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My question came about as I read your OP.
Please do explain how you know in advance when a "campout" will not ever become a survival incident ?.
Seems to me that no one plans on a real survival incident.
Or it would be just an excersize and not real "survival".
I carry 3 folders for everday use [SAK,mini Barrage,large folder ]
All serve a purpose,and I carry a fixed blade ,usually in addition to those folders when ANYWHERE near wilderness or even the possibility of that happening..
I was taught in the recent past [ last 10 years ] the survival adage "plus one".
One is none,two is one.
Look it up,makes perfect sense to me.
Most people and and "survival" stories you read about are people who made stupid decisions, didn't fully prepare or assess the risks and their decision-making process led to survival situations. I'm not saying you "need" a fixed blade (and having an axe really negates the redundancy if weight is an issue), as a small folder is more than adequate if all your other planning, preparations, and prudent decision making is in line. A catastrophic situation requires more mental problem solving than a knife is going to provide...and I say that as a serious knife enthusiast. I've had to really trim down my cutting category for long distance backpacking; camping is different to me. If you have shelter, food, water, stove, and fuel, what are you going to need a knife for? Seriously. Is it good insurance and mental comfort? Sure, but it's not always a necessity; sacrilegious, I know, but this is coming from hundreds and hundreds of backpacking miles with some areas more remote than others. There are likely a half-dozen other "essentials" that would be higher on my priority list than a knife in actual "survival" (shelter, clothing/insulation, FAK, compass, signaling device, water filter/system, etc.). A knife becomes essential when you screw everything else up, and just having a knife doesn't mean you're really that prepared, did very good planning, or even competent enough to be outdoors in the first place...

Now, that said, I decided long ago, I still prefer to have a fixed blade in the wilderness and even for distance backpacking, I had to make some sacrifices and went with the smallest Mora as part of my kit. To be clear, it's not an essential for backpacking (fixed blade, that is); it's the weight of a mental comfort item I decided to keep on my packing list. These are what I routinely backpack with; perfect for backpacking with full kit, not necessarily ideal for taking stupid risks (for the OP, I carry my, now smaller Mora, under the hip-belt pocket of my ULA Circuit or Seek Outside pack pockets with a similar design):







Perspective is clarified with experience.

I've spent a lot of "exercises" doing primitive "camping" and bushcraft with bladed tools and fully know my skill level and their capabilities. If you're doing the minimalist thing, a fixed blade becomes much more important on the priority list. Tools such as a quality fixed blade, saw, or an axe just makes certain tasks (predominantly wood processing, shelter building, etc.) much more efficient, but having them on hand won't keep you from making stupid decisions that often create survival situations.

I also pack the mental comfort of a pistol; another item that I just decided to add to my lightweight backpacking kit; much like the fixed blade, rarely (if ever) used, but they help me sleep better at night.



ROCK6
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Thanks for the insight. A lot has been made of the hatchet I carry. It has multiple uses and it is easier to use for digging my hippy hole than an e-tool. In fact, I doubt I will cut anything with it but will use it for hammering and digging.
 

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Thanks for the insight. A lot has been made of the hatchet I carry. It has multiple uses and it is easier to use for digging my hippy hole than an e-tool. In fact, I doubt I will cut anything with it but will use it for hammering and digging.
A hatchet is a heavier tool, but it's hard to argue its value and some (especially in more northern areas/boreal forests) swear by them (or even a larger 19-20" 1.5lb axe) as their one, essential tool. I'm an old student of the late Ron Hood, and a quality tempered knives is more than capable of being used as a digging too "if" needed. Still I try not to abuse my edges unless it's a time-crunch thing and it's all I have. Digging a shallow cat hole? Use a digging stick or add a 0.6oz Deuce of Spades trowel to your kit...;)



ROCK6
 

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A hatchet is a heavier tool, but it's hard to argue its value and some (especially in more northern areas/boreal forests) swear by them (or even a larger 19-20" 1.5lb axe) as their one, essential tool. I'm an old student of the late Ron Hood, and a quality tempered knives is more than capable of being used as a digging too "if" needed. Still I try not to abuse my edges unless it's a time-crunch thing and it's all I have. Digging a shallow cat hole? Use a digging stick or add a 0.6oz Deuce of Spades trowel to your kit...;)



ROCK6
I kinda want a buck hood punk , sadly they stopped making them.
 

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IF you are already carying a quality folding knife I agree if you are not take the fixed blade.
Reasons to leave your folder at home and carry a fixed

1. Harder to lose a fixed knife in a sheath than a pocket clipped folder. You can’t just get another knife from the drawer. Plus if you lose a knife in the woods it is likely gone for good.

2. Food prep is easier with a fixed blade especially cleaning. A folder has too many places that are hard to reach to clean without disassembly. Some are better than others BUT a fixed is always easier to keep clean.

