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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Knife and Scissors on 03/21/2013 10:48:08 MDT Print View

My EDC and hiking go to is the Leatherman Micra.

Micra

It has both options but it isn't a good choice for tasks that require a more sturdy and properly sized tool.

Knives are designed to cut. If someone mishandles a knife and cuts themselves it proves two things. Knives will do what they are designed to do and better training and practice are needed by the user.

I have never seen anyone use scissors to make a campfire in damp or rainy conditions where getting to the dry part of the wood was necessary to get and keep the campfire going.

Party On,

Newton

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Carry both on 03/21/2013 10:50:41 MDT Print View

I have both, in a 0.8oz multitool that cost $15. Of course, I have yet to actually use this on the trail, so I might bring a razor blade for backup.
http://www.rei.com/product/802325/leatherman-style-multitool

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Why a knife instead of scissors? on 03/21/2013 14:50:14 MDT Print View

Interesting how MOST of you ignored "barring those that run around with a large functional knife for woodcraft (not my thing)", which includes not needing firewood - especially since most of my camps are above or at treeline, and having campfires would be an unacceptable practice (LNT).

I should have put UL in the title. This thread is really for the ULers, where you bring a 0.7oz Swiss Army Knife, or a Dermasafe Razor, not the ones that take a 2oz fixed blade. I'm looking to keep the same amount of weight as a Dermasafe Razor, but have something significantly more functional for common tasks such as opening water tab packages, first aid and gear repair.

I love all the comments about starting a fire for emergency warmth, creating a shelter, etc. Isn't that what your shelter and sleeping bag (and other insulation) is for? Think UL...

On day trips, when I'm not carrying a shelter or sufficient insulation, a knife comes along. I also bring one along for technical trips, such as climbing, or on car camping trips. But I'm talking strictly about backpacking here.

Like David Thomas said:

Vastly easier and safer with scissors:
cutting mole skin, Second-Skin, bandaids, gauze.
opening plastic food packaging.
trimming fabric or thread during field repairs.
trimming finger / toenails.

Sure, you can do all that stuff with a knife (except nail trimming), but it's hardly an easy task, compared to scissors. The big problem is having a leveraging force on the other side of the blade for fabric/tape/gauze, where you need to use your other hand in a dangerous way, only to get imprecise cuts.

Per Dave Thomas again:

Vastly easier with a blade:
splitting kindling, shaving tinder.
** I don't need either with proper insulation and a shelter.
cutting salami / cheese.
** I don't bring those, or cut before you leave the house.
filleting a fish.
** I don't fish.
Spreading peanut butter.
** a spoon handle works just as good
Fabricating objects from wood - tent poles, replacement button, pack stay, Huck-Finn raft, etc.
** No tent poles (tarp). If I lose a stake, I can use a big rock and an extra guyline. I definitely don't have a reason to make any of the other stuff.

> I don't know why people object to having a useful tool with them when hiking.

Because it's not as useful for real tasks, compared to scissors. A USEFUL knife is much more weight than a pair of scissors, which can weigh about the same as a Dermasafe Knife, so if you don't really need it, therefore, nix it, per principles.

> Splinters and slivers are a fact of life around a wood shop

Do you backpack in a woodshop? I get maybe one splinter a year, and a sanitized needle from my repair kit works great for that.

> too many things that scissors would not be good for.

Like...

> Oddly, I find that a lot of people I know who choose not to carry a knife...ask to use mine.

To do what?

I appreciate all the responses. I really want to be convinced that I should bring a knife, but most of the already-mentioned stuff I've already thought of:
shelter... I have one
fire... I don't ever need/want one, and often can't
food... useless for the food I (most ULers) take
making stuff... what would I make that I actually need?

At this point, I'd rather take scissors and make the real tasks easier to do, than take a knife that I don't actually need, and be annoyed with having to use it for the real tasks.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/21/2013 15:00:50 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Carry both on 03/21/2013 14:52:03 MDT Print View

I also carry both. 15 gram folding knife for camp chores, chopping salami etc... and a light pair of scissors. They both get lots of use! I also carry tweezers for pesky splinters. Guess I'm not UL!

Matt Jones
(mjones) - F
scissors for me on 03/21/2013 15:14:27 MDT Print View

Cutting rope, cutting freezer bags, and cutting moleskin are the only things I usually need a sharp edge for. That said, the small pair of scissors in the office supply closet or down the street at the WalMart are easily replaceable. They also mean one less specialty item.

