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What knife do you carry backpacking?
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Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
"What knife do you carry backpacking?" on 01/03/2010 20:58:40 MST Print View


I believe it was Mors Kochanski that would do a demonstartion where he would pound a Mora into a tree and then stand on it to prove they were not weak knives.


John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Moras are not full tang on 01/03/2010 21:28:05 MST Print View


I have not been steered away from Cody Lundin's books. I agree with you about "98.6 Degrees" being a great book.

Notice how I sign my posts. I have adopted and modified to suit my purpose the motto "Party On" from his book.

Party On ! 2010 is in reference to the two week section hike on the AT that my hiking partner "Lazarus" and his son "Hoss" intend to do this summer. When I first used this closing I figured people would confuse it with the coming of the new year.

I guess I should thank Cody Lundin also for his inspiration that brought about the use of this closing. Cody, "Party On" is yours. Party On ! 2010 is just my way of saying that because of reading your book I feel that I will be much better prepared for my longest duration hike to date.

Thanks again Joseph

Party On ! 2010


Edited by Newton on 01/03/2010 21:38:58 MST.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Moras are not full tang on 01/03/2010 21:38:26 MST Print View


What section will you be hiking this summer?


John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Moras are not full tang :-) on 01/03/2010 21:43:55 MST Print View


We'll be starting out a little North of Erwin, TN and hopefully end up in Damascus, VA.

Party On ! 2010


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: "What knife do you carry backpacking?" on 01/03/2010 22:20:39 MST Print View

Joseph wrote: "I believe it was Mors Kochanski that would do a demonstartion where he would pound a Mora into a tree and then stand on it to prove they were not weak knives."

Yeah-- good way to end up carving your ankle! The link below shows a teenager doing the same thing. He does some impressive batoning too. I'll stay with cutting some cheese and a little whittling :)

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Mora carnage on 01/03/2010 22:31:30 MST Print View

A few more of Mora's greatest hits:

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
"What knife do you carry backpacking?" on 01/03/2010 22:34:45 MST Print View


I have never done that section. I have done Davenport Gap(end of the Smokies) to Erwin though. I was just made partner at work and will be getting married in the spring, so work and honeymoon will make longer trips impossible. Hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip.


Daniel Conway
(JustDan) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Knife on 01/04/2010 02:38:42 MST Print View

Benchmade 530

I was initially worried about the durability of the knife, hasn't let me down yet.

Edited by JustDan on 01/04/2010 02:39:24 MST.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
No Knife on 01/04/2010 14:59:55 MST Print View

If I was going to carry a small knife then a Wenger Esquire.

If my backpacking incorporated hunting then a very sharp Helle.Helle

+1 on Ragnar at

Edited by pappekak on 05/19/2010 00:38:08 MDT.

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
UL spliting knife and wood saw on 01/30/2010 08:06:05 MST Print View


I realized I never followed up here.

I've settled on some pretty good UL solutions for processing wood for my wood gas stove for winter camping.

1.89 oz knife
1.89oz knife

1.2oz bow saw blade
improvising a bow saw

== purpose built ==

The primary reason for these tools is processing wood for my wood stove for winter hiking / bike touring and camping.

They are admittedly not necessities as my wood gas stove can burn smaller sticks and twigs for cooking.

However since I also use the stove for warmth and light I felt I can justify the extra 3.09 ounces.

I will not be using these tools every night, just when I have the time / energy or need dictates

They will certainly come in handy when wood is wet.

In short... This is 3.09 ounces dedicated to fun and better enjoyment of the winter camping experience.

== the knife ==

The shape of the blade is inspired by the Leuku knife, also sometimes called a Sami knife. It is however much smaller then these knives which were usually made from truck leaf springs.

Unlike the blades that inspired it this blade is much to light for chopping action and so primarily will be used with a baton.

The curve of the blade is specifically designed to put the fulcrum as far out toward the tip as possible so when hitting the tip with a baton the energy transfers directly into the wood and not back into the handle.

If the fulcrum were near the handle then when you hit the knife tip with a baton it would transfer energy back up into the handle. This is how hilts get broken.

== materials ==

The knife is made from an unconventional source. A scrapper / putty knife.

I used this material for it's durability as the primary use of the knife is splitting wood with a baton.

I'm completely confident it won't break, worst case scenario is it will bend. So far it has been more then sufficiently Strong enough to take the abuse of batoning.

In sharpening it I did get it very sharp. Sharp enough to slice through a sheet of paper anyway, but I'm not sure how long it will hold this edge given it's stainless steel and not tempered/ hardened like a normal knife.

Fine sharpness is however really secondary and unnecessary to the knifes splitting power.

That said it can be used making feather sticks and food preparation which it seems to have no problem with.

Will see how it keeps its edge over the long term.

== two specialty knives vs. one all purpose ==

So... The idea behind this knife is that it's lighter to carry two specialty knives then one all in one wonder.

In fact I question weather any knife can handle the range of activities from cutting wood to doing more detailed work like food prep, whittling, etc.

Right now I'm also carrying a Micro-leatherman which I've always carried.

