Everywhere you look people are pushing high end survival knives. But what do you do if you don’t want to drop $200+ on something you might just lose anyway?
Rambo aside a survival knife is basically a good stout knife that will hold an edge, and can accomplish most any wilderness task you set for it.
Native Americans / Mountain Men
For generations Native Americans used stone blades for all their cutting needs. You can still accomplish your cutting needs with a sharp flake of stone if you want to go that route.
The Mountain Men lived with and sometimes against the natives. They usually carried a carbon steel blade very similar to today’s butcher knives. Some of those knives were made in a heavy Bowie or Arkansas toothpick design, but the majority were made thinner out of old saw blades.
These knives are of carbon steal and will rust, but if you use them you will take care of them. Old time steel varied widely in quality (similar to today’s imports) and some of the blades were brittle and broke. This is why Mountain men usually carried several knives, not only for trading but also for replacing lost or broken ones.
Finding these Knives Today
Any heavy bladed kitchen knife will pull double duty as a decent survival knife.
I have a thing for these knives and many times you will find me in the woods with an old carbon steel butcher knife. I always keep an eye out for carbon steel knives.
You can find them at yard sales, flea markets, auctions and thrift stores. I will always go poke through the box of kitchen knives at these places looking for carbon blades.
You can usually get then for $1 each at most. At this price you can afford to have a few extras in your kit. The most I have ever paid was $10 for a bundle of five knives that included a very old mountain man style knife made from a saw blade.
Even Stainless Kitchen blades will work if you must.
Sure your custom made $200 dollar blade looks pretty, but my $1 carbon butcher will do just about the same job, and not cause me to lose any sleep if I drop it in the lake.
Randy Augsburger writes form an old homestead that has been in his family since 1866