Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Knives It The Backcountry - Part 2

What is a good, reliable knife?

As a follow-up to Part 1, I sought out another backcountry expert to discuss an alternative knife selection.

While attending the Washington Search and Rescue conference, I had an opportunity to talk to Skip Stoffel, President of Emergency Response International (ERI.)  An Air Force veteran and survival instructor, Skip founded ERI in 1978.  From his web site:

“… Emergency Response International, Inc. has specialized in Global Survival, Search and Rescue (SAR), and Emergency Preparedness training, publications, consulting, and products. ERI is committed to offering only the highest quality programs and services and guarantees all of its work.”

Skip’s view on the right knife for the SAR team member or backcountry traveler is 180° out from the view expressed in Part 1.

Skip looks for a knife that is strong, light weight, versatile, safe and modestly priced.  He does not recommend a folding knife.  His choice is the Mora knife.

The Mora 840 Clipper is a knife that performs well in the field.  It is a great all round choice. 

Though small, this knife is very sturdy.  The handle ergonomically fits the hand well and one’s grip is solid and secure; it is not unwieldy.  It can be used with a baton for cutting firewood like the larger knife.  It takes an edge very quickly. 

For the person not sure which knife to buy, the Mora is a great place to start.  It sells for a fraction of the price of the larger fixed blade models.  Put it to the test and see if it works for you. 

On another note, both John and Skip carried multi-tools in their kit such as the Leatherman Wave. 

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