shouldn’t have to exert too much pressure or use force to make a blade cut through something. Buy a sharpening stone to accompany your knife and keep your knife clean and dry.

Knives come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to buy one in person and to test holding it to see if it feels comfortable in your hand. With its multitude of uses, it certainly ranks high on the list for items that will help you cope better in a survival situation.

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