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Timinator
08-29-2012, 01:20
Sorry for all the questions but at least I'm filling the otherwise devoid CDT section with content :P
Is there a reason to bring a knife on the CDT? I'm switching to alcohol stove so I won't be bringing along my 8oz one anymore. I'm not sure how light and big of a knife I should bring and for what purpose if at all.

BrianLe
08-29-2012, 11:47
Timinator, I have to ask what sort of long distance hiking experience you have with this sort of question? For me, the answer is the same as for any other such long trip.

I ask because IMO the CDT isn't a good choice for a first long distance adventure. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but if I remember correctly you talked earlier about doing it in the winter to boot. I DON'T mean to be patronizing or any such ... crap, but I just wonder if your expectations are well aligned with reality on this one??

Feral Bill
08-29-2012, 12:40
Any hiker anywhere should have a knife. A tiny Swiss Army Knife works for me.

Gray Blazer
08-29-2012, 12:56
What would Macgyver do? All you need is a knife and a paper clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09UlB17cgKw&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

Deadeye
08-29-2012, 13:01
A small jackknife is all that's needed. I like a can opener, scissors and corkscrew on my Swiss Army Knife, for doing the things that a can opener, scissors and corkscrew can do. Otherwise, I'm sorta wondering the same as BrianLe... the CDT may not be a good choice if you don't have basic backpacking knowledge and experience, and the basics would include your choice of knife IMHO.

colorado_rob
08-29-2012, 13:04
It's funny, the "common beta" we've always heard is to always have a knife. I've been hiking for 45 years or so. In all of that time, though I've used one maybe a half dozen times, I've never once actually needed one. I probably carried a knife for 35 out of those 45 years. I rarely do now. Have to cut a cord somewhere? Use your bic lighter. Works great, and seals the ends at the same time. Ditto pack strap. Have to stab an annoying fellow thru hiker? Well, get creative, use a sharp stick or a tent peg. Carve your name on a tree? Well, you shouldn't be doing that anyway. Fight a bear? Good luck with that. Stab a rattlesnake? Probably too late. Dig out a tick? MAYBE that's a good reason, so, this all being said: I probably will carry a little one ounce knife on the AT next year. Maybe i'll learn to whittle.

Pathfinder1
08-29-2012, 13:17
Hi...


A knife of the Swiss Army type can come in handy many times, if only for portioning food (other uses are noted in other posts). A larger folding or case knife can also do some of the same work, plus help fashion a fire, or a shelter in an emergency, for examples. Some people like to carry both.

I'm used to carrying both...just in case ('cause feel naked when without them).

10-K
08-29-2012, 14:25
A single edge razor blade works great. Though I carry 2 because I inevitably lose one.

Odd Man Out
08-29-2012, 14:35
A knife is needed to cut the cheese (born to be a straight man).

1azarus
08-29-2012, 14:58
A single edge razor blade works great. Though I carry 2 because I inevitably lose one.

10k and I are entirely in agreement on this one...

scree
08-29-2012, 15:02
Get one of these for lightweight and maximum badassery potential: http://www.eseeknives.com/arrowhead.htm

You can use it on its own or make a stick bow and hunt javelinas. Don't matter if there aren't any around.

Grinder
08-29-2012, 16:44
skipping the weight mania.
I tried a sheath knife first. No where to put it. pack took up the belt area. Neck sheath always hung in the way when looking at my feet (which you do a lot of when it gets steep).

Then I tried an ultralight knife made from a hacksaw blade. That (like a razor blade) had to be inside the pack. Never at hand when I needed it.

Finally, I got a small pocket knife that I carry in my pocket.

Works fine for me.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 18:16
Alright I'll just get the lightest pocket knife I can find. As to someones question earlier on my exp, I've done a few section hikes on the AT and I'm confident I can take on the CDT. The reason I'm asking is because I usually carry a knife but I only used it for wood processing, just wanted other peoples opinions on whether I should still carry one since I switched to alcohol stoves. How long of a blade would you guys recommend?

Wanderlost
08-29-2012, 18:24
I have a locking folder in my pocket EVERY day, so when camping or hiking, that's going to
be upgraded to at least a multitool..... usually a bit more.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 18:43
Actually, I think I'll go with the razor blade idea, I can't think of a normal knife as anything but dead weight. Props.

Hairbear
08-29-2012, 20:41
Actually, I think I'll go with the razor blade idea, I can't think of a normal knife as anything but dead weight. Props. if my hands are really cold its nice to have a blade with a handle,winter is a hard time foe me to hand on to a razor blade but i think its a great idea to put one in the emergency kit.

