EDGE OF SURVIVAL
SIX LAST DITCH USES FOR A KNIFE IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION
Iam often asked, “What’s the best knife in a survival or emergency situation?” My reply is always the same, “The one you have on you.” A knife in these situations can make the difference between living and dying. In capable hands, a knife can be a serious game changer. Even in the hands of a novice a knife can affect the outcome, because necessity is the mother of invention. Human instinct and the will to survive runs deep in the human condition, but having something to assist us in our struggle—such as a knife—can make a drastic difference, which is why I suggest never leaving home without one.
Surviving with just a knife is very difficult, but when push comes to shove, and it’s all you have, try to remember these half dozen uses to help get you out alive.
1 MY KINGDOM FOR A CASTLE OR A CHARIOT If you become stranded out in the elements, you can use your knife to build a shelter and stay dry. Use it to cut down vines for lashings or cut cordage/ropes to the right lengths needed to hold a structure together.
If you need to get out of Dodge and a river is your only avenue, a knife is the correct tool to help you build just the right ride, complete with paddles.
2 LIGHT MY FIRE, BABY A knife can be used to build a good primitive friction fire kit or to strike against a ferro rod, creating the spark needed to get a roaring blaze going. It can also be used to process wood to keep your fire going, allowing you to stay warm, boil water, cook food or even fireharden tools and weapons.
3 GET SOME GRUB In a survival situation, calories are important, and your knife can be vital in helping you with many survival hunting tasks; such as making a spear, building traps and processing game. A knife can easily be attached to the end of a shaft to give your spear more bite and up your hunting game. You can also use your knife to make weapons for hunting, as well as for defense from animals that view you as food.
4 DEFEND YOURSELF Survival situations are not limited to the wilderness, sometimes a lifeand-death scenario can present itself in an urban environment as well. In the event of a violent attack—whether from a would-be mugger or a wild animal—a good knife can be just the equalizer you need. Make sure to check your local laws to learn what is legal to carry in your area.
5 CLEAR THE WAY When you find yourself impeded by thick growth on your trek through a jungle or forest, a good knife can be used to cut down the brush before you to clear a path.
Although I don’t usually recommend it, because this technique can dull your blade, a knife can work as a good digging instrument, should you need it in a pinch. However, I recommend that you use your knife to cut a digging stick or make a shift shovel, for better results.
6 911, WHAT’S THE EMERGENCY? During an emergency, a knife can be a good all-around tool for everything from smashing glass to cutting a crash victim free from a stuck seatbelt. A knife will be a Johnny-on-the-spot lifesaver when called into action. It can be used to modify clothing into useful first aid items or even heated up cherry red to cauterize an open wound if no other alternative is available. However, it should be noted that this type of use will destroy the heat treat of your knife. Always boil water to sterilize it before use in any first-aid scenario.
If you need rescue and your knife is not powder-coated and has a polished finish, you can use it as a mirror to signal a passing boat or aircraft to get you out of a hellish situation. Worst case scenario you can bang it on a pot or pan to make enough noise that the neighbors can hear you from a distance. With such an unnatural racket, they might just decide to investigate.
It can Happen Anywhere
A survival or emergency situation can happen anywhere, at any time, without notice, so give yourself a fighting chance. These simple knife tips and tricks can spell the difference between survival and your own demise. You need to be a factor in your own survival and learn how a knife can save your life, but beyond learning, you need to practice, because a knife can also cause a survival crisis if you are not proficient in its use.
As a survivalist and a warrior, I see to it that I always have a knife on me, in my truck or somewhere strategically placed around my home, and I know how to use it. Do not be crippled by fear or shock when these situations arise, be the X-factor and make a difference when you find yourself on “The Edge of Survival.” KI
“IN CAPABLE HANDS, A KNIFE CAN BE A SERIOUS GAME CHANGER …”
Photo credit: Discovery Channel, “Naked and Afraid”