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Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills The Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills forum is for discussion (on-site content) that directly relates to ancient and/or primitive style bushcraft/wilderness skills (e.g. firecraft, foraging, natural material construction, modern/primitive tools, long-term wilderness survival,...).


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  #21  
Old 07-13-2011, 12:13 AM
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Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New South Wales
Posts: 275


Your best weapon is between your ears - brains, experience, training, the will to stay alive...

My favourite backpacking/outdoors tools starts with a pocket knife (a 3" blade really is enough for your EDC); then adding a sheath knife with a 4"-6" blade for longer trips/car trips/tool box..

A machete or small axe would have a place if scrub-bashing or staying at a basecamp (and could live comfortably in the back of my SUV..); but it wouldn't get enough use to justify its weight, for it to be an everday part of a normal bushwalking/hiking kit.

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  #23  
Old 08-24-2011, 08:55 AM
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hatidua hatidua is offline
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Backpack: Gregory and Deuter
Shelter: Bibler
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Most used "tool" - I carry a folding knife with a 4" half-serrated blade on it. While many ask "why do you carry that thing"?, I tend to get asked to borrow it by the same people at least a few times each day when in the the boonies - it comes in useful for so many different things (whether the manufacturer approves of those uses or not).
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  #24  
Old 08-24-2011, 10:36 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 503
My favorite tool/weapon in the generic sense is a husky knife. The only time I am without a knife is when some idiot lawmaker has decided I really don't need one and I try to avoid those circumstances if at all possible.

Any tool, indeed, virtually any object, can be used as a weapon, often quite effectively. (the FBI reports that about 6% of murders use "personal weapons - fist, elbow, being thrown out a window and so forth). The problem with improvised weapons is that most don't look nearly as dangerous as they are so there is little intimidation value. This means that improvised weapons have to be deployed as a weapon and frequently result in a dead antagonist. Even the most dim-witted of the ungodly are going to know that getting shot will hurt - a lot and will back down (most of the 5-6 million times a year that guns are used defensively have no shot fired). The same cannot be said of the 5-cell MagLight or the stout walking staff and in a defensive situation you don't have the time to explain to your antagonist what is about to happen to him.

My two favorite "big" knives are the 7.5" Cold Steel Recon Scout and the 5.75" Cold Steel Tanto (long used as my military field knife). Neither is all that big, both can be used as effective choppers and splitters and both can be highly effective weapons - though I have never needed to deploy them as such. For fine cutting work, like skinning, I always have a pocket kinife and a fine-grain diamond hone.

Two additional items are frequent companions. My old 6' ash walking staff with an iron shoe is my walking companion (the hand-carved black ash canoe paddle substitutes when I am in the canoe) can be effective though I am out of practice. The other is a sling (not a slingshot but rather the type of simple sling David used to kill Goliath).

Last edited by Ralph : 08-24-2011 at 10:40 AM.
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  #25  
Old 12-02-2011, 08:57 PM
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Hanr3 Hanr3 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 138
Lots of great choices and excellent responses.

By far the best tool is between the ears.

I also carry a military e-tool, it also has numerous uses, however my favorite use is as a seat for taking care business. I fold it at a 90 and put one cheek on it.
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  #26  
Old 12-04-2011, 09:26 AM
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Benwaller Benwaller is offline
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Backpack: Camelbak RimRunner, Osprey Volt 60, Kelty Redwing 50
Sleeping Gear: Kelty LightYear Down 20 / ENO Doublenest Hammock
Shelter: Granite Gear White Lightnin' tarp
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 285
Knife update.

I am a big fan of the Ka-bar USMC and Cutlass machete as practical woods tools.

Recently however I have acquired the Ka-bar Mark 1 USN and it is quickly becoming my preferred bush knife.

Compared to the USMC it has the same 1095 CroVan and the same flat pommel and is made in the same factory in Olean, New York. But there the similarity pretty much ends. With a much shorter, and to my mind for most backpacking/brush ape purposes a more practical 5-1/8" blade, Kraton G handle, true flat grind (comes with a 20 degree edge angle but that can be changed, or not), slightly less than 3/16" thickness and less than 8 ounces without sheath it is quickly becoming my preferred blade for wandering around the boonies. The supplied sheath, a synthetic with adequate attachment opportunites, is pretty much excellant.

It is a real knife and for less than $50 it truly is one of the best values available today.

So if any of you are in the market for a general purpose blade I encourage you to check out the Ka-bar Mark 1.

Did I mention that it is made in the USA? Yeah, I guess I did but it doesn't hurt to say it again. I'm in favor of American jobs.

Ben
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2011, 10:02 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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There were/are three military knives of roughly the same size.

The USN Mk. 1 was based on one of the basic hunting knife patterns. The army had a knife called either the Commando or the Quartermaster, essentially the USMC KaBar with a 6" blade. The USAF had a survival knife with a trailing point and a saw back. At one time or another I used all of them while I was in the army. Note: the saw on the USAF knife isn't for wood, it's designed to rip through aircraft fuselage or plastic windows to escape a wreak. (The original aircrew knife by Bo Randall was the first of the hollow-handle sawback survival knives. Randall's spearpoint was better for its purpose than the fine-point of the USAF knife. The hollow handle was intended to be a place to store a morphine syrette.)

When Cold Steel introduced the Tanto I used that in lieu of any of the others. However, while the Tanto is a fine knife the blade profile of the Mk. 1 is probably better for general use.
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  #28  
Old 12-04-2011, 06:44 PM
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Benwaller Benwaller is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: Camelbak RimRunner, Osprey Volt 60, Kelty Redwing 50
Sleeping Gear: Kelty LightYear Down 20 / ENO Doublenest Hammock
Shelter: Granite Gear White Lightnin' tarp
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 285
Yep, Ralph, the blade profile is pretty much perfect for most general tasks; it's that profile that got me interested in the thing to begin with.

No sir, for an affordable general purpose knife I have not seen its better. And I'm always lookin'.

Plus it's pretty.

Ben
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  #29  
Old 12-17-2011, 10:40 AM
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Saberman Saberman is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 42
Well I'm a gear nut and I would have a hard time picking just one, (potato chip syndrome). If I had to pick just one single item it would be my ESEE Junglas. Very, very cool blade in a sick kydex sheath. A backcountry workhorse, and serious weapon.
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  #30  
Old 06-09-2012, 03:14 PM
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Debkirk Debkirk is offline
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Backpack: Camelback HAWG
Sleeping Gear: Big Agnes Lost Ranger
Shelter: REI Hoodoo 3
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 42
A small folding shovel (actually telescoping) I came by has turned into the best and most used tool we have. As I do not advertise for the people who make it, we will say that it's same guys who make polymer handguns. So we bought this thing and find that at 26.45 oz, it has a saw in the handle and comes with a carrying case. Then, I took it to the gunsmith/knife maker and he put a razor edge on all four edges of the shovel blade. This thing can fell small trees, clear out bush, scale fish, cut cordage, serve as a nasty defense weapon, and of course, it digs holes. At a pound and a half, this will be in the pack from now on.
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