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Spyderco’s entry into the bushcraft market was designed by a group of English web forum members. In the end, the “stabilized spalted maple handles” proved to be a disaster for the company. A new version with G-10 scales will be introduced in 2011.

bacho-laplandTwo of Ray Mears’ other favorite cutting tools are the BACHO Laplander folding saw and an Asian parang machete. The saw is easy to find in this country and now that Condor has added one to their line, so is the parang.

tops-mohawkTOPS Mohawk Hunter is not billed as a bushcraft knife but I see no reason it doesn’t fit the genus as well as many of the blades on the market.

tom-krein
Tom Krein’s take on the bushcraft knife has more of an American flavor than some but it proved to be an outstanding knife for all-round outdoor use.

While the term “bushcraft knife” suddenly entered the American vocabulary of cutlery terms a few years ago, there seems to be a great deal of uncertainty about what it actually means. As some have pointed out, the phrase “bushcraft” has been used in Australia for many years to describe outback living skills, but that is not really the full modern interpretation. To understand the current connotation of “bushcraft knife” you need to focus more on BBC outdoor adventure star Ray Mears.

A number of years ago I talked to Ray about his views on this subject. To start with, “bushcraft” is not technically about escaping a short-term survival situation in the wilderness. It is rather a group of primitive living skills that would allow you to live in an undeveloped area for an extended period of time. In England this tends to take the form of the question: “How would early Iron Age Britons have done it?” Ray has pointed out he feels three items are essential to any primitive area traveler: a means of starting a fire, a cutting tool and a pot to boil water and cook in (Zebra brand billy cans from Thailand are favored in England).

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Spyderco’s entry into the bushcraft market was designed by a group of English web forum…