A good survival knife is more than a piece of equipment. This is the best friend, helper, sometimes the last hope to survive in the wild. A good knife can bring invaluable benefits to any extreme and “survivalist.” The best survival knife is the one that has the most excellent use in the area where the user is. Maximum strength and functionality should come first.
What is a survival knife?
“Survival knife” is a somewhat controversial term since no exact concept distinguishes it from the signs of cold weapons. The designation of such a knife as a weapon for survival in an aggressive environment is widespread, i.e., protection from the attack of the beast, food, creating other conditions to keep yourself alive in extreme conditions (making a fire, building a shelter, making tools, navigating the place). According to GOST R No. 51548-2000 “Survival knives,” a distinctive feature of this tool is the presence of a handle capable of performing economic functions. It often turns out that these same functions are usually optional and completely unnecessary. What should be the tool for survival in the wild? More on this later. Which knife is the best for survival? Well and adequately selected survival weapons must meet the following criteria:
A useful survival tool doesn’t have to be bulky. A large knife is difficult to handle due to its weight. The blade’s optimal length should be 10-15 cm – this size allows you to work with a knife conveniently. A longer blade will only add extra weight. The total size of a knife should not exceed 25 cm. In any case, a survival expert will always take a machete or hatchet and a folding multitool with him, so the best knives do not need large dimensions or additional small blades.
Cold steel Survival implements are usually made of stainless steel or carbon metal. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and requires little maintenance, but is difficult to sharpen and wears out quickly. In the absence of a special coating, carbon steel is rusted if not used for a long time. The best material for making a blade is a metal composition with added chromium or vanadium.
A quality tool should be made of durable metal, have a one-piece structure, to which the plates are attached to form a comfortable handle. This method of mounting the handle is called plate-like when the shank is lined on both sides with overlays that follow the shape of the handle. There is another method of mounting the knife handle – this is the rider method, in which the handle has a longitudinal hole and is pushed onto a narrow shank with it. The narrow shank makes the tool compact and lighter. The disadvantage of these two design methods is that over time, under the influence of strong loads, the shank will begin to “walk” inside the handle. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a knife, a one-piece construction, with a handle, which can always be tied with a rope for convenience.
A good knife should have a non-slip handle. This is important during use so that the implementation does not slip out of your hands.
The end must be firm and level so that, on occasion, it can be used as a hammer or grinder. The rounded end will deprive the tool of some functionality.
A priori, the blade should be sharp and not rounded, angular, etc. A spear-shaped blade will always better protect against an attack by an animal or a person. Also, such a blade is convenient for use as a homemade weapon, such as a spear. It is convenient to carry out small work with such a blade – to clean nuts, fish, drill holes, repair clothes, make traps and baits, in a word, do anything that will create difficulties when using a rounded, thick point.
The blade is smooth and maybe serrated (serrated blade). The full serrated blade is not recommended as it is not intended for chopping and carving. Also, it is difficult to maintain and clogs up quickly. This is a disadvantage when used intensively under challenging conditions. The sleek blade is ideal for most survival situations, easy to sharpen, and requires no special maintenance.
The ideal blade thickness should be at least 4 mm but not more than 6.5 mm.
Sharpening the blade
The double-edged blade is not suitable for most survival tasks. The blade must be sharpened on one side and straight down. Such a design will help cut off the bark for making a fire, the skin of animals when cooking, chopping wood, and chopping brushwood. Which knives are not suitable for survival purposes? Untrained survivors should avoid knives imposed by marketers and stereotypes about a tool to resist an aggressive environment. First, you should avoid knives that are too large. As mentioned above, a large tool is extra weight, cumbersome, and inconvenient to use.
It is also impossible for them to perform the small detailed work necessary for the needs of survival.
Secondly, you don’t need to choose a tool with two cutting edges. It is unsafe in transit, and the use of such weapons is usually not cutting but piercing. The advantage of these knives is usually weak and breaks frequently. Thirdly, you should avoid purchasing knives with hollow handles, which are sold in stores and are positioned as a means of survival. These pens contain the minimum survival kit, usually a compass, matches, a clothing repair kit, fishing tackle. Undoubtedly, many of the items included in the composition inside the handle will be useful for survival, but: if you lose a knife, you will also be left without them. NAZ can be placed in another, more suitable and convenient place, Hollow-handled tools are very vulnerable in their attachment points and have low strength. See also: How to make an ax
Best survival folding knife.
Military survival kit
The military survival kit is usually standard for all branches of the military. The differences relate to some specific items, for example, for pilots, sailors, astronauts. So, for instance, NAZ of pilots and crews of aircraft, aircraft includes the following content:
Communication and distress signaling equipment
This is a radio station with a battery, an electric torch, a whistle, a signal mirror, signal cartridges, a dye for water, a radio beacon.
Supply of food and water
Canned food with meat content, refined sugar, salt, caramel, water.
Medical first aid kit Bandage, iodine, adhesive plaster, caffeine tablets, mosquito repellent, pantocid, chloramphenicol, sulfamedizin, promedol, morphine, frying pan packaging.
Pistol cartridges, compass, hacksaw, wire, saw, windproof or waterproof matches, dry fuel, can opener, plastic flask, fishing tackle, filter glasses. Another configuration option may contain a machete knife, a woolen hat, a stock of cartridges for hunting. Depending on the terrain over which you are flying, an emergency survival kit may include:
Skis for snowy terrain.
