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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Knives and Fires on 03/21/2013 20:45:32 MDT Print View

In fairness I believe Ryan Jordan leaves the knife at home unless he's fishing. Andrew Skurka carries a tiny little swiss army knife.

As I mentioned I feel more secure knowing I can carve up a stick for a fire if need be. I'm not talking about bow drill fires, etc. just splitting a few wet sticks to get at the dry inner wood. Now remember I often hike without a stove. If I had alcohol, ebsit tabs, or a canister stove I could use those in an emergency to help get a fire started.

If you want a really lightweight knife I think the 0.5 oz Buck Ultralight would be hard to beat. Its tiny but it would take more abuse then a little key chain swiss army knife. You could carry that for cutting and break the scissors off a swiss army classic and keep them in your first aid kid for trimming nails.

Of course I normally don't bring any clippers on shorter trips. I just trim my nails before I leave.

Edited by Cameron on 03/21/2013 20:46:41 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Knives on 03/21/2013 20:56:40 MDT Print View

I seldom have any need for a serious knife since I only open food packages and cut some first aid tape. As a result, I make my own knives out of thin aluminum or titanium sheet. My favorite is thin aluminum with a serrated edge, and it weighs in at a hefty 1.8 grams.

--B.G.--

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Why an UL knife instead of scissors? on 03/21/2013 21:09:55 MDT Print View

Wenger Esquire fan here. At .7 oz I have not come across anything else as versitie in the knives/tools department. Could I find a pair of scissors lighter, perhaps. But for the negligable weight it does so much. Mine is not so standard as it is equipped with a serrated blade, and an eyeglass screwdriver instead of a nail file. If I leave the split ring off the little nub that it goes on is the perfect too; for disengaging the locks on my Bareboxer Contender.

So for .7 oz I get a screwdriver, knife, tweezers, toothpick, bear canister tool, and scissors. All in an easily purchasable, immediately recognizable, inexspensive package Adhering to the UL mantra. I believe this is a great example of multiuse.

I really have not felt the need to look for something else.


What scissors should I be looking at? Or should I?

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Why an UL knife instead of scissors? on 03/21/2013 22:03:20 MDT Print View

So a guy has an UL pack weighting 5lbs with a .7 oz derma safe
But then he switches to a 2.oz Mora instead
and now he is no longer an ultra lite hiker with a pack weight of 5lbs and 1.4 oz

You don't need scissors or a razor, like I said open your packages with your hand melt cord to size, break food apart with your hands. Scissors and razor blades are unnecessary luxuries that you can do without just like any other knife.

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 03/21/2013 22:05:24 MDT.

A W
(lost_01)
to summarize on 03/21/2013 23:06:42 MDT Print View

To review, the Leatherman Style (0.8oz) vs Swiss Army Classic (0.8oz) (same price, same functionality)

However, there is one tool that (can) be lighter, and have more functionality.

card
*remove the pin, screwdriver(s) and pen = probably lighter than the 'classic'.

Bonus: has light and a magnifying glass as a backup firestarter


*I may pick up the Leatherman Style CS (1.4oz) - just because it's sexy

Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: Re: Re: Why an UL knife instead of scissors? on 03/22/2013 04:54:07 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?”

“So a guy has an UL pack weighting 5lbs with a .7 oz derma safe But then he switches to a 2.oz Mora instead and now he is no longer an ultra lite hiker with a pack weight of 5lbs and 1.4 oz”

Are we talking about skin out or pack weight?

If the 2 oz Mora is carried with your clothing and not in your pack (talking pack weight here) then your sub 5lbs would still make you SUL. Likewise if your pack is less than 10 pounds with your knife then you qualify as UL.

Silly distinctions anyway!

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why an UL knife instead of scissors? on 03/22/2013 08:44:53 MDT Print View

"If the 2 oz Mora is carried with your clothing and not in your pack (talking pack weight here) then your sub 5lbs would still make you SUL. Likewise if your pack is less than 10 pounds with your knife then you qualify as UL. "

My post was sarcastic, I was try to point out how silly the concept was.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
.. on 03/22/2013 08:56:46 MDT Print View

This thread is doomed. If you don't "need" a knife you certainly don't "need'" scissors. You don't need a n thing. You don't even need to go out backpacking and leave your poop with or without TP. You are best for the environment if you just stay home.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re: Why a knife instead of scissors? on 03/22/2013 08:59:03 MDT Print View

This looks like the "I don't get it" thread gone terribly wrong.

