As a young boy I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather fishing, hunting rabbits, and picking mushrooms. These were the things that he loved doing with me on the weekends. I often find myself looking back on these memories and it is his survival knife that stands out to me the most.
He wasn’t the type of man who was flashy when it came to how he did things. It was always about functionality, reparability, and affordability for him.
As a young man he left Scotland in the early 1900’s. Australia bound, he brought with him his passion for hunting. There certainly was plenty of opportunity ahead for him to dive into the bush and come home with a swag full of game.
From the age of 4 he took me under his wing and instilled into me the fundamentals of outdoor living, and essential survival techniques. Back then there were very few options to source gear outside of the local shops. So when he did buy something, it was a big deal.
A Scotsman and His Survival Knife
No puns intended here, but when you’ve got Scottish blood, you tend to be a little more frugal. That for me means you take care of your equipment. I remember how he looked after his survival knife, particularly how he meticulously cleaned it, kept it oiled, and made sure the blade was always sharp.
He had it so sharp that he could use it to shave, and I recall watching him do this one morning as the fog was lifting around our tent and swirling near the riverbank.
The impression that he left on me was one that has served me well to this day. Always take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you when you need it.
But, these days it is so easy to pick up a replacement at very little cost, and sometimes I see people not really looking after their gear the way I remember my Grandfather doing.
Times change I guess, and with that we have seen so many more options come onto the market than I recall seeing growing up. So it is important to know what you want to get out of your survival knife before you make a purchase.
My Pick: The Mora Bushcraft Knife
I’ve found that lately I’ve gravitated towards the Mora Bushcraft survival knife for the added flexibility it provides. This has helped me lighten the load and gain more flexibility in hiking and camping. Fishing has been a breeze with this little beauty by my side.
When I bought this I found that I got enough use of the the diamond sharpener to justify that little more expense on the outlay. My Grandfather might call me a spendthrift had he known what this cost me. But, it’s been going for a very long time now and I can honestly say it has served me well.
It may seem a little gimmicky to some people, but every little practical addon that takes another thing out of the backpack is a good call in my opinion.
The Mora Bushcraft comes with a handy firestarter that I’ve yet to find a situation where it hasn’t performed as expected. One of my Buddies compared it to the New Years Eve fireworks with how much of a spark it was able to throw off. Needless to say, no one went cold by the glow of the fire we got going on chilly nights thanks to the firestarter.
The simplicity of the design reminds me of my Grandfather. Functional, but not at any other expense. To hold it feels well balanced and it sits in my hand like it’s familiar.
When dealing with gutting fish, this has stood up to everything from banjo sharks fishing off the local pier, right through to even the slimiest of eels when out in the rivers.
For me, that says a lot about the quality of the blade, and the design of the handle. I’ve never felt like I had to work harder than necessary. And I have never felt like I didn’t have control of the blade.
Some knives may look impressive, but when your hands are covered in eel slime, they are so slippery that it is tough to get a grip on anything. I never felt this way with this survival knife.
What is it that stands out to you when choosing a survival knife? Do you go for something that looks impressive? Or are you more driven by the functionality?