Two 1.5 liter water cans for waterless areas.
If flights are made over the sea – a boat or a raft with a water signal dye package, 10 pcs—briquettes for water desalination.
The weight of NAZ can be from 10 to 18 kg. It depends on the configuration.
Forest survival kit
A set of necessary items for tourists and “survivalists” should be light not to get tired of carrying with them, waterproof so as not to deteriorate in the rain or when crossing a pond, and also durable for any mechanical stress. A forest survival kit should include:
Means for lighting a fire: dry fuel, matches, kerosene, lighter, flint. Better to put some lighters, flint, hunting matches. A magnifying glass will help you make fire without matches using a directional beam of sunlight.
Knife. You cannot do without this tool in the forest. In the absence of an ax or saw, they can cut branches for a fire, shave off the bark, open canned food, and get food. It must be strong, hardened steel.
A small block to sharpen your knife.
Instant glue. Not every brand can withstand moisture, but it takes up very little space and sometimes saves the situation.
A multitool is a necessary thing for a “survivalist” in the forest. It does not replace a full-fledged knife, but it contains a lot of essential tools that will be useful for obtaining water and food, building a hut, lighting a fire, repairing clothes and shoes. These are various mini-screwdrivers, files, scissors, hooks, corkscrews, and more.
Means for making the distress signal:
- A small rocket launcher.
- Two rubber balls of bright orange color.
- The mirror (it will need to supply light signals).
Flashlight with a set of batteries, a candle. Better to use an LED flashlight with a metal case.
Minimum dishes: a pot, a bowl. The aluminum pot is lightweight and heats up quickly. Better to have two utensils – one for food and one for water.
The minimum set of medicines: bandage, gauze, iodine, plaster, pain reliever, antipyretic agent, tourniquet, hydrogen peroxide, remedy for pain in the heart, abdomen, drugs for heartburn and nausea. Also, you may always need scissors, furacilin, ethyl alcohol, and a remedy for burns. We must not forget about antibacterial agents, because you can always get hurt and get blood poisoning. If there is an allergy to anything, antihistamines should be added and individual medicines for existing diseases.
A simple, black lead pencil with a set of colorful stickers.
Potassium permanganate for water filtration or carbon filter.
When planning a trip to places where poisonous snakes or insects are found, it is necessary to equip the first aid kit with an antidote. This will be superfluous if there are no snakes where you are going. The main rule of the survival kit is maximum practicality with minimum size. For survival in the forest in winter, the emergency stock is slightly different in its configuration.
Lighters are generally useless in winter. A chisel replaces them with a flint, there should be a couple of them in the set. Be sure to take a spare set of warm clothing with you, including a hat and shoes.
The kit should include a thick plastic wrap measuring two by three meters, or even more. In an extreme case, she will help build a hut, protect it from wind or snow. It is better to replace the rope, which can break from frost, with a wire to fasten the made housing. A small sharp shovel or ax are indispensable things in the winter forest. How to make a survival kit There are several rules for self-assembly of a survival kit: firstly, if anything can perform only one function, you can safely leave it at home. Neither the tourist nor the “survivalist” needs extra weight. The same applies to things that are a pity to lose, spoil, etc. When assembling your survival kit, remember that first of all, you need things that come in handy: For the construction of a dwelling and its heating; Extraction of food and water; Hygiene; First aid. To create a DIY survival kit, the first step is to take care of a suitable container. It should be small, comfortable to carry, waterproof, and durable. You can use a can of tea or coffee or a case from under the camera. The second option is more convenient since it has a fastener, a carrying strap, attachments to a belt, and its material protects the contents from getting water inside.
Before making a set, everything is free-flowing and capable of deforming when wet. The contents of the container must be laid out in small bags with a plastic fastener. Further completed:
Medicines are put into one of the bags: streptocide, activated carbon, individual preparations, “Zvezdochka” balm, and other medicines listed above.
Small compass (you don’t need to pack it).
Cotton wool, bandage.
Fishing set: several hooks, a skein of fishing line, wire, sinker.
A set of needles with thread, pins.
They can be put inside the housing from a ballpoint pen and plugged with a stopper.
Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide
A small mirror, magnifying glass.
Multitool knife, stationery.
The blade can be detached from the handle by inserting it inside. When unfolding, the hacksaw is inserted into the handle and fixed with a bolt.
Batteries Soap Means for kindling: flint, tinder, several lighters, paraffin candle.
Emergency survival kit
The Rescue Pod is a mini extreme survival kit. It is placed in a special sealed container, worn around the neck or other accessible place. Such a capsule will help a person to escape if he breaks away from the group. You can hold out with it for several days until a way out of an extreme situation is found or until help arrives in time. Just in case, it is better to have several microcapsules located in different places; this will ensure survival in almost any circumstance. The rescue capsule is usually made the size of a medical syringe or more and contains:
Medicines: sumamed, ketarol, nitroglycerin, aquatabs.
A sewing needle wrapped in thread.
A blade from a small knife or scalpel.
Pair of hunting matches Fishing set: 9 pcs. Sinkers, hooks, jigs.
A tube or bag of chili, with potassium permanganate, salt.
Two banknotes of 500 rubles.
Several rubber bands for banknotes.
Outside, the rescue capsule is wrapped with several meters of surgical thread, duct tape, or adhesive tape.
A five-meter long fishing line is wound on top.