3. Fixed blades are tougher and can be used to break down kindling for your fire. Esp if it is a larger knife.

4.Med and large fixed blades can be used to help pound in tent pegs or other hammering tasks. Try that with a 2 inch folder.

5. Should you get lost and need your knife for harder use ,the fixed can handle more.

6. In jurisdictions where autos are not legal , a fixed can be deployed faster. This can matter if you need to untangle yourself from a line around a boat or hammock , etc.

7. One of the biggest reasons to not carry a folder , lack of social acceptance, does not apply camping.

8. Zombies.
 

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I agree a fixed blade is ideal for survival which is why I have one in my flight bag but it just seemed overkill in a camping situation.

HOW ABOUT...
because you can NEVER tell when a "camping" situation can turn into a "survival" situation?????
 

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(or even a larger 19-20" 1.5lb axe)
I've done a lot of 'camping' with my old 1952 1.5lb/19" Snow & Neally over the years and it has served me well. There is of course a weight penalty involved over a fixed blade. Options are what makes this hobby fun. :)
This hatchet with mask, collar and straps to attach to my pack comes in at just over 3 pounds.
360593
 

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Reasons to leave your folder at home and carry a fixed

1. Harder to lose a fixed knife in a sheath than a pocket clipped folder. You can’t just get another knife from the drawer. Plus if you lose a knife in the woods it is likely gone for good.

2. Food prep is easier with a fixed blade especially cleaning. A folder has too many places that are hard to reach to clean without disassembly. Some are better than others BUT a fixed is always easier to keep clean.

3. Fixed blades are tougher and can be used to break down kindling for your fire. Esp if it is a larger knife.

4.Med and large fixed blades can be used to help pound in tent pegs or other hammering tasks. Try that with a 2 inch folder.

5. Should you get lost and need your knife for harder use ,the fixed can handle more.

6. In jurisdictions where autos are not legal , a fixed can be deployed faster. This can matter if you need to untangle yourself from a line around a boat or hammock , etc.

7. One of the biggest reasons to not carry a folder , lack of social acceptance, does not apply camping.

8. Zombies.
I’ll be the devil’s advocate and say that a folding knife can very much serve as a survival knife; in fact, for many, that’s what they’ll likely have with them when something “unplanned” does go south.

I’m not saying I’m advocating for choosing a folder over a fixed blade. I personally see the folder as a backup to a fixed blade. That said the development of the Al Mar SERE folding knife built a folder to handle much tougher tasks than pocket knives of the day, and provide a much shorter and smaller footprint than a fixed blade for air crewman.

I read an article in Tactical Knives about 20 years ago testing this theory about a folding knife. The Author used a Benchmade AFCK folding knife to build a shelter, collect materials for bedding, carve and make a fire bow, whittle out some figure-four traps, etc. It survived just fine; granted, not as efficient as fixed blade, but it can handle the majority of “survival” knife tasks. Modern folders have some pretty stout locking mechanisms and as long as you don’t exert too much lateral pressure, they can handle heavy chopping, battening, etc.

These are five folders that I could and would feel fine replacing something with a four inch fixed blade. These aren’t necessarily “pocket folders”, but I have carried the Grayman SATU and Cold Steel in my pocket. For size reference, that’s an ESEE 4, Benchmade Adamas auto, and Victorinox Spirit multitool.

Original Al Mar SERE folder
Extrema Ratio RAO 2 (I also have the original RAO)
Cold Steel 4 MAX
Grayman SATU
Xio Alpha Mark 1

Interestingly enough, both the RAO and Xio folders have a pin you can screw into the hilt for added strength and it does work with vertical stresses/impacts, but not so much for later pressures; however they are beefy built as is.

Best value is the Cold Steel 4 MAX IMHO.







I will always have a folder on me, so it’s not really much of a decision between the two. I much prefer a fixed blade for some of the reasons you mentioned (ever clean fish scales/guts or rabbit hair/blood/guts/meat out of an Axis locking folder? It sucks!). That said, if I needed a more compact cutting tool and didn’t want to lose many of the fixed blade advantages, these monster folders would work and do about 90% of what I would expect of a similar sized fixed blade. Complexity is a detractor to some degree, but performance would surprise you.

ROCK6
 

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Reasons to leave your folder at home and carry a fixed

1. Harder to lose a fixed knife in a sheath than a pocket clipped folder. You can’t just get another knife from the drawer. Plus if you lose a knife in the woods it is likely gone for good.

2. Food prep is easier with a fixed blade especially cleaning. A folder has too many places that are hard to reach to clean without disassembly. Some are better than others BUT a fixed is always easier to keep clean.

3. Fixed blades are tougher and can be used to break down kindling for your fire. Esp if it is a larger knife.

4.Med and large fixed blades can be used to help pound in tent pegs or other hammering tasks. Try that with a 2 inch folder.

