Your survival knife is without question one of the top three most important items in your bug-out bag. (An ignition device and a metal container are the other top two.)
For many, choosing a survival knife is a very personal decision. With thousands of knives in the marketplace, the choices can be somewhat overwhelming. But remember that the best survival knife is the one that meets your individual needs.
Don’t be fooled by what you see in the movies. The fancy knives seen in survival movies are more for prop collectors than for real survivalists. You don’t know how much you need a good, sharp cutting tool in a survival situation until you don’t have one.
I learned this firsthand on a three-day survival trip in which I was not able to bring a modern knife. I will never take my knife for granted again.
Best Survival Knife: What it Should Do
By design, a survival knife should be fairly simple. It should be about function not “flash.” Below is a short list of tasks a survival knife should be able to assist you with:
- Dressing game
- Hammering shelter anchors
- Making fire
- Signal mirror (if blade is polished steel)
- Building shelter
- Food preparation
Best Survival Knife Features: Fixed Blade
The best survival knife in my opinion should have a fixed blade – not a folding or lockback style.
True, folding knives can be more convenient to carry, but strength is compromised at the folding joint. If the knife breaks during rigorous use, you are SOL.
If you really like folding knives, carry one as a backup, but not as your primary survival knife. I carry a Spyderco Native locking folder as my everyday carry knife and it will be my bug-out bag backup knife as well.