I love knives. To me they represent potential. If you go out into the woods barehanded you might be able to survive, but it will be a lot easier if you have a good knife. With the right knife you can build shelter (lean-to), make the tools needed to start a fire (fire bow), and make tools that will help you eat (fish spear). Over the years I’ve used many different knives and I recently settled on the Becker Companion as my survival knife of choice. This is not a big knife, but when you pick it up you know you’re holding on to something sturdy and capable of hard work. I’ve found that it holds a good edge and it’s fairly easy to sharpen.
I don’t know how many knives I’ve broken in the field, but my philosophy is that if you’re going to take it out there you might as well use it. I’ve split a lot of firewood with this knife using the baton method and never once worried that I was going to break it.
In the above picture the Becker Companion is the bottom knife. I wrapped gorilla tape around the handle for a better grip plus it’s a good idea to have a little extra tape around when you’re in the bush. The knife comes with a kydex sheath and it clips in well enough that the knife clasp really isn’t necessary, although I use it because I’m a cautious sort at heart. I added a Maglite to the picture as a size reference.
The other knife is the Becker Necker. This sweet little knife is worn around the neck and clips in to a sturdy kydex sheath as well. It just came in the mail and other than holding it up to the light and ooohing and ahhing over it I haven’t had a chance to field test it yet, but if it’s anything like it’s big brother the Becker Companion I know I won’t be disappointed.
Another thing I really like about these knives is affordability. If you order them off the KA-BAR site you’ll pay a premium price, but if you look left and follow the Amazon link and search for these knives (I ordered the Becker Necker from there) you’ll pay about half the price. I believe I paid around $51 for the Companion and the Necker was $31.19.
Becker Necker in a Kydex Sheath
In the past I used the Marine Corps KA-BAR fighting knife I got when I was in the service. While I found this to be a pretty good knife it’s really designed as a fighting knife and not a survival knife, which brings me to another point. Be careful of the knife you buy. You don’t have to agree with my particular knife (you’re crazy if you don’t), but there are certain characteristics that a good knife will have. First of all, don’t get one of those Rambo knives with a bunch of stuff in the handle.
These knives look cool, hell they look awesome! But if you put them to the test eventually they’re going to let you down. You want a solid tang knife, meaning no hollow handles! I would also avoid folding knives as my opinion is that the joint where it folds is susceptible to breaking and batoning wood with them is a very tricky business.
Seriously, anybody who’s spent time in the wilderness has a knife that they swear by. If you insult their knife it’s the same as calling their kid ugly and it’s gonna cause some bad feelings, so be careful.
And just in case you’re wondering this is not a paid advertisement for KA-BAR. I just like their stuff.
What do you use for a survival knife? What makes it so special?