Holistic Survival
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Survival knives – did Rambo have a clue?

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survival knifeFor those in the reading audience younger than us, cinematic memory might not stretch back far enough to encompass a set of movies starring Sylvester Stallone as the ex-Vietnam vet John Rambo. Beginning with First Blood in 1982 and continuing through three sequels, this cagey woodsman traveled the globe righting wrongs in a spectacularly bloody fashion.

Here’s where we make the tenuous connection from celluloid reminiscing to modern survivalism – Rambo always carried a kick ass survival knife – a giant salmon sized piece of steel with a compartment in the handle large enough to carry anything one might need while evading most of a small town’s police department.

But is a Rambo knife really a good idea? Heck, yes! Not exactly the kind of knife that Stallone sported but a good knife is an indispensable tool. Look for the following when deciding upon your stick of outdoors steel.

1.The knife should be cast from one solid piece of metal which emerges from the handle. Separate pieces make it more likely to snap off.

2.Blade length of four to six inches. Longer knives are awkward, hard to control, and almost useless for finer work.

3.Choose a smooth blade over serrated. Serrated edges are hard to sharpen in the field and notoriously inefficient for carving, chopping, and cutting.

4.Choose a solid handle over the hollow one. It’s tempting to store small survival gear in the handle but a hollow handle is a weak handle and likely to break in the field. Stash your small stuff elsewhere.

This is obviously not a complete guide to choosing a survival knife but will point you in the right direction. Once again, Hollywood got it wrong. Don’t walk up to the sporting goods department at K-Mart and ask for a Rambo knife. Not if you actually want to use it in a survival situation anyway.

The Holistic Survival Team

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