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#123232 - 02/09/08 05:52 PM Re: ka-bar [Re: mtnhiker]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
I rarely carry a fixed blade to the field; my SAK (Hunter, I think?) is enough for me. I did try a few times with both a kabar and short KaBar, but didn't really use them. I also bought a SOG Seal Pup on a whim (kind of a waste of money) and never use it. Probably the KaBar shorty will be my fixed blade of choice, mainly because I have it now, it's relatively inexpensive, and it fits my hand pretty well.

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#123235 - 02/09/08 06:58 PM Re: ka-bar [Re: ]
JerryFountain Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
Many of you have said you carry only a folder, then talked about the sharpened pry bars you have tried. For day to day use in the woods, I leave most of my folders home and use a fixed blade -- with a 3 or 3.5 inch blade. The KaBar (note the second half of the name) and the Cold Steel SRK are great field tools and I have several knives of this type. Their blades are WAY too heavy for good general purpose cutting though. If I were back in the service, a clean 5 or so inch blade (the SOG pup is a good design though I would probably buy a Mad Dog ATAK) would again return to my belt. In the woods for general use this is way too big. I don't need to open cases of ammo or rations (they used to come with steel bands - now they are fiber), dig holes in the rocks, etc.

Doug Ritter has designed what I consider an excellent blade for survival use, but I would not normally carry it for every day use. One similar to it is in my aviation survival kit. I like his even better and will buy one if I have to replace mine (probably will buy one anyway :-). The additional size is excellent for some of the things I don't do normally in the woods with a knife.

My heavy hunting blade has a 3.5 inch length and a lot of sweep for good skinning. My normal field blades are in that 3 to 3.5 inch length, but more narrow like a small pareing knife or a pocket knife and not any thicker. Because they are fixed, they are stronger, lighter and easier to use (expecially as others have mentioned in cold weather). They come out and go back faster and with less fuss, particularly if you are squatting. Even my folders with clips are not as easy to remove in that position. I usually carry one of these fixed blades, a SAK (not for the blades, but as a tool kit), a saw for wood cutting and sometimes a light axe or machete when in the woods for work or play.

YMMV

Respectfully,

Jerry



Edited by JerryFountain (02/09/08 07:01 PM)

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#123237 - 02/09/08 08:00 PM Re: ka-bar [Re: JerryFountain]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6535
Loc: southern Cal
My experience in the woods has been that a knife has been useful, but not critical. For years, a SAK was quite adequate; now I carry a Wave. It is just as useful in the office as it is in the field.

In my tight outdoor experiences, I have needed water, shelter, and fire. Water and shelter rarely involved knife use, and when gathering fuel, I pick up or break dead wood from standing vegetation, or bust up logs by whacking them with a rock. I either carry shelter makings or find something suitable. Rock shelters are better than any tent I have used.

If water is critical, nothing beats a good map, and/or the ability to "read" vegetation and topography.

I routinely have a sharp blade on me, either in town or in the outdoors, but modest has worked fine for me for many years.

Most of the obsessing about brand A vs brand B, the type of steel, shape, etc. is unnecessary. There are all kinds of good serviceable blades available for $50 or under. More than that, and you are typically buying hype, rather than steel.

Most of my experience has been in the western portion of the US. Other environments might have different requirements.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#123239 - 02/09/08 08:23 PM Re: ka-bar [Re: hikermor]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I remember years ago during the assault rifle craze this retired marine attended what we discovered was a very early almost pre militia militia group in Simi Valley.They were the UNITED STATES MILITIA, had more Field Marshalls than Napoleon, one old Jimmy truck stencilled 'reconersonse command vehicle' and were desperate to coordinate efforts with the US Army. The then Simi Enterprise devoted a full page spread (next to a two page spread of the FOUNTAIN OF THE WORLD cult up in Box Canyon. Simi wasn't always home to the Reagan library.)the banner read " Local commander says USSR is probably very interested in what we are doing." Anyway, this marine showed up with a match grade star stamped garand and volunteered he owned two of the things and an uncounted mess of ammo. Oh the horror! as these Field Marshals explained he needed a high capacity mag,easilly auto sear convertable battlerifle in .223 or 7.62! I was even scarier, owning then a Springfield 03 with the long pig sticker bayonet. they decided to 'go on manuevers and started deploying into the hills in a skirmish line. This marine calmy began putting rounds in rather close proximity to their feet from an eay 500 meters.They left their ammo in the truck for safety! For a good 4 hours they were pinned down by one MI and a handfull of 8 round enbloc clips. They eventually made a break for the ridgeline, only to be arrested by security guards packing Model 10 Smiths for the LITTLEHOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE set, later claiming a spetsnaz unit had attacked them. So ended the glorious combat record of The United States Militia.I asked my new friend what knife he used for the field, I owning but a Shrade trapper( and my pig sticker bayonet.) He pulled out an old KABAR, admitted it could be a PITA, but " I'm just used to it." My point, is if you have something that works for you stick with it.Save your money for a good sleeping bag. And avoid community newspaper advertisements for 'outdoor group forming.'


Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (02/09/08 08:35 PM)

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#123240 - 02/09/08 08:27 PM Re: ka-bar [Re: mtnhiker]
xbanker Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
Which knife — or knives — carried in the field has as much to do with individual skills as it does the likely tasks. Someone who really knows what they’re doing with a knife is a wonder to behold. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle, so I compensate by carrying a multi-tool and a smallish (4-inch or less blade) full-tang fixed-blade — and sometimes a folder (SAK OHT).

It’s worth noting that folks who live and survive in pretty extreme conditions rely on fixed-blade knives that aren’t terribly “sexy” by most standards (straightforward edge geometry; thin-ish, short blade; hidden tang; easy to field sharpen) — the Scandinavian knife. The venerable (and inexpensive) Mora is all some folks require — though not necessarily recommended for the Amazon region smile . Environment has some bearing.
_________________________
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." — Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

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#123245 - 02/09/08 10:11 PM Re: ka-bar [Re: xbanker]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: xbanker
Which knife — or knives — carried in the field has as much to do with individual skills as it does the likely tasks. Someone who really knows what they’re doing with a knife is a wonder to behold. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle, so I compensate by carrying a multi-tool and a smallish (4-inch or less blade) full-tang fixed-blade — and sometimes a folder (SAK OHT).

It’s worth noting that folks who live and survive in pretty extreme conditions rely on fixed-blade knives that aren’t terribly “sexy” by most standards (straightforward edge geometry; thin-ish, short blade; hidden tang; easy to field sharpen) — the Scandinavian knife. The venerable (and inexpensive) Mora is all some folks require — though not necessarily recommended for the Amazon region smile . Environment has some bearing.


That's an extremely valid point. I've seen 'bushcraft' experts whittle amazing things down from just about any sort of wood using an $8 Mora.

There's a vid on the net of Mors Kochanski making a bow out of Saskatoon. I did a double take when he started taking material off while it was strung tight to even the top and bottom halves. If that were me there's no way I'd be able to cut wood under tension like that without cutting through it...or myself!

Skills accounts for a lot...more than any knife can compensate for.

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