As a general rule of thumb, water or the ability to purify water is the most important priority in a survival pack, and a good knife is typically second. With a good knife, you have a means to protect yourself, make fire, prepare meals, help build shelters, and a vast array of other useful purposes.
No survival pack is truly complete without a trusty knife.
But one knife isn’t enough. This is a list of the five most essential knives a survivalist should own, listed in order of importance:
1. Fixed blade knife. Think a military K-bar knife that’s securely fastened in a sheath that you can strap onto your belt. A good, fixed-blade knife will be one of your most valuable assets and tools in a survival situation. It will provide you with excellent security as a means to defend yourself. Also, with a good fixed-blade knife, you can perform a field dressing and work on tough jobs around camp. The best aspect of a fixed-blade knife is that the blade is a solid, sharp piece of steel attached directly to the handle, making it a truly reliable and robust tool.
2. Folding knife. In many aspects, a good folding knife can serve as an excellent backup to your fixed blade. The blade of your folding knife should be smaller than that of your fixed blade and something that you can easily place inside your pocket wherever you go. While a folding knife won’t be as durable as a fixed blade, it will be more compact for safe carry.
You can also use your folding knife for situations when your large fixed blade is not required. An added benefit of the folding knife is that it can always be carried in your pocket when you don’t feel like attaching the fixed blade sheath to your belt, or if you need a good knife that’s easily concealable.
3. Swiss Army Knife. It doesn’t have to be a classic Swiss Army Knife, but a little knife that contains several tools inside of it, such as a blade, scissors, tweezers, toothpick, screwdriver, can opener, or even a little saw, will be immensely valuable. Granted, this knife won’t exactly fill the security purpose of the fixed blade or the folding knife, and there are a wide variety of other tasks that a little Swiss Army-type knife won’t be able to fulfill because of its small size. But in due course, you may also find that there is no tool that will prove just as handy. An alternative to a Swiss Army Knife would be a good multi-tool, which comes with the added benefit of having a pair of pliers.
4. Fish fillet knife. If you’re stuck in a survival situation, it’s always a good idea to have a small fishing kit in your survival pack. There are very few sources of food out in the wilderness that will have as much nutrition as fish. When you make a catch, a good fish fillet knife will allow you to clean the fish. Granted, all three of the above knives will do the job one way or the other, but a true fish fillet knife is designed specifically for this purpose. If you do have a fish fillet knife with you, it should be used solely for the purpose of cleaning fish — otherwise, the blade could dull.
5. Machete. This may seem a little over the top, and indeed, it’s probably not as critical to have a machete as the above options. A machete is large, can be a pain to carry after a period of time, and won’t be used nearly as much as the other knives on this list (other than hacking through thick brush). But a machete will provide you with the best means of security out of this list. You should always have firearms and/or bow and arrows with you, but a machete will help protect you if things really become too close. As an added benefit, a machete is intimidating! If someone with malicious intent comes toward you or your family, they may think twice when they see a machete strapped to your side or at your back.
There are many other knives that any survivalist should consider, and this list just serves as a suggestion for the most important five. You should also consider having at least one reliable back-up to each of the knives on this list. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to survive, having these five knives, or even just one of them, in your pack will greatly aid you in surviving.
What would you add or delete from this list? Tell us in the comments section below: