Survival knives are a common attachment to the EDC of any good survivalist or prepper. It’s the one tool attached to the waistbelt that can make a difference in so many situations. But no matter how prepared you are, it’s always good to take a trip back to the basics and take a look at some survival knife uses you might not have considered.
All good survivalists know that survival knives are a dime a dozen. They can help you out when you are in a pickle in so many various ways. Rather than just being used as a blade, survival knives have a lot of other uses making them more of a multitool than just a fixed blade knife.
Bushcraft knives, survival knives, and fixed-blade knives have stood the test of time and have evolved due to expert craftsmanship from great manufacturers to make them what they are today, a truly versatile tool relied upon by many.
A knife is one of those tools that can be used both indoors and outdoors. Whether you are working in the kitchen or enjoying the outdoors, there is a knife, or knives, for every job. Survival knives, specifically, have a particular set of features that make them different from a normal kitchen knife or pocket knife, but most survivalists and outdoors enthusiasts find survival knives to be the best to carry as they are durable, strong, fixed-blade, and able to withstand high-impact use. This is why survival knives are a more preferred tool for everyday carry enthusiasts, rather than a regular folding pocketknife.
What are survival knives?
Survival knives are exactly that, a survival knife made to use and to rely upon in a survival scenario or setting. They are one tool that all popular survivalists recommend as one of the 10 essential survival items that you need to survive outdoors. This means they are made to withstand the extremes that might be experienced for knife-use in outdoors settings, and we are not just talking about opening tins of beans around the campfires either.
Many of the features of survival knives are there for a specific reason as they are designed to be used for those purposes. Most survivalists would be familiar with using a survival knife to help with setting traps, cutting branches, carving wood, skinning animals and even being used (with a handle) to chop and split wood blocks. As you can see, these uses require survival knives to be durable, strong and made to withstand heavy impacts. You wouldn’t use a fold-up knife or the knife of a multi-tool for this as most of them are not made to withstand that sort of impact and hard use and will shatter, break or not perform as well as a survival knife.
Furthermore, survival knives are a more appropriate knife-style to use for self-defense. This is especially the case if they are sharp tipped, as this opens them up to certain striking methods such as stabbing, slicing and jabbing with the knife, and can be turned into a larger weapon when used in conjunction with a sturdy and straight branch, creating something more akin to a pike.
What are some other survival knife uses?
So we have seen that survival knives have some very practical outdoor applications. But of course, when you hear the words survival and knife, you are obviously not going to imagine something to be used in the kitchen, or something used by an electrician to cut wires, right?
Instead, aside from the hunting and trapper daily uses you might know the survival knife for, here are six other uses for a survival knife that you probably didn’t think of.
1. Opening Boxes, Letters, and Packages
Whether you are on an outdoor adventure or at your home, packages and boxes are common products in your life. Of course, their contents and the way you open them might be a little more different. When you are outdoors, a package might be a ration pack or a can of baked beans, whereas at home, it might be a power bill you have been dreading, or a nice birthday card you were waiting for.
Opening the packages with bare hands can be a tiresome task, especially if it is a special occasion like Christmas when your life is flooded with gift packs. A handy knife can be of great use in case you need to open these packages and gift boxes.
We needn’t mention the chance of a paper cut when opening certain packages, but there is that risk too. Using a sharp-bladed survival knife allows you to finely cut open an envelope, or to slice along the taped points of a gift box so that you can access its inner contents.
2. When you are outdoors and camping with the family
Of course, one of the times you will have the most survival knife uses is when you are camping. You should keep your knife hitched to your belt as it will become more handy than you realize. Just last weekend I counted several times when I would be using my knife, from shaving kindle for a fire, carving a nice piece of wood to make a skewer for meat kebab sticks, opening a packet of hot dogs, and a stick to cook the kids’ marshmallows.
On a camping trip you come in close contact with nature, so you might come face to face with dire situations like facing a wild animal. In such scenarios, a knife can be really helpful should the animal decide to attack. Although, this depends on the animal as some animals are better not to move in front of and others need different responses such as using bear pepper spray or a gun for safety.
Most survival knives are able to be used as a bottle opener, a screwdriver or as a way to pick out splinters, should it have a fine tip.
3. Fishing and Hunting
Whether you love fishing, are a professional fisherman, or if you love to hunt in the wild, you already know how important a knife can be for you. A survival knife can have a number of functions to perform in those situations.
A survival knife can be used to cut a fishing line that has snagged on a rock or weeds, remove the hook from a fish, cut up bait, and to fillet a fish for dinner. If you love hunting, a knife can help you tame a game, skin meat, and also cut meat.
And while you wait for the fish or game, that survival knife you have on your hip can help you get a beer bottle opened to enjoy a nice cold drink while you wait for your next meal. Hunting knives are also survival knives with a few specific additions, which, apart from helping you be an efficient predator, should help you in survival situations.
When you are lost in the wild, a survival knife can be used to get help by carving out the tree trunks for markings. You could leave marks on trees, when you are lost in the wild, to attract the attention of people who are searching for you. This also helps ensure that while you try to get out of that situation, you do not keep walking in circles and tire yourself out.
4. First Aid
While traveling outdoors, there is a high chance of getting hurt. Do you carry a proper first aid kit wherever you go? How do you cut bandages or fashion a tourniquet? Scissors can be used only for one purpose, while a knife can be used in multiple situations, whenever necessary.
A survival knife can be used to cut a bandage to wrap up the wood splinted to your leg if you have broken it, or help in creating a tourniquet for severe injuries. It can be used to open anesthesia bottles to mild down your pain or kill off dangerous bacteria by pouring the liquid down on the wound.
If you are trying to fend off a dangerous animal to protect yourself, a knife can be a great line of self-defense in survival situations. Of course, as mentioned above, this is only for specific animals as there can be more suitable safety devices to use against dangerous animals that are about to attack you at certain times of the year.
So, whatever the situation is, these knives can help you get out of that trap with ease. Knives are considered one of the most effective tools for close quarter combat and hand-to-hand fighting, which is usually the case in such situations. The only thing you need to make sure is the quality and sharpness of your blade because it won’t be of any use if the blade is blunt or have issues with its tang.
6. Preparing Food
From peeling fruit to preparing meat or cutting vegetables, knives can be really beneficial in handling your food prep. Of course, when are in the kitchen, it might be more appropriate to use a kitchen knife, however, the outdoor kitchen when you are in the campground is easily managed with that handy survival knife you have by your side. A survival knife is a must-have addition to your toolset as it will help you get through the task with ease. Food is more a need than a desire, so it is advisable to carry a knife, especially when you are outdoors because you never know what you will have to eat to survive when you are stuck. So peeling fruits and cutting vegetables are easy tasks, but what if you have to hunt an animal, skin it and cut it to cook by carving kindle with dry wood? Only one thing comes to mind, right? A sharp, handy, survival knife.
Over to you…
The best thing is, the list of uses for a survival knife is endless, there is no doubt about that. If you are considering buying a survival knife, I hope that this post has shown you just how handy they can be at all times. If you are going to get yourself a survival knife, you might want to read our post on what to look out for when choosing the best survival knife, as there are a lot of different options out there, and some might be better for you than others.
Oh, and to help out the prepping and survival community, if you have any interesting ways to use a survival knife, let us know in the comment section below.