Written by James Walton
Any person who starts down the road of preparedness must understand the threats they are faced with and the hurdles to mitigate these threats. You see, the location of your survival plans and resulting actions are very important.
Understand Your Unique Survival Circumstance
While you may live in the city, it might be the mountains that you plan to escape to. This means you must be well versed in escaping a city as well as surviving in the wild. For most of us it’s one or the other.
This is why having plans is such an important part of prepping. If you fly by the seat of your pants, I can assure you that something will be left behind and forgotten. That is never a fun scenario to dream up. How on earth are you going to tackle an environment that you never planned on entering?
Urban or Wilderness?
There are two important distinctions to make in regard to your survival plans and choosing the right survival knife among other tools. That is the environment that most of your survival will take place in. If you plan on taking on the wilderness than you are going to have specific tasks that you ask of your survival knife. These have to be considered.
If you are one of the unlucky people who is left with few options and must take on the urban environment, you will need a very specific set of tools and the tasks you ask of your survival knife will be very different than those you will need in the wild.
Let’s have a look at those particular tasks that might be asked of your survival knife in the two environments that are outlined. While some tasks may be similar, others will be very different.
Wilderness Survival Tasks
No one really appreciates what a dog it can be to gather and process enough firewood just to get yourself through one cool night. Depending on the tools that you have packed in your bag, you may use your survival knife for processing wood and that is going to lay a heavy burden on that knife.
The reason I bring this task up first is because it best articulates the importance of having a strong, full tang survival knife. All other designs will undoubtedly perish under pressure.
Whether you are carving stakes from wood or breaking down branches to build a lean-to, the survival knife plays a massive role in the creation of shelter. You will even need its cutting edge to take advantage of all that cordage you packed. You did pack cordage, right?
A quality survival knife is going to offer you a number of solutions when it comes to shelter creation and even modifications. Now, I wouldn’t recommend the survival knife being your only cutting tool when building shelter but, remember, it could wind up that way.
You could argue that this task would fall into both the urban and wilderness survival categories. In the wilderness, you would likely be killing and skinning things like squirrels, rabbits and maybe deer. While in an urban environment you would probably be breaking down birds like pigeons and dove while also taking advantage of things like an opossum.
Urban Survival Tasks
Perhaps the biggest difference in tasks is the fact that your survival knife will likely be used in self-defense. The sheer number of people that you will face in an urban collapse will put the odds in favor of conflict. Remember, a gun can be virtually useless in someone closing on you at 20 feet. The urban scenario could be a lot of that.
A task that will define your urban survival knife is going to be its ability to be effective as a self-defense weapon.
In the urban environment, you are going to have lots of resources to scavenge. You will need a quality survival knife to take care of quick tasks like separating rusted pieces of metal or maybe even cutting straps or plastics.
One of the most important parts of scavenging is to get in and out fast. Chances are you won’t be the only person looking to gather resources in that area.
Since there will be an abundance of resources and materials around you will likely do a bit of cobbling things together. While most of what you find will be damaged, you will be able to add other parts from other things to craft the items that you need.
Look for a strong spine survival knife that can also carve well. When cobbling together makeshift resources you will need to make small modifications and the right survival knife will make these possible.
The survival knife will be your go-to piece of equipment, but you should consider carrying other tools based on your environment. Below we are going to look at a number of other tools that are worth their weight for the Urban and Wilderness survivor.
Access is always going to be an issue. You will find that the urban environment is full of barricades. Locked doors, windows and gates are some examples of this.
With access and scavenging in mind, it’s easy to understand why something like a prybar would be a great option in urban survival.
On the wilderness side of things, you will want to have an item like a handsaw to work through fire wood and maybe even use in building shelter
The hatchet is indispensable in the wild. While you might think you can use your survival knife as a hatchet its not a great way to have a knife last a long time.
Your survival knife should reflect your circumstances. How you use that knife should as well. It is very important that you choose this tool wisely and maximize what you get out of that simple blade.
It’s amazing when you consider all the things your survival knife can do for you and it’s just a thin sharpened piece of steel.
About the Author
James Walton is the host of I AM Liberty a podcast that airs on www.prepperbroadcasting.com. He is also the author of Come Unity, Community a book about neighbors and prepared communities. You can read more by James at www.iamlibertyshow.com