Putting knives into perspective
I am very fortunate that knife companies, big ones and little ones, send me knives for free on a regular basis. I get to review prototypes and older models to give feedback to these companies on how well they do their intended tasks.
It takes a lot of work to do so, but that is a nice problem to have.
For someone who has so many knives, you would think that I am a knife “geek”. I am not a knife geek. I use those knives as part of my job and I also put them in the hands of my students, so they can make informed decisions for later purchase.
I have a lifetime of experience with knives. I use that experience to help others be safer and more efficient with their use.
The first knife I ever remember having was Barlow two-bladed pocket knife (pictured) that my dad gave me when I was a kid. I still have it and I still use it on occasion. It stays in my tackle box and I use it for fishing tasks.
Barlow made some great starter knives for both adults and kids. They were very inexpensive and many of them were made as marketing products or giveaways. The one I have had “Sperry New Holland” on one side of it, although it is nearly completely worn off at this point.
That is the name of one of the equipment manufacturers that my family sold when I was a kid. That knife and that name evoke a host of memories for me about my extended family, the Caudill Implement business and so much more. Caudill Implement was located on the site that the new Starbucks Coffee is being built on US 60.
I also have a Classic Buck 119 that my uncle Jimmy gave me for Christmas one year. This classic knife is also inexpensive compared to knives of similar size and function. However, that knife knows how to get work done.
I am fortunate and blessed to a be very successful deer hunter. My immediate family enjoys 100% organic red meat. That Buck 119 has field dressed every single deer that I have harvested for over 35 years now.
It has a few dings and scrapes to it, but it went right through the doe I killed on opening day of gun season this year just like it did my first deer in 1984.
For all my woodcrafting and camping needs, I use an LT Wright Genesis. It is the knife that started my relationship with LT and his company several years ago.
I am now an ambassador for their brand which means I get knives from time to time from them. It also means my students, friends, and family get discounts from them.
To say I am hard on equipment is an understatement. I use my outdoor gear and I use it a lot. My LT Wright Genesis has been used more than any other knife I have ever owned. With the regular maintenance that it deserves, and I give to it, it looks a bit used but works like a new one. There is not much in the wilderness that I need to accomplish that I could not do with that knife.
Do you have a favorite knife? Have you picked it up in a while? Have you oiled it and sharpened it in a while? If not, there is no better time than the present to do that! Maybe I will see you on, or off, the trail whittling out something real soon.
Craig Caudill is a lifelong resident of Winchester and serves as Director of Nature Reliance School. He is the author of Extreme Wilderness Survival, Ultimate Wilderness Gear and Essential Wilderness Navigation (April 2019). Please feel free to contact Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org or through any of the various social media platforms available.