Don H
08-29-2012, 20:49
I carried a Leatherman Micra, mostly used the scissors. Next trip I'll carry one of the small Swiss Army Classic knives.

Spirit Walker
08-30-2012, 16:25
I use a knife to cut cheese, sausage and spam, to open boxes and to open beer when we find the good stuff. If you need to cut cloth for a bandage or sling, the knife is helpful there as well.

Another Kevin
08-30-2012, 17:25
I carry a small Leatherman (Micra?), and my daughter carries a small Gerber. I hardly ever do a weekend trip that I don't use it for something: the pliers to grip a hot pot, the knife to cut cheese or sausage, the file to strike a spark, the tiny screwdriver to tighten my spectacles, or some darn thing. I don't get it when the Real Hikers tell me it's a waste of weight, but I'm just a clueless weekender.

The thing lives on my belt when I'm in town, too, and sees even more use there.

Timinator
08-30-2012, 19:35
That micra thing is actually not a bad deal. Only a little more than an ounce and comes with some useful stuff. I will have to contemplate on whether it's worth taking over the weightlessness of a razerblade. Thanks for showing me that.

vamelungeon
08-30-2012, 20:18
If you ask the average person "do you need to carry a knife every day" just in normal life, I think most would say no. I do carry one all the time, a Swiss Army knife, and I find it very useful for everyday tasks. It would be very strange for me to leave it at home when I hit the woods, and I find it just as useful when hiking. I also HATE people who constantly bum things like knives because they don't carry their own. Sometimes, I just say "No."

Drybones
08-30-2012, 20:37
I'll leave home without my American Express card but not my knife.

Wise Old Owl
08-30-2012, 20:59
Knifes as a cutting tools is an extremely personal decision based on the user, the situation and level of skill. No one should impress upon you what is “best.” Best is a relative term. There are countless varieties and uses. Knives are categorized into fixed or folding, full, partial or hidden tang, serrated or plain edge, stainless or carbon steel, etc. Entire volumes of books can be written about blade selection. All I will recommend is buying the best you can afford and buying quality. You will pay for it either way, at the store or in the field. When you buy quality, you will only cry once! Some believe the farther you travel from situation, the bigger your knives should be. Example, a pocket knife in the office, a belt knife at all times, a full-size axe or machete for extended living in the wild. Depending on the size of your kit (pocket, belt, pack, car or home), your knife needs can vary. No 10 essentials kit should be without a knife or variety of cutting tools. Remember, one is none, two is one and three is in case you lose both of the first two. In my personal opinion, a knife is the first item you must add to your 10 essentials. Stainless is great for cutting food and keeping clean – cutting wood, survival and having a quality tool that does not go dull is not stainless, its a much stronger steel. Start with a light Leatherman , over time I have distanced myself from Swiss, there are better options. Like wooden matches - a Bic lighter is a better option. So is a better carbon steel knife of your choice.

Wanderlost
08-30-2012, 21:23
in my personal opinion, a knife is the first item you must add to your 10 essentials.

absolutely... !!!

SunnyWalker
09-01-2012, 20:56
Need a knife to fight off all the Zombies. Becker Necker made by Kaybar.

chiefiepoo
09-01-2012, 21:08
Let's see if Aron Ralston would like to comment here. Extreme, but shows how ya never know.

hobby
09-03-2012, 01:44
I use a 1 &1/2" folding knife that I bought at a convinence store 10 years ago for 99 cents.
I cut rope, open packages, and various small tasks like cleaning fingernails or cutting food.
All I have ever needed

Overgrown
09-03-2012, 02:56
1. Small
2. lite weight
3. locking blade (always a good thing)
4. quality

http://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Ladybug-Plain-Knife-Purple/dp/B001RAX6VC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346655417&sr=8-1&keywords=spyderco+lady+bug



I have one of these that is over 20 years old, fantastic knife.

bigcranky
09-03-2012, 09:05
For a winter CDT thru-hike, I would want a decent knife as part of a fire-starting kit.

Rocket Jones
09-03-2012, 10:30
I agree with Big Cranky here. Winter on the CDT is no time to shave ounces with delicate tools. Good fixed-blade or lockblade tough enough to split small branches, and because you're talking snowshoes and/or crampons, I'd seriously consider a good multitool just in case you need to make repairs on the trail.

bigcranky
09-03-2012, 12:13
I would add that a winter hike is probably not a place for an alcohol stove to save weight. A reliable white gas stove would by my choice. Or a canister stove with a remote burner.