It's really just a difference in styles and probably locations.

Like a lot of others, I carry the Swiss Army Knife Classic. I use the scissors a lot more that the knife. I can't recall when I did last use the knife. But I don't cut meat and cheese on the trail. If for some reason, I left my trekking poles or stakes (I did do this once) at home, I'd hang my shelter from a tree and use rocks for stakes. It's pretty dry out here so I've never had a problem finding twigs dry enough to use with my wood stove. I find them the same place I go to in a heavy rain, under a large, full tree. I mostly go solo but I leave my itinerary and when I'll be out, and carry a SPOT, so I don't think I'll have to saw off a limb.

So for me, and only me, I could leave the knife behind and not miss it. But I always carry a SAK on a daily basis and the Classic is light enough that I carry it anyway when backpacking.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: .. on 03/22/2013 10:15:25 MDT Print View

> This thread is doomed. If you don't "need" a knife you
> certainly don't "need'" scissors. You don't need a n
> thing. You don't even need to go out backpacking and
> leave your poop with or without TP. You are best for the
> environment if you just stay home.

It's doomed because SOME of these knife enthusiasts are having trouble understanding that I'm not interested in hearing about woodcraft, when I explicitly said so in the very first post. I don't know how you could interpret that in any other way?

I know you can make all sorts of cool stuff with a knife and some wood - that's obvious. However, I don't care - for a backpacking trip, I'VE never had to, never want to, most of the time can't or shouldn't, and will never need to.

I was asking, why bring an UL knife (razor, SAK classic, Dermasafe, etc.) instead of UL scissors? The reason why, is because EVERY single backpacking trip I'VE ever had, I would have been better off with UL scissors instead.

A sharp cutting tool is pretty damn useful to have for normal activities like first aid, gear repair, and especially for opening those tablet packages - near impossible without one. And unless you woodcraft or bring foods that need to be cut (in the field), from the sounds of it there's absolutely no good reason to bring a knife over scissors - scissors perform these tasks better, safer, and easier.

If you know of a task (NOT woodcraft) that a knife would have performed better than scissors, I want to hear about it. That's what I created this thread for. Thanks!

Edited by lindahlb on 03/22/2013 10:19:03 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re on 03/22/2013 10:52:09 MDT Print View

A nice is pretty much a requirement for saftey and survival outdoors.

Anyone telling you otherwise thinks an extra 1 oz is a sin.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/22/2013 11:00:44 MDT Print View

I think it's doomed because you started a thread with a preexisting bias and didn't like the responses and then you got snarky and judgmental about it. Yes, some people brought up bushcraft when you explicitly excluded it. And many others, such as myself, brought up food prep which you did *not* exclude. Others brought up improvisation which you are including as bushcraft, when it's not. Since many UL folks here use Bushbuddy's and the like, firecraft should not be lumped into bushcraft either. You have a myopic view of what UL is and is not, and a bias against knives. No one is trying to convince you to carry a knife. But the way I see it, since you had a bias to start with and didn't actually want to know "why a knife instead of scissors?" then you shouldn't have asked the question. Then you wouldn't be annoyed will all us "knife enthusiasts" that don't fit into your narrow definition of UL.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: not "woodcraft" on 03/22/2013 11:01:54 MDT Print View

Since your definition of "woodcraft" seems to be anything not having to do with your kit and what you've brought with you, and you have crafted your kit ("kitcraft"?) to avoid the use of a knife, it seems there is nothing left for you to use a knife on. Congratulations! You've answered your own question!

May you never experience something unexpected in the bush where a small but sturdy blade would have made the difference for you. HYOH.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Why a knife instead of scissors? on 03/22/2013 11:08:22 MDT Print View

This thread is crazy.

When I take a Classic SAK, I use the scissors most of the time. When I take a plain knife, DermaSafe, or razor blade I use the blade. For most daily tasks either a knife or scissors will work.

Go buy the knife or scissors you want. Don't ask for permission from BPL.

I could care less about what Ryan Jordan, Andrew Skukra, Ray Jardine, etc. carry. They are not gods.

If you constantly find yourself in survival situations where you need a knife to survive you are probably doing something wrong.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: This thread is crazy on 03/22/2013 11:14:44 MDT Print View

A voice of reason crying out from the wilderness.

