To understand the design intent of the H•E•S•T, you must first understand the man behind it. Talk about a man who has “been there.” Author, filmmaker, adventurer, and survivor, Robert Young Pelton has traversed more than three dozen conflict zones and well over 100 countries in his search for the truth, and his choice of gear and well-thought-out design dictate it!
Whenever I pick up a new RAT Knife, I know a few things I can expect right out of the gate. Fit and finish are always 100% from the factory. The edges will always shave hair off my arms fresh from the box. Most importantly, every knife RAT Cutlery has ever produced is a direct result of listening to the feedback from their customers, whether they are military, law enforcement, backpackers, or adventurers from all over the world.
This brings us to the H•E•S•T (Hostile Environment Survival Tool), the first product from the DPx Gear line and the latest offering and collaboration between Robert Young Pelton and RAT Cutlery. The “DP” means it is designed to be used in the world’s most dangerous places.
Under the Radar
Traveling abroad, although exciting, has its own set of rules, especially in parts of the world where you just can’t quite read the people yet. It is even worse if there is a language barrier. I have encountered this many times and it seems the best remedy is usually to smile and wave. My point is that in places where the locals are not as friendly towards outsiders, it’s a good idea to fly under the radar. I know Robert Pelton had this in mind when deciding on the overall size of the H•E•S•T. The entire knife has a black textured powder coating over high carbon 1095 steel. Overall, 7-5/8 inches in total length and 1-3/16 inches at its widest point of the blade. With a blade length of approximately 3-1/8 inches (cutting edge), the H•E•S•T is the perfect example of a big knife in a relatively small package.
I was fortunate enough to hear a story from a NATO/ISAF civilian consultant working in Afghanistan who was kidnapped. He was attacked by two guys from behind while sitting in a taxi. They grabbed him around the neck and his right arm, thus eliminating his ability to reach for his folding knife, which was clipped to the right leg cargo pocket of his BDU pants. He said, “Knife type, position, and concealability were obviously all factors in my case!” He also added that if he had a knife of similar size to the H•E•S•T and carried it up around his torso area, he could have possibly dealt with the situation without having to jump out of a taxi moving 35 miles per hour.