If you need a tough, do-it-all field knife, the TOPS High Desert Survival Knife is one to look at. It’s rugged build and practical features make it an extremely handy tool for backwoods chores.
John’s no stranger to the outdoors, and he’s been actively involved in the wilds since he was 8 years old. He grew up in rural Oklahoma where hunting, fishing, farming and raising animals were everyday chores for him. At age 11, he started Boy Scouts and spent a number of years there learning outdoors skills, as well as from friends in the Native American Choctaw and Cherokee tribes. As an adult, John continued to hone his survival skills in various terrains, such as the swamps of Louisiana and Mississippi and the coastal regions of the U.S. Gulf Coast.
He moved to Arizona a dozen years ago and attended Cody Lundin’s Aboriginal Living Skills School through Yavapai College, and he credits this course with really changing his life and being the incentive for starting the High Desert Survival School.
The TOPS High Desert Survival Knife comes with a sturdy ballistic nylon sheath. The sheath has a rigid liner and is outfitted with MOLLE attachments for attaching to your pack or tactical vest. The pouch is big enough for a variety of tools or containers. Here the author managed to fit in an Aviation Survival Fire Starter kit as well as a small fishing kit.
Since 2004, he’s been running the school in Mayer, a small town north of Phoenix surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, and sharing his skills and knowledge with folks attending his classes. Those classes range from one-day courses in specific areas like fire building or finding and purifying water, to weeklong courses covering a myriad of advanced survival techniques. Class sizes are generally kept small, between four and six students, to allow for a good student-to-instructor ratio and allow for more hands-on time.
The handle of the High Desert Survival Knife is comprised of slabs of black G10 with TOPS’ Tuff Grip design. There are three brass-lined holes along the handle to allow for lashing points of the placement of a lanyard depending on how the user wants to set up the blade.