SunnyWalker
09-04-2012, 00:11
The only time I ever used a multi-tool knife was on a cross country bike ride of the USA and that was only once during the ride. My choice for backpacking therefore does not include the multi-tool. I like the Kaybar Becker Necker. Good knife you can sharpen when you need to. Available all the time, not stuck in your pack or something. You can wear it under your Tshirt if you wish to. You would be well served by the Becker Necker.

Rocket Jones
09-04-2012, 05:58
You missed my point. The OP is talking about a winter hike on the CDT. If he needs to make repairs to his snowshoes or crampons and he's days away from a town or accessable bailout, then a good multitool could be a lifesaver.

Timinator
09-04-2012, 11:04
Yeah basically what he said. A multi tool is probably what I need because of snow shoe repairs. Being stranded in a sea of snow doesn't sound great.

wornoutboots
09-04-2012, 12:31
I use a 1 &1/2" folding knife that I bought at a convinence store 10 years ago for 99 cents.
I cut rope, open packages, and various small tasks like cleaning fingernails or cutting food.
All I have ever needed

Spoken like a true Backpacker!! Clean finger nails then cut food : O D

handlebar
09-05-2012, 14:54
Smallest Swiss Army Knife. Has blade about 1-1/2" long, fingernail file, scissors, tweezers, and toothpick. I used to carry a much larger one just to have a can opener. Now I have one of those tiny U.S. army type can openers that stays in the cookpot. I didn't use that in the month when I picked up the remaining sections of the CDT, so out it goes. I found the small knife more than adequate for all my needs.

Drybones
09-05-2012, 15:10
There was a hiker in the news a couple of years back that had his hand caught under a bolder, he had to cut his hand off to save his life, wouldn't want to use a razor blade or dull knife for that surgery. A full size hunting knife would be nice but they're just too heavy. I looked at a lot of knives before settling on the Kershaw JR Martin. It weighs 2 oz, has decent steel, inexpensive, opens with one hand and has a clip so I can attach it to my right front pocket and always know where it is and can get to it fast if needed.

cabbagehead
09-15-2012, 22:44
I use my knife to start fires, but I might be able to use a spoon for that.

Slo-go'en
09-15-2012, 23:05
If you only have one tool, it should be a knife. I picked up a 3" folding Buck knife with a carbon fiber handle which is pretty light and good for lots things besides cutting cheese.

fiddlehead
09-16-2012, 07:51
Times (of course) are changing.
In the old days, you needed a knife to help lash your shelter together and start fires in the rain.
Those days are gone and for years, I hiked with a guy who never carried a knife.

But now, you need a knife to get inside some of the extreme packaging you come across when you buy things.
Either that or a strong scissors.
Cheese and bread can be broken or torn, string/rope can be burned through. Dental floss comes with it's own cutter.
But I'd hate to be stuck trying to open my new pack of batteries because I just broke my tooth trying.
Razor blade at least. IMO.

Wise Old Owl
09-16-2012, 09:23
Need a knife to fight off all the Zombies. Becker Necker made by Kaybar.

If that was the case my knife would be boot laced and electrical taped to the end of the hiking pole to keep them at a distance by poking them.http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n31/dibbera/Pokes/th_poke-vi.gif

Fiddlehead those old days aren't forgotten - just not practiced - The younger folk would rather get in their bags and freeze before making a fuzz stick.

SunnyWalker
09-16-2012, 14:37
Yep, Wise Old Ow, I hear ya. Glad that Zombies are a fantasy. This knife question comes up periodically and its almost as bad a religion, no quite. We sure do all have a opinion on it.

cabbagehead
09-16-2012, 21:59
I just tried using an aluminum spoon with a ferrocerium rod. It didn't produce many sparks. I don't have a titanium spoon to try. This is why I would bring my knife.

Wise Old Owl
09-16-2012, 23:30
FD I donated all those rods to the Boys Scouts.... Micro White Bic Lighter - grab a pliers and remove the child lock. Easy to dry out and 1000's of lights. Built in Flint too!

SunnyWalker
09-29-2012, 21:52
Actually, I must confess and I surrender . . . . I have decided that the weight of the Becker Necker is too much. AND the idea of the leather thong/chain/whatever around my neck for 5-6 months is too much. SO, I have got a little bitty Gerber jackknife to use. LIGHT! YEEEAHHHH!!
One wrote about repairing snowshoes and therefore a multi-tool would be good. Anyone ever had to repair your snowshoes while using them??

