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Knife of choice if you were stranded in the wilderness?

Jun 21, 1999
For the sake of assumption, let's assume that you were going to be stranded in the wilderness for a year without any contact to the outside world. Which knife would you carry, and why? Remember this knife will have to serve several purposes and your very life could actually depend on it.

The reason for this question is that I am itching to purchase another knife, and your replies will help me determine just which one I "need."
If i were stranded in the wilderness, with only one knife (bahaha, joke in itself), it would have to first off, be a fixed blade..folders could get much grit in them making them harder to fold etc, maybe even make the lock not work so well. Also, I would have it be partially serrated for major cutting if needed, and a tanto or chisel end for....prying..yes i know using a knife for that is a no no...but in survival's sake, i say what the 'ell.

I'm having to describe the knife because frankly i don't have one LIKE it...but seen some, just forgot where/what they are.

"I wouldn't mind you being inside my head if you weren't clearly so crazy."

A lot of people think these threads are stupid. Maybe they're right. Anyway, they don't have to participate.

Right now I'd be perfectly comfortable taking my Chris Reeve Project 1 for an indefinate period in nearly any environment. I have tested and used this knife extensively, and it has proven itself capable.

Idealy, it would be a custom piece of my own design tailored to my particular quirks and capabilities.

It's tang, gaurd, blade, and pommel would all be one piece of steel, and perhaps even the handle scales too. Makes it easier to disinfect. Wild game carries all sorts of bacteria that can live in inaccessible crevices in knives, which is why I decided to give the Project a whirl in the first place.

It would have a long blade, 8 or 9 inches, about an inch and a half wide, drop point, single edged.

The handle would have an egg-shaped cross section for indexing and roll control, and it would blend smoothly into the gaurd and pommel for comfort. Hard angles make raw spots. For that matter, there wouldn't be a sharp corner anywhere but on the point and cutting edge.

It'd have a double gaurd, but narrow.

It would also be carbon or tool steel, and likely A2.

Oh yeah, kydex sheath and lanyard hole would be nice.

It is worth noting that I use a knife to dispatch large game animals as well as basic utility work.

A machete, particularly a well made one, is also a good survival tool, as is a hatchet, and either will serve you well according to your environment.

I have been considering switching to a hatchet or machete when I finaly destroy my Project 1.
Hands down: my Busse INFI Steel Heart II. The best fixed knife that I have ever owned (and I own alot). The thing is scary sharp and will cut/pry/muscle it's way through anything.

If that were unavailable, then maybe a Cold Steel Recon Scout.


AKTI Member A000360
My custom 52100 Bowie by Lowell Bray or a CS
Trailmaster. It's a toss up.

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

Man! Have we got survival knife threads going or what???

My choice...minimum 7" full tang fixed blade with some belly (no tantos for me)around 3/16" thick. 1095 steel suits me fine. No bells and whistles such as saw backs, serrations, hollowed handle, or grappling hooks.

Handle? Micarta works for me. - Jeff
It would be my Kit Carson Big Hunter. Full tang,stout spine, fine edge.



"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")
I would probally take my Newt Livesay Woo neck knife

Really though......I would take Newt Livesay's RTAK.

8 3/8" blade semi drop point. Full tang with
416ss double guard slotted and pinned, micarta slabs blind bolts and epoxyied on. 52100 blade 1/4" at the guard with distal taper out to the point, area enough in front of the guard rounded on the bottom of the blade to put my finger to lock the knife in my hand for better control and hold on when things get slippery. Thong hole in end of handle. dropped handle for more comfort and curve
at the back of the handle with a slight hook
NO sharp edges except on the cutting edge.

Don't walk in tradition just because it feels good!!!!!
Romans 10:9,10
Psalm 91

[This message has been edited by goshawk (edited 19 August 1999).]
I like these survival knife threads! In this situation again I would take the Busse Mistress. Being out there for a year, the fact that the edge lasts a long time is top priority. It's strong, comfortable and well balanced. Can't go wrong with one.
Geeze,there are tons of good choices out there that would work just fine. Battle Mistress and Steelheart,CS Trailmaster/ Recon Scout ,a couple different MadDogs,a slew of Livesays,Marbles Trailmaker and loads of different customs would all fit the bill. Ideally mine would be a custom of my own design. Something along the lines of a Steelheart but with a 9" full convex ground blade,single guard,a little foreward rake,canvas micarta grip scales,lanyard and a teflon or Black Ti coating. I`m not sure what steel but I`d lean toward a good simple zone hardened carbon steel like D2 or 5160. Don`t ask me again next week I`ll probably give a different answer.
I changed my mind......

A plastic knife sitting at a In-N-Out burger here in LA.....never needs sharpening and comes with fries if you ask.
Right now I'd take my 18" Ang Khola. It's big, tough, and has a little knife to back it up.

If I have a year to prepare, I might get Howard Clark or Don Fogg to make me a camp knife with L-6 steel.
I guess if I had to grab one knife and run, it would be my GH Service #1 Khukuri.

The blade is just over 10". It's hefty enough to chop up limbs or dig a hole, yet lean enough to skin game or cut tent pegs. If required for offensive or defensife purposes, it will handle the chore quite nicely. With a little practice it will even work for chores like peeling and slicing potatoes.

It has decent edge holding capabilities and can be brought back to a workable edge with a flat rock or a pocket hone.

There are probably better choices out there, but my Khukuri is familiar, has proven it can take severe abuse, and is what I trust.


When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side.......
Sun-Tzu 400 BC

For my big knife, I remain at the moment a machete guy. 12" or 18" machete (depending on which wilderness). I feel brush clearing, extra length, and light chopping capabilities of the machete will be advantageous over the heavy chopping ability of kukris/hatchets (neither shelter or fire needs demand this type of chopping where I go) or a more general-purpose big-bowie. If I were going to look at a big bowie, I'd look for good length and excellent edge geometry -- the Livesay RTAK would be my top contender here. I am hopefully going to get one soon to evaluate.

I also carry a small knife for food prep and the like, which is actually 90% of what I'll be doing anyway. The A.G. Russell Deerhunter and Spyderco Moran would do great here. Of course, I favor the knife I specifically designed for this role, the TTKK at www.pe.net/~thrblade/

Busse Battle Mistress .

there said it in only three words , but wait I just added these other 15 . dooee!!!!!
Hmm, I am really wantign a Busse Battle mistress, that knife sounds real impressive. To bad they're as rare as 3 legged people and cost $350 - kinda makes em hard to get a hold of
If I had to choose a knife I own, my Ka-bar Next Generation would be my choice, which is a good knife in it's own right, just wish it was a bit longer, like a 10 in version 1/4 to 5/16 inches thick....
Please don't knock my grammar. I know how to spell, I just rush. And that was supposed to be a smiley face, but I do mine differnet and messed it up...lemme try again