"Sorry Ty Ty, but I have to disagree with your conclusion about knives.
The lack of knife handling skills is the problem, not the large knife. You can still cut yourself up just as bad with a little knife.
Of course I'm not trying to purport everyone carry a large knife, because it wouldn't benefit everyone. But, taking a smaller knife is not going to make up for not knowing how to use one without injuring yourself.
P.S. This isn't a personal attack on you, I just don't want people walking around with a false sense of security."
Nick - oh I agree, my knife handling skills in that particular instance were plain stupid. I was excited to get going, running late, distracted, and at the last minute decided to change batteries 'real quick' before I got going. All added up to doing something stupid.
However, it is a fact that a 3.5" carbon steel, razor sharp fixed blade knife can cause a lot more damage in a whoopsie incident than a 3/4" Letehrman style keychain knife. So then what else did I use that knife for the rest of that trip? Cutting spam and stirring ramen noodles. Same for the trip after that, and the one after that. After about three trips in a row I thought to myself..why am I carrying this knife? Hence the switch to a keychain knife.
A couple years ago I went elk hunting in Colorado and shot a bull elk with a guide. As I pulled out my two fixed blade knives (one for backup I guess?) and fold out saw my guide (born and raised on a ranch in Colorado) pulled out his 2" fold out Old Man? (the little bone handle deals old timers will use to pick the dirt out from under their finger nails) pocket knife and a wet stone, spit on it, sharpened his knife and got through the two rear quarters before I finished one front shoulder.
That was my point with the knives. I really don't think there is a reason in the world to carry a big knife. If you can quarter an elk with a 2" folding pocket knife what can you gain by carrying a 3"+ fixed blade knife besides a greater risk of having a more serious injury if you ever have a whoopsie? And everyone in the world has whoopsies. My uncle who was a surgeon cut himself quartering an elk bad enough to need field stitches. My father who grew up working in packing houses processing cattle all day every day has cut himself in the field with a knife and once pretty good with a bone saw. Anyone can get tired and lazy, distracted for a split second, slip, whatever. The larger the knife, the larger the result of the whoopsie.