I do question weather I'll even need it with this new knife. The only other thing I really use on the leatherman is the scissors and I could potentially put some ultralight folding scissors in my emergency kit with my sewing thread.

== bow saw blade ==

First of all the blade does only weigh about 1.2oz with the two key chain rings I use for quickly improvising a bow.

Secondly it requires actually only two cuts and a couple minutes to improvise a good bow for the blade. This is an excellent example of how skill and experience trump gadgets. No Sven saw or Wyoming saw is necessary.

Some might call this a bush craft approach. Indeed I once saw a video of Ray Mears carrying a bow saw blade in his "billy can".

What's more the bow itself only weighs about 7-8 ounces so it's really not a big deal if I do decide simply break down the saw and carry the bow with me as well.

I don't suspect that this is the sort of tool I'll be using every night, but since the blade is only 1.2oz and the gives me the flexibility to take or carry the bow I needn't fret over the issue. It'll work itself out over time.

== sheath ==

No sheathes yet.

Recently I've just been wrapping them in some plastic which works fine, but isn't sexy. The bow saw blade can also roll up in a larger bottom pot (i.e 5" diameter) but I do have a nice place to store it unrolled.

Am thinking about using automotive plastic to make the knife sheath instead of leather as it's lighter / thinner / tougher.

Will post again when I've created the sheathes.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
bow saw on 01/30/2010 08:25:49 MST Print View

could you show a little more detail on how the blade is attached?

I found an old Wyoming saw blade and was thinking of rigging up something similar


Vince Contreras
(pillowthread) - F

Locale: like, in my head???
Back from the dead... on 03/12/2010 15:36:36 MST Print View

I currently carry two knives:

Spyderco Bill Moran FB01 (with polished blade to double as signal mirror)

Classic SAK

If I'm feeling saucy I swap the Moran out for a Lum C46, 'cause yes, it's just that cool.

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
new SOG Twitch II assisted blade on 05/18/2010 18:40:14 MDT Print View

I just bought a new SOG Twitch II, and to my surprise it has a composite handle (versus my original with an Aluminum handle). the new knife weighs 1.7 oz on my jewlery scale!. I like these becasue they are semi-auto (spring assisted), made with good steel, and now, light. It has a 2.75 inch blade.


Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Gerber Suspension on 05/19/2010 11:05:11 MDT Print View

My latest is a Gerber Suspension (used the original blunt nose plier multi tool before). It is a real tank (6.7 oz) and even my heavy packing friends won't carry one. However, I find myself using it multiple times every day while backpacking. The new one has tools I found myself always wanting but missing on the original. It goes on my belt, so it doesn't count as pack weight, right?!? ;^)

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
Pack weight? on 05/19/2010 11:14:28 MDT Print View

I don't know if my knife counts as pack weight. I count it as a part of ME. I seriously can't leave the house without my SOG Twitch II and my watch, I feel totally naked with out them. I carry my knife in my front pocket everywhere (except the airport) including work.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
crkt RITTER on 05/19/2010 11:39:26 MDT Print View

crkt ritter, 1oz fixed blade.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
MODS ARE TO BLAME on 05/19/2010 11:52:43 MDT Print View

the mods are the ones to blame for the condition of the forums, where are the stickies? how long has the search been broken? Shameful. Cant vote on threads(five star system), The options that are availible to the thread starter are really shamefully limited. Every other forum i frequent is way better done than bpl.

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
RAT Izula Fixed Blade Knife, 2oz on 05/19/2010 12:34:43 MDT Print View

I like a fixed blade knife rather than a folder due to the fixed blade knife's greater robustness. I have a ESEE (RAT) Izula. The 1095 carbon steel (yes, it rusts if I don't take care of it) takes a superb edge and holds it well in my testing. The skeletonized handle is long enough for me to hold onto it, even though I wear XXL mens gloves.

ESEE (RAT Cutlery) Izula 1095 Carbon Steel Neck Knife

(Disclaimer: I bought my Izula with my own hard-earned pennies. I have no financial relationship with ESEE Knives other than as a satisfied customer.)

Dare I also start the discussion about light weight wire saws?

Edited by marcclarke on 05/19/2010 13:07:51 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
WM1 on 05/19/2010 12:37:42 MDT Print View

my newest knife "kit" is based on the Fallkniven WM1 (2.5 oz)- I've added a custom kydex sheath, LMF Scout steel/striker, ~ 15' of Spectra cord, Fox micro whistle, Photon light, MRE 16 oz hot beverage bag, two MicroPur tabs, two tinder quicks and a heavy needle w/ ~ 30' of 30# Spectra fishing line- secured w/ a ranger band (which burns darn good even if wet)

this is my "oh crap" I lost my pack: fording the river, fell off the cliff, fill in the blank, "kit"

total weight is 5.7 oz and resides around my neck


kit contents


Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Pack weight? on 05/19/2010 12:58:02 MDT Print View

I submit that my knife does not count as part of my pack weight(versus my backpack, my sleeping bag, my tent, my food, etc.). I consider my knife (and my general lightweight survival kit) to be Level 0 stuff, which I keep with me even when otherwise naked. A very lightweight survival kit suspended from my neck (as another poster has elegantly illustrated) is simply an essential.