Whack-a-mole
09-29-2012, 23:01
I might take my knife on 30 trips and never use it, but the first time I leave it home, something will happen and I will actually need it.

Sman
09-29-2012, 23:34
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it........................

NeanderJoel
09-30-2012, 02:35
when I did thru hiked the AT this year I carried the smallest swiss army knife available that came with scissors, a blade and tweezers. I used the tweezers to pull off ticks and the scissors to cut my nails. The blade I didn't actually need but it made some things easier.

bigcranky
09-30-2012, 08:26
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it........................

Yeah, but this is a recipe for a 90 pound pack if you apply it to everything....

10-K
09-30-2012, 09:07
There are some things that it's better to not have even if you need it.

Wise Old Owl
09-30-2012, 10:04
last night over at the farm I collected sticks and some were a little green I stripped off the bark in seconds with my knife CRKT and had a white hot fire for everyone to sit around eat cheese and crackers and drink wine... ya get the point.

xokie
09-30-2012, 10:55
Carry the knife. Jeez. Every grownup and most kids I have known have carried a knife since the age of seven. It's as useful as shoelaces, belts and hats and wallets. It should already be in your pocket when you put your pants on.

RichardD
09-30-2012, 11:01
I carried a nice fancy lightweight knife on my thru last year and as I recall all I used it for was to spread peanut butter onto a tortilla. Dont know if I will have the nerve to go knifeless on the PCT next Summer, for me its clearly a low use item.

matador
09-30-2012, 11:20
at least take a pocketknife man. you never know

matador
09-30-2012, 11:26
even if you never need the knife for anything to do with camping, it still good to have one cause you never know when your gonna come across one of the crazies of the world and might need to protect yourself.

Chance09
09-30-2012, 13:02
I just think that you are absolutely crazy to attempt a winter CDT hike. The CDT during the summer is enough like winter for my tastes. I can't imagine what those 20 degree temps we encountered in the summer last year will be like in the winter. That trail whopped my butt last year and I'd done the PCT the year before and the AT the year before that.

If I were going to do that I would carry my leatherman wave. Normally all I carry is a Leatherman Micra, an even smaller Leatherman (can't remember the name, but it's basically a knife and tweezers), or a hideawayknife because I can keep it anywhere.

Crazy Larry #1
09-30-2012, 13:07
Sorry for all the questions but at least I'm filling the otherwise devoid CDT section with content :P
Is there a reason to bring a knife on the CDT? I'm switching to alcohol stove so I won't be bringing along my 8oz one anymore. I'm not sure how light and big of a knife I should bring and for what purpose if at all.
I carry a Buck Stockman pocket knife and a gerber multipurpose tool with pliers, both are very handy when you need them....

rich5665
09-30-2012, 13:18
I don't care what anyone says, you should always carry a knife. Just be sure it's sharp.

Sent from my SGH-T959 using Tapatalk 2

Snowleopard
10-01-2012, 10:15
I agree with Big Cranky here. Winter on the CDT is no time to shave ounces with delicate tools. Good fixed-blade or lockblade tough enough to split small branches, and because you're talking snowshoes and/or crampons, I'd seriously consider a good multitool just in case you need to make repairs on the trail.
Agreed. For winter anywhere, a repair kit is needed for snowshoes/skis/crampons. Exactly what you need depends on your gear's needs and might include spare screws, straps, file (for crampons), steel wire, etc. A Mora knife and a small saw could be a life saver in forested terrain; I should really practice emergency fires.


I would add that a winter hike is probably not a place for an alcohol stove to save weight. A reliable white gas stove would by my choice. Or a canister stove with a remote burner.
I'd say a white gas stove would be best, and know how to repair it and have a repair kit. A canister stove with remote burner (and preheat tube) is OK for milder conditions (above 0F)), but having experience in using it in the temps you expect would be good.

Malto
10-01-2012, 15:08
For normal hiking I carry the baby Swiss army knife with blade and scissors. Rarely use the blade, often use the scissors.

Sman
10-02-2012, 20:53
Yeah, but this is a recipe for a 90 pound pack if you apply it to everything....

Good point---- But I would still recommend the knife.....

Wise Old Owl
10-02-2012, 21:16
Smallest Swiss Army Knife. Has blade about 1-1/2" long, fingernail file, scissors, tweezers, and toothpick. I used to carry a much larger one just to have a can opener. Now I have one of those tiny U.S. army type can openers that stays in the cookpot. I didn't use that in the month when I picked up the remaining sections of the CDT, so out it goes. I found the small knife more than adequate for all my needs.

