Disclaimer: There are many places where carrying a pocket knife can get you into serious trouble. Confiscation, fines, and even jail time are all the repercussions of breaking the law. Many of these laws are written in a convoluted way, keeping us confused and vulnerable. Not only do we have to worry that the laws will change from province to province, but even the country you decide to take it to may have completely different laws from the previous country you were in.
But there are still many legitimate reasons to consider adding a pocket knife to your daily survival kit.
1.Self-defense with a pocket knife
If you were to ask many of those who carry a knife in the mountains, their reason for carrying it would be self-defense. In fact, self-defense tops the list as the main reason for carrying a pocket knife. However, it is important to practice using it regularly, as there is no point in bringing it if you don’t know how to use it.
Practice drawing and handling your knife on an ongoing basis if you plan to use it in self-defense. Good training can give you a great advantage against your attacker. But if you are not well versed in it, your knife can also be used against you in the blink of an eye!
2.Make a fire with a pocket knife
Building a fire has its complications, both in recreational and emergency situations. I have a lot of fire-making equipment that I keep in my travel bag. However, when it comes to preparing my tinder and even lighting it… My knife certainly makes the task easier.
Whether I’m shaving thin layers of a branch or making some thinner wood for a log fire, my razor handles the job very well. Even when it comes to lighting it, the back of my blade does an excellent job of sending sparks to my tinder.
We never really know when a loved one, a stranger or even ourselves will need first aid. It can be as simple as removing a splinter or even trimming a little mole skin. Knowing that I have my knife in my pocket to help at work adds a little confidence to my preparation. If the emergency is more serious and I need to make ropes or splints to be able to work in the field, my knife will also help simplify those tasks.
When it comes to car accidents, you can end up being the first one on the scene. Seat belts tend to become a problem in many car accidents. They do their job well, but then remain restrictive, which can make a dangerous situation even worse. Having a knife that can be easily deployed to cut the seat belt can be the difference between life and death for the accident victim(s).
Also, while in the field, the usual buzzing bugs can be a nuisance. Many of these bugs bite, sting and can wreak havoc on your experience. Being able to use my razor, in order to remove the sting, can be a great help in keeping me safe and trouble free while in the field.
3.Prepare food with a pocket knife
This point may be a little obvious to you, but I’ve forgotten to pack my eating utensils several times over the years. Knowing that I have a knife, at least, can make a big difference in the way I digest my food. Even the way my food is prepared can vary greatly depending on whether or not I have access to my knife.
Whether I’m cleaning a fish, or even cutting a tasty steak once it’s cooked, my knife can make the experience much more productive. Being able to dice, prune, cut and slice (using only one tool) makes my knife a companion I can’t live without.
4.Snooping with a pocket knife
A well-built knife can serve as good leverage when the need to snoop arises. For example, I can open a window if I need to access a building in an emergency situation. When I am in the field, there is always a need for a snooping tool. It can be as simple as removing a stone from under my tent to rest and relax better. But it can also serve me well as a lever through the mud and dirt; looking for fishing bait.
But you have to keep in mind that no knife (especially folding knives) is meant to be used as a lever… I would only recommend it as a last resort.
5.Use a knife to transform your clothing
I referred to the use of my tie cutter for first aid applications. But I can also use it to alter my clothes. You may want to convert a long-sleeved shirt into a short-sleeved shirt. I might want to turn a pair of pants, with holes in them, into shorts. In an emergency situation, there are many factors that are almost impossible to plan for. Having the option to be more comfortable or even more practical can increase my chances of survival.
Something as simple as being able to drill another hole in your leather belt or even your shoes can affect your productivity. Fortunately, your knife can be very useful in helping you be as sustainable as possible while operating in an emergency scenario.
6.Use a knife to dig holes
I would much rather have my entrenchment tool (shovel) when I dig holes in the field. Unfortunately, I may not always have access to an electronic tool while on the road. Since I carry my knife every chance I get, the chance to have it in my pocket during an emergency is excellent. In a pinch, I can use my knife to dig a hole. It certainly won’t be an easy task… but it’s doable.
Whether I build a small latrine or install a hunting trap, my knife can take on the task of digging that hole.
7.Use a knife to open packages
Some of the equipment contained in my travel bags are still sealed in their original packaging. These items are perishable and their shelf life is significantly reduced the moment the package is opened. Therefore, I keep them sealed for as long as I can. When the need arises to open them, I have my knife to help me and it makes the task shorter.
Many of my dehydrated and freeze-dried meals are also contained in sealed bags. These bags are reusable and can serve dozens of other purposes once they are emptied. The cleaner I can make the cut when I open the container, the more options I will have for the future of those containers.
In an emergency situation, these bags can save my life.
Use a knife to hunt
If you choose to hunt for your food, especially in a crisis, catching and killing your prey is only half the battle. You will also need to dress in the field before you can eat it. Having a good knife will help you do the job properly. Time is definitely an issue, especially if you are hunting in areas that have larger prey than you just bagged. As soon as they smell blood, they’ll come to investigate. A good knife will speed up the process and get you back to the safety of your base camp… before unwelcome guests show up.
Use a knife for woodworking
There are all kinds of crafts that can be made by carving something out of wood. Forks, spoons and even cups can be carved from a piece of wood. All you need is a good sharp knife. You are only limited by your imagination. This not only helps you make some much-needed utensils to make a difficult situation more bearable, but also helps you pass the time while maintaining morale and purpose.
You can also use your sizes to create canes to make your walk a little easier. Making defensive tools is also an incredibly useful way to use carving with your pocket knife. A pocket knife is a tool that can create hundreds (or thousands) of others. Again, it all depends on you and your needs. But having access to your pocketknife is a necessity for any of these ideas to really manifest themselves.
What knife is in your backpack? Take a look at our recommendations below:
The way you practice now in training is the way you will react in a real emergency. Regardless of your preference for a knife, carry what works well for you. Your DCS needs to become an extension of your body. Whether it’s self-defense or simply using it in the field to poke around a rock to find some bait, the more experience you have with your knife, the more applications you will find for it in emergency situations.