Selecting the Right Knife for Your Survival Needs

When anticipating getting by in distressed conditions, it’s always wise to plan for circumstances that will deprive you of access to all the conveniences, even those most basic conveniences that nearly all of us take for granted. This is why selecting the right survival knife can be so important. It is a multi-purpose tool…good for hunting, building, self-defense, and daily tasks…that requires no supply of gasoline, electricity, bullets, or anything else in order to operate it.

Here are two features that make for poor survival knives: a folding feature, and a knife with a large blade. First, the folding feature; folding knives, by their very nature, are less stable and more problematic as true survival knives. These kinds of knives can try to close on you when in engaged in substantial kinds of carving and cutting chores. Also, folding knives can’t withstand much rigor, and can have a tendency to weaken and break at the folding joint. As for large-blade knives (anything longer than six inches), while they might appear to be more useful as a result of the size of the blades, they are frequently found to be less of an aid. Large blade knives are more difficult to properly utilize, particularly when your tasks require smaller, more intricate kinds of manipulation. The ideal length of a survival knife blade is generally between three and five inches.

Stick with fixed blade knives, with blade lengths in the neighborhood of four inches. Also, make sure your knife is characterized by a “full tang.” This is knife-speak for a knife that is constructed of one solid piece, and where the handle is affixed to the blade in two, complete pieces, one on each side of the blade.

A great example of a knife like this is the Tom Brown Tracker; here is a link to a page that shows a variety of photos of the knife:

Ultimately, a quality survival knife can be about the most important tool in your survival toolbox. Take some time to research a good one…and by the way, don’t skimp on the basis of price. A lot of “survival knives” are advertised for $30 to $75, but some of the very best, like the Tom Brown Tracker, cost into the hundreds of dollars. Remember…we’re talking about survival here; if you need one knife to guide you through some dark days, be sure it’s the absolute best you can get.   

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The 2012 Mayan “Prediction:” Real, Fake…or Should It Matter When It Comes to Your Survival Preparedness?

By now, most people are at least generally aware of the apocalyptic predictions associated with the Maya and the Mayan calendar. In a nutshell, the Maya’s “long count” calendar ends on December 21, 2012, concluding after 5,126 years. I’m cutting through some of the details, but the idea is that because the calendar of these ancient peoples effectively ends at that time, the interpretation of many is that the Maya themselves were saying that the world will also end at that time.

As a matter of fact, very recently, a news item noted that a second mention of the date was found at an ancient ruin. This from a USA Today article (November 24, 1011):

Mexico's archaeology institute downplays theories that the ancient Mayas predicted some sort of apocalypse would occur in 2012, but on Thursday it acknowledged that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment found at a southern Mexico ruin site.

Most experts had cited only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan glyphs, a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement that there is in fact another apparent reference to the date at the nearby Comalcalco ruin. The inscription is on the carved or molded face of a brick.”

Personally, I’m not inclined to think the world is going to end on that date. I guess, in a way, if you are one who sincerely believes that it will, your life…at least for the next year…just got a lot easier. There’s really nothing for you to do but enjoy your life and family until December 21, 2012. Despite my own personal disbelief that something cataclysmic will occur on that date, all of the talk does remind me that significant, catastrophic events…mandated by God or not…can and will occur, and that one would do well to prepare for these events.  

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