It can all be very confusing. With the influx of so many outlets for knowledge and know-how, it’s hard to keep it all straight. However, keeping it straight isn’t necessarily the point. It’s making sense of the various options we have, and taking advantage of them to fit our personal needs.
Let’s take Survival knives for example. If your objective is to make sure a knife can perform in a survival situation, your choices should become very obvious. Full Tang is a must, given you’ll want to make sure your blade can withstand the abuse necessary for survival. It should be able to perform fine carving tasks as well as hold up under duress … say the pounding from a baton or using the spine to create a nice fine pile of tinder.
If you are looking for a knife for EDC, maybe a decent pocket knife, or Mora 511 or something along those lines would fit the bill. If you spend the workday cutting open boxes and cutting rope or the like, a simple, small, sharp blade should do the trick. Again, this is all simply nothing more than fitting your needs. You don’t need to overanalyze, or necessarily need an expert opinion, the writing is on the wall in most cases, and taking a look at what YOU need, is really all you need to know.
Survival Gear in general is something on a lot of people’s minds. Survival classes and the quest for knowledge has come to the forefront for a variety of reasons. Everyone would love to think that these skills aren’t necessary or won’t be necessary, however … again it’s all up to you. How much stock do you put in never being stranded, never getting lost, never sustaining an injury that limits your ability to return from a hike, mountain bike trip or hunting trip? Maybe a natural disaster that leaves you homeless?
Yes, for many, these situations are “won’t happen to me” scenarios. I’m sure we all know quite a few people with that point of view. Honestly, that’s okay. I really do hope that for their sake, the need to have survival skills is never necessary. BUT…if you are a hiker, hunter, camper, mountain biker, live close to the ocean, or in an area with inclement weather (harsh winters etc.), the reality is real. Is it likely? Well, ask the hunter that got lost, hiker that fell down a cliff, mountain biker that fell and sustained a broken leg, arm or worse, car that slid off the road on the way to grandma’s house. All common scenarios, all scenarios that would benefit from some Basic Survival Training.
In addition to survival training, picking up some basic survival gear is probably a good idea. Again, this is all based on your environment and your specific needs. It’s piece of mind if nothing else. If you want to prepare for everything from a bad day hiking to a zombie apocalypse, that is again, up to you. However, I would at minimum, look at your life, think about what COULD happen based on your hobbies and daily activity, and take necessary precautions to at least make life a little easier. Think about cutting tools, basic survival gear, fire-starting, water disinfection, containers, shelter etc. if you live in an area with nasty winters, maybe a winter emergency kit for the car would be a good idea.
Bottom line is – being aware of your surroundings, keeping a clear mind and your wits about you is going to pay dividends. Having the skills necessary after you collect yourself is what gives you an edge!