BUSH CRAFTING WITH CLASS
FULL FUNCTION FIELD KNIVES THAT LOOK GOOD DOING IT
Bushcrafting has been around since the dawn of man and the knife has revolutionized the way we do it—these five custom knives take it to the next level. BY DAVID JAYE
“THROUGHOUT HISTORY, MAN HAS PRACTICED BUSHCRAFTING AS A LIFE SKILL AND USED THE KNIFE HE HAD ON HIM AT THE TIME, WHETHER IT BE A KUKRI, A MARBLES, A BOWIE, A LOVELESS OR RANDALL
Bushcrafting is not a new skill for humans, in fact in the hundreds of thousands of years since we became human, we lived by and perfected bushcrafting skills.
However, it was the invention of the knife that revolutionized the way we survived in the bush. Almost every culture has refined the knife to best fit their environment and suit the needs presented by the world around them. In areas of dense jungle, the machete is the go-to knife for moving through thick growth. The Gaucho, who live by herding cattle in the Pampas of Argentina and mountains of Patagonia, rely on a large Punal, similar to a French knife. In the mountains of Nepal, the kukri, said to have been introduced by the armies of Alexander the Great, has been used for ages to perform daily tasks with finesse.
The knife is in a state of continual refinement, as witnessed in these five extraordinary examples from custom makers of today, who have built on the past to help move knifemaking and bushcrafting that much further toward the future. But to improve, we must look at the foundations.
For reliable information on the foundation of a good bushcrafting knife, I had to look no further than two of the men who helped define it in our modern age, Mors Kochanski and Ray Mears.
Lessons from Mors Kochanski
I met Mors Kochanski a few years back and recently contacted him to get his ideas on bushcrafting knives, firsthand, for this article.
Having initially taught bushcraft and survival with Tom Roycroft, a civilian