Knives and Lives: Basic Functions Of Knives For Surviving The Outdoors

Knives and Lives: Basic Functions Of Knives For Surviving The Outdoors

When it comes to surviving out in the wilds, your life may very well depend on the tools you have and how you use them. Faced with countless scenarios, a person who ends up lost in a jungle or a marsh can never survive when they don’t know how to use the tools they have.

One of the essential tools essential for survival in the wilds is your Knife. Knives by definition, is a short blade fixed on a hilt or handle which is for cutting. Although primarily a tool for cutting, knives can also function as effective weapons when dire situations arise.

However, one would ask, Why bring a knife in the first place?Whether an ordinary citizen or a Survival Enthusiast, almost everyone owns a knife. Here are more important reasons why blades can be of a great deal when you’re out in the woods.


A basic function of a knife is to simply “Cut.” Cutting is putting the edge of the blade against a  material with a motion of moving back and forth until a piece is separated from the original material. When out in the wilderness, a sharp cutting blade can be the difference between life and death.

  • When emergency situations arise, a knife can be one of the most valuable items to have in your bag. Knives are easy to sanitize and will easily through soft material such as gauze, cotton, cloth, etc. A sharp, clean knife can also help dislodge foreign material in wounds
  • Aside from wound care, knives can be used to build slings, splints, and other first aid related tools to help an injured person in the wild. Knives can also function as good cauterizing tools.
  • Another worse case scenario where a knife would come in handy in the wild is when you’re trapped. What if your seatbelt is stuck and you can’t get out of your rolled vehicle? You use a sharp knife, preferably with serrations to make it easier to cut through.


Chopping is different from cutting as you will be swinging your knife in a downward motion, hitting an intended object. Chopping with a knife arises when you want to shorten a piece of rope or when you want to finely ground some tough root crops such as carrots and potatoes. Always remember that you need to keep your fingers away from the object you want to chop.

  • You need a sharp knife to chop and prepare food finely. Fish, meat, and root crops like potatoes, carrots all need to be chopped so that you can eat it properly.
  • Using a hacking motion, you can also clear a path using a long knife by swathing through tall grass and other shrubs.
  • Chopping with a strong and sturdy knife can also help you in building your shelter. You can chop up small branches, or you can shorten ropes and other pieces of cloth to function as a makeshift roof or covering.


Most survival newbies forget that a strong knife can be used as a wedge to split something in half. When you don’t have an axe lying around, a thick bladed knife with a thick branch can be just as good.

  • Wedging or Batoning is used mainly for splitting firewood into two. Wedge your knife into any cut on top of the firewood. If there isn’t any visible cut, you can make one by bringing down your knife on the piece of wood. Strike down the spine of the blade by using a tough branch. Continue driving down the blade until you’ve split the firewood.


A sharp knife is also a good tool to carve out other tools from materials just lying around. Although carving needs you to be more careful and precise, the outcomes are invaluable to any survivor out there in the wild woods.

  • Don’t want to use your knife as a spearhead? Don’t worry; you can carve an arrowhead or a whole arrow using a knife and some branches. Carve the sides of the branch to straighten it out. Once you have a seemingly straight branch, you can now sharpen the tip that will function as the arrowhead.
  • Bored? You can use your knife like a pen of some sorts and write down on a clean piece of wood. Using your knife for this method is effective when you want to create a map in case you get lost.
  • Another thing you can do with your knife and a block of wood is that you can carve out anything you want. This is an effective time killer when you have nothing do out in the woods.


Knives are an important tool to have in your backpack when it comes to survival. Having can be a matter of life and death. You can do a lot of things with a knife, namely prepare food, shelter, and even craft weapons out of materials lying around. You can check Deal Wiki for a wide assortment of knives and other survival tools.