Ian Destroyer of Forums
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Swiss Army Knife Scissors on 03/21/2013 15:21:54 MDT Print View

Out of curiosity, what do you object to with the Swiss Army scissors? The SAK classic is light enough that I don't feel the need to choose either/or; for me it's the perfect tool for trail hiking.

Someone mentioned this option earlier.

http://www.swissarmy.com/us/product/Swiss-Army-Knives/Category/Replacement-Parts/Replacement-Scissors-SwissCard/30521
30521

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Knife, scissors, AND nail clipper on 03/21/2013 15:24:05 MDT Print View

In principle you could use scissors (even knife + file) to do nails, but still a great idea (mine is missing the clipper) since there are several feet/nail issues that could become major problems. Again, you could use the knife only, but some of the application of the clipper could become "mission critical" so nice to have the best/safest tool.

Tiny tweezers also very useful for tic removal. Right about now they are approaching their peak around here. If you walk under a low hanging branch, even without tocuhing anything, you can hear then hitting your windshirt like rain as they dive bomb anything that moves. lol

Edited by millonas on 03/21/2013 15:25:43 MDT.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Why a knife instead of scissors? on 03/21/2013 16:27:06 MDT Print View

Don't know what the big deal is. Get the right tool for the job.
I've hiked with nothing but some folding scissors from the sewing box (JMT)
And I've hiked with a Mora and Fiskars folding saw (100 mile ME)
You don't need scissors or a knife, you can't tear open packaging and melt cord and break/nibble food.
I bring scissors when traveling because I like to only have a carryon. I take a knife if I plan on using my wood stove or go on a day hike where I'm not carrying shelter or sleep gear.
Tools make life easier and tasks less of a chore, if they don't do that for you leave em home. Only you can decide if carrying them is worth it.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/21/2013 17:40:41 MDT Print View

"I should have put UL in the title. This thread is really for the ULers"
-
So a bunch of people on a *UL forum* disagreed with you about whether a knife was handy to have, so you've decided none of us knife users qualify as UL? Why start a thread like this, if you have your mind made up and don't want to hear anyone else's opinion unless it's just like yours? Every post I saw in response to yours was respectful and simply offered that person's viewpoint on knife vs. scissors. Your response is kind of insulting, insinuating that knife users must therefore not qualify as UL.

Perhaps next time you should add to your OP that you only want to hear back from people who completely agree with you.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: "Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/21/2013 17:49:36 MDT Print View

What Dena Kelley said.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Re. on 03/21/2013 18:15:57 MDT Print View

The way I see it, a pair of scissors is just two knives bolted together at a pivot joint.

If you want to be UL, carrying scissors is carrying twice as much as necessary.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Why a knife instead of scissors? on 03/21/2013 18:36:52 MDT Print View

"I should have put UL in the title. This thread is really for the ULers, where you bring a 0.7oz Swiss Army Knife, or a Dermasafe Razor, not the ones that take a 2oz fixed blade."

So you can't be UL and carry a fixed blade knife? I carry a small fixed blade to save wight. I use it to carve a few stakes for my tarp and I use it to create fires in wet weather to cook with (save weight on fuel) and keep warm (save weight in camp clothing). Right there I can save almost a pound with my 2 oz knife by putting in a little more effort to camp tasks which I enjoy doing. This is just what I sometimes do, if it doesn't interest you then that's perfectly fine. You seem to have a very narrow view on ultralight backpacker gear and techniques. Either way, 2 ounces is nothing to lose sleep over and if you really think it is, then you are being an armchair backpacker.

Edited by justin_baker on 03/21/2013 18:42:11 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Leathermen. on 03/21/2013 18:38:46 MDT Print View

Leatherman Micra here. Great little tool; spring-loaded scizzors, all the screwdrivers for my headlamp, mini-light, and camera, a regular knife, and a bottle opener. I have used the ruler tick-marks on several occasions, though I can't remember now. Weighs a couple of ounces.

When I bike tour ultralight, I don't skimp. Next tour I'll be carrying a Leatherman Wave with hex-bits for the screwdriver. Having to improvise from stripped bolts or a lost wrench was a nightmare last tour.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
What you can't do with scissors on 03/21/2013 19:05:01 MDT Print View

I don't really do "bushcraft" but I've found lots of uses for my knife that scissors would not do
-Sharpening sticks to use on slippery snow (didn't have trekking poles, didn't expect hard packed snow)
-Fixing up a broken stick into a trekking pole for an injured friend
-Improvised tent pegs
-Splitting wet wood for a fire
-Spreading Nutella
-Carving up the apple I brought for the first day
-Carving up summer sausage
-Sharpening a stick to cook the summer sausage on (great way to have hot food without a cook kit)

