scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Knives
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@COLORADO.EDU
Fri Jul 07 2000 - 12:35:05 CDT
On Fri, 7 Jul 2000, Anthony Mako wrote:
> Would you use a paring knife to carve a piece of wood? How about a slicing
> knife? The knives that come with a Chef's kit are specialized knives
> designed for cooking - designed much better for that job than a pocket knife
> or hunting knife. Properly stored, cared for and packed, those knives should
> be quite safe enough. This argument, however, is really just emotional and
> has nothing to do with pocket or sheath knives.
But the underlying point is valid -- you need to have the flexibility to
use the proper tool for the job. My grandfather was a woodcarver, and I'm
not sure he ever used a pocket knife; he had fixed-blade knives of various
sizes he used depending on what he was whittling. Similarly, the paring
knife and chopping knife are much better in cooking situations than a
standard pocket knife.
There are situations in the out-of-doors which work better for folding
knives and those which a "sheath knife" is the better choice. Whitewater
canoeists/kayakers prefer a small sheath knife on their life preservers to
cut themselves free if trapped -- a folding knife would be tricky to open
up while drowning underwater. I also don't really want to consider the
mess of trying to clean up a folding knife after scaling/etc a fish. If
you have a Venture Crew (for which I believe hunting is a permitted
activity), then you would want a fixed-blade knife to field-dress whatever
game you caught. In these circumstances (and others like it that I'm sure
everyone could come up with), a council-wide prohibition on sheath knives
forcesthe use of the wrong tool for the job -- which is both frustrating
and can be a safety hazard.
However, for general campsite (and general everyday use), I am rarely
found far from my Swiss Army knife and/or one of my folding camp tools. I
use it for a vast number of different jobs on a regular basis, from
cutting twine to opening cans to tightening the screws on my glasses (to
opening the occasional wine bottle at home).
In fact, I don't even own a sheath knife, as I don't do any of the
activities I mentioned above. But if I did, I would want the freedom to
use the proper tool.