Re: Sheath Knife Problem
Brian L. Davis (brian@COR.GOV)
Thu, 30 Sep 1993 14:31:13 +22320726
> Mike, I'll take exception to your statement above...
> Though I have owned and carried a "Wenger" (the _other_ real Swiss Army
> knife... but we can get into that some other time) for over 20 years, I
> would never claim a pocket knife could do anything that a sheath knife can.
> I guess it's the woodsman / hunter in me, but there are a lot of things that
> a sheath knife is designed to do, and does well, that a folding knife (of
> less than 6") does poorly or not at all.
> 1) cutting (hacking) through thick (2"+) branches (for building a lean-to).
People who want their knives to last don't use them as axes. Besides,
a knife of a size appropriate to scout use is too light to accomplish
this any better than a pocketknife. Are you supporting the idea that scout
s should carry Bowie (rambo) sized knives?
> 2) splitting (small) firewood.
Atruly great way to ensure that several of your scouts lose large amounts
of blood on your program activities. Besides, the rules of safe knife
handling specifically preclude this.
> 3) skinning medium to large game.
I've been a hunter most of my life, and I haven't used a sheath knife in
a long time. I promise you, a swiss army knife will dress out youur
average buck just as well as a sheath knife, and probably with less meat
damaged in the process. The simple secret, of course, is to keep the
knife sharp. I challenge *anyone* to dress game using a bowie knife,
it simply can't be done without spoiling a lot of meat. The blade is
just too big.
> 4) heated in the fire and used to help clot a large wound.i
Don't show this one to the red cross, because they'll tell you that
char-broiled, cauterized flesh doesn't suture too well, and that its
a good way to insure nerve damage from large wounds. Definately
*NOT* recommended first aid procedure!
> 5) attached to a long pole as a spear for fishing, etc.
A sharpened stick works much better, because you can put a barb on it.
Fish just slide right off a knife blade.
> I suppose most Scouts today are not trained in woodsman ways, but that's no
> excuse for teaching them untrue or incomplete things about knives.
I agree, but a sheath knife is simply the wrong tool for Scouts to use.
I can't think of a single thing a bowie knife is good for except fighting.
> See above... maybe it's time to take the kids out of the city and show them
> some outdoors (survival) skills <g>. (Ask a Green Beret if he'd rather have
> a folding knife or a sheath knife if he could only have one... <g>)
It's also important to note that a green beret hunts men with his
knife, not safety, or woodsman skills. He likes the big fixed
blades because they kill better than the little ones do.
Scoutmaster, Troop 117
North Trail District Health and Safety Committee
Chairman, Circle Ten Council Graphic Production Committee
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City