10 Uses For Your Survival Knife

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10 Uses For Your Survival Knife

We’ve been told that a survival knife is our best friend whether we bug in our out, that we can use it in a wide variety of situations. But what are they, exactly? I’m not talking about cutting various things, I think we should be aware of other, unconventional ways of using it.

We should also be aware of some of the ways not to use it. For example, one of my mistakes was that I used it to open a bottle that I couldn’t with my bare hands. I ruined the tip a little bit and learned my lessons. Still, in a survival situation, we might be forced to use our knife in ways we normally wouldn’t. Let’s see what some of them are.

UPDATE: If you have always wanted a high-quality, full-tang knife, but you cannot afford one, we have now published a post about how to make a full-tang bushcraft/survival style knife from an old file. The knife is made using basic DIY power tools, and it does not require a forge. That’s right, you can now make bespoke, full-tang homemade knife at home without a forge!

#1. For digging

Maybe you’re trying to quickly bury something and you don’t have a shovel or the time to make a primitive digging device. Maybe you’re digging for plant roots to make salad. You can use your survival knife to do it, although it’s best if you had two of them. If you’re in love with your main knife, you should definitely use your back-up knife to perform some of these tasks. The Morakniv Companion is cheap and has a great build, maybe you can use that?

#2. For splitting wood

Again, not very orthodox but you might be forced to do it if you don’t have an axe with you.  Here’s a video demonstrating how to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkgWZmYJRkM

#3. You can use the pommel as a hammer

It would be nice if you had a real hammer but, in an emergency situation, it will do.

#4. As a stake for your tarp

Though you should be able to carve your own stakes to keep a tent or a tarp in place, you can save time and use your (back-up survival knife).

#5. To carve primitive tools and weapons

Since you won’t be able to carry everything in your bug out bag, why not use your knife to make the tools and weapons you need on the spot? Some of the things you could make using wood and rocks include:

  • primitive spears
  • tomahawks
  • a hunting bow
  • a bow for the bow drill method
  • clubs
  • throwing sticks
  • and even blowguns

#6. As a fork

This is something you have to be careful with but it will make you feel like a badass.

#7. For self-defense

Ok, so most people would rather take self-defense lessons, but knowing how to use a knife will only increase your odds. Of course, if you don’t know how to use one, they might actually decrease your odds because your opponent can grab it and use it on you.

#8. As a fire starter

As long as you have a ferro rod and some tinder, you’re ready to light a fire by striking the former to the steel component of the knife.

#9. For first aid purposes

Though I am not a doctor, I can tell you there are plenty of ways it ca help, and none of them are related to removing any bullets from your body. Some of the things you can do include:

  • cutting clothes to gain access to a wound
  • cutting clothes into strips to be used as bandage
  • to remove splinters
  • and even to pop a blister (though it should be done using a sterilized needle, so this last use is not really recommended unless you’re in a situation where you don’t have much choice)

#10. To Open Your Mail

It might be the only way to communicate if the Internet is gone… yes, this last one is trivial but I added it to remind you that your laptop or smartphone won’t be your best friend post-collapse. Your knife will.

What’s next?

Well, you may be interested in getting a bushcraft knife. Not a bad idea, particularly since you may need a secondary one for some of the uses above. There’re a lot of things to consider: the material, the length of the blade, the handle and even the shape of the blade.

Dan Sullivan


(Image from: Mike Petrucci)
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