5. Should you get lost and need your knife for harder use ,the fixed can handle more.

6. In jurisdictions where autos are not legal , a fixed can be deployed faster. This can matter if you need to untangle yourself from a line around a boat or hammock , etc.

7. One of the biggest reasons to not carry a folder , lack of social acceptance, does not apply camping.

8. Zombies.
I guess I replied to the wrong statement by the OP. I was referring more to the day hike situation with a pack that included a hatchet. Personally I always have a folder in my pocket but if I were camping I would have the folder and a fixed blade . It's probably overkill to have both but I'm ok with overkill. I would probably have a folding saw in my pack as well because it's not that heavy and if u need it u need it. That being said I wouldn't tell someone they were woefully under prepared if they had a quality folder and a hatchet.
 

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Personally I always have a folder in my pocket but if I were camping I would have the folder and a fixed blade . It's probably overkill to have both but I'm ok with overkill.
I don't think so. I would suspect if we did a poll, over 90% of members here have a folder on their belt or in their pocket as part of their EDC, and a surprising number probably carry a multitool of some sort as well. Personally, I just naturally assume that a folding knife (and often a multitool) is just part of my clothing system. So, when I add a fixed blade, it's not really overkill, it just becomes my primary cutting tool and the pocket folder is backup or for smaller cutting chores.

I have struggled with my military background to not succumb to the "one is none, two is one" mantra when it comes to planning a backpacking trip; that really adds significant weight if you're not disciplined, carry all your fears in your pack or "what-if" an extra 10 pounds of kit. That said, there are couple areas where I will accept the weight for redundancy. I can minimize their size, but prefer having that redundancy. Bladed tools, water filtration/purification, fire, and socks are areas I won't compromise.

ROCK6
 

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In any situation where a critical item (knife, compass, water filter, map case, fire steel, flashlight, gun, GPS, phone, etc.) could get accidentally lost (unnoticed)... tie the damn thing down with a Dummy Cord.

That includes pocket clipped folders. Or sheathed fixed blades for that matter.
 
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For camping a SAK can make the work fine. You don't need anything else. I use the huntsman.
We have different kinds of camping here during various seasons, elevations, and environments. For some of my distance backpacking on trails, a SAK is actually just fine. For those that require open fires for cooking, or as I like to say "exothermic thermoregulation", more comprehensive wood processing tools are required. And then we have a whole genre of bushcraft/minimalist outdoorsmen who rely heavily on various tools to make shelters, other tools, furniture, practice making snares/traps, etc. Hunters and fishermen require different bladed tools, and some just prefer bushwhacking and exploring off-trail areas and it's best to have a little more substantial knife and/or saw.

ROCK6
 

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For camping a SAK can make the work fine. You don't need anything else. I use the huntsman.
I almost agree.

I own and carry mine whenever outdoors.

BUT as it's a FOLDER,it is called a prebroken knife [ blade already goes in the wrong direction ].

And as a "FIRM" believer in the adage "one is none,two are one".

I would NEVER leave the house with 1 knife,no matter how sturdy or large/small.

And has been mentioned a few times,NO ONE ever went out for a campout,hunting trip,fishing trip,hike, and thought " great,I will likely be in a survival situation and only have my SAK".

I am very carry weight sensitive,but the addition of even 2 more blades is not on my radar.

I have gone a long road to find and carry light but STRONG blades.
 

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We have different kinds of camping here during various seasons, elevations, and environments. For some of my distance backpacking on trails, a SAK is actually just fine. For those that require open fires for cooking, or as I like to say "exothermic thermoregulation", more comprehensive wood processing tools are required. And then we have a whole genre of bushcraft/minimalist outdoorsmen who rely heavily on various tools to make shelters, other tools, furniture, practice making snares/traps, etc. Hunters and fishermen require different bladed tools, and some just prefer bushwhacking and exploring off-trail areas and it's best to have a little more substantial knife and/or saw.

ROCK6
Sure the trail and the camping area matters. But i still believe that if you don't want to have on your belt a knife, for any reason, the best choice is a SAK. Small but efficient.
 

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I almost agree.

I own and carry mine whenever outdoors.

BUT as it's a FOLDER,it is called a prebroken knife [ blade already goes in the wrong direction ].

And as a "FIRM" believer in the adage "one is none,two are one".

I would NEVER leave the house with 1 knife,no matter how sturdy or large/small.

And has been mentioned a few times,NO ONE ever went out for a campout,hunting trip,fishing trip,hike, and thought " great,I will likely be in a survival situation and only have my SAK".

I am very carry weight sensitive,but the addition of even 2 more blades is not on my radar.

I have gone a long road to find and carry light but STRONG blades.
The nice part in those knifes is they have two blades. Still there is an issue if you lost the SAK. I agree with a secondary knife, still a folding one. As a secondary i carry a FOX folding. Nothing special but i love his cut.
 
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