The best all-around survival/bushcraft knife? Well, there isn’t one single tool that can do it all. But a selection of three different tools can. Here are two experts’ opinions on what you need.
by Leon Pantenburg
In the 1880s, “Nessmuk” was the by-line of stories penned by George Washington Sears for Forest and Stream magazine, according to KnivesShipFree.com. The Massachusetts native wrote of camping and paddling in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. His 1884 landmark book, Woodcraft, has never gone out of print.
Horace Kephart followed Nessmuk chronologically. Also a contributor to Forest and Stream, his articles were gathered into Camping and Woodcraft, first published in 1906. Kephart is best known for his writings of the Smokies of western North Carolina.
Both of these men carried a trio of cutting implements, designed to handle every woodcraft needs, from fine wood carving, to cleaning fish and small game to chopping down small trees. These consisted of a folding pocket knife, rigid blade sheath knife and a small hatchet.
This concept works. My personal bushcraft/hunting/survival trio consists of a Swiss Army Tinker, Mora-style knife and generally a folding saw. If I’m hunting or fishing, the only difference is that the rigid blade might be a hunting or fillet knife. This selection has worked well for me.
Sears and Kephart made their cutlery choices based on hard use and experience. To learn more about them and read the rest of this story, click on KnivesShipFree.com.