None of these were life and death issues but the knife was nice to have. I've had one or two situations where people were really cold and I felt like getting a fire going was really important. In those case I'll take a couple ounces in my pocket to know if I really have to I can split up wet wood and start a fire.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: "Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/21/2013 19:27:51 MDT Print View

> So a bunch of people on a *UL forum* disagreed with you about
> whether a knife was handy to have, so you've decided
> none of us knife users qualify as UL? Why start a thread like
> this, if you have your mind made up and don't want to hear
> anyone else's opinion unless it's just like yours? Every
> post I saw in response to yours was respectful and simply offered
> that person's viewpoint on knife vs. scissors. Your response
> is kind of insulting, insinuating that knife users must therefore
> not qualify as UL.

I chose to not bring a real knife because it is unnecessary weight, not because a forum told me to.

I think you misunderstood. You decide to bring a real knife as a luxury item, that's fine. You can still adhere to UL principles and bring luxury items. I bring a camera as a luxury item, but I wouldn't call bringing a camera adhering to UL principles - it's unnecessary weight. I believe my wording was misleading. I should have written:

"I should have put UL in the title. This thread is really for the ULers WHO BRING a 0.7oz Swiss Army Knife, or a Dermasafe Razor, not the ones that take a 2oz fixed blade."

... as you can see, especially by the last sentence, "not the ones [ULers] that take a 2oz fixed blade". And... "I should have put UL in the title" means "Why an UL knife instead of scissors?".

What I really want to know is: Why should I bring a UL knife or razor instead of UL scissors?
NOT: Why should I bring a big knife instead of scissors?

I already know you can do woodcraft with a big knife, that's pretty obvious isn't it? Start a fire and make stuff - neither of which I want to spend time doing when I'm backpacking. To me, that's wasted time that I'd rather spend photographing scenery or climbing a nearby ridgeline. And, being often above treeline, it's downright impossible many times. But to you, that's not wasted time at all. HYOH and all that.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/21/2013 20:16:29 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: "Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/21/2013 20:06:30 MDT Print View

"I think you misunderstood. You decide to bring a real knife as a luxury item, that's fine. You can still adhere to UL principles and bring luxury items."

"adhere to UL principles"

Brian, you sound like an ultralight nazi. There is no such thing as ultralight "principles" that you need to adhere to. Ultralight is a having a light pack. Whichever way you get your pack light is your choice. If you don't mind getting a little bushcrafty, a small knife can actually save you some weight. Calling it a luxury item in all situations is just ridiculous.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: "Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/21/2013 20:13:12 MDT Print View

Of course I sound like an ultralight nazi. The principle of UL is to religiously cut weight wherever possible - is it not? Look at everything you have, and cut weight wherever you can. The word 'Ultra' is in there for a reason - and not because it sounds cool, but because it's going many steps beyond lightweight backpacking.

Eh, just my opinion. I don't think we need to argue semantics anymore, that wasn't the point of my post. The point of my post is... why an UL knife instead of scissors? I'd change the subject line if the forum allowed me to.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/21/2013 20:14:35 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Bite, Bite, Pass on 03/21/2013 20:18:55 MDT Print View

Two things you can't bring up on BPL without getting a million off-topic posts:

Guns and Knives.

If you're expecting everyone to shape up, you're in for a disappointment.



I did glean one thing from this thread, though. You guys are addicted to Salami.

It brings back visions of making wraps on my bike tour with my two buddies. We were sharing a block of white cheddar by taking bites off it and then dropping the cheese from our mouth onto the wrap. Bite, Bite, Pass, like mother birds...

My salami knife is my incisor.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Bite, Bite, Pass on 03/21/2013 20:21:26 MDT Print View

> It brings back visions of making wraps on my bike tour
> with my two buddies. We were sharing a block of white
> cheddar by taking bites off it

Ahh, kindered spirits! I remember sharing a 2lb block of cheddar using that same... technique last summer on a ski tour trip with a buddy. I was a bit shocked when he pulled the brick out of his pack! But hey, if you offer me food, I'm not turning it down! (he really just wanted to get rid of as much weight as he could - hah)

Edited by lindahlb on 03/21/2013 20:37:31 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
I still wouldn't eat it, though. on 03/21/2013 20:25:18 MDT Print View

Haha, we bought too much cheese once. Jim had a block of sharp in his bike pannier. After one day of heating up under the summer sun, we (perhaps unnecessarily) assumed it was bad but he kept it in there. Twenty-five days later, we finished the tour. Three MONTHS later he gives me my panniers back so I can repair them, and the cheese was still in there... looked fine!