Knives are invaluable tools in the outdoors, so it’s important you know all the ways to use them. (Markus Spiske/Unsplash/)

This story was originally featured on Outdoor Life.

Anyone who spends time in the woods owns a survival or everyday carry knife (if you don’t, you should). But it’s likely you are not using the blade on your hip to its full potential. Knives can do more than cut, and when you’re in an emergency situation, there are several different ways to use a blade that can save your life.

1. Scrape with the spine

If your knife has a straight square spine with a crisp edge, you can use that side of the blade for several scraping tasks.
If your knife has a straight square spine with a crisp edge, you can use that side of the blade for several scraping tasks. (Tim MacWelch/)

Not everyone likes a square knife spine with precise edges. For one thing, they tend to chew up batons. And many of us would rather have a saw back or a false edge on our knife spines. But if you do happen to have a crisp square spine, you can use it for some important scraping jobs.

The primary use in the survival realm is scraping ferrocerium rods. Rather than dulling your knife edge by scraping this fire-making metal alloy, you can scrape with a square spine and produce a shower of incendiary sparks. And if the spine is really good, you can even use it as a wood scraper for projects like bow making and tool production. If you do happen to lose your desired “square-ness,” use a file to touch up the top of the spine. Finish the job by stroking a hard, smooth metal object (like the side of a screwdriver) down the spine edges with intense pressure. This will burnish the spine and create slight burs on the edges. After that treatment, the spine should scrape better than ever.

2. Use a hardwood baton like a hatchet

A good knife can cut through wood.
A good knife can cut through wood. (Tim MacWelch/)

You won’t want to try this trick with a folding knife or a fixed-blade knife with a wimpy tang, but more robust blades can take a beating (and can split wood). By using a hardwood stick and hammering on the spine of your knife, you can baton your way through firewood and even do some rough wood carving. I often use the baton technique to “rough in” survival stick-bows and taper down wooden throwing sticks. Save your wood chips from these woodworking endeavors, as they make great kindling to go with your newly split firewood.

3. Drill a neat hole

With careful twisting, you can use your knife tip to drill holes in a variety of surfaces and objects.
With careful twisting, you can use your knife tip to drill holes in a variety of surfaces and objects. (Tim MacWelch/)

Why do we need to drill holes in things? A creative survivor can come up with all kinds of tasks that drilling can serve well. Drill a hole in a maple trunk in February or March to collect the sap for drinking water and sweet syrup production. Use a sharp knife tip to drill tiny holes in bone chunks for needles and fishhooks. Just twist your blade back and forth, and you’ll drill through softer materials in no time.

4. Create a spear

Strap a knife to the end of a sturdy stick and you've got a basic spear.

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By: Tim MacWelch/Outdoor Life
Title: Eight survival knife skills you might need in an emergency
Sourced From: www.popsci.com/story/diy/survival-knife-skills/
Published Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2020 16:00:58 +0000

 

 

 

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