Bushcraft Knife Basics – A best little knife goes a LONG way
The art of Bushcraft is the ability of an individual to not only survive, but to thrive in an untamed and unfamiliar environment. Using your wits and survival skills to live in harmony with nature and all it has to offer.
A Best Bushcraft Knife is critical to survival in the wilderness. It is to an outdoors man, as a paintbrush is to an artist. It is one of the most important tools that you’ll use on your outdoor excursions. Knives that are appropriate for bushcraft have some specific qualities. The blade must be stout enough to endure the high amount of wood carving that accompanies bushcraft activities. A typical blade will be between 4 and 5 inches long. Hidden tang or full tang usually indicate higher quality and longer lifespan. Hidden tang knives are characterized by narrowing as they run toward the length of the handle, while full tang knives usually have a consistent width and are fully visible through the full length of the handle. Blades can be made from carbon-steel or stanless steel . It’s easier to sharpen carbon steel blades, while the advantage of a stainless blade is that it is rust resistant.
Many enthusiasts enjoy making their own blades from kits that are readily available online or in local sports stores. The kits usually come with everything you need to create your own custom survival knife. The idea is that the blade comes in the kit, and you’re free to customize your handle to your hearts desire.
Sheathing your knife should not be overlooked. A good, high quality, slice resistant sheath is important for your safety as well as for your convenience. A cheap sheath can easily be punctured by your knife and cause injury. Also, your comfort while out in the wilderness is important and you’ll want a sheath that keeps the knife in its place, out of the way of your busy hands, but not out of reach.
Choosing the right knife is a highly individual process. Almost every major knife company carries a line of bushcraft or survival knives
How to Care For Your Bushcraft Knife
Knowing how to care for your Bushcraft Knife, no matter the type, will help you greatly improve the life span of that knife; be it stainless steel, carbon steel, or whatever type of knife it is. Your ability to take care for your knife will help make it useful when you most need it. This is probably the most important aspect of owning a knife. We all expect our bushcraft knives to be effective and durable but if your knife is not properly taken care of, rust and other damages can cause it not to function properly.
There are few ways on how to care for your Bushcraft Knife, and they are;
- Store your knife safely: proper storage helps to keep your knife functioning. Any type of moist on a knife can cause that knife to become defective. Moisture could make it rust and become blunt, so it is best to store it in a very safe, clean and dry place where moisture can’t damage it. Any time your wet fingers or any wet material touches or handles your knife, always wipe it clean with a dry cloth before putting it away. When hunting in the rain or in a rainy weather, a weather proof case is best for storing your hunting knives.
- Constantly wipe the blade(s): no matter the type of Bushcraft Knife you own and use, it is always advisable that you wipe off the surface of the blade daily to avoid rust of any form from clustering on the knife. Stainless steel products are prone to rust and any other damages if not properly cared for, so for optimum satisfaction and results, it is best to use a cotton cloth specifically to wipe your Bushcraft Knife with little drops of silicon oil which will greatly increase the life span of that knife.
- For those of you using multi-tools, flush off dirt from the joints: with constant carrying around of your Bushcraft Knife in your pocket, the hinges and the joints are most likely to become clogged with different types of dirt and debris. This dirt and debris can affect the joints badly, so it is recommended that you flush them thoroughly after every use. There are several things that you can use to flush the joints, and the most common of them is a hose or a kitchen sprayer. Use a hose or sprayer to flush out all of the dirt particles from the hinge and joints of the knife. You can also use compressed air to flush out dirt particles from within the hinges. Just ensure that you dry the knife properly after cleaning to void rust from clustering on your Bushcraft Knife.
- After cleaning and flushing, it is good to oil the hinges and steels of the knife to increase greatly the life span of the knife.
Follwing these simple steps, your Bushcraft knife, or any other knife for that matter, will give you years of enjoyment and service to last a lifetime.