Do you have a “survival knife” you love that's part of your bug-out bag or other survival gear?
Most likely you do — but here's a follow-up question for you…
Have you ever TESTED your knife to make sure it'll do what you NEED it to do under realistic conditions?
I'm not just talking about whether or not it's capable of opening up a boxed meal or cutting a piece of paracord.
I'm talking about EVERY single task you might need a knife for in extreme environments.
Let me share with you what I mean by sharing with you…
The Easiest Way To Test Any Survival Knife For A Real-World Disaster, Crisis, Or Collapse!
Ok, first thing you must know is that your knife is a “tool”, right?
And tools are meant to make everyday tasks and jobs easier than if you didn't have that tool.
For example, cutting through a piece of paracord or rope with a knife is a whole hell of a lot easier than gnawing through it with your teeth, right?
And if your knife isn't capable of even this tiny, little task, then it's obviously a worthless piece of sh*t because if you couldn't easily cut through cordage, it would take you forever (and a lot more energy) to do things like:
- Putting up a shelter
- Strapping down gear for travel
- Distributing sections for other family/team members
But these are just a few simple examples of tasks your knife must be capable of helping with.
So here's a better way to test your knife…
Basically, when I was in the Army — and to this day — every single soldier was issued what's known as a “Common Task Training” Manual (or just “CTT Manual”).
In a nutshell, this is a guide covering a specific set of skills that have been proven to be needed out on the battlefield.
The CTT Manual is important because it tells you, from DAY ONE, exactly EVERYTHING you have to know — and be able to demonstrate — before you can graduate.
Well, if you knew that you'd be asked to do a series of very specific tasks, wouldn't you want to make sure your tools could handle them?
Since my time in the military — and even right now, TODAY — when I want to make sure my survival gear — including my blades — are up to snuff, I go through the entire CTT manual and look at what it asked me to do.
Then I use THAT as my guide to testing and evaluating every piece of my gear.
You can find a version of this manual online as STP 21-1-SMCT, Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks, Warrior Skills Level 1.
Yes, you'll find a bunch of stuff about military operations, firing your rifle, and so on. . . but the REST of the stuff in there is ABSOLUTELY what you'll have to handle in a survival, bugout, and escape & evasion scenario.
According to the CTT, soldiers have to be able to. . .
- “Evaluate a Casualty (Tactical Combat Casualty Care)” and a whole bunch of first aid for burns, wounds, fractures, and so on
- “Move Over, Through, or Around Obstacles (Except Minefields)”
- “Search Vehicles in a Tactical Environment”
- “Perform individual camouflage”
Can your survival knife do those things?
- Can it be used for medical tasks like cutting gauze or even opening up a wound?
- Does it have the power to smash through a vehicle's window… or its windshield?
- Can it clear brush, help you build a shelter, pry open doors (in buildings or in cars), and help you gather the materials to camouflage yourself?
Every time I evaluate a survival blade, I use the CTT manual, exactly as I did back in the military.
But I'll also let you in a little secret. . .
I actually no longer carry a survival knife.
What I learned, in testing my gear against military standards, was that there was nothing my survival knife could do that my MACHETE couldn't… and then some!
Oh sure, I still carry one of those neat little folding razors for small tasks now, like cutting 550 cord and tape.
But if I need to do something bigger, like chop wood, well. . . my survival knife wasn't the best tool for jobs like that.
My machete, though, absolutely IS.
I basically just cut out the middle man by carrying the machete as my primary “survival knife”.
That's because it the machete can DO IT ALL:
- It opens canned goods and skins game.
- It chops and carves wood like a BEAST.
- It clears trails.
- It can even be used like a “shovel” for digging latrines and trenches.
In fact, when I designed our Guardian Machete, I made sure it could even stand up to the most challenging “urban survival” tasks…
- …it smashes through brick, mortar, and concrete (not to mention windows and vehicle glass)!
- …it does double duty as a pry bar and a lever!
- …its blade is so tough that it even cuts through reinforced STEEL to breach metal obstacles (chains, fences, etc.) blocking your path!
- And of course, it's a SUPERIOR weapon – far better than any knife!
I hate to brag, but it really is the toughest machete on the planet and all you have to do is watch our “machete torture test” video here, to see for yourself…
When I think about the actual experience I had in desert, jungle, arctic, and urban environments — including in COMBAT — a knife wouldn't even come CLOSE to doing what I needed it to do.
I think you'll agree, and maybe consider “leveling up” your own field blade for your survival kit load-out.