Thank you Nick!

Party On,

Newton

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: "Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/22/2013 11:22:26 MDT Print View

I thought it was pretty obvious that woodcraft is anything to do with wood (firewood, making stuff, improvising, etc). I guess not?

> Others brought up improvisation which you are including
> as bushcraft, when it's not.

I never said anything about bushcraft in my original post. I very clearly stated I wanted to exclude woodcraft and people who carry large functional knives.

> But the way I see it, since you had a bias to start with
> and didn't actually want to know "why a knife instead of
> scissors?" then you shouldn't have asked the question.
> Then you wouldn't be annoyed will all us "knife
> enthusiasts" that don't fit into your narrow definition
> of UL.

I don't have a bias against knives. I carry a "large" functional one on day hikes to improvise in emergencies. It stays with my space blanket, headlamp and emergency firestarter. When I backpack, I have a backpack full of other stuff that covers my arse in emergencies, and thus, don't need a large functional knife.

I'm not annoyed with you because you have a different point of view. I'm annoyed with you (and a few other special folks) because you are completely ignoring the whole point of this thread, which is VERY clearly stated in the original post.

> Go buy the knife or scissors you want. Don't ask for
> permission from BPL.

I'm not asking for permission. I'm wondering if there's common daily tasks (NOT related to wood) where knives work better than scissors. I'd like to bring scissors, but I'd like to know about people who have experience bringing them or both scissors and knives - and what tasks (NOT related to wood) they use for each on a regular basis.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/22/2013 11:40:38 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Knife vs scissors on 03/22/2013 11:23:36 MDT Print View

Scissors are good for precise trimming and grooming and probably at a par with a small knife for opening a food package. If too small, the utility suffers, so having small scissors as part of a small knife provides a handle with options. 0.75oz

A small knife, like a light paring knife, is better for food prep. 1oz with sheath

Medium sized Swiss Army knives can cover both functions in the 2-3oz range. In researching this discussion, I found the Victorinox Compact model that has scissors and blade plus a few more functions and 2.3oz. I think that is a fair compromise.

I'm not much for woodcraft, but one of the major reasons I carry a pocket knife is for aiding fire building in an emergency. That doesn't require a big knife, but a locking blade is stronger and safer I think.

IMHO, cutting tools like the Dermasafe aren't very useful. I have included a single edge razor blade in my emergency supplies and they are lighter, cheaper and still as useful as a Dermasafe. I used clear shipping tape as a "sheath."

I see that the Swisscard scissors can be purchased seperately: http://www.swissarmy.com/us/app/product/Swiss-Army-Knives/Replacement-Scissors-SwissCard/30521

Embroidery scissors can be very light and provide far better utility than the tiny ones on a Swiss Army knife.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Another Way to Carry a Blade on 03/22/2013 11:23:38 MDT Print View

How about carrying a blade like this guy did -- and for three whole years!?!

Jan S
(karl-ton)
Re: Re: "Why a knife instead of scissors?" on 03/22/2013 11:42:26 MDT Print View

"I'm not asking for permission. I'm wondering if there's common daily tasks (NOT related to wood) where knives work better than scissors. I'd like to bring scissors"

Cutting food. If you don't need or want to do that, then no.

And judging from your initial post you already had the question answered for yourself and should probably just have asked for some lightweight scissors. But the way you asked is – in my opinion – a great starting point for a flame war about personal style

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Safety on 03/22/2013 12:10:53 MDT Print View

Seems like a lot has been made out of this point (safety). Do you need a knife to be safe. I want one myself, but that is because that is what I prefer to use. Regardless of what one takes with them into the wilderness, you should have the ability to start a fire in an emergency. Even though you have plenty of insulating stuff with you as it all can be compromised in an accident. To make a fire I want a knife larger than a swiss army classic, but that's me.

As far as the OT, I find that I use the knife blade way more often than the scissors, even when they will both do the job. For me the knife blade is faster and easier. And since I do sometimes do food prep it works better for that also. I always have both, but rarely use the scissors. Others of course rarely use the blade. It appears that it all comes down to personal preference. Both a knife blade and scissors can do the job, it just depends on which one you prefer to use.

Oh yeah, BTW, I've cut myself worse with scissors than a knife. Trying to open a box with scissors, and using it like a knife.

Edited by Hitech on 03/22/2013 12:12:24 MDT.