5 Essential Bushcraft Knife Skills To Learn Before You Pick One Up
Here’s the thing that most people tend to forget - you may have bought one of the best bushcraft knives out there in the market right now, but that alone does not guarantee the fact that it will be useful in the wild because the definition of best is subjective.
The bottom line is that you need to learn how to use it in a smart and efficient manner to ensure that when the time is right, you don’t shiver like a baby; rather fight like a man. That is the only way in which you can make sure that the knife is useful when it really counts, else it is just a useless piece of sharp metal.
Learning how to use a bushcraft knife effectively includes learning as well as practising some basic bushcraft knife skills. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to go into a forest literally to improve your bushcraft knife skills. You can even practice with a bushcraft knife in your backward. Not only will the element of practice become fun to do after a while, but you will even become more and more proficient as time goes by because when you are an amateur, you get bored or disheartened easily, but when you are able to use it like a pro, the possibility of getting bored completely disappears. You can definitely be sure of this fact.
Hence, whenever you are in the wilderness or in any survival situation, you can be sure that your skills are efficient enough to fight it because you are prepared for anything that comes your way. On that note, let’s take a look at some of the essential bushcraft knife skills:-
Batoning: Now this process can mainly be done by splitting wood. To make sure that you get it right, select a bushcraft knife that happens to be a few inches longer than the wood you are attempting to split.Make sure that you keep batoning the knife till you split the wood. Then, you can focus on making deeper notches in the wood. It is a good exercise for your upper body; enhancing your strength significantly.
Carving: This is one of the main uses for your knife. Not only will this enable you to construct useful tools such as bowls and spoons, but the process itself is great fun, and will ensure that you maintain a better control over your knife. It also helps you to make use of whatever lies around in your surroundings, if you get stuck in the wild.You can also try your hand at some of the smaller tasks as well. In this regard, a thick, long blade is not the ideal option for carving in general. It basically makes you familiar with the length and width of the knife; allowing you to use it more effectively when the need arises.
Fire Starting: As far as general bushcraft and survival situations are concerned, knowing how to make a fire is absolutely essential in every sense of the word. In order to determine whether or not your knife can handle such a task, you can even practice at home in your own backyard. You never know when you might need such a skill, so if you are an adventure lover, then this is a must for you.Practicing with dry as well as wet materials is a must. Even the option of a ferro rod to start a fire is extremely efficient. It is also extremely cool to start a small fire with your knife; a skill which you can boast around among your family and friends.
Feather Sticks: This is an important bushcraft skill to learn. Using this skill, you will be able to start a fire even when it is damp and all other methods have failed. Practicing it with carving and fire starting skills would be the ideal way to go. It is not rocket science but is not easy as well, so don’t be disheartened if you are not able to even get sparks, let alone a small fire. Practice makes a man perfect! Period.
Chopping: Once again, this is a skill best honed at home itself. You will also need to make sure that you have a firm grip on the knife at all times as well as considering the use of an axe or saw, else your hand might get strained or someone else might get severely injured, if it slips from your hand. So to protect your loved ones and the expensive household items, grip stronger to last longer.
Finally, do make sure that you practice all of these skills at home itself. That way, you will truly find out what your bushcraft knife is capable of doing, as well as improve on your very own bushcraft skill set. Basically, it is much better for a mediocre bushcraft knife to be in the hands of an expert, as opposed to a great bushcraft knife in the hands of an unskilled person.
One of the essential concerns that you should take care of is the fact that handling a knife can be dangerous for yourself too. Practicing any of the above skills can be as lethal as using it against someone else. What you need to make sure is that you guard yourself with thick clothes or a light-weight armour, and the pointy-end should never face towards your body. Practice slowly if you are afraid of hurting yourself because it is better to be safe than sorry.
That is the main fact that you need to remember as well as the fact that once you acquire all of the necessary skills, you will be in a much calmer and less stressed-out state of mind when you find yourself in a survival situation.