Well I know I am not going to change your opnion... but this is the best bad idea for a mani....

At risk of boring folk - stainless is fine for food... in a cafeteria. I am not advocating an Australian "Knife"

look a little better than stainless as it stays sharper!
http://www.rei.com/search?query=530+Serrated+Locking+Knife
Example

SunnyWalker
10-15-2012, 07:14
Well, I need to let ya'll know that I am doing the CDT (attempt) this Spring '13. AND . . . the knife I carry is still up in the air. I love my Kaybar Becker Necker, AND my little Gerber my daughter gave me AND my big Buck sheath Knife (not really considering this one) AND my nice multi-tool knife my sone gave me AND the Swiss army knife I have (with scissors and Tweezers and toothpick. You'd think it was easy to make this decision. Maybe I'll take one and put the rest in a bounce box! Ha, ha. I guess a knife to me on a hike or camping trip is like without thinking a necessity. Like Owl said, one of the 10 essentials. I can't carry it on person when I am in my running shorts. when my pants come on, knife goes in pocket. OH .... then there is the BSA knife. The knife is also a toy item I guess. At least you can take it out and look at it. Admiring all its parts and think of how cool it is. Grab a piece of wood and do something if you really need something to do. What mountain man ever went into the wilds without a knife??!? True, I may never cut more than cheese or salami (doubt this). There are other "toys" I will not take and discard, e.g., binoculars. Knife, never! Never, ever, ever will I ever, ever ever part with my knife. Now which one???!?

NeanderJoel
10-15-2012, 21:53
Well I know I am not going to change your opnion... but this is the best bad idea for a mani....
At risk of boring folk - stainless is fine for food... in a cafeteria. I am not advocating an Australian "Knife"
Example

"Australian" knife huh? That's racist! :)

NeanderJoel
10-15-2012, 21:54
My trail name on the AT was actually Dundee, but I had a disappointingly small knife..

SunnyWalker
10-15-2012, 22:04
Another knife to add to the mix: Gerber Bear Grylls Scout Knife. Man this thing is light! Cool too! I like it. It's now in first place (sorry Becker Necker).

Wise Old Owl
10-26-2012, 22:51
440 A

A high carbon stainless steel, used in many production knives. A good balance of edge retention, easy resharpening and corrosion resistance.

Bit frustrated there BG Knives look awesome and they are flying off the shelves... its a good choice for good folk, I thought I might buy one.... again not my choice.

55-57

SunnyWalker
03-18-2013, 13:41
So Timinator . . . did you ever decide to take a knife, and if so, which one??? We are all sitting here with bated breath waiting to hear what your decision was.

Timinator
03-31-2013, 00:35
Lol sorry sunny, I'm probably going to use a razor blade. I may or may not decide to get a leatherman micra at the last second but 1.8 ounces is a big bite to chew considering I might not even use it.

Dogwood
04-02-2013, 17:26
Timinator, I have to ask what sort of long distance hiking experience you have with this sort of question? For me, the answer is the same as for any other such long trip.

I ask because IMO the CDT isn't a good choice for a first long distance adventure. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but if I remember correctly you talked earlier about doing it in the winter to boot. I DON'T mean to be patronizing or any such ... crap, but I just wonder if your expectations are well aligned with reality on this one??

What do you know BrianLe? You only have 10k+ trail miles under your belt as well as a CDT thru-hike? BTW, BrianLe what do all those acronyms stand for listed at the bottom of each of your posts?

Alright I'll just get the lightest pocket knife I can find. As to someones question earlier on my exp, I've done a few section hikes on the AT and I'm confident I can take on the CDT. - Timinator

I once read somewhere that pride(over confidence, haugtiness) comes before a a a FALL. Maybe it should have read .... comes before an aborted attempt at a thru-hike! or worse!

I like this explanation of the verse:

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." It means that the next step after being all puffed up with arrogance could be falling flat on your face. Well, according to what I know, 'Pride comes before a fall' means that one becomes over confident and stops thinking sensibly when success goes to one's head and which is a sure indication of the fact that that person is bound to suffer or face disappointment because of the wrong decisions that he or she might make. In other words too much arrogance and self pride are sure to bring bad and disappointing results.

I think I also read these things in that same place:

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain to wise counsels:

(http://bibleapps.com/proverbs/1-5.htm)Proverbs 25:12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover on an obedient ear (http://bibleapps.com/proverbs/25-12.htm)