The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
There is a school of thought that says two is one and one is none. I first heard this from the movie G.I. Jane. It may be a movie, but since I seriously got into the knife collecting and survivalist culture I realized that a lot of experts and sources actually advocate this kind of thinking.
Another school of thought that I crossed was that your tactical knife should not be your utility knife. There are two major reasons given for this: a) tactical knives are sometimes near impossible to use in a utility function, and b) utility knives get beat up a lot and tend to be abused, something you don’t want to do to a knife that is designated as the one to save your life.
Now obviously we are talking about urban survival and suburban living here so the other outdoor school of the hunting knife as “the one knife” cannot hold true. If we could all carry around ten inch knives in the city and to work, then we wouldn’t have to worry too much now do we. As I don’t think
anyone can argue that a bowie can serve both as survival and tactical quite easily. Though a secondary back-up smaller survival knife like a Becker Necker or a RAT Izula, sorry ESEE Izula, would be a great idea my frontiersmen friends. Just in case right?
So based on that, how many knives should one carry? Five.
Okay, so that may be too many for some, but please understand that I am not asking you to tote five swords. When I said knives I meant just that, knives. But each of these must be able to back-up the other and perform specific duties and back those up as well.
I am no expert and I did not claim to be. But I am just speaking plainly here. Based on the school of two is one and one is none, and the school of thought that a tactical knife is not a utility knife, five would be the minimum on your person.
Here is a breakdown of the five. One tactical, its back-up and a hold-out. One utility, its back-up and a hold-out. Obviously the hold-out for both can be one knife, thus five.
Also, it is suggested that your knife must be able to do the following in a pinch: light pry, strike a flint, food prep, do woodwork, cut light wire, turn screws, be used as a spear tip, be used as a hammer.
Since we have five knives, you can spread these needed abilities among them. So, based on the extra requirements, we need the following knives: a flat long fixed blade, an uncoated blade, a straight edge, one that can handle batoning, one that has steel that can cut copper wires, a thin spine, a fat blade, a flat strong handle.
This is where it becomes obvious why hunters use what they carry. One good knife can do all of these.
As an example, here is my TO&E on my person every time I go out. A fixed blade four inch kwaiken in a kydex sheath in my boot by Lucas Burnley in D2 steel, a Spyderco Tenacious with combi-edge, a SAK Classic attached to my single LED AA flashlight with a key ring, a Spyderco Bug in a
small pocket in my cellphone pouch, a S&W Tactical Pen.
To round it out, I also carry a Zippo, and a disposable lighter. In my bag is a basic survival tin, and a multi-tool. To augment, if the security situation allows it, I also carry a Cold Steel Kobun. More on that next time.
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