One of the best articles I have ever read on the subject of survival knives was one that was published over 20 years ago. It was written by a professional woodsman and was a refreshing antidote to the Rambo hype that at the time was flooding the cutlery market with all sorts of exotic survival doodads that promised to “bring you back alive.” The writer integrated the wisdom of the venerable old-timers, Kephart, Rustrum, and Angier, with his own substantial experience. What resulted was some down-to-earth advice that made sense.

It was suggested that the backwoods wanderer carry on his person a sturdy folder and a modest belt knife. In the rucksack, under the rain gear, thermos and other necessities, he had stashed his “beater.” This was a hatchet or rugged knife “used for any and all chores.”

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