For the next three or four posts, I’m going to be showing off some of the gear I’ve recently purchased as well as some gear I picked up through the years. I don’t have a lot, as I’m just starting out with bushcraft and camping, but I’m getting there. So far, I have a survival knife, hatchet and a ferro rod. I also have a few other things, such as rope, paracord, some books and things like that, but I’ll get to all of that later on. For today and probably tomorrow, I want to show you what the three items I just mentioned look like.
So here’s the thing; I have no idea if what I own is “good” or not. New products seem to come out every day and each one is markedly cooler than the last. I would love to have a hatchet whose steel was forged on some island off an exotic coast with a wood handle what was whittled by a monk in Bangladesh, but alas, I purchased one that was made in Illinois. It’s good though, I know that.
In this post, I want to show off a pretty huge knife I bought about five years ago. I had just moved to Maine and I knew I needed something to use to protect myself while out hiking in the woods. I didn’t quite know what I was going to do with a big knife, but it was better than nothing. At the time, I had no interest in camping or anything like that. Definitely not bushcraft.
I searched through Amazon.com for a few minutes, landed on this knife’s page, read some favorable reviews and then bought it. It was sort of a no-brainer. Now that I have it, I really like it. I think I need to sharpen the blade a bit to get it to that razor sharp point I want to feel, but as it stands, it’s a great knife. For formality’s sake, it’s called the Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife. Check out this photo. I just did a little shoot in my garage. I pride myself on my photography, especially when it comes to survival knives.
Now that I’m getting into bushcraft and camping a lot more, I’m finding that I got lucky when I bought this knife. If memory serves, one of the primary reasons I picked out this one in particular was because it consisted of one piece of steel, all the way from the tip of the blade to the butt of the handle. So if I wanted to hammer this knife into or through something for one reason or another, I wouldn’t break the handle off. No matter what they say, if your knife isn’t steel all the way through, it’s going to break under abuse. Here’s a photo of the butt end of the knife. You can see the steel sandwiched between the thermoplastic elastomer handle.
Here are two more photos of this thermoplastic handle. I’m not quite sure what “thermoplastic” is, but the handle seems plenty strong. It’s solid. Here’s a photo that shows the texture of the handle.
And here’s a photo showing that steel running the entire length of the knife. I believe they call this “full tang” design.
The last time I went camping, my friend brought along his ferro rod to start the fire. I was mesmerized by this little piece of equipment, so I started looking around for my own. I eventually purchased one that I’ll discuss in a later post, but what I’d like to mention here is how the “bushcraft” knife I accidentally bought five years ago works perfectly with ferro rods. Because of its high carbon construction, the back of the blade is great for running straight down a ferro rod to obtain those coveted sparks. I tried my knife with my new ferro rod and boy did it do a good job. So I got lucky in this department. The first few times I ran the spine of the knife along the ferro rod, nothing happened. This is because I was scraping the paint off the surface. The third and fourth times though, sparks all over the place. In the image below, you can see where I scraped the paint off the rod.
Because the knife is 12.1 inches long, the blade is substantial. It measures in at 6.4 inches, so it’s just longer than half of the entire knife. I remember when I first bought this knife, I ran it straight through a piece of paper. It was extremely sharp and I was very happy about that. I’m sure it’s dulled through the years, so I’ll need to sharpen it up a bit. Take a look at the blade.
And finally, this knife came with a very decent sheath. There’s a spot to slide a belt through and it’s got some cords down near the bottom of it so you can tie them around your leg. This way, the sheath won’t bounce around as you’re walking or running. Or fighting a bear. A handy storage pouch is included in this sheath as well.
Overall, I’m happy with this purchase. For just under $40, I think it was a deal. Back when I bought it, I never thought I’d actually be using it, but now that I have it, I’m glad I do.
Do you own a survival knife? If so, what do you have? I’d love to know. There are many varieties of knives available and if I could, I’d buy them all. A man can never have too many knives.