If you have ever spent a decent amount of time in the wilderness, you know exactly how important it is to have a good knife. A knife can help start a fire, cut down foliage, aid in preparing a meal, or even function as a last ditch line of defense. If you ever plan on going camping or hunting, purchasing good survival knives should be one of the first acts that you take. However, there are a number of different models on the market at any given time, and a quick purchase can often lead to long term regrets. Before buying a blade, first consider its construction, its usage, and its features.
As with any piece of survival equipment, one must always be concerned with the actual construction of a piece. There are a number of knives on the market that claim to be “survival knives” or “hunting knives”, but they are nothing more than overpriced kitchen knives. Knowing the difference between a well-constructed knife and a poor knock off can actually be the difference between life and death, so make sure to check your products carefully. A good knife should follow a few basic rules, especially if it is going to be used frequently.
First, the blade of the knife needs to be able to keep an edge. If the blade is going to go dull quickly, it is more or less useless for serious use. If it cannot be resharpened relatively easily, the dulled blade may as well be thrown away. Almost as important is how well the blade is attached to the handle – the last thing one wants in a survival situation is for the entire product to come apart, leaving one in the unenviable position of having to use a naked blade.
Second, one should try to keep in mind their specific usage of the knife. A knife that is going to be used primarily for slaughtering game (generally, a hunting knife) is going to need different characteristics than one that will be used to hack through foliage. Try to keep in mind that not all knives are made for the same purposes, and try to look for a brand that suits your specific purpose. If you are not sure of exactly what you need, consider purchasing an “all purpose” knife. It may not be perfect for any given situation, but it will generally get the job done.
Finally, try to keep in mind that the features of a knife are an important selling point. Some brands pride themselves on being light or easy to carry, while others feature a number of accessories on the hilt of the blade. What any given camper or hunter needs is going to be dependent on their individual situation, so make sure to look at a number of brands before buying. Try to remember that accessories and extra features are not nearly as important as the blade itself, but that these features can separate a good blade from the perfect blade.