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Knives for the backcountry
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David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Knives for the backcountry on 04/10/2007 15:40:13 MDT Print View

I am used to carrying a small swiss army classic or a tiny gerber LST micro, but I wanted to know what others are carrying.

Do you find the need for a "larger" knife?

I have gotten a Bushbuddy and thought about using a more substantial knife to help with wood cutting.
Any thoughts?

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Knives for the backcountry on 04/10/2007 15:50:53 MDT Print View

Hi David,

I carry a more substantial knife, a Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter with a 3" locking blade. It's a great size for most chores and not very heavy (and a great deal).

I think this was discussed recently... let me see.
Here:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/7026/index.html

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Re: Knives for the backcountry on 04/10/2007 15:53:12 MDT Print View

Sorry about posting.

That's what I get for not searching the forums.

Thank you for the link!

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Re: Re: Knives for the backcountry on 04/10/2007 21:00:42 MDT Print View

Oh I just posted the link in case you wanted to read through it. The larger knife does help... this winter we were trying to start a fire at a cabin. The wood was wet and there was little tinder available. I used the knife to shave wood curls from a large section. It worked really well for that, so I imagine it would work for your Bushbuddy. (It worked well until I slipped and gashed my hand. :) Ooops.)

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Knives for Backcountry on 04/11/2007 04:14:26 MDT Print View

I purchased the Bushbuddy several months ago directly from Fritz and a small sheath knife is useful. I'm using a small Randall but there are a lot of alternatives. With the Bushbuddy it really helps to have a more substantial knife than one of the typical ultralight pocket knives.
Ron

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Serrated vs plain edge blades? on 04/11/2007 10:03:45 MDT Print View

Does anyone have any comments about the utility of serated blades vs plain edge? I have the knife below, a Spyderco Native III CombinationEdge that weighs 2.8 oz. I am planning to use this knife to shave wood for starting fires and cut up fuel for my Bushbuddy stove. Overall I love this knife with it's nice grip.

http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=61

Edited by drewboy on 04/11/2007 10:04:57 MDT.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Serrated vs plain edge blades? on 04/11/2007 10:28:00 MDT Print View

For me, serrations are like having two knives in one. The one you've linked to has too little straight blade for my taste. Serrations will cut through more things (seatbelt, rope, etc) in a hurry than a straight blade. The disadvantage is that it's a lot harder to sharpen that part of the knife.

I carry this one every day:
http://www.jaysknives.com/kershaw_4.htm
#2415ST

I think it's discontinued, as I couldn't find it on the kershaw web site.

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: Serrated vs plain edge blades? on 04/11/2007 19:55:24 MDT Print View

A plain blade is actually more versatile than serrated, with some proper sharpening technique. If cutting mostly rope, or other things where serrated is nice, sharpen the blade to a very keen edge (fine grit) - then push the burr of the blade forward over a medium grade stone for a few passes. This creates micro-serrations which grab rope or fabric very well.

But then, if you strop the blade several times, or sharpen back to a finer grit, you're back to a keen, kitchen-friendly edge. In comparison, a half-serrated blade is clumsy for food prep or fine whittling.

Edited by PA_Jay on 04/11/2007 19:58:21 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Serrated vs plain edge blades? on 04/12/2007 13:44:44 MDT Print View

drewboy wrote: "Does anyone have any comments about the utility of serated blades vs plain edge? I have the knife below, a Spyderco Native III CombinationEdge that weighs 2.8 oz. I am planning to use this knife to shave wood for starting fires and cut up fuel for my Bushbuddy stove. Overall I love this knife with it's nice grip.

http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=61"


I wouldn't run right out and buy another knife, but all-in-all, I prefer a plain blade. As others said, a serrated knife is better for cutting rope and fiber, but a plain blade is so much easier to sharpen and as a general use tool. Spyderco does turn out a good product and you can depend on it.

I just got a Boker Trance knife and I like it a lot. It would fit your needs well and they can be found for under $30. A mora would make a nice lightweight and inexpensive companion for your current knife. Another alternative might be to consider a small saw like the Gerber Sport Saw-- just a few ounces and will cut your stove wood quickly.

The best alternative is not the lightest. If you want to split wood using a baton (a heavy stick) and knife, you should use a fixed blade knife that is fairly thick-- and accordingly heavy. One with a straight spine (top edge), full tang and a flat ground blade will make the best wood splitter.

I would give your Spyderco a good run for the money before you spend more. If you are just shaving sticks and small branches, it will work fine.